10 Travel/Adventure Podcasts that Deserve a Listen

First of all, if you don’t listen to podcasts, consider starting. They’re great for commutes, workouts, mindless office jobs, and housework. You can find podcasts on just about any topic you enjoy; there’s one for everyone. I listen to about 25-30 different shows on a regular basis including most of the following. Looking for some travel inspiration and tips or just something to pass the time? Check these out!

1) Zero to Travel Podcast

The Zero to Travel Podcast is a wonderful place to start for aspiring travelers looking for ideas and inspiration. In it, Jason Moore interviews a ton of travelers to explore budget travel and different methods of becoming location independent. You can also glean information and ideas for trips. Just be careful to not get burnt out by listening to too many episodes.

2) The Amateur Travel Podcast

This podcast published by Chris Christensen is perfect if you’re looking to take one or two trips a year and want to get the most out of your destinations. The Amateur Travel Podcast probably won’t become a podcast you listen to regularly for entertainment, but it’s great for researching a location or gauging interest in a trip you’re considering that Chris has discussed.

3-4) Lore and Haunted Places podcasts.

Both of these shows are technically separate from travel, but I always find myself hoping to visit all the locations involved. Anyone interested in mysteries, ghosts, hauntings, dark tourism, monsters, etc. should try these podcasts. They may give you some insight on superstitions and history of places you would like to visit or inspire you to travel to see these haunted or mysterious destinations. Plus, they deliver enthralling narratives, especially Lore which is produced by professional novelist Aaron Mahnke.

5) Indie Travel Podcast

This one is entertaining, inspirational, and helpful for planning any future trips to the same places. Craig and Linda Martin are a dynamic husband and wife team who share their adventures and pragmatic travel tips to get you exploring too.

6) Outside Podcast

Outside Podcast by Outside Magazine has a couple of different series that podcast lovers should capitalize on. They began with the Science of Survival series where tales of harrowing escapes from impending death will keep you on the edge of your seat. Then they released the Outside Interview which is, well, obviously an interview format show featuring insane adventurers. Dispatches cover just about anything in the world of Outside. These shows consolidated onto one feed will bring a little excitement into your morning commute or your rainy day in the office.

7) Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast

Ever wanted to know how to travel for cheap and get more trips for less money? This podcast by Travis Sherry will tell you how and captivate your attention at the same time. Travis learned all the intricate ins and outs of traveling via airline miles and reward points, nearly eliminating the biggest travel expense of all: plane tickets. By flying virtually for free, he opened the world up for his family and him.

8) The Dirtbag Diaries

Produced by a company called Duct Tape Then Beer, this incredible show has been in my library since I first got hooked on podcasts. Feature episodes focus on some overarching theme within an adventure story or experience. “The Shorts” episodes offer great, inspiring stories in about 10 to 20 minutes. The Dirtbag Diaries is growing—not surprisingly—and every new team member brings another dimension to the gripping stories they tell. My recommendation: Start at the first episode and work your way to the present. It’s that good.

9) Find Dining Podcast

This podcast by Taste Trekkers is ideal for foodies’ whose primary travel goal is exquisite (or cultural) cuisine. It’s also great for regular travelers just looking for good eats. I don’t listen to episodes one after another for the entertainment, but I think it’s perfect for trip research. Just search for your next travel destination in the show archives and get ready to plan a tasty adventure.

10) Travel with Rick Steves

This is your basic travel and culture podcast. Rick Steves mostly interviews authors on various topics and places they’ve recently written about. This isn’t necessarily a low budget or off the beaten path podcast, but it can be a solid source for ideas, especially as a start. It focuses on food and culture but also hits on the outdoors, community, history, and more. I prefer selectively listening to this show based on where I’m hoping to go much like the Find Dining Podcast. Rick Steves can be a little cheesy, but it’s well worth a listen.

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants: When to Plan Your Travels

When aircraft first became suitable for long distance flight, pilots usually relied on compasses and other instruments as well as detailed flight plans to navigate the airways. Around that time in 1938, Douglas Corrigan made a transatlantic crossing in piece-of-junk plane with a broken compass and apparently no instruments, flight plan, or radio. After the flight from USA to Ireland a newspaper described him as a pilot who “flies by the seat of his pants,” meaning he relied solely on perception, intuition, and skill to fly successfully. Sometimes as travelers we should emulate Corrigan and use our instinct to navigate amazing experiences, and sometimes we need a detailed flight plan.

Based on our personalities, we all lean towards being either spontaneous decision-makers or planners. This definitely holds true when dealing with travel. Some people will plan a three day trip a year in advance down to the minute while others may take a spur-of-the-moment two week road trip without knowing where they’ll sleep the first night. As with all things in life, most of us fall somewhere between the extremes. However, sometimes we find ourselves questioning our choices. Should I have planned more? Could I have gotten more out of that trip? Was my itinerary too restrictive? Did my schedule cause me to miss a cool opportunity? Instead of dwelling on these potential regrets in hindsight, consider these four factors when determining how much planning your next journey needs.

1) What is your goal?

Ultimately this may be the most important factor to consider when planning or choosing to wing it. Ask yourself, “Why am I going to this place?” To enjoy culture? To relax? To check off a hike, mountain, or environmental experience (Machu Pichu, Great Barrier Reef, etc.)? To discover unique, exquisite food and drink? The list of goals is endless, but they all fall somewhere on the spectrum of planning requirements. If your goal is to experience Alaska’s wilderness by backcountry camping in Denali, you have to submit a detailed itinerary to the backcountry station to even receive a permit, not to mention pack in all the essentials needed for survival. However, if your goal is to escape work for a week and relax at the beach, all you have to do is reserve some kind of lodging and get there, no plan required. Want to experience culture in Cuba? You won’t find it in the resorts. Instead you have to stay in “casas particulares,” BnB’s ran by private citizens. This actually requires some planning; you have to have proof that you are staying in a hotel or a casa particular the first night of your stay to enter the country. After the first night, spontaneously traveling around the country and staying in a casa particular wherever you end up is a wonderful way to explore Cuba.

2) How close is your destination?

This one is simple to evaluate. Are you visiting a place nearby (within a short or moderate drive) that will be easy to return to? If so, then don’t worry about plans. Just go check the place out. Explore. Ask locals what you should do and where you should eat. If you fail to find the experiences you were hoping for, you can easily try again later with a solid plan. If you’re flying somewhere far away, maybe you should consider creating a plan because it could be a long time before you have the chance to return. For example, I’ve had several day trips or one night excursions to Asheville and Nashville, both of which are just over two hours from Knoxville where I live. These trips require little more planning than having a general idea of what you want to do in the city. For anyone whose long-distance travel may be limited to once every year or so, a two-week excursion to Scotland may require more planning than just showing up and asking locals where to start.

3) What will this trip cost you?

Like proximity, cost is major factor in my planning strategies. Detailed plans can be used to keep costs low in the first place. However, if your costs are high—maybe an expensive flight is necessary—then I suggest developing a plan to get the most out of your trip. Create goals and a plan to accomplish them so that your trip is definitely worth the price. If you’re able to cut out major expenses for a cheap trip or have some free time to explore a new place, getting lost in a city and finding your way around by talking to locals and making new friends can be the experience of a lifetime. And for some people, this is even the most rewarding way to enjoy any adventure.

4) How much time do you have?

Lastly, I listed time as a factor to consider. Do you have three weeks in France, or three days? Personally I would spend my three days on a carefully considered itinerary of my must-do goals. But with three weeks, there is a ton of time to see where conversations, connections, and your instincts take you while exploring.

Remember, while I have listed these concepts separately, they are all interconnected and meant to be considered together. One’s personality and personal preference should also be taken into account, but I urge everyone to take a look at methods different from your usual. You may find ways to incorporate them into your preferences or maybe even adopt them completely.