Getting to know foreign places, meeting new people, opening ourselves up to different ideas — there are so many things to miss about travel when we’re stuck at home (whether we’re just between trips or we’re doing our part to flatten the curve). Fortunately, there are still ways you can get back in touch with the kinds of people, places, and cultures that make travel magical, even while staying home.
One of our favorites? Travel podcasts. Whether you want to learn a little bit about what life is like in another part of the world, or simply stock up on tips to make yourself a better traveler once you’re able to get back out there, there’s a travel podcast for you. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started. (Looking for more travel experiences you can have from home? Work your way through these seven books to read when you can’t be on the road, or check out our favorite ways to re-live your past travels).
1. America’s National Parks
As we all work to maintain a sense of “normalcy” while also maintaining social distancing, lots of savvy domestic travelers are looking to America’s National Parks system. This podcast spotlights the big names (think Yosemite and the Grand Canyon), but also the lesser known (but still spectacular) parks you may never have heard of. Each episode delves into a specific aspect of a park, from the history of the people who originally inhabited the land, to the wildlife that currently populate it, to the stories of important historic events that took place there. (Planning your own outdoor adventure soon? Check out our top hostels near National Parks)
This isn’t exactly a travel podcast, but it will take you around the world (from Nairobi, to Mexico City, to New Jersey) to explore hyper-local ideas and issues and meet the people behind them. Pindrop lets you immerse yourself in a totally new world each episode, whether that means learning about motorcycle midwives trained to help pregnant women stuck in traffic in Bangkok, or exploring the cultural evolution of a play that’s been taking place in a small German town for the last 400 years.
3. How Not to Travel
Spun off from a popular blog highlighting travel experiences and advice from voices not often represented in the travel industry, this podcast isn’t afraid to dive deep into what it means to travel, who gets to travel, and the unintended negative consequences travel can sometimes have. Fortunately, it also offers lots of tips for how to travel more conscientiously along the way. Episodes cover everything from passport privilege, to cultural biases, to making travel choices that will positively impact local communities.
4. The Dirt Bag Diaries
To say this is a podcast about “outdoor adventures” only scratches the surface. With stories from climbers, kayakers, cyclists, hikers, and countless other types of adventurers, the Dirtbag Diaries is guaranteed to give you something a little different in every episode. No matter what, you’ll hear in-depth, offbeat stories, told by the people who lived them, all revolving around a love of the great outdoors.
5. Let’s Go Together
A new podcast from Travel + Leisure, Let’s Go Together is hosted by pilot, scuba diver, and all-around adventurer Kellee Edwards. Promoting inclusivity in travel by giving a platform to travelers with a wide array of perspectives, this podcast aims to show “there’s no one way to be an adventurer.” The first season includes interviews with an adventurer who climbs Machu Picchu in a wheelchair, the first Black woman to visit every country in the world, and a gay couple traveling the United States by RV.
6. Hostel Road Trip
Until we can all hit the road again and get back to hostel life, there’s this podcast. The hosts travel the country interviewing hostel managers and owners about what it’s like to stay there and what kinds of experiences they hope to create for travelers. You’ll even come across a few HI USA hostels in the episode line up!