Podcasting is mainstream, people. Google is now indexing Podcasts in the search results. Here’s why podcasts are great for consuming travel-related content: Get destination reports, insider guides, and inspiration for long-haul flights, bus journeys, and airports. For people 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 recommendations for the best travel podcasts of 2019. Get inspired by these fun and fascinating shows and episodes!
What you can learn from the podcasts in this list
- How to find cheap flights, destinations and accommodation.
- How to maximise your trips for enjoyment and not just for Instagram posts.
- How long-term travellers manage to do what they do
- How to take great photographs
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 people in the niche and tackles topics such as “travel and sustainability” and “environmental impacts”. Podcast guests range from wine experts, volunteer tourists, experts on travel with disabilities, and digital nomads.
Why some destinations captivate and others do not
People First Tourism
JUMP with Traveling Jackie
Formerly known as The Budget-Minded Traveler podcast, this show by 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.
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
Zero To Travel
For passionate travel fans.
Zero To Travel is a popular show with digital nomads that’s been going since 2013. The topics covered are broad but always of interest to travellers. The host, Jason Moore, is a digital nomad so many of the episodes focus on the topic of digital nomadism and budget travel. But out of hundreds of podcasts there is literally something for everyone.
Get tips on
Potpourri Prat (Lifestyle Business, Experimenting and Travel Fears) with Matt Giovanisci
Up and Coming Destinations: The Republic of Georgia
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, Food and Travel In Georgia. One of the best podcasts for foodie travellers.
Episodes to listen to:
Melbourne Food Experiences
Central & South America Travel Destinations
It’s hard to talk about travel for long, especially European trips without mentioning Rick Steves, a man who has been helping people learn about travel since 1976. Steves has produced many respected guide books and tv shows, as well as writing columns, blogs, and delivering a weekly radio show.
Travel with Rick Steves is a podcast and radio show that explores a wide range of topics: hiking in Europe, 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 inspiration from the most travelled people in the world.
Program 576: Budget Travelers; Beginner’s Guide to Japan; Ireland Today
The Radio Vagabond
Palle Bo is a Danish broadcaster 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 destination 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
Misfits and Rejects
Misfits and Rejects is a lifestyle design podcast featuring expatriates, travellers, entrepreneurs and adventurers. Chapin Kreuter, your affable host says that he always wanted to capture the stories of people doing fascinating things from the old school all the way to the new school. He’s particularly interested in the digital nomad movement.
“I was going to do it in a book form and write a screenplay, or write a movie about it. But I just started putting a microphone in front of people I found interesting. And Misfits and Rejects was born”, says Chapin in an Interview about his surfing business and travels.
“These guys are definitely at the forefront of some kind of frontier. Especially the older guard. I was inspired to get started when I’d visit a small fishing village in Nicaragua and meet an American guy who’s been there for 30 years with no other gringos. ‘What’s your story dude?’ And that became Episode Four – Dale Dagger. Dale shipwrecked in Nicaragua and didn’t have enough money to go anywhere. So he’s been there for over 30 years”.
Best podcast episodes:
Episode 126: Susan Jangannath Lost Her Job As A Technical Writer And Started Writing About Her Treks Through The Himalayas And Spain.
Episode 143: Self Mastery Through Mountaineering with Gavin Lang
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 anyone interested in the world and its people.
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 a country or city. 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 things to do.
Presenter 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 information for travel planning for the average American who enjoys 1-2
It’s a pretty relaxed-paced podcast so I usually listen at 1.5x speed 😉
AT#607 – Budapest, Hungary
AT#581 – Kyiv, Ukraine
Break Into Travel Writing
For bloggers and writers.
Interested in travel writing? Specifically, how to make money from your writing? Then check out this goldmine of information. The Break Into Travel show is for anyone interested in writing for websites, creating your own travel blog, and working with companies and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO)
Some episodes are just travelogues of press trips and sponsored trips. I don’t find these particularly interesting but they might be useful to people who are considering working with companies for free and paid trips.
The other episodes, however, are insightful and packed with tips for beginner travel bloggers.
Alexa, the website creator, also has a travel writer’s academy, membership of which gets you access to exclusive podcast episodes
BITW 132: Pinterest for Travel Bloggers with Melissa Megginson from Tailwind
BITW 123: How to Make Multiple Streams of Online Income as a Digital Nomad with Ricky Shetty
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 people 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
The Dish is a podcast that looks at cuisines, iconic
It’s a mish-mash of cooking and history and is well worth listening to if food is one of your motivations for travel but you want to understand the culture and backstory behind famous world dishes.
S2E7 Bali (Indonesia): What to eat. Satay, Nasi Kampur and more!
S2E2 What To Eat Greek Island Hopping (Our Sun Fun You Voyage)
Podcast Tips For Listeners
I love reading but also enjoy podcasts (I listen to shows daily) as an alternative way to consume content. But I don’t believe they are interchangeable. It’s rare that a podcast transcript makes for a good article and vice versa. They are different mediums and the delivery is unique. But that’s a good thing. Podcasts feel more informal. Mistakes in a show are more easily forgiven than in other mediums and can even add to the “realism”. Digressions are welcome.
Types of shows:
- Destination shows like the Amateur Traveler are great for introducing people to a location.
- For travel bloggers and industry professionals, Zero To Travel is a great way to learn about other travellers and people in the industry.
- Shows like Women Who Travel are great for learning about people’s journeys and life-stories.
How to listen to podcasts:
Try using multiple podcast apps. I’m a fan of the Stitcher app, but not every show is available on that platform. The iTunes Podcast app is awful, but necessary to hear some shows. I currently switch between Stitcher, Castbox, and Google’s own podcast app. With these three podcast listening apps, you can find almost every show.
Download your favourite episodes and listen to them on airplane mode while flying. It’s a great way to be entertained and learn during long periods of downtime.
Here are just some of the apps for podcast listeners
- Google Play Music
- Google Podcasts
- Apple Podcasts
- Player FM
And don’t forget that you can usually hear shows through embedded players on the show creator’s website
Where to find podcasts:
A great resource for discovering new shows is Listen Notes. The site lets you set up personalised “listen alerts” so you’ll get an email every time a new episode or show drops with your target keywords.
You can also set up Google alerts for mentions of podcast episodes or shows with the keywords you want to track.
Top Podcast Episodes For Travellers
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 people 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.
Blogger, lifelong learner, entrepreneur & musician from Ireland. I’ve been travelling and living overseas for over 20 years. My mission is to build businesses that allow me to have a simple and independent lifestyle. In the process, I hope to help myself and others with my writing.