Podcasting is mainstream, folks. Google is now indexing Podcasts in the search results. Here’s why podcasts are great for consuming travel-related content: Get trip reports, insider guides, and inspiration for long-haul flights, bus journeys, and airports. For those with little time to read or those that prefer the spoken word to the written word, podcasts are great for communicating ideas and as a medium for entertainment. In this article, I present my list of the best travel podcasts of 2020. Get inspired by these fun and fascinating shows and episodes. And do share with your favourite travel fan!
What you can learn from the podcasts in this list
- How to find cheap flights, destinations and accommodation.
- Maximise your trips for enjoyment and not just for Instagram posts.
- How long-term travellers manage to travel the world on a seemingly endless basis
- How to take great photographs
- Travel tips on how to
JUMP with Traveling Jackie
Formerly known as The Budget Minded Traveler podcast, this show by host Traveling Jackie recently hit over a million downloads. She’s obviously doing something right. With over 100 episodes, despite not having a fixed niche (apart from travel and adventure), this podcast has something for everyone. It’s one of my favourite podcasts in any genre.
Jackie talks about everything from budget travel to photography to sponsorships and life. But it’s all good. Anyone who travels will feel inspired.
One episode gets technical on the camera kit and camera packing tips of professional adventure photographers. In another episode, Jackie interviews fellow Irishman and polyglot Benny Lewis about the best ways to learn languages for travel. Keen walkers should check out the episode on long-distance hikes, a topic I’m passionate about.
JUMP 106: How to Plan a Trip to Patagonia
JUMP 118: Hut to Hut Long-Distance Hikes Around the World
Indie Travel Podcast
One of the longest-running podcasts in any genre, the Indie Travel Podcast is a mine of information for the independent traveller. With almost 400 episodes, there’s tons of advice for travelers looking for trip advice, the best cities in Asia, the best hostels in Europe, travel in Austria, best backpacks, visas, road trips, and travel insurance.
Load up your podcast player and travel the world with seasoned pros.
Best podcast episodes:
Top 10 cheap things to do in Auckland
How to find lesser-known attractions when travelling
The Escape Hour
Joy 94.9 Radio’s Escape Hour focuses on food and travel around the world. The Melbourne-based community radio station is an independent voice for the LGBTIQ community and enjoys over half a million listeners in Melbourne alone. It’s easy to see why. The Escape Hour is expertly presented and produced and include expert guests on topics as wide-ranging as Filipino food, Melbourne’s hidden secrets, Traveling With Your Cats, and Wine, Travels Throughout Asia, Food and Travel In Georgia. One of the best podcasts for foodie travellers and anyone interested in deeper travel experiences and culture.
Episodes to listen to:
Melbourne Food Experiences
Central & South America Travel
It’s hard to talk about travel for long, especially European trips without mentioning Rick Steves, a man whose travel stories have inspired people since 1976. Steves has produced many respected guide books and tv shows, as well as writing columns, blogs, and delivering a weekly radio show. He’s been on the road since before half the readers of this post were born.
Travel with Rick Steves is a podcast and radio show that explores a wide range of topics: hiking in Europe, cultural day trips, road trips, cycling the silk road, eating in Sicily, and surfing in Polynesia. Rick Steves’ trip reports span decades but he also interviews some of the world’s best travel writers and adventurers such as Pico Iyer, Michael Scott Moore, Robert Reid, and the founder of Atlas Obscura.
One of the best podcasts for practical advice on travel, as well as travel tales, and inspiration from a well-travelled writer and broadcaster. The back catalogue is huge but with a quick search, you are bound to find a ton of episodes that will inspire.
Program 576: Budget Travelers; Beginner’s Guide to Japan; Ireland Today
The Trip Doctor Podcast
The Trip Doctor has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with designing travel experiences and learning to be an intelligent traveller. The show is hosted by Evan Jordan, a tourism professor (I didn’t even know this job existed) at Arizona State University. Evan practises what he preaches: intelligent travel.
He’s one of the most informed travelers in the niche and tackles topics such as “travel and sustainability” and “environmental impacts”. Podcast guests range from wine experts, volunteer tourists, and experts on travel with disabilities.
Why some destinations captivate and others do not
People First Tourism
The Radio Vagabond
Palle Bo is a Danish broadcaster, digital nomad podcaster, and entrepreneur who sold everything he had to begin a new life as a location independent business world traveller. He’s a public speaker, author, and owner of a production and consultant business.
You can expect the highest of quality recording and production on the podcast episodes. Being a professional podcast producer means that Bo has the tools and skills available to him to produce expertly edited and engaging episodes.
#138 – Is Sri Lanka safe to visit?
133 – Harry Mitsidis has been everywhere
The Rough Guide to Everywhere
The travel book company Rough Guides is back after a break of about six months. The Rough Guide to Everywhere is an interview podcast and travel guide. Host Aimee White gives background information on the countries and cities discussed when not talking to explorers and about adventures.
This show touches on topics that are hard to find elsewhere. Ever been to South Georgia? I don’t mean the US State or the country of Georgia in the Caucasus mountains. Do you know what DNA travel is? Did you know there’s a human story to the Galapagos islands? If your curiosity is peaked, check out the show on iTunes or Soundcloud.
Best episodes to check out:
Is the secret to your perfect trip hidden in your genes?
Rough Guides Podcast: Best spots on Earth
Women Who Travel by Condé Nast Traveler
Not just for the ladies
Interviews with inspiring women ranging from cruise ship captains, travelling chefs, and writers. The Women Who Travel podcast touches on a wide range of fascinating topics. This is a show for women or, well, anyone interested in the world and its inhabitants. It’s less focused on advice than travel philosophy, mindset, life goals, and attitude.
Guys, it’s okay to listen. In fact, I recommend you do so.
The Not-So-Glamourous Side of Solo Travel
The Women Owning Adventure Travel Right Now
For those who want the best things to see and do in a destination.
My go-to show for learning about cities (and countries). By all accounts, it’s also listened to by millions around the world.
When I visited Budapest the first time, I listened to an episode which took the form of an interview with Jennifer Dombrowski from Luxe Adventure Traveller. This really helped me get a feel for the city and an understanding of the best travel topics.
Host Chris Christensen started Amateur Traveler back in 2005. That officially makes it one of the longest-running podcasts in any genre. The aim of the podcast is to provide the best travel information for the average American who enjoys 1-2
It’s a pretty relaxed-paced podcast with no specific time format so I usually listen at 1.5x speed 😉
Tip: Chris also runs the “Week in Travel” show which isn’t weekly, but talks about the travel industry.
AT#607 – Budapest, Hungary
AT#581 – Kyiv, Ukraine
For travel hackers and frequent flyers.
If you’re interested in accumulating Airmiles and airline points, listen to the Abroaders Podcast, a regular audio show of the Abroaders community. Abroaders is a membership business that shows you how to travel hack and use Air Miles properly.
I’m one of the few bloggers in the travel-related niche that doesn’t talk much about Air Miles. It’s a topic that hundreds of other bloggers have covered. And I’m not a US citizen so my options for travelling with points are limited (and my ability to talk about this topic are even more limited).
If getting free travel from air miles and points is your thing, this is a good place to get the latest news.
AP 226 – How to Book A Free Flight Before You Earn Enough Points
AP 216 – Hacking Expat Life with Mikkel Thorup
Top Podcast Episodes
Many shows dip into the travel niche every once in a while. Sometimes these podcasts are pure gold. I’ve included them below along with some photography-related episodes I’m sure you will love.
Travel Writing 2.0 With Tim Leffel on the Creative Penn Podcast.
Tim Leffel is one of my
Mike Spencer Bown on Story Untold
Mike Spencer Bown is one of the most travelled guys you will ever meet. He began his travels over 20 years ago. Despite spending extended periods in countries to live and work, Mike is a perpetual vagabond. He’s been everywhere. And he has a lot of stories to tell. Check out this episode with Mike on the Story Untold podcast.
Getting started with Lightroom for Photographers on Great Escape Radio
If you take photos when you travel (who doesn’t?) this episode appeared on the Great Escape Radio podcast is a must-listen.
Travel Photography 101 with Travis Longmore The Zero To Travel
Travel Photography 101 on the aforementioned Zero To Travel podcast is one of the best episodes I’ve heard on how to take amazing travel photos. And listen up if you’re interested in making money from your photos. Professional travel photographer Travis Longmore dives into the how and why of selling your work. He also discusses technical aspects like F-stops, aperture, and ISO in an easy-to-understand way. I learned more about travel photography from this episode than from the books I’ve read on the topic.
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