Like travel, podcasts give you a chance to roam far and wide, meeting new people, discovering different places, and pursuing every conceivable interest to an obsessive degree.
But with podcasts there’s an added benefit: You can do all that wandering, delving, and semi-pathological nerding-out from the relative comfort and safety of your own home.
Give your ears a vacation while the rest of you stays put with these informative and entertaining podcasts on travel and related topics.
If You're a Frommer's Fan . . .Listen to: us!
First, allow us to toot our own horn. Each week, Frommer’s brings you two fresh podcasts stuffed with travel tips, news, and inspiration. Recordings are made from our weekly call-in show on WABC-770AM in New York and our nationally syndicated radio program. The first show centers on travel advice as Frommer’s editorial director Pauline Frommer and editor-in-chief Jason Cochran field questions from listeners.
For the other program, Pauline is joined by her father, company founder Arthur Frommer, for expert commentary and conversation with travel journalists and industry pros. As always, you can trust us for accurate, up-to-date information and a lot of straight talk.
If You're Looking for Fresh Perspectives . . .
Listen to: On She Goes
Dedicated to helping women of color “travel more confidently, more adventurously, and more often,” On She Goes covers a broad range of topics—solo trips, outdoor adventure, wellness, and culture—and lets you hear from historically underrepresented voices. Because those involved with the project acknowledge the diversity of backgrounds among women of color, interview guests and episode subjects are selected with inclusivity in mind. The show’s purpose can be summed up in a hashtag: #WeBelongHere.
If You're Looking for a Fresh Perspective on Your Sandwich . . .
Listen to: Racist Sandwich
Food is a big reason why many of us travel, and this incisive podcast will get you thinking about how the politics of a place shapes its cuisine. Cofounded by San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho and currently hosted by journalists Stephanie Kuo and Juan Ramirez, the show examines how matters of race, class, and gender affect what we eat, how we prepare it, how we market it, and how we talk about it. Deep dives into regional culinary traditions and interviews with chefs of color bring to light the often ignored or forgotten complexity of a given location’s food scene.
If You Love the Outdoors . . .
Fitz Cahall’s The Dirtbag Diaries, a collection of digital campfire stories, has been going strong since 2007—which makes this outdoor-themed series roughly as old as The Iliad in podcast years. Mountain climbing, skiing, rafting, backwoods hiking, and other rugged pursuits constitute the ostensible subject matter. But it’s the human scale of these real-life adventure stories that keeps us coming back for more.
For nature without the jibber-jabber, try The Walking Podcast, which is no more or less than audio of author Jon Mooallem walking in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. As his website puts it: “No talking; just walking. Ambient. Pleasant. Homemade. Unusual.”
If You Have a Lot of Places on Your Must-Visit List. . .
Listen to: Amateur Traveler
Another long-standing travel podcast is Chris Christensen’s globe-spanning collection of destination guides. Nearly every week, listeners are transported to a different locale, courtesy of Christensen’s interviews with local experts and knowledgeable visitors. The show's variety from episode to episode is bound to kindle your imagination. One week you’re hearing about a road trip along the Oregon Coast; the next you’re in the remotest stretches of Pakistan. Both places get their due.
If You're an Adult Who's Very Into Theme Parks . . .
Listen to: Podcast: The Ride
Your guides for this show about theme parks are comedians Mike Carlson, Jason Sheridan, and Scott Gairdner—“three childless men in their thirties,” according to their own description. When the hosts and their special guests aren’t describing rides at Disney, Universal, and other parks with a level of depth and detail worthy of an Imagineer on Adderall, they’re applying the same rigor to seemingly mundane areas such as parking garages, souvenir stands, and, in one memorable 15-part series, every single business at Downtown Disney. The microscopic focus feels like both a tribute to and a send-up of theme-park obsessives as well as hyper-controlled corporate environments. Trust us: Listening to this is a lot more fun than visiting Universal CityWalk.
If You Dream of Staying in Museums Past Closing Time . . .
Listen to: Sidedoor
In the Smithsonian’s podcast, host Lizzie Peabody enlists scientists, historians, and artists to supply behind-the-scenes intel on the more than 154 million important items held by that invaluable institution. With far more probing analysis than you’ll ever get from museum wall text, Sidedoor reveals the surprising stories behind spacecraft, dinosaur bones, slave cabins, monumental sculptures, Sasquatch research, and many other artifacts of American life. What’s more, the show will give you an endless stockpile of conversation starters. Did you know that makers of women’s underwear helped design NASA’s spacesuits?
If You Want to Learn Another Language . . .
Listen to: Coffee Break
Improve your English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, or Swedish in quick, easily digestible lessons that start out simple and grow more advanced as episodes progress. Shows don’t just cover vocab lists and how to ask where the bathroom is—holidays, literature, dance, and other cultural aspects are incorporated in order to provide context about the places where the languages were born. Even if you never make it to Rome, think how proud of yourself you’ll be after watching La Dolce Vita without the subtitles.
If You Want to Speak to the Manager . . .
Listen to: Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
We’ve all had a chuckle over the sort of online user review written by someone who went to the Grand Canyon, thought “meh,” and then went on TripAdvisor to immortalize that assessment with a one-star review, right? This is that experience in podcast form. In each episode, brother-and-sister cohosts Alex and Christine Schiefer perform dramatic readings of harsh internet critiques written by disgruntled Disneyland guests, impatient diners, sun-averse beachgoers, and other irate, perplexing, and grammar-challenged patrons. The reviews are funny in themselves, and the Schiefers’ gleeful deconstructions of the addled analyses are rave-worthy.