We may not be able to physically travel right now but lockdown is the perfect opportunity to plan trips for the future, do research and gather inspiration. Here are 12 travel podcasts that will take you around the world with explorers, journalists and local insiders. Jenny Southan reports

1. The Carry On

Hosted by travel writers Tracey Davies and Rose Dykins (who is also a Globetrender contributor), along with travel PR Michelle McCarthy, The Carry On is an award-wanting travel podcast that “unpacks battered suitcases to bring listeners travel tidbits and inside tips on the hottest destinations”. Episodes cover interrail trips around Europe,  “quokka bothering” in Australia and bison-spotting in the “Eden of Europe”.

2. Portland, Unpacked

TV host, producer and actor Faustina Agolley transports listeners to the streets of Portland as she reveals all the things that make the city unique, including its micro farms, distilleries and music scene. There are six episodes in the series and the first explores the journey Portland took in becoming the alternative city it is today.

3. Yosemite Voices 

Learn more about the history of Tuolumne County and Yosemite through this five-part podcast series, which provides insight into the natural and cultural history of the national park, and the lives and lifestyles of the people who live and work there. Episode one features an interview with Kurt Fristrup, a senior acoustic specialist who talks about the effect of noise on predator-prey relationships and shares some unique recordings of what lies in the wilderness.

4. I’ll Call You Right Back

Chad is just a regular guy from Pittsburgh with a podcast focused on real, raw stories. Every week, he sits down with family, friends, business owners, comedians and artists to talk about current events, pop culture and how they got to where they are today. Guests include Pittsburgh magazine editor and food critic Hal B Klein, spray artist Matt Spahr and local hockey player Chad Uddstrom.

5. California Now

The California Now podcast from the Visit California tourist board explores the people and places that make California amazing, with the help of travel experts, chefs, local guides and Olympic athletes. Episodes for dream trip inspiration include “Fascinating Road Trips” and “Ski and Snowboard”.

6. The Masterpiece Minute

This 60-second micro podcast is led by curators at the San Diego Museum of Art who talk about masterpieces by artists such as Juan Sánchez Cotán and Diego Rivera, and share the stories and historical context behind them.

7. Uncharted: Seattle 

Uncharted: Seattle is a five-part podcast that delves into the lives of five creative locals who are breaking new ground. Episodes features the likes of African American chef Edouardo Jordan and Latina choreographer Alicia Mullikin.

8. The Out There Colorado Podcast

The Out There Colorado Podcast focuses on outdoor recreation with each episode giving an insight into different happenings across the state, from meeting someone who survived after getting lost hiking Mount Shavano, to discussing how the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was formed.

9. Wander Woman

The Wander Woman podcast is an “audio travel magazine” from award-winning travel writer and adventurer Phoebe Smith. She takes listeners to “off-the-beaten track places, reveals wild spaces in unlikely destinations and discovers the world’s best wildlife encounters”.

10. Wine Road: The Wine, When and Where of Northern Sonoma County

Anyone curious about visiting Sonoma can learn everything there is to know about Wine Country. Episodes include an interview with the Sainis, a fourth-generation family of Sonoma County grape growers that have been farming grapes in both the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys for over 100 years.

11. The California Innovation Tour on Ctrl Alt Delete

Author Emma Gannon travels down the California coastline meeting some of the Golden State’s most forward-thinking female dreamers and pioneers, including authors Caroline Kepnes and Taylor Jenkins Reid, skateboarder Sarah Thompson, and Headspace chief science officer Dr Megan Jones-Bell. Listen to Emma talk with her guests about how life in California lets them achieve their dreams.

12. The Armchair Explorer

Host Aaron Millar is an award-winning travel writer, journalist and author. The Armchair Explorer is adventure storytelling set to music and cinematic effects. Each episode sees one of the world’s greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road, covering the likes of climbing Everest, space walks and gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

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