Travel plans may be up in the air, but we all need a little escapism. I have had two trips cancelled over the coming months, and I am still waiting to see what happens with a few others. But even in the COVID-19 pandemic, my wanderlust is still standing.
Many of us have now been isolated into our homes, and we working from home, as well as living at home, can be hard to adapt to. However, for some real escapism, why not explore some new destinations from the comfort of your own home!
I can’t wait to get out and explore and therefore I’ve pulled together the best travel shows streaming now that’ll virtually transport you somewhere else. Perfect for any wanderlusters in self-isolation…..
So put your comfy clothes on and travel the world virtually from your sofa….
This groundbreaking series narrated by Emmy and BAFTA winner Sir David Attenborough takes viewers to corners of the world where the most amazing natural events happen and reveals the key issues that urgently threaten their existence. The show was filmed by more than 600 crew members over four years in 50 countries.
Destinations Visited: The Arctic wilderness, the deep sea, Africa and South America.
Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
Description: A travel documentary and road trip comedy, Travels With My Father is presented by comedian Jack Whitehall and his father, Michael Whitehall. The first series sees Jack and Michael embark on a ‘gap year’ trip across South East Asia visiting Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Series two sees Jack and his father on a European road trip visiting Germany, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Turkey. Series three took the father and son duo across America.
Destinations Visited: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey and America.
Restaurants On The Edge
On its face, Restaurants On The Edge may seem like another run of the mill restaurant recovery show where the host comes in Bar Rescue style and saves a place on the brink of going belly up. I mean yes, that’s kind of what it’s about but it’s also so much more. The basic premise of ROTE is about rehabbing pretty restaurants around the world, but the show does a good job digging in to the local food culture like curry fish balls and snake wine in Hong Kong to freshly caught salt cod in Malta. The show’s high production quality and beautiful destinations will definitely satiate the wanderlust in all of us. (Credit: Forbes)
Description: Presented by David Farrier who claims he has always been drawn to the weirder side of life, Dark Tourist investigates the global phenomenon, dark tourism. David visits locations that are associated with death and destruction such as Medellin, once known as the most dangerous city in the world thanks to its association with Pablo Escobar and the town of Tomioka, which was evacuated during the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Destinations Visited: Latin America, Japan, United States, The Stans, Europe, South East Asia and Africa.
Tales by Light
If you’re looking for some seriously beautiful imagery to binge on in the weeks ahead, Tales by Light has you covered. This Australian docu-series originally premiered in 2015 follows professional photographers and filmmakers as they make their way around the world to tell powerful stories of people and places from the Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia to India’s Bandhavgarh National Park in the Himalayas. It’s powerful storytelling with beautiful scenery to match. (Credit: Forbes)
Comedian Romesh Ranganathan travels to Sri Lanka, his parents’ homeland, to learn about its culture, religion and language. Romesh’s mum Shanti became an unexpected star thanks to the first series so she joined him on his travels to America in the second series.
Destinations Visited: Sri Lanka and the USA.
Ugly Delicious combines travelling, cooking and history. The show follows American restaurateur David Chang as he travels around the world tasting food from different cultures. In each episode, he looks at one dish or concept and explores how it’s made in different regions and how it evolves.
Destinations Visited: Naples, Mexico and New Orleans to name a few.
Travel Man: 48 Hours in…
Available To Stream On: Channel 4
Description: Travel Man is a British travel documentary series presented by Richard Ayoade. Ayoade travels to a popular city in each episode along with a celebrity guest. The show is fast paced and is useful to anyone planning a trip to one of the cities Ayoade visits. Every episode is sure to make you laugh thanks to Ayoade’s dry sense of humour.
Destinations Visited: Barcelona, Istanbul, Iceland, Marrakech, Vienna and Paris to name a few.
Description: Many of the world’s best-known landmarks have been inspired by faith. In this series, the amazing things people do for faith in some of the most spectacular places on earth are revealed. The series narrated by Sue Perkins takes you to Angkor Wat the Hindu-Buddhist temple in Cambodia, Nachi Falls in Japan and China’s Shaolin Temple, to name a few.
Destinations Visited: Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali, the Golden Temple in India, Nachi Falls in Japan, The Shaolin Temple in China, Masada in Israel, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The Americas with Simon Reeve
This show follows British presenter, author and adventurer Simon Reeve as he travels the length of the American continent. The first series is focused on North America and follows Reeve as he journeys from Alaska to Costa Rica. The second series (which has not yet aired) will see Reeve make his way down through South America.
Destinations Visited: Alaska, Vancouver, Montana, California, Texas, Mexico, the Caribbean and Costa Rica.
Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland
According to Frankie Boyle, “There comes a time in every comedian’s career when they decide to do travelogues”. In this series, Boyle travels across Scotland on his stand-up tour and explores his homeland. He meets a heady mix of people and places, filtering his nation’s past and present through his unique mind.
Destinations Visited: Aberdeen, Oban, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayr.
An Idiot Abroad
Description: With no interest in travel, Karl Pilkington is launched out of his comfort zone when Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send him on once-in-a-lifetime trips.
Series one documents Pilkington visiting the New Severn Wonders of the World, Series two shows Pilkington performing activities from a generic (not his) bucket list and in the final series, Pilkington is joined by Warwick Davis and they both travel along the route taken by Marco Polo to China.
Destinations Visited: The New Seven Wonders of the World, the South Pacific, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Alaska, Africa, America, Japan, Venice, Macedonia, India and China.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
This series focuses on other cuisines, cultures and politics and was presented by Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author and travel documentarian. Viewers can follow Bourdain as he eats and chats his way around less explored countries such as Libya and Myanmar.
Destinations Visited: Myanmar, Libya, Colombia and Congo to name a few.
The Grand Tour
The motoring/travel show follows Clarkson, Hammond and May as they rampage around the world in an array of different vehicles. At each location, the presenters undertake extraordinary tasks like training with the SAS in Jordan and saving coral reefs with car body shells in Barbados
Destinations Visited: USA, Portugal, South Africa, Jordan and Italy to name a few.
James May: Our Man in Japan
The title is pretty self-explanatory, but this travelogue centres around James May’s journey around Japan. May travels by land, sea, air and go-kart and tries cutting-edge Japanese cuisine, sumo wrestling and even attends a penis festival.
Destinations Visited: Cape Soya, Tohoku, Fukushima, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Shikoku.
Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti
Description: Star of Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna Lumley travels across the fabulous Caribbean. This two-part series sees Lumley exploring Haiti and Cuba, uncovering tranquil beaches and lesser-known spots. At the beginning of the trailer, Lumley explains: “I’m going on an adventure through two of the most intoxicating countries in the world. This unique journey will glimpse the hidden side of these fascinating places – why don’t you tag along?”
Destinations Visited: Cuba and Haiti.
Cruising with Jane McDonald
Channel 5’s BAFTA award-winning show Cruising with Jane McDonald is presented by former cruise ship entertainer and TV presenter Jane McDonald. Each series shows McDonald living her best life on cruises and follows her as she explores hidden gems among the destinations she travels to.
Destinations Visited: The Adriatic Sea, The Balkans, Mediterranean Riviera and the Great Lakes of America to name a few.
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My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Photography and Technology
Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Featured Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels