Most avid travelers experienced a decline in their favorite hobby last year. But exciting adventures, new cuisine, and beautiful landscapes are still accessible to us all via our favorite travel shows. Explore the world from the comfort of your couch with these travel shows you can stream right now.
1. Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy
Hulu, CNN On Demand
Take a guided tour of Italy with host Stanley Tucci as he travels from Naples to Rome, sampling cuisine and learning about Italian history and culture along the way. The Devil Wears Prada and Hunger Games actor takes on a new role as host, telling personal stories as he is joined by his wife and friends. Inspired by his own Italian heritage, Tucci is so passionate about his journey through the country and the food that he’s tasting, viewers will feel like they’re on the Amalfi Coast themselves. Season one is currently airing on CNN and available on Hulu. A second season has already been planned for 2022.
2. Down To Earth With Zac Efron
While Zac Efron’s adventure show may not be the ultimate in high-brow entertainment, the High School Musical star’s charisma and enthusiasm make Down to Earth an incredibly fun watch. The actor, joined by wellness guru Darin Olien, travels the globe, attempting to learn about sustainability and the environment. He also samples local cuisines and shamelessly indulges in the local tourist activities. All of season one is available now on Netflix, and filming for a second season has already begun.
3. Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted
Watch Gordon Ramsay travel the world, learning old-world methods of cooking from locals, in his new food-based travel show on Disney +. In Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, viewers experience the chef abandoning his reputation as a loud, hyper-critical judge. Instead, he spends his time learning new techniques and trying new food, incredibly excited to be there and impressed by every meal he tries. Each episode features a new location and new group of welcoming locals excited to share the history of their food. There are two seasons available already, with season three set to air in mid-2021.
4. Our Planet
Narrated by David Attenborough, Netflix’s Our Planet offers an in-depth exploration of the world’s habitats, focusing on the effects of climate change and global warming. While the thesis of the documentary is science-based, the creators’ clear passion for nature shines through. The visuals are absolutely breathtaking, and the show itself is self-reflective and inspirational. With footage from 50 countries, episodes cover jungles, deserts, forests, and virtually every landscape imaginable, virtually guaranteeing a deep dive into any viewer’s favorite destination.
5. Taste The Nation With Padma Lakshmi
Explore the United States with Food Network personality Padma Lakshmi as she seeks to understand the connection between U.S. food and U.S. culture. Every episode features a different American city, where Lakshmi meets with immigrants from around the world, seeking to understand how the diversity of the country’s chefs has shaped what we define as American cuisine. This one-season series is a moving, emotional exploration of culture, heritage, and identity, available for streaming on Hulu.
6. Long Way Up
Reunited for their third joint travel adventure show, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman go on an ambitious motorcycle ride in Apple TV’s Long Way Up. Starting in Ushuaia, a city at the tip of South America, the two friends ride for more than 100 days and 13,000 miles, crossing borders and country lines, making their way into Argentina, Chile, and Peru, all the way up to Central America and Mexico. Fans of Long Way Round and Long Way Down will love this third installment, all of which is available for streaming.
7. Street Food
For another food-based travel show, try Netflix’s Street Food, and its two available seasons, Street Food: Asia and Street Food: Latin America. Each episode takes place in a different city, with interviews of three to four street food chefs and their featured dishes. This show takes a deep dive not only into the cuisine, but primarily into the people who make it, emphasizing the journey of the individual cooks. The featured dishes are often region-specific and emblematic of the conditions and circumstances of both the city and the chef. The show focuses on the vendors’ backstories, teaching viewers about local poverty, history, culture, and identity.
These are just a starting point; there are a lot more shows out there worth a look. All you have to do is go on a surf vacation from the comfort of your couch.
Editor’s Note: Can't get enough virtual travel? Jordan Palmer has more on Beeyonder, the new travel company created so anyone can travel the world.