In 2021, there are two types of people. One hopped on a plane the minute Boris gave the green light, the other is patiently waiting (who are we kidding – desperately longing) to holiday overseas, but giving it a little while before they head abroad. Whichever camp you’re in, it’s safe to say the past 18 months have clipped our wings. With winter cruises back on the agenda at last, we wanted to provide some destination inspiration in the form of five of our favourite travel podcasts.


Travel journalist Holly Rubenstein takes the top spot in our roundup of the best travel podcasts with The Travel Diaries, a deep dive into her guests’ seven ‘chapters’ of travel memories. Past guests have included Sir Trevor McDonald, Dr Jane Goodall, Simon Reeve, Sir Michael Palin and Lonely Planet founder, Tony Wheeler, and as you’d expect from such a well-travelled crowd there are many stories to be told. We love the way it explores how travel shapes us as a person. In Holly’s words ‘it’s wanderlust, guaranteed!’

SIMON CALDER Independent Travel

Does anyone know travel quite like the Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder? We aren’t sure they do. Fortunately, he shares a wealth of travel knowledge in his daily podcast Simon Calder’s Independent Travel Podcast, a by-product of the Covid pandemic and its far-reaching effect on where we can and can’t go on holiday. Each daily podcast episode is just a few minutes long; we like to listen while we make our morning coffee.


From the creators of Desert Island Discs comes Excess Baggage, a BBC Radio 4 podcast brimming with travellers’ tales. Episodes date back to 2012 but the experiences within are as relevant today as they were then. Combining geographical, historical and cultural elements, it’s a really interesting listen.


The Conde Nast Traveller podcast is armchair travel at its finest. It came about during the first lockdown back in 2020, its transportative storytelling whisking us away to all the places we were dreaming about. Escape Routes sees soul-stirring travel stories read by the writers who wrote them for the magazine and all are evocative escapes from reality.


AFAR describes its podcast as ‘your ticket to the world – no passport required’ and Travel Tales is just that; virtual transportation to Paris, Bali, Tokyo, Venice and more magnetic locales. Stories are told of people who took a trip and came back changed. If travel to you means new perspectives and new stories, Travel Tales by AFAR will strike a chord and leave you longing for conversations with strangers in countries never yet seen.