Even when you're not traveling, there are ways to scratch your travel itch from the safety of your house—travel podcasts. You can travel vicariously thanks to audio storytelling. Listen in as others share their stories of offbeat adventures, deep dives into worlds you never knew, or offer fascinating dispatches from around the globe.
Here are 10 of the best travel podcasts to listen to while you hunker down and plot your next trip.
When Brad and Matt Kirouac decide to pack up their dog and their lives in Chicago to hit the road in an RV, they don’t really know what they are in for, but they can’t wait to find out. Parklandia documents their often hilarious journey through the national parks, spanning from the Florida Everglades to the desert Southwest and the Olympic National Forest in Washington State. Along the way, they re-learn history, find the Mary Kate and Ashley of Arches National Park, and learn what happens when a married couple is cooped up together for weeks on end as they test-drive a nomadic lifestyle.
This show from New Hampshire Public Radio crafts portraits of the natural world and how we travel through it. This isn’t just a show for wilderness buffs, though, topics range from traveling to Antarctica to count penguins, the "raw water movement," storm chasing, moose whisperers, and Lyme disease. While the show has a slight New England bent, host Sam Evans-Brown finds topics that are surprising, engaging, and delightful, proving that a love of the natural world is truly universal.
Start with: Now I am an Axolotl
On She Goes
This podcast is the audio offshoot of the On She Goes travel community, a digital platform created by and for women of color. The show has been around since 2017, so there is a vast back catalog of episodes where guests like The Read's Crissle West, yogi and author Jessamyn Stanley, and "Bad Feminist" author Roxane Gay share their stories of travel and leaving their comfort zones. They cover topics like camping, road trips, the pros and cons of voluntourism, the upside to romance while on the road, the joys of winter travel, and how to satisfy your wanderlust while staying sane.
Start with: What Is Business Travel with guest Roxane Gay
There are 193 sovereign nations in the world, according to the United Nations, and an elite group of privileged travelers are determined to visit all of them—sometimes twice! Each episode, host, Ric Gazarian chats with a traveler who has either visited all 193 or is well on their way to hitting that goal or aiming to break Guinness World Records as they trek. The interviews are fascinating portraits of what happens when travel turns from past time to life's work. Fair warning, though, these stories will make you positively itchy to grab your passport and hit the road as soon as possible.
Start with: Audrey Walsworth
This podcast, hosted by Willow Belden, explores enormous questions of life and how to live it through the lens of traveling through nature. True to its mission, episodes ask big questions like what it means to go on a pilgrimage when you aren't outdoorsy or religious. Other episodes explore what it's like to live so deep in the woods that the only people you meet are strangers passing through on the Appalachian Trail, redefining the word "adventure," and when you're allowed to complain when living a privileged life.
Start with: Everest for a Sherpa Teen
A Different Way of Traveling
People with able bodies tend not to stop and think about, say, hopping into a jeep during a South African safari or strapping in for a zipline through the Costa Rican jungle canopy. Folks living with disabilities though can’t help but think about accessibility, though. This podcast talks to travelers and tour guides who are determined not to let the need for a wheelchair or living with cerebral palsy or a lack of sight or hearing stop anyone from going on safaris, taking up surfing, going on a hajj, or training for a triathlon.
Start with: Let’s Go Ziplining with Angelique Le Roux
Extra Pack of Peanuts
One of the OG travel podcasts, fans have been following host Travis and Heather on their nomadic adventures around the world. They’ve been traveling since 2010 and started podcasting about in 2013—so far in the past that they had to explain what a podcast was to their fans. Their specialty is showing people how to travel on a budget without sacrificing any of the fun and as their long track record shows, living a globetrotting life on a budget is entirely possible.
Start with: 7 Lessons Learned
The audio dispatches from Outside magazine make for intriguing listening even if you haven’t stepped foot in nature since a disastrous third-grade field trip. The show features interviews with outdoor enthusiasts, scientists, travelers, athletes, and average folks in extraordinary circumstances. While you may never plan on nearly freezing to death on Mt. Everest, encountering a grizzly bear, or finding a freaky fish in the swamps of Alabama, the Science of Survival series will make sure you know what to do in such an emergency.
Start with: Science of Survival: Snakebit, Part 1
Despite what you might see on Instagram, travel is not always a glorious adventure traipsing unencumbered through gorgeous landscapes. That’s where this show comes in. San Francisco Chronicle travel editor Spud Hilton interviews travelers, journalists, influencers, and globetrotters about life on the road, favorite destinations, and what happens when travel goes very, very wrong. While guests share stories of touching moments and poignant encounters, the best episodes feature the sagas of misadventures. It serves as an often-hilarious reminder that travel isn’t always perfect and that almost any nightmarish situation can be funny when it’s in the rearview mirror. Fingers crossed that a second season is coming soon.
Start with: Travel Hookups with Fly Brother Ernest White II
To be clear, this isn’t a podcast, but an “audio travel magazine” created by writer, photographer, and Wanderlust contributing editor Phoebe Smith. Like its glossy printed counterparts, each episode (issue?) offers a variety of stories in various formats. There are field recordings captured during her round-the-world adventures, like when she goes beer bathing in Estonia or hiking through Tasmania. There are interviews with conservationists and trailblazing tour guides, ideas for shopping and beating jet lag, tips from travel writer Bill Bryson, and manatee spotting in Florida. The issues are diverse, informative, and fun to listen to.
Start with: Wild Waters Run Deep