Why are travel podcasts so good?
Travel can be daunting and we were all beginners once, with millions of questions at one time! What’s the best backpack? …Have I packed everything I need? and How do I use a bum gun? The list goes on. Whilst you can answer almost any question thanks to the internet, sometimes you just don’t have the time to be reading countless articles.
That’s where podcasts come in. You can download these shows straight to your phone, allowing you to listen to them wherever you are and regardless of what you are doing.
But with so many podcasts about travel, where do you start? We’ve got you covered. We here at South East Asia Backpacker are big travel podcast fans so we already have a long list of favourites between us.
Using both our own experience and the advice of thousands of travellers within our Facebook community, we have put together this list of the top travel podcasts! Download them on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Spotify today.
The 15 Best Travel Podcasts for Backpackers
1. Zero To Travel
Most Notable Episode: Southeast Asia Travel: Getting Off The Banana Pancake Trail Average Show Length: 45 mins – 1 hour 30 mins
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify An American living in Norway, host Jason Moore designed this show to, as he puts it, “help you travel the world on your terms, no matter your situation or experience”.
Jason has a lifetime of travels under his belt and is friends with some of the biggest names in the industry. These connections and experiences give him great access to amazing guests such as Nomadic Matt and our own editor, Nikki Scott.
2. Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast
Most Notable Episode: Travel To Krabi, Thailand Average Show Length: 30 mins to 1 hour
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify With great pop-punk intro music and a smooth-talking host, the Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast is a fun listen, no matter where you are in your travel journey.
Each episode is based on a specific destination and features a special guest from within the travel world. The way the guests share their passion and knowledge for each location is bound to inspire you to visit destinations you had never even considered!
3. Extra Pack of Peanuts
Most Notable Episode: Is Thailand Really That Cheap? Average Show Length: 30 mins to 1 hour 30 mins
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts Extra Pack of Peanuts is all about making your travel budget stretch as far as possible. Host Travis Sherry is a master of air miles and hotel rewards and is well connected to other travel influencers.
Listen to his advice and money-saving tips or just tune in for the interesting guests. Either way, this is a show that is sure to make it into your weekly listening!
4. Location Indie
Most Notable Episode: Episode 138: Is Your Dream Lifestyle Attainable? Average Show Length: Up to 30 mins
Where To Find The Show: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Location Indie is hosted by Jason of Zero to Travel and Travis of Extra Pack of Peanuts. If you want to set up a business or earn a living on the road so you can keep travelling, this show gives great insight to the ups and downs of the remote work lifestyle, as well as potential jobs to seek out.
Whilst location independence inevitably leads to travel, this podcast is more focused on how to achieve that remote work lifestyle as opposed to destinations or other travel type episodes.
5. The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
Most Notable Episode: How To Be Bilingual Average Show Length: 30 mins
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is hosted by Amanda Kendle and features a range of short interviews with travel bloggers, writers and industry professionals.
Each episode has a specific topic and Amanda’s ability to pick out the best people to talk to is demonstrated time and time again. The sound quality can vary between interviews but you quickly stop noticing this as the content consumes you.
6. The Rough Guide To Everywhere
Most Notable Episode: How to Have a Microadventure Show Length: 20 mins to 45 mins
Whilst the hosts have changed across the seasons, this highly produced show delivers top quality information about destinations and cultures around the world. Be warned, The Rough Guide To Everywhere inflicts a serious dose of wanderlust to all listeners!
7. JUMP with Travelling Jackie
Most Notable Episode: Episode 86: Best Budget Travel Tips For Saving Money On The Road Average Show Length: 30 mins to 1 hour
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Hosted by Jackie Nourse, JUMP is all about helping you get out to explore the world. Jackie has a knack of finding some of the most interesting guests and shares the experiences and knowledge she has built up over more than a decade of travelling.
Jackie’s laid back vibe convinces even the most nervous travellers that they can do anything! If you want money-saving tips, advice on learning languages or need to know the best wild camping spots in Northern Chile, this is the podcast for you! The show in 2014 as The Budget Minded Traveller but has since rebranded.
8. Travel With Rick Steves
Most Notable Episode: Monaco; Norway’s Fjord Country; Travel Faux Pas Average Show Length: 52 mins
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Travel With Rick Steves is full of some of the most useful and up to date information available. The content is great, if not a little heavy but the delivery leaves something to be desired.
Rick Steve’s gentle voice isn’t the most engaging but he often has great information to share. Different guests bring an element of excitement to the show but if the episode topic doesn’t appeal to you, I would just skip it and wait for the next one.
9. Eye On Travel with Peter Greenberg – Formerly Travel Today
Most Notable Episode: Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California Average Show Length: 30 mins to 1 hour
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Recorded from a different location each week, Peter Greenberg’s Eye On Travel takes the boring aspects of travel and makes them interesting. Each episode focuses on a specific subject and takes a deep dive into everything you didn’t know you needed to know about the topic.
The Ontario International Airport episode, for example, dives into the drastic changes in how the airport is run and how success has come from these changes. With expert guests and Peter Greenberg’s own wealth of knowledge, this show will keep you coming back for more.
10. This Week In Travel
Most Notable Episode: Episode 97: Worlds Worst Hotel Show Length: 1 to 2 hours
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify This Week In Travel is a roundtable discussion with bloggers, podcasters and travel industry professionals. Topics are broad and as with all good round tables, things can get off subject quickly!
Whilst it doesn’t have the greatest sound quality and the content can be a tad hit or miss, this is a show for anyone wanting to keep up to date with news from the world of travel.
11. Backpack Digital
Most Notable Episode: S2E3: Guy Earnshaw – ‘A Cairns Adventure, A Coward’s Surprise’ Average Show Length: 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins
Where To Find The Show: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Backpack Digital really is a tale of two podcasts. Initially started under the name Travel Stories, the first 5 seasons involve travellers telling of their tales, in their own words, all with an amazing score, great sound effects and a quick interview with host Hayden Lee.
Season 6 follows Hayden as he travels to every European country on his beloved Harley Davidson and season 7 was supposed to cover all things travel. However, the podcast feed went silent a while ago, so who knows if we’ll ever get another episode. Even if Hayden has hung up the microphone, seasons 1-5 are some of the best podcasts I have ever listened to!
12. Deviate With Rolf Potts
Most Notable Episode: Ari Shaffir on Travel, Memory, and the Odd Psychology of Souvenirs Average Show Length: 1 to 2 hours
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Rolf Potts is like The Godfather of backpacking, his book Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel is responsible for getting many of us out of our hometowns and out into the world.
In his podcast, Deviate, Rolf Potts delivers even more of the wisdom he is famous for. With guests ranging from comedians to historians, backpackers to luxury travellers, this show has something for everyone.
13. Books And Travel
Most Notable Episode: Lake Malawi, Jerusalem, And Blue Water Sailing To Vanuatu. The Three Trips That Shaped My Life Average Show Length: 30 mins to 1 hour
Where To Find The Show: Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Host and famous self-published author Jo Frances Penn shares stories of her own travels and interviews some fascinating guests. Subjects such as cycling around the world or travelling the entire length of the Trans Siberian Express are covered in great detail by those who have completed them.
In the episodes without guests, we get to know Jo, her reasons for travelling and details about the adventures she has undertaken in her lifetime. If you’re looking for a gentle British accent to keep you entertained on the road, then this is the podcast for you!
14. World Nomads Travel Podcast
Most Notable Episode: The recent COVID19 series
Average Show Length: 15 mins to 1 hour
Brought to you by the travel insurer, World Nomads, this show features interviews with notable travellers, bloggers and industry professionals. Each episode focuses on a specific facet of travel, be it destinations, travel styles or themed trips. The show has a very professional feel to it and is more like a full radio production as opposed to the more laid back, chatty style of communication that has come to dominate podcasting.
World Nomads Travel Podcast have been bringing short daily episodes recently, focussing on the COVID19 pandemic and how it is affecting travellers as well as the whole travel industry.
15. The South East Asia Travel Show
Most Notable Episode: Backpacking & Business in SEA Average Show Length: 30 mins Where To Find The Show:Website | Spotify As the name suggests, The South East Asia Travel Show specialises in the region that attracts most of the world’s backpackers. The hosts live and work in Southeast Asia and specialise in the tourism industry.
Their experiences, combined with the sheer volume of information delivered by expert guests, makes this podcast an amazing resource, particularly for those considering working or starting a travel/tourism related business in Southeast Asia. Being relatively new, starting in January 2020, The South East Asia Travel Show does not have the large back catalogue that other travel podcasts have but the content really stands out as top notch!
More Great Podcasts…
If you’ve had your fill of travel-related podcasts but are still looking for entertainment to get you through the long bus or plane journeys that define backpacking, check out what our readers are listening to right now!
- Off Menu – Funny food podcast featuring comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster.
- No Such Thing As A Fish – A comedy podcast brought to you from the team behind QI.
- Stuff You Should Know – One of the oldest and most popular podcasts in the world, full of interesting facts and information.
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – A long-form podcast covering interesting events throughout history.
- Omnibus – Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings and Indie rockstar John Roderick recount interesting tales for future generations.
- The Joe Rogan Experience – Long-form interviews with a wide range of guests.
- Ear Hustle – A podcast produced by inmates at San Quentin State Prison showing the realities of life inside.
- The Secret Room – A podcast about the stories no one ever tells.
- The Guilty Feminist – A feminist podcast recorded in front of a live studio audience, covering all things feminism.
- On Purpose with Jay Shetty – An interview show with market leaders and industry professionals from many walks of life.
- Secular Buddhism – A podcast for secular-minded folks wanting to learn about Buddhism.
- Ted Radio Hour – A podcast featuring audio clips from Ted Talks and interviews with those giving the talks.
- The Independent Music Podcast – This show introduces listeners to new music from around the world.
- The Disclosure Podcast – A very pro-vegan communication podcast.
- The Infinite Monkey Cage – Comedy science podcast featuring Professor Brian Cox.
- Tim Ferris Podcast – Interview show designed to help listeners gain the skills and form the habits they need to succeed.
- Guys We F****d – A feminist comedy podcast focused on sex and sexual health.
- In The Dark – Investigative journalism podcast based on true crime.
- The NoSleep Podcast – A series of highly produced horror stories.
- Science Vs – An easily accessible science communication podcast.
- My Favourite Murder – One of the first and most popular true crime podcasts focusing on bloody murders.
- The Dollop – A bi-weekly American history podcast that comes out once a week.
- Decoder Ring – A show about cultural icons and phenomenon throughout history.
- How Did This Get Made – In this podcast, the hosts sit down with comedians and watch films so bad that they’re good.
- How I Built This – Follow the story of entrepreneurs and how they found success.
- The 27 Club – A podcast focusing on the lives of musicians who died at the age of 27.
- The Secret History Of The Future – History podcast looking into things that have been forgotten or glossed over by society.
There are thousands more podcasts available and this is just a small selection of what backpackers are listening to today. If you have found a podcast that you cannot get enough of, head over to our Facebook community page and let us know so we can add it to the list!