5 essential travel podcasts you should tune into

Whether you’re planning to go on a weekend road trip or backpack around Europe, up your travel game with these podcasts from seasoned sightseers.

Man listening to a podcast on his headphones while walking down a bridge.
  • Alison Goh
  • November 2019

No time for travel shows, guides or web research? Put a podcast on in the background and you’ll get to “see” the world and pick up useful tips even as you multitask. Here are five to add to your playlist.

1. Travel With Rick Steves

Rack of Jamon in Spain.
Rick is an authority on Europe in particular, so tune in to his show if you’re interested in hearing him wax lyrical about the jamon in Spain (above), or the saunas in Finland.

American travel guru Rick Steves is a dream to listen to. Host and writer of over 100 travel shows and author of 30 best-selling guidebooks, he brings his passion for travel through his weekly hour-long show featuring guest experts from around the world.

2. Skift Podcast

Lots of tourists in Siem Reap.
Skift has been reporting extensively on overtourism, examining the issues that crop up when a country is overwhelmed by visitors.

If there was a podcast equivalent of a hard news show, this would be it. This is what you should be listening to if you want to know exactly how Airbnb is threatening to give traditional hotel booking sites a run for their money, or if you want to hear about trends and statistics from the who’s who in the industry. Perfect for those who work in travel and hospitality, or for the thinking person (or perhaps the person who’s struggling with jet lag).

3. Zero to Travel

Interior shot of man driving.
“Blaring music with the windows down” is one reason why road trips rule. Listen to this episode to find out the other reasons.

Catering to everyone from “travel newbies to nomads”, Zero to Travel offers a wide variety of easy-listening features covering topics from how worthwhile round the world tickets are, to 32 reasons why road trips rule. Romantics and nosy parkers might like the episode entitled “Romance on the Road”, in which founder Jason Moore shares how his holiday fling turned into marriage.

READ MORE: Expert travel tips to make your next trip smoother opens in new window

4. We Travel There

Batu Caves exterior.
The episode on Kuala Lumpur includes a visit to the majestic Batu Caves (above).

If you’ve got a holiday planned but simply don’t have the time to sit down and research the trip, this podcast is a godsend. Host Lee Huffman interviews locals from around the world to give his listeners valuable insider advice on what to see, do, eat and drink. The 30-minute episodes pack in tons of detail, including notes on local culture.

5. The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Man looking at Japanese temple in Kyoto.
While most episodes cover multiple destinations, this one centres on Japan alone, covering everything from onsen etiquette to getting by without speaking Japanese.

Australian host Amanda Kendle takes a mindful approach in her interviews with travellers, offering listeners thought-provoking insights into their experiences. Her sensitivity shines through in the episode “Grief, Travel and Change”, which features stories about the link between travel and grief. But it’s not all sob-inducing material; “Spending Years Abroad” might inspire you to live in a foreign country for a while.