Whether it’s a long-haul flight, a six-hour stopover, or a dreaded overnight bus, one of the perks of long-distance travelling is that you can spend some time catching up with your favourite TV series or reading that book you’ve been meaning to start for ages. But if the in-flight entertainment selection leaves a lot to be desired, you’ve gone through all the trashy celebrity magazines and quite frankly, you’re getting tired of keeping your eyes open, a good podcast could prove to be a lifesaver. There are heaps of really addictive travel-focused ones, and the great thing is, once you’ve downloaded them, you don’t need any data or Wi-Fi – so they’re perfect for those on-the-move. Here is a selection of top podcasts selected by Cheapflights.
The indie travel podcast
One of the veterans on the travel podcast circuit, the Indie Travel Podcast has a huge back catalogue of episodes (300+) perfectly archived, easy to navigate and covering everything from travel tips, destination guides and booking advice. If it’s about travel, Craig and Linda have likely done an episode on it. While not always the most exciting of banter, the advice is nonetheless excellent and their passion for travelling is so infectious that it will have you booking your next trip within the hour.
This is a relatively new podcast, but what makes Go special is that it takes a narrative approach to travel podcasts. These short, but sweet vignettes are great little mind-wanders that don’t just give you a destination and the ten best things to do there, but they delve deeper into a place and pull out great little facts and stories. It’s a nice change and feels more like you’re travelling with a friend, rather than a guide. This season is all about Iceland and his podcast on Hakarl – which is essentially rotten shark meat – is fascinating and a tad disgusting the same time.
The Season Pass podcast
For something more niche, check out the Season Pass podcast. An esoteric podcast that focuses on theme parks, attractions, events, roller coasters and all of that fun (childish) stuff. If you’re not in to theme parks, then move along here, but if you are, then you’re about to lose your mind, because this podcast is about 300 episodes deep and covers everything you could possibly want from a theme park-based podcast. It also features some pretty bangin’ celebrity guests, including Neil Patrick Harris, who is really obsessed with theme parks… who knew?
Zero to travel
Focusing more on the instructional side of travel, Zero to Travel is predominately an interview podcast, where host Jason talks to people about the hows and whys of their travels. Occasionally people do make it all sound a bit easy – relying on the kindness of strangers to travel across the US? The pessimist in me says, “Puh-lease” – but Zero to Travel does talk to some genuinely interesting people, and often it’s the episodes that you think are going to be boring are the ones that really surprise you.
Condé Nest Traveler Travelogue
A companion podcast to the slick Condé Nest Traveler website, this podcast takes a broad brush when it comes to travel, covering everything from the standard popular destinations and travel tips section, to more obscure stuff like weird travel jobs and ethical questions. It’s nicely produced and very entertaining.
Extra Packet of Peanuts
No travel podcast list would be complete with a specialised budget travel podcast. The Extra Packet of Peanuts podcast looks at ways that you – yes you! – could travel the world for free (or, at the least, very cheaply). Travis and his wife have been travelling the world on a budget for years now, so they must be doing something right. While, as is so often the case, many of these tips and tricks rely on American-heavy loopholes, the interviews and advice are still ace and you’re sure to pick up a tip or two.
Ted Radio Hour
If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, chances are you already know about the Ted Radio Hour. A brilliantly curated collection of people discuss the ideas behind their Ted talks. Each episode is separated into a theme, covering everything from love and money to discovery and curiosity, happiness, democracy and, yep, even travel. By far my favourite podcast, it’s perfect for people who love the idea of Ted Talks but don’t have the patience or the fortitude to sift through the hundreds of ones on the site to find something that interests them. And as each episode is a chunky hour or so, they’re the perfect way to kill time in the airport lounge.
Another classic podcast, 99% Invisible finds the interesting parts of the world that demand a closer look. The podcast covers some of the weirdest and most bizarre topics you’ll ever come across, and many of the stories will have you looking at the world in a completely new and different way. Again, they have a way of making something that might otherwise be mundane, absolutely fascinating.