Netflix-ed out, eyes turning square or just need an audio break on your daily lap of the kitchen? We’ve listened to almost every travel podcast out there and rounded up our favourites for your listening pleasure. Happy audible travels!
1. Flight Of Fancy
Hosted by Ben Groundwater, this Traveller.com.au podcast brings on guest speakers to cover almost every travel topic you would want to hear about. From tourist hot spots to those remote places hardly anyone gets to, packing essentials and what to expect (or not to expect) from the unexpected, you’ll hear some pretty hairy stories from the road, right from the mouth of the travellers who experienced them.
Our favourite episodes include ‘Things that surprise first time visitors to Antarctica’, ‘Travel - the things that will go wrong’, ‘The secret to travelling with your kids’, and ‘The most difficult places to travel to - but are totally worth it’.
2. The Trip That Changed Me
Whether you’re looking for a travel escape or just a feel good, human story while you’re whipping up some cookies in the kitchen, this fairly new podcast (launched in December 2019) is great to pair with your isolation activities. British host Esme Benjamin interviews all kinds of interesting people from around the world about trips, or times in their life where travel has played a role in changing them or the direction of their life. Topics can get heavy, but there’s nothing better to fill these time voids than a good human interest story, right?
The episode ‘Paris with Jackie Kai Ellis’ is a great one to start with (Jackie is a baker, so we’ve already been won over there), addressing depression, the idea of having ‘it all’, and why it’s never too late to start over.
3. Zero To travel
If there is one podcast that every parent of school age children needs right now, it’s Jason Moore’s episode of Zero to Travel: ‘Expert advice on working remotely, homeschooling and finding balance’.
If that hasn’t piqued your interest in listening to the Zero to Travel podcast, perhaps ‘How to take “big leaps” so you can travel’, ‘How to go sailing around the world’, or ‘How to conquer fear of success’ might be more up your alley.
Plus, host Jason is an expat living in Norway, and features in an interview on the JUMP with Travelling Jackie podcast (see below) ‘Expat life in Norway and learning Norwegian’. It’s definitely worth a listen.
4. BBC Earth Podcast
The magic of planet earth comes alive in this podcast that brings together nature stories from all around the globe. Each episode dives into a different part of our natural environment and its incredible story, from a river that is legally a person to music that makes camels cry.
The episode ‘My best friend was an octopus’, features author Sy Montgomery who talks about the intelligence of octopi and the sensual experience of meeting one - a seriously intriguing tale!
5. Women Who Travel
This Conde Nast Traveler podcast by editors Lale Arikogly and Meredeth Carey has been airing since 2017, and they’ve got their subject matter pretty down pat. They’ve previously covered topics like ‘Why travel only gets better as we get older’, ‘How immigrant parents shaped our travel experiences’, and ‘What it’s really like to move abroad’, amongst others. More recent episodes, however, have really hit the nail on the head. We recommend starting with ‘How to embrace slowing down’, ‘Jenny Slate says it’s okay to feel lonely’ and ‘Samin Nosrat on the joy of home cooking’.
There are also some great episodes about how people in travel got their jobs, including ‘How I became a photojournalist’, and ‘How I became the first female CEO of a major cruise line’, which are both worth a listen.
6. The Travel Diaries
Entertainment and travel journalist Holly Rubenstein does a weekly interview with special guests who range from Tony Wheeler - founder of Lonely Planet, to British model and socialite, Poppy Delevigne, successful businesswoman Jo Malone, Sir Richard Branson, and culinary king Rick Stein.
Episodes we particularly enjoyed were, not surprisingly, ‘Sir Richard Branson - short haul’ and ‘Rachel Khoo’ - a chef, writer and TV presenter who moved from the UK to Paris and now lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
7. Australian Hiker Podcast
Australian Hiker is an independent online resource that provides advice, tips and reviews for both Australian hiking trails but also some international trails. The podcast shares honest, first-hand advice and experiences for both first time and experienced hikers.
8. Jump With Travelling Jackie
Running for over five years, this podcast covers life on the road, adventure stories, interviews and practical tips for travel.
For a dose of adventure and the great outdoors, listen to the episode ‘Hut to hut - long distance hikes around the world’, or if you need a hobby in isolation, ‘How to become fluent in any language with polyglot Benny Lewis’ might provide some useful insight. (We’ve also got a guide for how to learn a language at home).
9. The Thought Card - A Travel Finance Podcast
This podcast provides both interesting travel stories from people who have travelled solo or moved abroad, as well as more practical tips for financial independence when travelling. While it might not seem super relevant while we’re not able to go anywhere, there are some great episodes with advice you can use right now such as ‘Tips for downsizing your spending during times of uncertainty’. Plus, it’s nice to think about where you might want to go when things have lifted a little.
10. America’s National Parks Podcast
History and nature buffs listen up, because this one is a fantastic escape to learn about all manner of wonderful things in America’s National Parks. There’s an episode called ‘Prometheus’, about how a man accidentally killed the oldest living tree in the world - it had 5,000 years of growth rings! A personal favourite is ‘The return of the wolves’, which will transport you to Yellowstone National Park.
11. Indie Travel Podcast
Hosted by kiwi couple Linda and Craig, ths podcast covers practical advice for travelling from people who have been doing it since 2006. The laid back conversations cover how to find hidden gems, where to get the best beers and all kinds of travel-related stuff. They often go off on tangents of past travel stories, which are more often than not the most interesting part, right?
12. Travel With Rick Steves
If you’re a fan of shows like Antiques Roadshow and Escape to the Country, you’ll like this podcast. It’s like talkback radio all about travel - the perfect accompaniment to a spot of gardening, cooking, cleaning or sipping tea on the couch. Rick interviews subject matter experts on topics like lighthouses, the saints of Spain, ghosts in Papua New Guinea and much more.
13. The Big Travel Podcast
Since lockdown, this podcast has hit the top-listen lists all around the globe, and for good reason. Host Lisa Francesca Nand interviews all kinds of interesting people, from a cartographer to travel writers to an endurance wheelchair racer (!). She also uncovers stories ranging from rural sheep stations in Australia to the life of a foregin correspondent.
14. When In Spain
Former BBC journalist, Brit Paul Burge hosts this weekly podcast on Spanish culture and what it’s like to live and work in Spain. So if you need an escape to the other side of the world, this is the ticket. If you think a life in Spain might be for you, there are plenty of practical tips for starting a life there too.
15. Travel Genius
With a tagline like "A clever podcast for the smartest travellers", this one seemed worth a listen. The hosts Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood quiz some of the globe’s most experienced travellers seeking out their best tips and tricks, like how to actually get a flight upgrade, what’s the first thing you should do when you get into a hotel room, and what you should never pack. They also cover topics like a love for Anthony Bourdain and why we go crazy when boarding planes.
16. The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
Aussie host Amanda Kendle packs this podcast with stories that really bring home why we love to travel. From travel and personal development, to the reward of using foreign languages and meeting locals, why it’s good to get lost, and what you can learn from travelling.
17. National Trust Podcast
An audio adventure through some of the United Kingdom’s most magical landscapes, this podcast is the perfect soothing thing to listen to before bed (or equally when you first get up!). From a walk through the Lakes Districts, to wandering at the cosmos from a remote region, each episode uncovers fascinating characters, teaches new skills (like astrophotography), and tips for treading more lightly through the landscape.
18. The World Wanderers
Two Canadians, Amanda and Ryan started this podcast in 2014 after spending six months travelling South America and not finding the 9-5 grind appealing enough to return to. In each episode they cover different topics, tips for their favourite cities and interviews with other experts such as nomadic entrepreneurs and language experts who offer tips for learning a foreign language.
19. The Boat Life Podcast
This is a new-ish podcast that launched in March 2020. It’s hosted by couple Nick and Theresa, who have been sailing aboard their boat Ruby Rose for nearly six years. So far they have sailed halfway around the world. In each episode they cover a different topic of life onboard from how not to buy a boat to how to sail with your partner and not end up divorced! Out of every podcast in this list, this one is probably the most unique, and wander-lust inducing. Now, who wants to sail away with me?
This blog was originally written for Flight Centre Australia.