In today’s world of streaming apps, we can easily access all types of travel shows. Travel shows help us research future trips around the globe and keep us from going crazy as we wait on that much-needed break from reality.
Here are some of the best shows to stream when you aren’t traveling.
1. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
This award-winning travel and food show will make you fall in love with the warm embrace of Italy and book the next flight out as soon as possible. Each episode focuses on a particular region of the country in this culinary journey.
Take in the sites from Sardinia and Umbria to Tuscany and Naples. You will learn much more about the culture and engage with the locals, seeing gorgeous panoramic views and vibrant neighborhoods.
And, of course, the food! Seeing the different regional Italian cuisines and delicacies will make your mouth water. The show also makes you appreciate the time and effort put into every meal. It, unfortunately, ended after two seasons, but that is enough to inspire a vacation to Italy.
2. Master of None
Focusing on season 2’s first and second episodes, we see comedian Aziz Ansari’s character in Italy, where he has decided to become an aspiring pasta maker. The city of Modena, just north of Florence, is where he chooses to pursue his passion.
You see how enjoyable the show is after just one episode.
The second episode highlights part of the Tuscan countryside with rolling hills and lush greenery, with an integral scene filmed in Pienza. What brings it together is a Vespa ride, a highly recommended activity that is easy to do even with little to no experience.
3. Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
Everyone loves an excellent parent-child travel adventure. This documentary may be scripted, but the British humor and comedy situations that Jack Whitehall and his father find themselves in while taking multiple trips across the world is still entertaining.
The show takes place in a different part of the world each season. You will learn about Southeast Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, America, and Australia. You can plan your trips around some of the activities they partake in on the show.
4. Family Style
Combining Asian food with foodie influencers, chefs, and celebrity guests, Family Style delves into the differences and similarities of what makes these various cuisines great. Through the storytelling of family history and recipes, you gain insight into each culture and how food plays a crucial role in the community. Hence, Family Style.
Filming locations primarily cater around Los Angeles and greater California, so you will find plenty of quality restaurants to feed your foodie needs. They also mix in some time in the Philippines, Vietnam, and China so that you can see some of the culinary highlights in these countries.
You’ll learn about annual food events from East to West, like the Los Angeles 626 Night Market. These episodes are short at barely 15-20 minutes each; you can finish both seasons on a cozy weekend afternoon.
5. Secrets of Great British Castles
The United Kingdom is famously known for its castles scattered throughout the country. This history docuseries helps you learn more about each location.
Discover internationally recognized castles, such as the Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle, to some lesser-known ones, such as Warwick and Arundel Castles. Learn about their construction and involvement in British history, including royalty, government and politics, religion, and day-to-day life.
All these castles are available for you to take a guided tour or explore independently. It may be more educational than other shows, but it is worth watching for even hobbyist historians and those interested in the United Kingdom.
6. Men in Kilts
This show may have capitalized on the popularity of the TV series Outlander, but that does not mean it is not worth a watch, especially with a nice glass of whisky. Sam and Graham of Men in Kilts have a great dynamic throughout the show.
Scotland is a beautiful country to visit, and this documentary helps highlight the vibrant Scottish culture and gorgeous landscapes of the countryside. Each episode has a particular focus on what makes Scotland worth visiting. Some favorites are learning about traditional sports and the tartan culture.
This show is set in the beautiful town of Lillehammer, Norway. What is excellent about this Netflix series is the noticeable cultural differences between a former American mobster starting fresh under a new Norwegian identity, and the local Lillehammer residents he interacts with and befriends. The show’s subtle humor highlights what Norway is and is not commonly known for as well as in how it portrays ordinary everyday citizens in this town.
Lillehammer is a little town in Norway without the hustle and bustle of busy city life where things slow down to a crawl. With the dialogue containing both English and Norwegian, watching the show may be a fun way to pick up some of the languages for your visit. Most of the filming was on location, so you can visit some of the same streets and areas that make up the series.
8. Long Way Trilogy
Many of us have dreamed of hitting the open road on a motorcycle at some point in our lives, with the wind blowing through our hair. These are the kind of long-distance road trips that take you through the heart of the country – or countries – where you find yourself off the beaten trail.
What can be called a Long Way “trilogy” is another buddy adventure starring Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and travel writer/actor Charley Boorman. They must make their way through Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and South America during the show’s seasons.
It is incredible to see so much open country and roads that we never think to take the time to enjoy. It is less focused on the history of where they are and more about embracing the moment, enjoying adventure, and the different perspectives of each country.
9. Midnight Asia
Sometimes, it’s great to focus less on daytime activities and more so on what you can get up to at night while traveling. Midnight Asia helps display the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities throughout Asia. These places seem to never sleep with vibrant nightclubs, indie music performances, street food stalls, and many options to highlight during your trip.
It follows the mold of travel shows and foodie delights. Though it doesn’t dive deep into cities, locations, or people, its good photography makes it a surprising addition to the list.
10. Dark Tourist
You may think of super scary horror places related to travel with Dark Tourist, but it also focuses on historically significant places and events. It has some supernatural and religious overtones. This New Zealand documentary teaches about some of these types of destinations throughout several countries.
Any country has a period of dark history or specific dark individuals that affected parts of the country or its entirety. This type of travel has become a sub-genre of tourism, where many people seek to visit and stay at some of these sites. You may not want to watch alone if you get scared easily.
11. An Idiot Abroad
To finish off the list, we bring you the exploits of an average everyday person with no natural inclination to step outside his comfort zone, finding himself in hilarious cultural situations as he is coerced into traveling the world. An Idiot Abroad contains British humor we all have come to know and love from creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who involve traveler Karl Pilkington in their schemes.
What’s great about this show is the natural reactions from Karl, as he has no clue what he is being pulled into. His offbeat demeanor and unintentional or non-scripted reactions brings this series home. It shows how all of us can react when we find ourselves in a completely different situation from our daily life.
Each episode showcases a different country that will inspire you with plenty of locations you’ll want to visit. Karl observes these countries from his perspective and participates in local activities throughout the series. These are great add-ons for any tour and if you can sign up for them, you should.
Best Shows to Stream When You Can’t Travel
Each one of the listed shows is entertaining in its own right. Watching these during a weekend television marathon will make you want to get up and go.
You will find yourself down a rabbit hole of travel and food shows from every major streaming service. This great entertainment will help you on your way to exploring the world.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks. Photo Credit: [@monkeybusiness/DepositPhotos]
Nick is the founder of The World Overload, a personal travel blog. From here, he shares his and others' personal travel experiences, trip itineraries, popular cultural events, and suggested destinations for every world-traveling enthusiast. Nick wants to experience the most of what this world has to offer and hopes to bring you into this as well.