Traveling has been put on hold right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t relive your past adventures, or plan for future travels. Why not indulge your inner wanderlust spirit and take comfort in watching the best travel shows that are sure to help you escape from all the craziness going on outside your door.
Best travel shows to watch
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
A list of best travel shows is incomplete without mention of the late great Antony Bourdain, a master and pioneer of food and travel shows. His deadpan humor and ability to connect with viewers, as well as his immense knowledge of food and cultures, is a thrill to watch.
One of his best shows is Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, where he travels around the world, immersing himself into different cultures through food. The best episode in the entire show is his interview with Barack Obama in a small restaurant in Hanoi, where they talk about politics, food, and life.
Dark Tourist follows journalist David Farrier as he goes on a journey to the more morbid and offbeat places that very few ventures. He explores the phenomenon of the thriving business of dark tourism, where travelers often choose to venture into post-apocalyptic nuclear towns, explore ghost cities, war zones, instead of going to popular tourist hotspots.
The show is morbid but made so much fun by the host David Farrier. He goes in-depth about the different places he visits and the people who visit those places for fun. From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem weird to visit all these unusual places, but Farrier manages to lure in viewers with his knowledge and humane approach to the morbid subjects.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
Architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin are the magnetic hosts of Netflix’s new original show, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. The two hosts travel around the world to visit beautiful houses. From the cold Scandinavian mountains to the Ghats of Southern India, they visit homes that are unlike any they’ve ever seen.
The chemistry between Taylor and Quentin make this show a lot more fun. Their constant jabs at each other and their amazement when they first set their eyes upon a house are a sight to see. Their interviews with the architects and owners of the houses and the inspirations behind each house might inspire you to build your dream house too.
James May: Our Man in Japan
James May: Our Man in Japan is a ridiculously fun show to watch. The show follows the former host of Top Gear as he travels to Japan. His fascination for Japan and his goal of finding out what exactly is Japanese culture leads him on a journey from snow-covered north Japan to tropical south Japan. Along the way, he interacts with calligraphy masters, monks, eccentric scientists, train enthusiasts, J-pop stars, and samurais.
May’s easy-going personality and honest remarks make the show a delight to watch. His interaction with his tour guides and the natives are funny and a breath of fresh air. He fumbles around, frequently breaks the fourth wall by interacting with his cameramen, and looks awkward in some scenes, but that is exactly what makes this 6 episode series all the more likable.
Places to Love
The host of Places to Love, Samantha Brown, is a household name in the travel show business. She brings a breath of fresh air to travels shows even though she’s been hosting for over 15 years. Her quirky sense of humor and natural conversations with the people she meets are a delight to watch.
Unlike many of the other travel shows on TV, Brown manages to capture the pure essence of what travel is all about: experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. She is a master at creating unique and intimate experiences. From New York and California to China and Ireland, she seeks out the little-known spots away from the usual tourist spots.
An Idiot Abroad
An Idiot Abroad is a travel comedy documentary about Karl Pilkington, a guy who doesn’t like traveling. He is set up by his friends Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant to go around the world and see the Seven Wonders of the World. This show is unlike any other travel show. The host hates traveling but is forced to travel and explore some of the most exotic places in the world. It’s a weird premise, but the show works so well.
The simple-minded Pilkington is fascinating to watch. When most people would love to travel around the world, he is continuously complaining and is annoyed with everything. Even during his visit to The Pyramids of Giza, he is unhappy and miserable. But the show is shot in such a way that you’ll be hooked from the first episode. You might even start secretly rooting for Pilkington.
Restaurants On The Edge
Restaurants on the Edge is a feel-good show about three food and design experts who go on a journey to help struggling restaurants. It’s similar in concept to Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares but a much more toned-down version and set in beautiful locations.
The three hosts designer Karin Bohn, chef Dennis Prescott and restaurateur/chef Nick Liberato each take part in a specific restaurant makeover. Bohn deals with the design, Prescott serves up a new menu, and Liberato helps the owner face his problems. From the beaches of Costa Rica and the mountains of Austria to the backwaters of Hongkong, the three hosts dive into the problem and swiftly give the restaurant a wonderful makeover. If you like rags to riches or makeover stories, this show is for you.