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Last Updated on 20/03/2021
Published August 2019 | Updated March 2020
Podcasts are an underrated asset for travellers. They provide a wealth of knowledge, insight and inspiration but most importantly they fill that much-needed void during long-haul flights, trains and road trips. The best travel podcasts, in particular, are essential for pre-trip research. They give invaluable first-hand accounts, tips and advice for anything and everything you might need to know about travel.
I wasn’t much of a podcast listener until I travelled solo. I couldn’t see the appeal until I learnt to appreciate the space it gives you. Sure, travelling is all about experiences and meeting new people but sometimes you need a moment to yourself to recharge.
Podcasts give you that opportunity. If you need your own space in a crowded hostel or find yourself trapped in a room with a snorer then, my friend, podcasts will be the best thing that happened to you. So, whether you need time to kill, inspiration or time to yourself, grab your earbuds, kick back and listen to these 10 best travel podcasts:
The Rough Guide To Everywhere podcast is like listening to travel anecdotes from a friend rather than a guidebook, which makes it one of the most popular travel podcasts out there. From learning about the art of Vodou in Haiti to the origins of Hygge and adventure writing in Shanghai, The Rough Guide To Everywhere recounts fascinating stories from across the globe in a fun and energetic way. Launched in 2017, seasons 1 and 2 are hosted by Greg Dickinson and season 3 by Rebecca Hallett and Neil McQuillian. Season 4 is hosted by Aimee White and each episode averages a neat 20 minutes which is ideal for those like me who suffer from a short attention span.
Highlights: Listen to the episode titled ‘in search of the Northern Lights’. Host Greg Dickinson travels to the Finnish Lapland and talks with local Sámi woman Linda about the folklore behind the Northern Lights.
Formally The Budget-Minded Traveler, this travel podcast was given a fresh new name inspired by the photos of host Jackie leaping in mid-air next to the world’s most iconic landmarks. The aim of Jackie’s podcast is to motivate you to follow your dreams. Focusing on adventure travel and off the beaten track destinations, JUMP with Traveling Jackie gives insider tips and advice for anyone who wants to travel and needs a little push. Whether it’s cycling across Europe, the merits of solo travel or even the logistics of choosing travel insurance and taking bank cards abroad, Traveling Jackie is here to help.
Highlights: Start with episode 37 – ‘Story Time: Travel’s Priceless Moments’ to listen to one of the best travel podcasts discussing those priceless moments we only get from travel.
Hosted by travel journalist and broadcaster, Lisa Francesca Nand, The Big Travel Podcast explores travel through personal life-stories and it’s one of my favourite travel podcasts to listen to. Each episode is dedicated to a well-known person – their life, their hometown, and where travel has taken them. Interviewing the likes of Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s Editorial Director and Saudi Arabian travel blogger and artist, Esra Alhamal, this podcast delves into the lives of adventurers, ordinary people and everyone in between. Through this, The Big Travel Podcast analyses what it is about travel that inspires us and why we can’t get enough of it.
Whether you need packing tips, travel advice, information on destinations or some insider knowledge of New Zealand, the award-winning Indie Travel Podcast has got you covered. Hosts Craig and Linda Martin are self-confessed travelholics and their aim is to make sure you enjoy it as much as they do. Helping you to avoid common travelling mistakes with practical advice as well as interesting stories from people on the road, this travel podcast is the guidebook everyone needs to accompany them on their next big adventure.
Highlights: If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon then ‘how to plan your Europe trip’ is one of the best travel podcasts out there.
Much like the name suggests, The Thoughtful Travel Podcast explores the concept of travel and the issues and responsibilities that come with it. Each 25-minute episode is packed with stories from travel addicts and topics discussing the influence of class and privilege on travel, smashing stereotypes, the fear of getting lost and negotiating food in a foreign language. Host Amanda Kendle takes listeners on a journey through what travel really means, why we do it as well as compelling insights into the act of travel itself. If you love everything to do with travel then it’s the perfect travel podcast for you.
Highlights: Throw yourself right in with episode 178 featuring ‘interesting plane passengers sitting next to you’. It’s an amusing episode that talks about the highs and lows of who you end up sitting next to on a flight.
With over 15 years of travelling experience, host Jason Moore shares his passion for travel and adventure. Each weekly podcast has a wealth of information and advice on everything from how to travel to what careers provide the best travel opportunities and where to go next. Immerse yourself in his interviews with fellow travellers as they share their epic adventures including a walk across America and visually impaired cyclists embarking on a 16,000-mile journey from Argentina to Alaska. Run by National Geographic, it’s truly one of the best travel podcasts to listen to.
Highlights: Zero to Travel is one of the most popular travel podcasts. If you’ve ever wanting to sail around the world then ‘How to Go Sailing Around the World’ will tell you everything you need to know.
Women Who Travel, a campaign launched by Condé Nast Traveler was inspired by the women’s march movement that spread across the globe on 21st January 2017. It began as an annual International Women’s Day collection of essays, interviews and collaborations that spotlighted all the women who reached for the glass ceiling through travel. Wanting to push the conversation further, they decided to launch a weekly podcast of the same name. Hosted by Condé Nast Traveler editors Meredith Carey and Lale Arikoglu, the podcast dissects what it means to travel as a woman in the modern world. They confront the question that chases every female traveller (“is it safe?!”) and interview female guest speakers who are intent on shaking up the world of travel.
Highlights: Why We Need to Slow Down When We Travel is one of my favourite travel podcasts. It talks about giving yourself permission to do less and really get to know a place when you travel.
Calling all solo female travellers, A Girl’s Guide To Travelling Alone is the holy grail of podcasts that help you navigate through the challenge that is solo travel. Host Gemma Thompson is the solo travel expert we all need in our ear. From advice on how to stay healthy to staying safe on the road, A Girl’s Guide To Travelling Alone is a great resource for anyone considering solo travel and needs a few pointers to get started. Although the episodes appear to be a little sporadic, Gemma’s dulcet Northern voice is well worth subscribing to and makes for a heartwarming listen.
Highlights: If you’re planning a solo trip then there’s no better way to kick it off with ‘the importance of solo travel’ with contributing editor of Stylist Magazine Anna Hart. Filled with fascinating travel stories, this episode will get you excited for your solo travel trip.
One for the foodies, The Dish Food Travel Show hosted by Tommo and Megsy from foodfuntravel.com combines two of the best things in the world: food and travel. Their mission is to uncover stories behind the best and most famous dishes in the world. Expect to hear weird and wacky accounts of deep-fried tarantulas in Cambodia, learn about the history of hamburgers and get tips on where to eat in Rome. We all have our reasons for travelling, and if, like me, you believe food is one of them then The Dish Food Travel Show is the podcast for you.
Highlights: Listen to episode 16 of series 2 – ‘Roaming Degustation Colombo, Sri Lanka’ and I challenge you not to get hungry.
Sometimes we can have too much of a good thing and yes, that can occasionally include travel. If you’re on the road and need some homey familiarity or you just need to escape from the fact that you’re constantly on the move for a short while then I recommend No Such Thing As A Fish. Even though it’s not a travel podcast, it was my go-to listen while I was travelling. It was my comfort when I felt lonely and tool for when I wanted space. Hosted by the makers of QI (a British television quiz show), four speakers each read out a fact they’ve learnt over the past week, which is then discussed or challenged. It’s not a game and there are no rules but it does provide a huge amount of laughs and a chance to learn something interesting along the way.
Highlights: Every one of these episodes is comedy gold. Try episode 302 – ‘No Such Thing as a Hedgehog Circus’ for a compilation of deleted content from 2019 then go from there.
Are there any I’ve missed? I’m always keen to expand my podcast playlist so comment with your best travel podcasts below!