Traveling and Virtual Tours


NASA Goddard Engineer Tom Grubb uses VR/AR

Emma Castaneda and Alisha Khan

There are many wonderful places to travel worldwide, as well as just within the United States. When 2020 came along, many had to stop traveling due to the pandemic. Within this year of 2021, vaccines have been given to many just in time for this summer, which is great, because it’s time to pick up all those missed traveling plans. Although, that being said, there are still protocols to follow when traveling. Also, don’t forget that traveling is not the only option for viewing the places we wish to see. Many of these places have virtual tours which give you the full experience and make it seem as if you have actually traveled there in person.

Here are a few protocols to think about when traveling to the following places:

San Francisco:

  • Have a face mask on when going out in public
  • Keep 6 ft distance between you and other people
  • Get tested
  • Isolate if ill or feeling ill
  • When going to open businesses, listen to their protocols


  • 14-day quarantine as soon as you enter
  • Mask must be worn when outside
  • Keep 6 ft distance from others
  • Get tested by officials
  • Gatherings of only 10 or less allowed at restaurants


  • Fully vaccinated
  • Negative Covid test
  • Quarantine for 7 days after arrival
  • Have a face mask on when going outside
  • Complete a passenger locator form before departure
  • Have QR code from form ready when arriving at the border


  • Be negative when tested
  • Masks are mandatory when going outside (will be fined)
  • Limits to the number of people gathered in business are 50% of capacity
  • Quarantine for 14 days in hotel or home
  • Must complete a personal monitoring card and have a health insurance card when arriving

These are some protocols that you must think about when traveling. With summer just around the corner, it’s finally time for us to travel to places we couldn’t before. Remember, if you still don’t want to travel, then try some virtual tours that will give you the experience of you traveling. 

If you feel uncomfortable traveling in person, there are a plethora of videos online providing virtual tours. The One day in San Francisco: 360° Virtual Tour with VoiceOver, created by Sygic Travel, provides a 360° experience of the beautiful bay area and showcases the city’s famous landmarks (the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, and Lombard Street), while simultaneously presenting fun trivia for each destination. However, if you prefer a more peaceful tour of the city, then a walking tour is a perfect option. Golden Gate Bridge Virtual Run | Running Videos For Treadmill #virtualrun by Running videos TV takes the viewer along with a 41-minute jog through the outskirts of the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge. While the video was originally intended for treadmill users, viewers can still watch the scenery from the comfort of their bed or couch. For a more historical view of San Francisco, [4k, 60 fps] San Francisco, a trip down Market Street, April 14, 1906, by Denis Shiryaev displays a busy street nearly 115 years ago. While the shoot was staged to portray Market Street as more lively, the video nevertheless showcases the impressive architecture of San Francisco days before the devastating 1906 earthquake that rattled —and destroyed— much of the city.

Honolulu, Hawaii is the perfect destination for surfers and beach-dwellers. Yet, if you feel uncomfortable traveling to the island, YouTube offers a host of virtual experiences. Hawaii VR Tour (Oahu): The World’s Most Beautiful Island? by The 360 Guy provides a virtual tour guide that takes viewers to scenic areas like Makapu’u Point and Waikiki Beach— all while sharing knowledge about each location and its special features. In Oahu, Hawaii— Around The Island Tour 4K, Jacek Zarzycki videotapes his adventure across Oahu’s circumference, highlighting the island’s beautiful coastline and mountains. 4K Virtual Tour— Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii—  2 Hours Relaxations Video by 4K Urban Life gives viewers a more relaxing view of Hawaii’s coast; the 2-hour length film showcases stunning Waikiki beach, accentuating the sandy shoreline and crystal clear ocean.

Even though Greece is fantastic to visit in person, the nation’s beauty can still be observed through online media. Santorini Greece Virtual Tour 4K by Island Hopper TV presents a tour of Greece’s most famous island, Santorini. The video displays the region’s beautiful white-and-blue architecture and stunning cliff sides, exhibiting why Santorini is such a popular tourist destination. For a more informational tour, Scenic Virtual Tour Athens, Greece by World Nature Video and Virtual Tours | Destinations are perfect options. The former provides a knowledge-packed video highlighting Athens’ —Greece’s capital’s— most exciting features. The program showcases famous landmarks like Panathenaic Stadium and Acropolis, all while sharing fun facts about the ancient city’s history and engineering accomplishments. The latter is a website dedicated to spreading cultural knowledge about different Greek cities, such as Ancient Olympia and Crete. Every destination contains a brief video displaying the region’s architecture and landmarks, while also providing information about each town.

Egypt is a marvelous country harboring impressive architectural feats and rich history. Even if traveling there isn’t a possibility, the nation’s allure can still be marveled online. One day in Cairo: 360° Virtual Tour with VoiceOver by Sygic Travel provides a quick 360° experience of Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The virtual tour travels through popular destinations like Al-Azhar Park and the pyramids of Giza, while also including a camel ride across the desert and a rickshaw ride through the city. However, the video showcases the beautiful landmarks of the nation and contains historical trivia about the country’s history. Pyramids of Giza Walking Tour (4K/60fps) by Pro walk Tours provides viewers an up-close look at Egypt’s pyramids. The two-hour-long walking tour starts at Mortuary Temple of Khafre and ends with the Sphynx, but displays nearly all the breathtaking architecture of the Ancient World. 360° Travel inside the Great Pyramid of Giza – BBC by BBC is a 360° look at the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest —and largest— of the region’s pyramids, as well as the last remaining 7 Wonders of the World. The video is brief but still manages to exhibit the grand interior of one of Egypt’s most ancient pyramids in detail. 

Although the cities of San Francisco and Honolulu and the countries of Greece and Egypt are wondrous places to travel, there are hundreds of other cities and nations waiting to be explored. Even if visiting in-person isn’t an option, the Internet harbors thousands of opportunities to travel virtually anywhere. Virtual Vacation, for example, contains hundreds of walking, driving, and even flying tours of famous cities and monuments. Life is short, and obtaining the ability to travel everywhere on your bucket list is unlikely, so don’t let the limits of in-person traveling prevent you from venturing the globe! 

Stay Safe and Always Wear a Mask!