Long haul flight? Airport delay? Extended work commute? If these unfortunate events bring on the blahs, then listen up. We’ve got 10 top podcasts about travel that are sure to enlighten, entertain, and keep you pining for the next getaway. And if armchair is the only travel you’re doing these days, we’ve got a few for you, too. Have a listen.
This is a destination-focused podcast designed to help the average traveler plan a great trip. A different locale is discussed each week: why go, what to do, and what to eat. The discussion is built around planning a one-week itinerary and typically includes an interview with an expert – someone who has visited the destination, lives there, or has written a book about it. Recent episodes cover Ecuador, Japan’s Kumano Kodo Trail, and even Northern Pakistan. Podcast episodes last anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour.
Host Jackie Nourse has been a travel journalist/coach for years with an eye towards encouraging and equipping American audiences to “make the jump” and travel overseas. The podcast is loaded with expert advice and motivational content designed to entertain and inspire people to get moving and see the world. Episodes last from 40 minutes to about an hour and include titles like, “It Seems Impossible Until You Do It” and “Facing Fears Through Adventure Travel.”
Hosted by the editors of Condé Nast Traveler, this is a shout-out to women travelers. It started as a FB group where women could share advice and stories, but quickly evolved into a bi-weekly podcast. Fun, informative, and inspirational, the podcast covers a wide range of topics. Episodes are 30 to 40 minutes long. Recent episode titles include, “Why You Really Need to Take All of Your Vacation Days,” to “Elizabeth Gilbert on Travel after ‘Eat, Pray, Love.'”
The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is just that. Content is centered on travel stories rather than tips and advice, and typically follows the adventures of passionate travelers as they encounter locals, struggle with foreign languages, and get lost. “Life Lessons from Travel” is the title of episode 174, and is representative of the types of themes running through the podcast catalog. Each 30-minute episode is jam-packed with at least two stories – and frequently three.
Aside from its great name, we like this one for its plucky advice on budget traveling and “best-of” lists: 47 Best Gifts for T, and so on. Another exciting feature is the “Throwdown Showdown” in which two cities are compared for most favored status, like Austin vs. Nashville. It’s a novel and fun way to learn about new locales. Podcasts can vary from around 35 minutes to over an hour and a half.
Helmed by Aussie travel writer/broadcaster Ben Groundwater, Flight of Fancy is a 30-minute, laugh-along journey through anything travel. Subjects range from “The Best Destinations to Visit in 2020” to the humorously titled, “So Ridiculous – the Most Luxurious Ways to Travel.” Each week Groundwater expertly delivers the fun, the funny, and the facts for an all-around good travel-oriented time.
This podcast covers trends, happenings, and gossip in the travel industry. Travel experts Gary Arndt, Jen Leo, and Chris Christensen host a weekly roundtable discussion with leading travel writers, bloggers, and podcasters. Past episodes have covered topics like travel-to-volunteer, high-speed train routes coming to the U.S., and which cruise line has the best WiFi at sea. Episodes are about an hour each.
Live vicariously through Kiwis Craig and Linda as they live out their dreams traveling full time (debt free, no less), working, and exploring the world. The couple shares stories, adventures, and advice from over 13 years on the road on how to navigate the “live to travel” lifestyle and avoid costly mistakes along the way. Episodes run about 30 minutes and cover practical topics such as, “How to Travel with Kids,” as well as more whimsical picks like, ‘”Best Summer Festivals Around the World.”
Ready to go really far afield? Follow host Mandela van Eeden as she travels to some of the most remote corners of the earth to gather unique stories and explore unheard-of locales. The focus is on one of man’s earliest forms of entertainment and knowledge transfer: storytelling. In each location visited, Mandela volunteers with local communities in exchange for recording their stories. Podcast episodes last about an hour and include binge-worthy titles like, “Cycling Across the Tibetan Plateau and Backcountry Skiing Around the World,” and “Circumnavigating Ellesmere Island, Canoeing Cape Horn, and a Shaman in Western Siberia.”
10: Zero to Travel
Talk about ambitious! This podcast may just change your life. Host Jason Moore shares his secrets on how to run a location-independent business so you can chase adventure across the globe. The podcast includes loads of advice and tips (e.g. how to book an international flight for less than the cost of a fancy dinner for two) as well as destination episodes with loads of color (Ireland, anyone?). Podcast episodes run anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Definitely worth a listen!
Nearly all of these podcasts are free and available to download from iTunes and Google Play, among other sources.
Do you have any favorite podcasts about travel? Send your picks to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them to the list.