40 Travel-Inspired Backgrounds for Zoom, Skype & Other Video-Conference Apps

Big Ben London United Kingdom

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Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are now working from home and finding ourselves with a calendar full of virtual meeting requests.

If you are new to the work-from-home (WFH) club, these virtual conference calls can be intimidating and sometimes tricky. With a new video platform popping up seemingly every day, you may find yourself downloading the Zoom app for 1 meeting, Skype for another, Slack for another, and so on — until you run out of time or space.

Whether you are meeting with colleagues about a project you are working on or hosting a virtual happy hour with your socially-distanced friends, getting familiar with the video app will help make your experience better.

And if you want to change your background, calls could get a little more fun!

What Is Zoom?

Woman on a Video Call
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Even if you aren’t telecommuting, you have probably heard of Zoom as it has exploded in popularity since the pandemic hit.

Zoom is a free, cloud-based video conferencing app for your computer, smartphone, tablet. The app allows users to easily set up virtual meetings (with video or audio-only) without an account, so users only need a link and a password to start their meeting.

If users want a more robust experience with longer calls, recording options, professional meeting options, and more, there are multiple paid versions.

The frictionless experience has made Zoom the go-to app for online gatherings in 2020, both professional and personal, despite competitors like Skype being in the video calling field for over a decade.

Tips for Your Next Video Conference Call

Taking notes on a video call
Image Credit: Julia M Cameron via Pexels

Since working from home is new for many of us, some pointers can come in handy for the WFH newbie.

Before we get into the fun stuff (like changing your virtual background), here are some basic tips to improve your video call game.

Choose Your Background and Lighting Wisely

If you have been on the internet at all in the past few months, you have surely seen some video call fails courtesy of new Zoom users (tip: don’t bring your computer into the bathroom with you).

If you are setting up for a call, especially a work call, be sure to appear professional.

It is probably a good idea to keep your camera stationary (not in the bathroom) and make sure the lighting is in front of you, not behind you, so that you are visible to the camera.

Close Other Apps

Depending on how old your computer is, running a video application may slow down its performance and make your call choppy.

It is generally a good practice to close any other apps that will not be used during the call and disable any pop-ups, especially if you plan on sharing your screen.

Check Your Internet Connection

Even if you have the fastest computer in the world, if your internet connection is weak or slow, your call is doomed.

If you aren’t sure if you have a solid connection, you check your internet speed easily online.

If your internet speed isn’t fast enough (generally you will need at least 1-4 Mbps), try moving closer to the router and asking other users to reduce their video usage or downloads while you are on your call.

Dress Appropriately

We’re not here to judge — we love to travel in comfort, so sweatpants are generally fine with us. But some calls may require a bit more professionalism than others. Your annual budget meeting may be a bit more formal than a happy hour with friends. Just be sure to read to the room!

Test Your Audio and Video

Once you have checked off all of the previous to-dos, now you can check your audio and visual connections.

Depending on the app you are using, an option for testing your connection will pop up as you are logging in to your call.

If you are using a new computer or recently updated some software, it is generally a good idea to do a quick test before joining the call. You can find out the step-by-step instructions for Zoom here.

Position Your Camera

Depending on the device you are using, your camera may not be located in the most flattering position.

For example, some laptops have the webcam located at the bottom of the screen, which means that everyone in your meeting is looking up at you… or depending on how you are sitting, up your nose.

If necessary, stack your computer or tablet on something so that the camera is eye-level… and remember to look at the camera!

Upgrade Your Equipment

Although your trusty old laptop may have a webcam built it, it may not be the best option — especially if you will be attending video conferences regularly.

Investing in an external webcam with an upgraded microphone can go a long way in improving your video call experience.

If you want to take your calls to the next level, consider adding a ring light so that you don’t need to be shifting around your home’s lighting just to avoid awkward shadows.

Let Your Family or Roommates Know That You Are on a Call

Finally, it doesn’t matter if you have the perfect video call setup if you are constantly being interrupted by family or a roommate making noise in the background.

Simply letting people know that you are on a video call will help prevent that potentially awkward moment of someone walking behind your after they just got out of the shower — it happens more than you might think!

How to Change Your Background

One of the cool parts of having a video call is that you can digitally alter your background.

If you don’t feel like cleaning up your home office or just want to add a fun tropical vibe to your next online meeting, just swap your background with one of the great travel-inspired options below.

Despite Zoom being the most popular of the video conferencing apps of the moment, there are plenty of others that offer similar services. Here is a quick introduction on how to change your background in some of the most popular programs.

BlueJeans

If you use BlueJeans for your virtual calls, you will need to download the Snap Camera desktop app by Snapchat to change your background.

In addition to changing your background, Snap Camera can add filters, virtual makeup, and even accessories to help brighten the mood of your meeting.

Once you have downloaded the app, just launch BlueJeans and select the camera option that will now show you all of your new, fun options, including the ability to add your own backgrounds. For the full instructions, click here.

Cisco Webex

Webex is another big name when it comes to corporate video conferencing. If you want to blur or change your background, it is quite easy.

Before you join a call, just click on the Change Background button and either blur your background or replace it with an image.

For full instructions, click here.

Google Meet

Google says that the option to blur or change your background will be “available soon.”

Google Hangouts

Since Google has not launched a background feature, Google Hangouts users rely on Snap Camera for their filter needs.

Once you download the Snap Camera app, open the Google Hangouts setting option, choose your new camera, and go. You can even create your own Snap Lens with one of our travel-inspired backgrounds below.

For full instructions, click here.

GoToMeeting by LogMeIn

If you find yourself hosting professional webinars, you probably don’t want to be adding silly Snapchat filters to your video.

However, a nice background change may help keep your audience engaged. GoToMeeting users can use SparkoCam to get this option.

For the full instructions, click here.

Microsoft Teams

Many companies use Microsoft Teams, so knowing how to change your background can be helpful to many employees with messy home offices.

Whether you want to just blur your background or swap it out for one of our travel-themed backgrounds, the process is easy.

When joining a meeting, there is a button next to the microphone labeled Background effects. Just click and choose your style.

For more details, click here.

Skype

Skype is (was) probably the most recognized name when it comes to video chatting. The service is packed with features, including the option to alter the background of your video call.

During your call, just click on the …More menu and then Choose background effect and upload one of the photos below.

You can find the full instructions here.

Zoom

Finally, the instructions we have all been waiting for… how to change your virtual background in Zoom!

There are a few different options, but if you are already in a Zoom call, just click on the upward arrow (^) next to the Start/Stop Video button and click Choose Virtual Background.

enable virtual background in zoom meeting
Image Credit: Zoom

You can find the complete set of instructions here.

Background Options

If you are looking to add a little wanderlust to your next conference call or just create a more tropical feel during your next virtual happy hour, we have the perfect virtual backgrounds for you.

Just save these travel-themed images on your computer and then add them to your favorite video conference app during your next call.

Aircraft

Airplanes are some of the most beautiful and technological marvels that humans have ever created. Until you can get back on board, here are some aspirational aviation backgrounds. If you are ready to fly, be sure to read our post on how to pick the best seat with SeatGuru.

American Airlines Boeing 737

American Airlines Boeing 737
American Airlines Boeing 737. Image Credit: American Airlines

Delta MD-88

Delta MD 88 retirement
Delta MD-88. Image Credit: Delta

Emirates Airbus A380 Fleet

Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates A380. Image Credit: Emirates

JetBlue Airbus A320 Cabin

Jetblue Airbus A320 cabin
JetBlue Airbus A320 cabin. Image Credit: JetBlue

JetBlue Airbus A320 Even More Space Seat

Jetblue Airbus A320 Even More Space Seat
JetBlue Airbus A320 Even More Space seat. Image Credit: JetBlue

Helicopter Flying Over Rio de Janeiro

Helicopter over Rio de Janeiro
Helicopter over Rio de Janeiro. Image Credit: Matheus Bertelli

Qatar Airways 777 Qsuites

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Qsuite Business Class Cabin
Image Credit: Greg Stone

Singapore Airways Airbus A380 First Class Suites

Singapore Airways Airbus A380 First Class Suites
Singapore Airways Airbus A380 First Class Suites. Image Credit: Singapore Airways

United Airlines Boeing 787 Cockpit

United Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Cockpit
United Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft cockpit. Image Credit: United Airlines

United Airlines Polaris Business Class Seat

United Polaris Business Class Seat
United Polaris business class seat. Image Credit: United Airlines

Airports

Strolling through airports is one of our favorite pastimes. If you need to scratch that same itch until your next flight, you might enjoy some of these backgrounds. And if you really want to revisit some of your favorite airports, check out our guides here.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport LED Light Tunnel

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Detroit Michigan
Image Credit: Augusto Navarro via Unsplash

Hamad International Airport, Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre, Doha

Vitality Wellbeing Fitness Centre at Hamad International Airport Doha
Image Credit: Oryx Airport Hotel

JFK Airport, JetBlue Terminal 5, New York

JFK Jetblue Terminal 5
JFK JetBlue Terminal 5. Image Credit: JetBlue

JFK Airport, JetBlue Terminal 5 Check-In Kiosks, New York

JFK Jetblue Terminal 5 Check In Kiosks
JFK Airport JetBlue Terminal 5 check-in kiosk. Image Credit: JetBlue

JFK Airport, TWA Hotel Pool, New York

TWA Hotel Pool at JFK Airport
Image Credit: TWA Hotel

Singapore Changi Airport Rain Vortex

Jewel Changi Airports Rain Vortex
Image Credit: Phyo Hein Kyaw via Pexels

Beaches

Working from home certainly has its perks, and for some, that might mean being able to work from the beach. If you can’t feel the sand on your toes, you can at least pretend with some of these gorgeous backgrounds. And if you are looking for some of the best beaches for your next trip, check out this list.

Beach in the Maldives

Beach in the Maldives
Beach in the Maldives. Image Credit: Asad Photo Maldives via Pexels

Beach Umbrellas by the Ocean

Beach Umbrellas Along the Ocean
Beach umbrellas. Image Credit: Chedi Tanabene via Pexels

Cave Beach in Indonesia

Cave Beach in Indonesia
Cave beach in Indonesia. Image Credit: Darren Lawrence via Pexels

Ocean During Sunset

Ocean during Sunset
Golden hour. Image Credit: Sebastian Voortman via Pexels

Cities

Although Americans can’t easily visit Europe or other exciting destinations at the moment, they can at least visit virtually. We have picked out some beautiful photos of our favorite cities from around the world so you can add a little flair to your next meeting. And if you are looking for a virtual getaway, check out our list of popular attractions from around the world with virtual tours.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Netherlands
Bikes along the canal in Amsterdam. Image Credit: Liam Gant via Pexels

London, United Kingdom

Big Ben London United Kingdom
Big Ben and the River Thames. Image Credit: User 12019 via Pixabay

New York City, United States

New York City
New York City. Image Credit: Quintin Gellar via Pexels

Paris, France

Eiffel Tower Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris. Image Credit: Thorsten technoman via Pexels

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Mountains
Fog covered mountains in Rio. Image Credit: Pixabay

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Japan
Tokyo, Japan. Image Credit: Aleksandar Pasaric via Pexels

Disney

Sometimes we just need a little extra magic in our day, and there is no better place to get that magic than from Disney. Scroll down and pick one of your favorite backdrops for your next conference call.

If you are looking for some virtual magic, be sure to experience our list of virtual Disney rides from around the world.

Monorail at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Monorail Walt Disney World Orlando
Image Credit: Heather Maguire via Unsplash

Epcot at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Epcot Walt Disney World Orlando
Image Credit: Park Troopers via Unsplash

Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Cinderella's Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Image Credit: Walt Disney World

Hotels

No need for elite status to get an upgrade here. Scroll down for some of the best views at some of the best properties in the world. Ready to start planning your next trip? Don’t miss our list of most popular Ritz-Carlton locations from around the world.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai, U.A.E.

Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai UAE
Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image Credit: Aleksandar Pasaric via Pexels

JW Marriott Khao Lak Beachfront Resort, Thailand

JW Marriott Khao Lak Beachfront Resort Thailand
JW Marriott Khao Lak Beachfront Resort. Image Credit: Marriott

Park Hyatt Saint Kitts Christophe Harbour

Park Hyatt St Kitts
Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour. Image Credit: Hyatt

The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Miami

Ritz Carlton South Beach
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Miami. Image Credit: Marriott

St. Regis New York

St Regis New York Suite
St. Regis New York deluxe suite. Image Credit: Marriott

Lounges

The right credit card or Priority Pass membership has made accessing elusive airline lounges even easier for frequent flyers. If you want to reminisce about grabbing a drink before your dream vacation, pull up a chair to one of these virtual lounge backgrounds.

American Airlines Admirals Club Phoenix

American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines Admirals Club Phoenix. Image Credit: American Airlines

SilverKris Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
SilverKris Lounge. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

United Airlines Polaris Lounge

United Polaris Lounge
United Polaris Lounge. Image Credit: United Airlines

Mountains

Many travelers are loading up their RVs for a road trip to one of America’s great national parks. If you dream of crisp mountain air and serene lake vistas, these are the backgrounds for you.

Blue Lake and Snowy Mountains

Lake and Mountain in Canada
Field, Canada. Image Credit: James Wheeler via Pexels

Mountains by the Lake

German Mountains and Lake
Schönau am Königssee, Germany. Image Credit: Simon Migaj via Pexels

Snow-Capped Swiss Mountains

Snowy Mountains in Switzerland
Engelberg, Switzerland. Image Credit: Denis Linine via Pexels

Final Thoughts

Whether for business or pleasure, these travel-themed backgrounds should help create some wanderlust during your next virtual conference call.

From Google to Zoom, we’ve got you covered with instructions on how to take your meeting to the next level and hopefully inspire your next vacation.


Frequently asked questions

How do I change my background in Zoom?

Changing your virtual background in Zoom and other video-conferencing apps is easy. Depending on the software, you can just click the “background” button and upload one of these travel-inspired images we have highlighted for you. View our article to find your app and its specific instructions.

What is a virtual background?

A virtual background is a feature in many video-conferencing apps that allows users to change the scenery behind them, virtually. Normally, you can blur your background or upload an image to replace whatever is behind you. We have selected some gorgeous travel-themed backgrounds for you in this article.

Are virtual backgrounds free?

There is no cost to change your virtual background in Zoom or other video call apps. We have selected some of the best, free, travel-inspired virtual backgrounds for you to use on your next call. Just right-click on the image and save it to your computer!

Chris Hassan

About Chris Hassan

Chris is from Boston and is currently living in Rio de Janeiro with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Shelby. When Chris was in college, he spent a semester abroad studying hotel and business management in Switzerland. That is where he caught the travel bug and met his wife. Quite a successful trip!

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