For many of us around the world, life is busy. We are either working, taking care of family, shuttling kids around, meeting with friends, etc. But no matter how busy we are, there is always time for day dreaming, right? There are so many great Travel TV Shows out there to help us escape for a little while.
Whenever we are at home and planning for our next trip, we would look for inspiration in many places. While we find a lot of inspiration in reading books, listening to music, and watching movies, it seems some of the best inspiration for us came from travel TV shows that we enjoyed watching anyway. So here are our favorite Travel TV Shows that inspire us to travel!
Here is some of our Favorite Travel TV Shows (in no order)
Anthony Bourdain – CNN
Most travelers are familiar with Anthony Bourdain. Not everyone loves his style and attitude, but for us, we just love his way of words. While we enjoyed his shows on the Travel Channel, we were impressed that he made the leap to CNN so that he an dig deeper into the issues, beyond the glossy side of a destination. We enjoy his curiosity, and sarcasm, and no bullsh*t attitude. He tells it like it is — and we love it. Through his narrative during the shows, we find Anthony Bourdain to be a literary genius, and a true travel inspiration. This is by far one of our favorite travel TV Shows.
Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, & Stephen Merchant – Sun Channel
This has quickly taken over as our top travel tv shows. Ricky and Stephen send the hilarious, uninspired, and completely pessimistic, Karl Pinkerton on an around the world journey that will bring you to your knees with laughter. While his observations and statements can be harsh, they are often brutally honest. There’s no sugar coating it with him!
Andrew Zimmern – Travel Channel
One of our favorite parts about traveling would have to be all of the tasty food that each culture and destination has. Everywhere is different and Andrew Zimmern proves that. You might have to hold your stomach in some (okay, most) of his episodes, but he is extremely entertaining to watch.
Phil Keoghan – CBS
For years Liz and I have glued ourselves to the TV on Sunday nights to watch the next adventure on the Amazing Race. You know a show has inspired you to travel when you go to places and say, “Hey, The Amazing Race was here. Cool.” There is not one bad season! Easily one of our favorite Travel TV Shows on the planet.
Rick Steves – PBS
Rick Steves is the master of Europe, and guru on how to travel and experience Europe (for the average person). Rick Steves narrates his journeys through Europe so beautifully, his tone of voice even relaxes us and can make us feel like we are on vacation too. If you are planning or thinking about visiting Europe (especially for the first time), you will want to have Rick Steves take you there.
Anthony Bourdain – Travel Channel
Before Anthony Bourdain moved to CNN to start his award winning Parts Unknown series, he had one of the best shows on the Travel Channel (in our opinion). Anthony takes viewers on a culinary journey to some of the most beautiful places around the world. This is a great show that never gets old. We especially love his writing and style of narration, combining brute honesty, seedy anecdotes, and genuine curiosity.
Josh Gates – Travel Channel
This new series on the Travel Channel takes you around the world in search of finding truth about lost treasures or ancient myths. A modern day Indiana Jones, he takes adventurers all over the world to search together. This is a great inspirational series for the true adventurers out there in the world. Being curious travelers just as he is, we also love seeing him in places that we have been before, because we can totally relate to his experience!
Rob Mariano & Dennis Anderson – History Channel
Rob and Dennis set out on an around the world journey to see how many different types of transportation they can take. They can only use the mode of transportation once. Rob being “Boston Rob” from Survivor (like him…or hate him) and Dennis being the driver to monster truck “Grave Digger” make for an entertaining duo. Their sarcastic relationship and differing personalities make this an entertaining series.
Samantha Brown – Travel Channel
Everyone and anyone who has a love of travel knows who Samantha Brown is. She has been a huge inspiration to so many travelers for so many years. She has guides on Europe, Latin America, Asia, China, and Weekend Getaways in the US. Of course, we’re fans. Liz has been saying for more than 10 years how Sam had her dream job. While her style of travel isn’t for the die-hard adventurers, she is a huge inspiration to many travelers all over the world, including us.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different country? What about experiencing a different culture? House Hunters International takes couples on a house hunt around the world. They show couples 3 choices of houses that will fit for the price range. We enjoy watching the show purely to learn about living in different parts of the world. We like to see the neighborhoods, and are curious about the style of living and accommodations. It’s also cool to learn about what some of these expats do for a living. It helped inspire us to move abroad for a while!
Anthony Bourdain – Travel Channel
Layovers are something that all travelers have to face when traveling. Anthony Bourdain takes viewers on a 48 hour tour of cities all over the US. This is a great guide to how to see and experience a town in 48 hours. Personally, we’re fans of exploring on a layover!
Multi Host — Pilot Guides
This is a cool series that will take you on epic adventures all over the world. The scenery in this series will inspire you to get up off the couch and start planning your next adventure.
Dhani Jones – Travel Channel
Being a huge sports fan, this is my go to for inspiration and entertainment while on the road. In fact, this was the first travel TV show that we downloaded to our iPad. Dhani is a great host, and he takes people all around in the world while he tries out the local sports related to that country. We love seeing the culture through the unique sports. That’s what makes this series entertaining and inspiring. One of our favorites!
(Season 1 & 2)
Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman – BBC 2
This is a recommendation by one of our readers, Dave. Liz and I love this series. If you are a fan of motorcycles and long road trips then this entertaining series is right up your alley. This is a great series that may not be talked about a lot, but is one that you need to check out.