Listening to podcasts – especially travel podcasts – is one of my favourite things to do. There are so many great travel podcasts around at the moment, and they make the perfect bit of travel escapism when I’m in the car, walking to work or just have a bit of downtime.
I already listen to some great travel podcasts, but I’m always looking for more, so I asked some travel blogger friends to tell me their favourite podcasts about travelling, destinations and travel tips. Here are their recommendations for 2020’s best travel podcasts, along with some of my favourites.
Travel tales podcasts
Like a fabulously-well-travelled friend who can make you laugh one minute and be inspired to book a flight the next, podcasts with travel stories can transport you to another place, even when you’re in the middle of another grim Monday morning commute.
The Kinging-It Podcast
Craig and Aimee from Kinging-It run one of my favourite YouTube channels and have now branched out with their own podcast. There are only 10 episodes so far, but each one is absolutely hilarious.
Series 1 concentrated on Craig and Aimee’s stories, travel tips and a lot of poo stories – plus advice on vlogging from fellow YouTubers The Endless Adventure and Flying the Nest. Series 2 will cover their trip through India on a rickshaw – can’t wait for it to drop.
Listen to the Kinging-It Podcast
This Week In Travel
Don’t be fooled by the name; This Week In Travel isn’t a weekly show. Instead, it comes out… well, whenever the three hosts’ schedules allow. It also sounds like it’s a travel news show, which it is, but the main feature on every show is an interview with a special guest traveller.
Guests have included a couple who live in an RV (Motorhome) and travel around the USA, Andy Steves (Rick Steves’ son), who now has his own travel company and talked about travelling with his dad when he was young, and inspirational travel blogger Oneika from OneikatheTraveller.com who’s visited over 100 countries.
Hosts Gary Arndt, Jen Leo and Chris Christensen are all successful travel influencers in their own right, and Chris, in particular, is a very prolific travel podcaster – his other two travel podcasts, Amateur Traveler and Passport Travel PR and Marketing, feature further down this list.
Listen to This Week In Travel
Recommended by Carol from Wayfaring Views
“If you like hearing crazy stories from intrepid global travellers, then you’ll love Counting Countries. Host Rick Gazarian interviews people who have either completed or are close to completing the ultimate bucket list of all 194 UN designated countries.
“Even though I have my own bucket list, it’s not necessarily my goal to visit every country. However, I do enjoy hearing from the most well-travelled people in the world talk about what got them started as a traveller, places they have particularly enjoyed and tricks for keeping it real.”
Listen to Counting Countries
Read more: How I visited 40 countries by the age of 40
The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
Recommended by Jean from Traveling Honeybird
“My favourite travel podcast, is The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, a show crafted by Amanda Kendle, a long time travel blogger from Western Australia. This is a show for travel lovers of all kinds and for people who want to hear real-life stories from fellow travel addicts. Amanda covers a whole variety of different topics such as: meeting the locals on your travels; how to get lost and found again; what we learn from our travels and a side serving of slow travel and memorable travel moments.
“Amanda’s podcast is no fuss. It’s super easy listening, and rather pleasing on the ears when you’re off travelling on planes, trains or buses.”
Listen to The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
The Journey is a podcast from KLM (yes, the airline) where, in each episode, you can hear the story of one interesting individual and a journey that changed their life. There were only six instalments in the first series, but each one is absolutely fascinating. It’s recently returned for a second series and I’m hoping for more thoughtful and inspiring stories.
Listen to The Journey podcast
Podcast travel guides
If you’re planning a trip, listening to a podcast about your destination can be a brilliant way to do research in what might otherwise be downtime. I’ve listened to podcasts about Brussels while in the supermarket and about Bali while hanging washing out to dry. With these expert audio guides, you can learn about things to do, beautiful places to visit and get travel intel wherever you are.
Travel with Rick Steves
Recommended by Alex from Swedish Nomad
“Rick Steve’s podcast gives information about destinations, cultures and travel tips. He does a great job at interviewing people and has a nice radio voice that you can listen to for hours without getting tired of it. There are more than 500 episodes available, and Rick Steves is one of the most famous characters within the travel industry.”
Although this podcast seems to be aimed at older travellers from the USA, it’s still a really interesting listen. The show has a magazine-style format and takes an in-depth look at three or four destinations per episode – usually in Europe.
The real strength of the show is its fascinating coverage of cultures and traditions. For each destination, Rick will interview one or more local experts on what to do, what to see, and particular local customs; perhaps the origins of a local festival and how it’s celebrated today, or how the locals prepare a particular dish, or the background to a historical event. As well as being entertaining, it’s a really educational show for anyone who’s interested in the type of travel that goes beyond ticking off a list of sights.
Listen to Travel with Rick Steves
Recommended by Bret and Mary of Green Global Travel
“Full disclosure: I’m a friend of Amateur Traveler host Chris Christensen, and appeared as a guest on his podcast (discussing ecotourism in West Sweden) back in 2014. What I like about the show is what I like about Chris: He’s personable, intelligent, inquisitive, and borderline obsessive about knowing the details of what makes a travel destination uniquely special.
“By interviewing professional travellers who’ve spent time in a given region or country (many of which he has also visited himself), Chris creates an engaging conversation that dives down into the heart of each place, making it more accessible for those who may never have considered exploring it. And isn’t that what a good travel podcast is all about?”
Listen to the Amateur Traveler podcast
Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast
Recommended by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
“Travis Sherry and his wife Heather co-host this long-running podcast where they share tips on how to travel more while spending less. Travis is a true budget traveller at heart, while his wife enjoys a bit of luxury now and then, so it’s interesting to hear two different perspectives.
“I especially love listening to their year in review episodes, where they each give a rundown of their favourite travel experiences of the year, such as their best desserts or their best and worst accommodation.”
Listen to Extra Pack of Peanuts
Travel tip podcasts
Getting travel hacks and tips from the experts on these podcasts can save you time, save you money and make your travels easier. The globe-trotting hosts and special guests on these travel tip podcasts are ready and waiting to change your travels for the better.
Zero to Travel Podcast
Recommended by Roslie from Coastlines to Skylines
“Are you a budding globetrotter or a seasoned traveller looking for a new perspective? You have to check out Zero to Travel, one of my favourite travel-themed podcasts. It’s hosted by a guy called Jason, who has spent the better part of his adult life travelling the world. He’s equal parts charming and savvy, and his podcasts really span the spectrum of valuable travel advice. He covers crucial details for first-time travellers; how to eat like a local, information for solo adventurists, backpackers, and those who are working and travelling abroad, you name it.
“Jason also interviews tons of cool people, like best-selling travel authors and many who are location independent. His website has some great resources too, so if you’re gearing up to head out on a big trip, I highly recommend you check out Zero to Travel.”
Listen to Zero to Travel
Explore the World
Recommended by Stephen from A Backpacker’s Tale
“Explore the World is an exciting new podcast from Matt Long. This podcast focuses on a range of helpful topics for travellers such as solo travel tips, expat life, travel trends and more. Each episode features an expert in their given field that provides entertaining stories and valuable insights into the world of travel. This is a newer podcast so at the moment there are only nine episodes. However, I’ve found each episode useful as well as entertaining. This podcast is hosted by Matt Long, a giant in the travel blogging industry.”
Listen to Explore the World
Best travel podcasts for women
Two of my favourite podcasts are by women, about the experience of travelling as a woman.
Women Who Travel
The Women Who Travel Podcast was born out of a Condé Nast Traveler collection of essays, articles and interviews for International Women’s Day, and is presented by former Travelogue podcast regulars Meredith Carey and Lale Arikoglu.
The weekly podcast covers topics specifically relevant to women but interesting to everyone; recent episodes have covered subjects like going on safari solo, how travel inspires our cooking and what it’s like to go on an all-women group trip.
Listen to Women Who Travel
So She Travels
Travel blogger VickyFlipFlopTravels’ podcast has only been around for two months, but there’s already an impressive number of episodes. On each podcast, Vicky talks to a woman who’s made a name for herself in the world of travel blogging. The episodes are fun and chatty while also being super-insightful; it’s like spending an hour with two friends whose opinions you really trust. Like me, Vicky’s from England, and when so many of the podcasts on this list are from the USA, it’s nice to listen to a UK travel podcast.
Listen to the So She Travels Podcast
Specialist travel podcasts
Do you want to listen to a podcast that’ll make your mouth water? Help you finally afford to travel? Or help you on your way to learning Spanish? These are the specialist travel podcasts for you.
DuoLingo Spanish Podcast
Recommended by Claire from Claire’s Footsteps
“Most travellers to Latin America like to know a bit of Spanish – and it is important to at least have a good awareness of the basics. However, if you’re looking to take your Spanish to the next level, check out the DuoLingo Spanish podcast.
“When I lived in Oaxaca in Mexico, I used the DuoLingo Spanish podcast to develop my language skills – it tells easy-to-follow stories in intermediate Spanish, with English context. It’s a great way to get more of a grip on the local language!”
Listen to the DuoLingo Spanish Podcast
The Dish Food and Travel Podcast
Megsy recommended her own travel podcast, The Dish
“If you’ve ever wondered about the histories of famous dishes around the world “The Dish” Food and Travel Podcast is for you. The hosts of the show are Tommo & Megsy from Food Fun Travel who have visited over 93+ countries in search or food worth travelling for. Their blog and podcast are dedicated to finding authentic food experiences around the world discussing the history of famous dishes and talking to the people who create it.”
Listen to The Dish Food and Travel Podcast
The Thought Card
Danielle recommended her own travel finance podcast, The Thought Card
“Want to travel the world, manage your money, and live life on your own terms? We cover all this and more on The Thought Card.
“The Thought Card is a podcast for financially savvy travellers. On the show I empower people to make informed financial decisions – afford to travel more, pay off debt and build wealth.
“Every other week listen to inspiring stories, thoughtful personal finance tips, and travel advice. The show is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify and Google Podcasts.”
Listen to The Thought Card
Rick Steves Over Brunch
Christopher recommended his unique Rick Steves fan podcast
“You know how there are now innumerable podcasts which review shows such as Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead and more? Well, myself and another travel writer, Stephanie Craig, thought it was high time that someone made a podcast reviewing episodes of the classic travel television show, Rick Steves’ Europe. And so, we went for it, and we’ve never looked back. In each episode, we review different aspects of the episode (and, of course, rate each episode on a scale of 5 button-down shirts), but we also share our own travel advice wherever we can.
“It started off as a small side project, but it’s since grown quite a bit and, despite being absurdly niche, we’ve actually got a little bit of a following. We’re Rick Steves fans who happen to have a podcast, not podcasters who happen to have a love for Rick Steves. Though, I suppose it’s all semantics. The main things is, the passion is real, and, I’m biased, but I think Steph and I have a dynamic which makes each and every episode quirky, fun, bizarre, and, also, informative.”
Listen to Rick Steves Over Brunch
Travel Couple Podcast
Natalie recommended the podcast which she runs with her husband Mike
Every Wednesday the Travel Couple Podcast features a couple living a travel lifestyle by working to make a living while travelling the world. They talk travel, relationships, and how they work to create the lifestyle they lead. Whether you want travel stories and to learn about new destinations that you need to check out, relationship advice in regards to travelling with your significant other, or to learn how you can start to create a business that will allow you to earn a living while travelling, you need to listen to this podcast every Wednesday.
Some of the previous episodes feature travel bloggers, Instagrammers, and online business owners of various projects, each with their own unique travel stories, relationship advice, and business advice about how you can work to create a similar lifestyle. Past guests include Roamaroo, The Planet D, Entrepreneurs on Fire, Nomadasaurus, and so many others!
Listen to the Travel Couple Podcast
Podcasts for travel professionals
If you work in the travel industry, or you want to build a career in travel, listening to podcasts focussed on the business side of travel can be really useful. The podcasts in this category range from news shows and a show aimed at aspiring travel writers, to in-depth podcasts for PR and marketing professionals.
Passport Travel PR and Marketing Podcast
Chris Christensen, host of the Amateur Traveler podcast, has teamed up with marketer and writer Leif Pettersen to create the Passport Travel PR and Marketing Podcast. The show has new episodes around once a month, and covers useful topics for PR and marketing professionals who work in the travel industry. Each show has a special guest who’s an expert in their field, for example video marketing, working with influencers, overtourism and destination marketing. The shows are always entertaining, and Chris and Leif are themselves experts in the areas being discussed. Passport is a must for anyone who works in travel marketing or wants to understand the travel business better.
Listen to the Passport Travel PR and Marketing Podcast
Break Into Travel Writing
Recommended by Rina from LA Family Travel
“If you’ve ever had any interest in trying to become a travel writer, then the Break Into Travel Writing podcast is the one for you! Before I found it, I bounced around from show to show and always felt like the point wasn’t to provide information but to sell me something. Alexa Williams-Meisler, the host of the BITW podcast, gave me everything I needed and more. I was constantly surprised by the extent of actionable material she presented and how much she really seemed to care about providing the knowledge we needed to succeed without spending a fortune to do it. I ended up going back to her very first podcast and listening to them all.
“Even though I have a degree in journalism, her advice was specifically tailored to travel writing and how to make the connections you need to succeed. Even the shows that had topics I didn’t think applied to me, were fantastic as they provided a kernel of insight I didn’t know I needed. I couldn’t recommend this show highly enough. She did end up starting a Travel Academy but she barely talks about it and has a free Facebook group for aspiring travel writers called The Aspiring Travel Writer.”
Listen to Break Into Travel Writing
The Skift Podcast is an offshoot from the travel industry news website of the same name. The podcast is only semi-regular, but when a new episode does appear it’s packed with insight about a key topic. Recent shows have covered travel megatrends affecting airlines, how global hotel chains use sub-brands to differentiate their offering, and how Amazon is dabbling in travel. The Skift editors are all experts in their travel fields and listening to the Skift podcast is a great way to stay up to date with the travel industry.
Listen to the Skift Podcast
Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast
The Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast sounds like it might be a bit dry, but the entertaining team who present the podcast make it anything but boring. If you work in marketing or work with marketers, you’ll find plenty to interest you in the regular, in-depth episodes.
Listen to the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast
Travel podcasts we’ve loved and lost
Nothing lasts forever, and that’s as true of travel podcasts as it is of anything else. Here are two of my favourite podcasts that are sadly no longer with us – fortunately we can still listen to the archives.
Travelogue was the podcast of Condé Nast Traveler and ran for three years until December 2018. The show was an entertaining weekly look at a travel destination, news story or issue, and over the years covered topics like what to do on your first trip to major destinations, the best new hotels and all the things you absolutely should not do on a plane.
Presented by Condé Nast editors and contributors who didn’t always agree but seemed to always have a good time making the show, their enthusiasm was infectious. Many of the team now appear on Condé Nast’s Women Who Travel podcast, while my favourite contributor Mark Ellwood now hosts Bloomberg’s Travel Genius.
Listen to the Travelogue episode archive
Edgelands was a brilliant podcast about travel on the edges of the former USSR. Over six fascinating episodes, travel correspondent and adventurer Ash Bhardwaj explored the edge of Europe from the Arctic Circle to the Black Sea. Each episode is a combination of conversation with podcast host Greg Dickinson and audio recorded by Ash on his trip, making it feel really immersive.
My favourite episode was the one about Kaliningrad, a piece of Russia marooned on the wrong side of Lithuania, but the entire series is well worth a listen. There was a suggestion at the end of the final episode that there might be a second series – fingers crossed.
Listen to the Edgelands podcast archive
Do you have a favourite travel podcast? Tell me about it in the comments!