Between endlessly hot summer days, partial lockdowns still in place across many parts of the US, and the enduring wanderlust we’ve all been having since travel has slowed to basically a halt, sometimes the perfect escape is a new binge-worthy Netflix series. And when you can’t travel the world for reals, why not travel the world from your couch? We rounded up the best travel shows and documentaries for you to binge—the incredible stories and stunning cinematography in these travel series and movies is guaranteed to make you feel like you’re really there and feed your wanderlust!
Here’s nine of our favorite travel shows and films to binge this summer:
Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown
What list of the best travel shows would be complete with Anthony Bourdain’s famous series, Parts Unknown? Discover the people, cultures, and foods that characterize both famous and lesser-known destinations around the world in 12 seasons of exploring, from Sri Lanka to South Africa, Antarctica, Budapest and more. With over 72 hours worth of episodes, this one will definitely give you something to watch and fuel your wanderlust for awhile.
Find episodes on Amazon or with Hulu Live TV or HBO Max.
If you want to experience a place, trying the street food will give you a quick (and delicious!) way to see the world through a local lens. While you may not be traveling right now, you can experience the rich culture of street food in places like Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand and more in this binge-worthy series. This docu-series focuses on a behind-the-scenes look into the people, places, flavors and sights in these vibrant cities that’ll definitely feed your wanderlust.
Catch both seasons on Netflix:
Asia | Latin America
Already finished with all the street food episodes? Dive into cultures and dishes around the world with this series following some of the best chefs from various parts of the globe. Travel around the world, meet the chefs, and learn about mouthwatering food that’s (almost) too beautiful to eat. This’ll leave you hungry for more than just traveling!
Find all six seasons on Netflix.
Into the Wild
If you’re not familiar with this story—based off the bestseller by Jon Krakauer—it’s time to sit down and watch this movie. The movie tells the story of Christopher McCandless. He was set up for a comfortable and successful life as a smart student and the son of wealthy parents. However, after having graduated at the top of his class, he decides to give up on his “normal” life and seek adventure by heading north to Alaska.
Rent it from Amazon or watch for free with STARZ.
National Parks Adventure
If you need something to help you chill out, settle in with this quick feel-good film about the National Parks. The stunning scenes and calming narration are the perfect way to chill out—and will also have you ready to plan a trip to a National Park ASAP. Three adventurers will lead you around the country in this documentary that explores and celebrates the US National Parks.
Watch it on Netflix
Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father
What happens when a stand-up comedian invites his stuffy father on a trip across the world with him? Well… this hilarious Netflix series. Join the comedic and irreverent duo on their trips to Southeast Asia, Europe and Los Angeles for the perfect distraction from real life.
Watch all three seasons on Netflix.
Watch the incredible true story of Tracy Edwards, who was just 24 years old when she led the first all-female crew to enter the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Sailing Race. They sailed from England to South America to Australia and New Zealand, back up to South America, Florida and finished up in England. You’ll be inspired and motivated by the tenacity and determination of these amazing women.
Get it from Amazon or watch it for free on Amazon with STARZ.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Hungry again? Travel around the world with Samin Nosrat to learn the secrets to cooking from places like Italy, Mexico, Japan and California. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook, or just see principles of cooking (and eating!) from cultures around the world, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a perfect binge.
Available from Netflix, 4 episodes.
If you need even more motivation, watch the story of Robyn Davidson, who wanted to set out and walk across the Australian Outback (over 1,700 miles!) with only her dog and a few camels. (Now that’s social distancing!) Davidson’s courage, love for the Australian landscape and indigenous people and endurance will definitely give you some motivation to wake up for a run tomorrow morning.
Available on Amazon
Feeling inspired and ready to start planning your dream trip? You’ve got plenty of ideas, we’ve got plenty of cheap flights.