Travel by TV is currently some of the only travel many of us can do right now. Not being able to travel has been tough for many. Getting some simple escapism and just time to switch off and learn about the world can be the best remedy for this feeling. And there are some great shows to take you across the globe. I’ve included some of the favourites I’m currently watching, or have watched in the last few months. They’re all available to watch right now, either on TV, on a streaming service or by catching up online. So buckle up and prepare to travel by TV.
Race Across the World, BBC Two
I’m definitely late to the party with Race Across the World, but even so, I absolutely love this show. Whilst we’re still unable to go travelling or even make some travel plans for the future, it’s interesting seeing how each team goes about travelling across the world. All without taking a single flight. Watching the contestants plan their routes, budget for their trip and balance experiences with coming first in the race is super exciting. And it’s great fun comparing game plans with your hypothetical race route. And don’t even get me started on the locations. The Bolivian Salt Flats, the Great Wall of China, Peru’s Rainbow Mountain and Greece’s capital city, Athens. That’s naming just a few across the two seasons so far. And lucky news to all your budding Race Across the World contestants out there. Applications for Season 3 are now open!
Paul Hollywood Eats Japan, Channel 4
Food and travel go hand in hand. It’s such a huge part of the experience for me and a great way to discover more about the country. And Japan has always been one of the destinations that have fascinated me. Plus I’m a huge fan of the Great British Bake Off. So Paul Hollywood Eats Japan, was bound to be a winner. During each episode Paul travels across Japan discovering regional dishes, Japanese bread and tasting tofu for the first time. The show sees him spend time in Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Okinawa and Tokyo.
The Imagineering Story, Disney+
Ok, so technically not a travel show, but The Imagineering Story 100% deserves to be on this list. This six-part series is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Disney theme parks and attractions around the world. Get an in-depth history of how one idea grew into twelve parks that span across the USA, to France, Hong Kong, Japan and China. For anyone with a love of Disney, who may or may not have been to the parks, it’s a fascinating, brutally honest look into one of the most famous companies in the world.
Sir David Attenborough Boxsets, BBC iPlayer & Netflix
When it came to including a Sir David Attenborough documentary for this post, it was difficult to feature just one. So I’m giving you free rein to watch any (or all) Sir David Attenborough shows to take you across the globe. Experience the thrilling life of sea creatures in Blue Planet, the brutality of humanity on nature and wildlife in Our Planet, or some of the most inhospitable places across the world, in Frozen Planet. Or check out some of Attenborough’s older work, including Life on Earth. Our Planet is a Netflix exclusive, but you’ll find all other boxsets on BBC iPlayer.
The Nile: Egypt’s Great River with Bettany Hughes, Channel 5
Travelling along the River Nile has always been high on my travel bucket list, ever since learning about Ancient Egypt in school. And The Nile: Egypt’s Great River with Bettany Hughes is an incredible show for anyone who wishes to visit in the future. Or just those who simply wish to find out more about this part of the world. Bettany visits the impressive Valley of the Kings to learn about Tutankhamun’s lesser-known tomb neighbours and explores Kom Ombo (the crocodile temple). She visits a lady growing the rare blue lotus flower and even catches a glimpse of Tutankhamun’s great-grandmother, a perfectly preserved mummy from 3,000 years ago.
Travel Man: 48 Hours In…, Channel 4
This Channel 4 show has been around for a while now, but for any of you who haven’t yet tuned in- or even those who just fancy a refresh- Travel Man: 48 Hours In… is a great show to travel by TV. Join IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade as he takes off on his holiday with fellow comedians, actors, DJ’S and writers. Follow him as he explores the food, art, history and culture of each city, in just 48 Hours. Find out where to grab the best meal, what sights to see and even where to stay. There are over 40 episodes to watch on All 4 and destinations visited include; Oslo, Iceland, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai, Miami and so many more.
Jamie Cooks Italy, Channel 4
Another old show, but a brilliant one for fans of food and Italy. As the name Jamie Cooks Italy suggests, watch as Jamie Oliver travels the length and breadth of Italy cooking regional dishes and learning from the locals. He is also joined on his trio by chef Gennaro Contaldo. Travel to the markets of Rome to pick up fresh produce for a homemade gnocchi recipe. Pop to Naples famed as the pizza capital of the world. Or head to the Italian Alps to pick up a recipe for pure comfort food.
These are just a few of the ways I like to travel by TV at the moment and see the world. A mixture of old and new favourites but a wonderful selection of shows to take you across the globe. Do you have a favourite TV programme that lets you travel? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for more recommendations.
Until next time.