It’s a big world out there and sometimes you need a little inspiration for where to head next. With a plethora of well-executed shows featuring everything from wild animals to eccentric cuisine, you’re bound to find some entertainment that triggers your travel bug. Nowadays, there are many shows you must sift through to find what entices you the most. To help, we’ve put together a list of shows we know travelers will appreciate. So get the popcorn (and maybe even your passport) ready!
1. Our Planet
As one of Netflix’s newest shows focusing on animals and climate change, Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, is a must-watch. See the icy peril that polar bears and other wildlife find themselves in, discover the fragility of forest and jungle inhabitants, and understand how we must protect the underwater homes of marine life. This show could be deemed an unspoken call to action to finally book the trip and visit places where you can admire these animals before it’s too late.
2. Planet Earth & Planet Earth II
From humpback whales and fierce lions to birds of paradise and mischievous monkeys, this stunning BBC documentary and its sequel (now on Netflix) explore earth’s diverse landscapes and harsh environments through the wildlife that call these places home. Also narrated by the captivating voice of Sir David Attenborough, nature and animals lovers will surely be enticed to venture out and witness these triumphs and defeats first hand.
3. Tales by Light
See the world in a different light. In this series, National Geographic and Canon team up with professional travel photographers and filmmakers to capture stunning visuals. Follow them as they swim with anacondas, track lions, and uncover distinctive human experiences around the world. The outstanding imagery makes it feel as though you are there with them, causing the wanderlust to kick in.
4. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Chef, food writer, and tv personality—with these titles under his belt Anthony Bourdain pretty much originated the food travel show as we know it today, beginning with A Cook’s Tour on The Food Network back in 2002. As he puts it, “Every dish tells a story” and it was his mission to tell as many of those stories as possible. From dining on goat’s head soup in Kenya, to eating Spanish tapas in Galicia, the nine-time Emmy-nominated host shares the narratives behind food and the people who prepare
it—making foodies want to follow in his footsteps to parts unknown.
5. Heat, Salt, Fat, Acid
“I spent my entire life in pursuit of flavor,” says Chef Samin Nosrat, and her cookbook and show both named Heat, Salt, Fat, Acid are a true testament to that. She also says the essence of cooking is a balance of these four elements. Join her on a journey to the kitchens of Yucatan, Japan, Italy, and more as she explores these culinary basics and what they mean to regional cuisine. And prepare for some mouth-watering motivation to discover gastronomic capitals of the world.
6. Somebody Feed Phil
Travel the world, meet up with friends, and eat delicious food—sounds good to us! Such is the premise of actor, writer, and producer Philip Rosenthal’s new show. Each episode brings you to a new place such as New Orleans, Mexico City, or Bangkok and features a food-based city tour. It’s guaranteed to inspire your taste buds, as well as your desire to explore new cities!
7. Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make luxury and boutique hotels stand out to travelers, this is the show for you. Join Giles Coren and Monica Galetti as they travel to the Icehotel in Sweden, Giraffe Manor in Kenya, Royal Mansour in Morocco, and more to uncover how these amazing hotels have become distinctive and desirable. And rather than just seeing what the guests get to enjoy, you’ll gain perspective of staff members and all the hard work they do to create incredible experiences.
8. Dark Tourist – Netflix
What if, instead of visiting famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and palm-tree lined beaches, you sought out vampires, haunted forests, and voodoo festivals? Well, as it turns out there is actually a breed of travelers who seek out the eerie and macabre, which is the premise behind journalist David Farrier’s unique show, Dark Tourist. While this type of content might not be for everyone, those who watch will surely feel encouraged to explore other parts of the world from a very different angle.
9. Conan Without Borders
On a lighter note, you can also watch late-night comedian Conan O’Brien as he learns to dance salsa in Cuba, becomes a K-pop star in Korea, sips wine in Chianti, and laughably explores the world with his comedic charms. And true to form, he doesn’t shy away from serious topics like humanitarian crises either. After a binge of this show, you too will want to find immersive travel experiences that bring a smile to your face.
Whether you’re a thrill seeker, foodie, or animal lover, at least one of these shows are going to delight and inspire you. Which of them will be added to your queue first?
And remember, your own adventure starts here!