Our favourite travel podcasts
Written by: Julia Hammond
During this unprecedented global crisis, the ramifications of COVID-19 mean travel in the usual sense is off the table. But for those of us who can’t bear to confine ourselves to our own local areas, we continue to travel vicariously through books, the big and small screen and the internet. Podcasts are a great way of finding out more about a place you one day hope to visit. Whether it’s your dream to see the Northern Lights or relax on a secluded beach in the Seychelles, you’ll find a travel podcast to suit. Listen to our favourite travel podcasts now if you find yourself with more time on your hands than usual or bookmark them for a future date.
America’s National Parks
This fascinating series covers a different national park or theme each episode. The America’s National Parks podcast will take you all over the United States without the need to jump on a plane. Listen to the tale of how opposition to the Going-to-the-Sun Road in the northerly Glacier National Park was overcome more than a century ago. People and their precarious relationship with nature form the basis of many of the stories. Learn about the harrowing rescue of a climber in the Grand Tetons National Park. Or, find out why volcanologists are far more concerned about Mount Rainier, one of Washington’s active volcanoes.
Guidebook publisher Rough Guides offers an eclectic mix of podcast topics. Among the many features broadcast, you can learn about lesser known traditions. Have you heard of the art of cow-calling in Sweden? Want to know more about witchcraft in Iceland? Alternatively, hone your own skills via podcasts about responsible photography and adventure writing which tap into the knowledge of local experts. There are also podcasts which focus on popular destinations as diverse as the Galapagos and Malta. In fact, the armchair traveller is so well catered for, you’ll probably keep coming back long after we can travel freely again.
Travel with Rick Steves
The range of topics covered by this US travel specialist will blow your mind. The Ireland hour, for instance, begins with a walking tour of Dublin. Afterwards, it explores the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and investigates the contribution of the 19th century wave of Irish immigration to America. If you thought Italian food begins and ends with pizza and pasta, think again. In the “Flavors of Italy” special, chef Lidia Bastianich hosts a podcast which takes listeners on a culinary journey through some of Italy’s regions. It demonstrates just how varied the dishes are and how much the cuisine depends on seasonally available ingredients.
Hundreds of podcasts form the Amateur Traveler back catalogue – this podcast has been running for fifteen years. There’s a handy map which makes homing in on your preferred destination a cinch. Popular destinations such as Krabi in Thailand or Lombok in Indonesia sit alongside Namibia’s dunes and deserts, the bazaars and mosques of Istanbul or what you’d experience if you took a Danube river cruise. This award-winning podcast series typically explores possibilities for a one-week itinerary. That’s the perfect length to expand into your own bespoke itinerary. Get a jump on your travel planning and press play.