Does it feel like your passport is growing cobwebs, and you can barely remember the last time you left your house, let alone traveled outside of the country? We feel your pain—especially now that summer vacation season is approaching with a slim-to-none chance of being able to hop on a plane and visit an exotic location. Sadly, there’s not much we can do to help—but if you can’t travel, the best travel shows online may be the next best thing.
Check out our list of the ‘best of the best’ travel shows 2021 filled with must-stream travel shows of wonderful—and some not-so-wonderful—locales from around the world. Sit back, binge watch, and decide which places to add to your must-visit travel plans (and ones to avoid at all costs) once the world opens up for travelers again (fingers crossed it will be soon)!
If your love of travel is second only to your love of food, you won’t want to miss Gordon Ramsay taking a break from Hell’s Kitchen to uncharted places. Although the show has a definite focus on food, this National Geographic show also puts a spotlight on the culture, festivities, wildlife, and people you’ll want to experience when you visit. A delicious mix of travel and cooking—count us in!
This show helps us all learn about sustainable living with wellness expert Darin Olien along for the ride. More than just pointing out problems, this Netflix show highlights solutions and how you can incorporate them into your everyday, healthier living. Of course, everything is through the lens of some of the most beautiful locations around the world.
Each season of this Netflix series spotlights a different region around the world. Rather than focusing on fine dining, this unique take on a food and travel show explores the carts, stalls, and markets that locals and tourists alike visit for indigenous dining on the go. Not only will it get your tastebuds fired up, but you’ll feel a kinship with the people behind the recipes as you get immersed in the sights and sounds of faraway places.
More of a road-less-traveled kind of explorer? You’ll love this Discovery Go series, hosted by archaeologist Josh Gates who is in a global adventure quest for uncovered mysteries, unsolved events, buried treasure, and lost cities. Gates’ approach is less polished than some of the other travel shows around, but his quick wit and thirst for the unusual will hook you, inform you, and inspire your inner Indiana Jones.
Not able to Airbnb this summer? You can still visit some of the most breathtaking homes around the world (vicariously, of course) when you stream this Netflix series. Designed to challenge your ideas of what a home can be and flip the traditional architecture norms on its head. Every dwelling showcased fits the climate, the culture, and the soul of the location and the people who call the house home.
Let’s say you only have two days to really get to know a place; where would you begin? In the Amazon Prime series Travel Man, comedian Richard Ayoade takes time to try the food, the wine, the hotspots, and the thrills of top travel destinations around the world—and he does it all in just 48 hours! It’s the most culturally efficient way to travel we’ve ever seen, and it could inspire you to try some mini explorations of your own.
There’s more to travel than the pretty-as-a-postcard picture, and this Netflix series dives right in—to the cults, gangs, crime scenes, haunted buildings, and ancient ruins. Host David Farrier searches the globe in pursuit of finding the most dark, devious, and dastardly places around the world. It’s a different side of tourism, exploring the darkest sides of humanity.
You can catch seasons 7 and 8 on Hulu and relive the late, great Anthony Bourdain’s special brand of travel magic. Bourdain’s full-on dive into the culture, the people, the food, and the cocktails of exotic destinations around the world are second to none. Plus, he gives insight into historical tidbits and current events that make you feel like you’re traveling with him. Few travel hosts do it as well as Anthony Bourdain. Period.
Sure, we’d all rather be traveling ourselves than seeing the world from our sofa, but until we’re free to explore again, these travel shows of 2021 could help inspire your next big adventure.
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