Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Miss travel and need your fix? Or just looking for something new to watch? Try out a great travel show and kill two birds with one stone. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular travel shows out there based on your personality type.

RELATED: Ditch downtown for these 7 neighborhoods to stay like a local

The Gawker: Dark Tourist

If you’re fascinated by things like serial killers, drug lords, and vampires, check out Dark Tourist. It’s hosted by New Zealand-based journalist David Farrier who travels the world in search of the strangest and, well, darkest attractions out there. Each episode explores a continent and takes viewers to a few bizarre places and tourist traps.

What to expect: In a U.S. episode, for example, Farrier takes a fan tour dedicated to infamous killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer and two others that explore the murder of President Kennedy. Dark Tourist is not for the faint of heart, though. In that same episode, he actually watches people who identify as vampires drink human blood.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Foodie: Restaurants on the Edge

“Far too often, the better the view, the worse the food.” That’s this show’s tagline. It’s a makeover show for restaurants struggling for business despite being located in truly amazing places. The show’s three hosts each have a different area of expertise: food, business, and interior design. So this show is great for travel junkies, foodies and design lovers.

What to expect: Episodes span the globe from Slovenia to Malta to Hong Kong, among others. Throughout each episode, we learn about the culture and cuisine of the place, meet locals, and take in breathtaking landscapes. Stories of the restaurant owners add that human touch. Cynics beware, it can get a little sappy.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Europhile: Rick Steves’ Europe

Rick Steves’ Europe is a wholesome and relaxing show hosted by the sweet and knowledgeable Steves who has been in the business of European tourism since 1976. He has published guidebooks, hosts a radio show, and writes a travel column, among other things. In this show, Steves’ soothing voice takes viewers on a tour of Europe all the while educating us on how best to explore the continent.

What to expect: If you are genuinely looking for travel tips and insight, this show is a good one. Steves not only gives us history lessons and shows us some of the great attractions of the continent, he also offers practical advice like how to use London’s public transportation and how much it will cost, for example. There is even a whole episode dedicated to the pros and cons of taking a cruise, and how to make the most of a cruise ship vacation. All of this is wrapped up in easy-to-digest 25-minute episodes.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

The Health Nut: Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Have you ever thought to yourself, “More Hollywood heartthrobs should host travel shows”? Then this show is for you. But it’s more than just watching a handsome A-lister in exotic locations. Efron and “exotic superfoods hunter” Darin Olien discover new—and perhaps healthier and happier—ways of life around the globe.

What to expect: They travel to places like Sardinia to find out why so many people there live to be 100, Paris to explore the city’s massive clean drinking water system, and Costa Rica to visit a fully-sustainable eco village started by ex-pats. The hosts immerse themselves in the local culture to find out what it means to live a healthy, fulfilling and eco-friendly life. And, of course, there is gorgeous scenery.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Prankster: An Idiot Abroad

In this spoof on a traditional travel show, actors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant “prank” their friend Karl Pilkington, whom they describe as a “moron” who hates leaving his comfort zone. The idea is to send the curmudgeonly Pilkington all over the world and film his encounters with new places and cultures, all with a generous sprinkling of dry, British humor.

What to expect: Viewers get to watch Pilkington stumble across the globe, making hilarious faux pas and amusing observations. In episode one, we see him at a Chinese food market watching in awe as people eat insects. It’s lighthearted and funny, and at the end of the day, Pilkington and the viewers do learn a thing or two.

Where to watch: Youtube

The Anglophile (and Racer): Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip

We realize those two things don’t really seem to go together, but The Great British Bake Off host Paul Hollywood is also a recreational race car driver and is fascinated by cars in general. In this miniseries, he takes off his baking hat and puts on his racing helmet (figuratively for the most part) to take viewers on road trips through France, Italy, and Germany.

What to expect: Throughout the three episodes, he drives everything from state-of-the-art performance cars, to unusual concept cars and some truly tiny ones he can barely fit into. Along the way, viewers learn about the cultures and histories of three European countries while taking in some nice scenery and having a laugh.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Family Guy: Better Late Than Never

Male legends of a certain age take an epic “boys’ trip” in this cute show about how it’s never too late to learn new things and see new places. The all-star cast features actors Henry Winkler and William Shatner, former NFL player Terry Bradshaw, legendary boxer George Foreman and comic Jeff Dye as the “sidekick.” If you like family-friendly hijinx, you’ll be into it.

What to expect: In a Morocco-themed episode, the crew heads to the Sahara Desert where they camp out and ride camels. Then they head to the souk to haggle for rugs and buy traditional garments. Throughout the series, they also travel around Europe and Asia.

Where to watch: NBC

The Hungry Globetrotter: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

The late great Anthony Bourdain became a giant in the world of food tourism. In fact, one could argue he Wass—and still is–the ultimate authority on global cuisine. With a sort of devil-may-care bad boy attitude that was a big part of his charm, Bourdain traveled to the edge of the world and back to bring global gastronomy into our homes. From haute cuisine to fresh fish gutted on the beach and some truly daring eats like seal eyeball, he tried it all. And it’s not just the food that’s eye opening (no pun intended); Bourdain has a way of philosophizing about the way cuisine and culture intersect and what it means to travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Where to watch: Hulu, Travel Channel 

The Interior Designer: Stay Here

If you watched the original Trading Spaces on TLC, you may remember Genevieve Gorder. The interior designer/TV host is back with a Netflix show that transforms short-term rental properties in need of a little home improvement.

What to expect: The show takes viewers around the U.S. to spots like a houseboat in Seattle, a cottage on a California vineyard, a firehouse-turned-apartment in D.C. and a mid-century Palm Springs home. The hosts explore the local communities to find inspiration for the designs and to learn about what the destination has to offer. In the end, a newly-designed space is revealed. One of the perks of watching this show is that if you see one you like, you can book it for your next trip!

Where to watch: Netflix

The Architecture Buff: The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

There are some incredible houses out there in the world, and this show aims to find them. The hosts travel the globe to find some of the most unique, impressive and luxurious homes you’ve ever seen. They explore not only the architecture, but the way it fits into its natural surroundings. There are homes built into mountains, on the edges of cliffs and on tiny islands in the middle of the water. The shapes and lines of the buildings, as well as the ingenuity and vision match the truly extraordinary locations in which they are found.

What to expect: Some episodes are categorized by location and others by terrain, so you can pick and choose the destinations that most interest you. But, honestly, all the views are incredible.

Where to watch: Netflix


Tagged: Top 10 Lists

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *