Didn’t get to travel much this summer? I’ve stumbled upon a fun way to virtually  explore the planet. Through the magic of time-lapse photography on YouTube, you can experience new places without paying for an airplane ticket. My kids and I love “visiting” parts of the world we hope to one day see in person!

Visit New York, New York!

This is a fascinating video of the construction of the new World Trade One building. Construction starts with moving cranes and growing walls as the new building gradually towers above city skyline. Given the history of the World Trade Center, it is inspiring to see it rise from the ashes.

Watch a show from Mother Nature at the Grand Canyon.

There’s a natural phenomenon called a cold air inversion that occurs every so often in the Grand Canyon. Cold air gets caught under warm air and clouds fill the canyon. They look almost like ocean waves as they run over and through the rock walls. Watch the light of the sun and flashes of lightening illuminate the roiling cloud waves. Magical!

Head to Dubai

Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, has grown exponentially in the last few decades. It is famous now as the location of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Watch as the city explodes over the last two decades, including a unique shot of the construction of Burj Khalifa.

Get personal while seeing China.

Christoph Rehage decided to walk from Beijing to Germany. He took a picture of himself in different locations every day until he eventually cut his trip short to be with family. We see him in cities, mountains, deserts, snow, sandstorms, and blistering heat. Although he didn’t accomplish his original goal, this video takes him from Beijing all the way across China to Urumqi.

*If you like this video, you’ll probably love his walk from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan.

Go on safari in South Africa

This might be my favorite time-lapse escape because the shots make you feel like you’re right there, sitting in a jeep on safari. You’ll see elephants, hyenas, rhinos, giraffes (and a number of adorable baby animals) in their beautiful natural habitat. The video ends beneath a breath-taking night sky.

Walk the streets of London.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of touring through video, you will find a virtual treasure chest of explorations on the channel, Around the World 4K, which has videos taken on the streets of countless amazing cities. In this video, you’ll feel like you are part of the hustle and bustle of this beautiful city, walking with the crowd across Tower Bridge or admiring Big Ben.

Whatever it is that captures your travel fancy—Mother Nature, architecture, or historical locations—you’ll find a video that will let you begin your journey in the comfort of your own home. Sit down with your kids and take a few minutes to dream about your next family adventure.