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Travel often feels like small moments of activity surrounded by seemingly endless periods of sitting still and waiting. Twenty minutes checking into a flight followed by two hours in the departure lounge. Ten minutes boarding the plane followed by hours of sitting in an uncomfortable seat (or lying flat if your points and miles game is strong), often shadowed by an extended layover between flights.
If the destination is remote, the waiting can extend beyond hours to fill days. Our recent transit between Koh Samui, Thailand, and Nagano, Japan, required 1 ferry, 2 buses, 3 trains, 2 planes, 4 taxis, and 2 hotels over a period of three days. And, with the exception of the ferry, which allowed us to roam the decks at will, each form of transport involved sitting for hours on end, both in transit, and the periods in between waiting for connecting flights or ground transport.
One of the best ways to soak up that time, and in some cases learn more about your destination, is listening to podcasts. There's thousands of podcasts and radio shows available online, with topics ranging from news, pop culture, comedy, sport, business, gambling, home improvement, and of course our favorite — travel!
The podcasts we’ve assembled below represent just a fraction of the travel shows available on iTunes and Soundcloud, but these provide a broad mix of travel tips, destination guides, budgeting advice, points and miles know-how, a sprinkling of the latest aviation news, and interviews with unique and interesting characters within the travel industry.
One of the only dedicated points and miles podcasts on the list, the team at Abroaders focus on discount and award travel, covering topics as varied as points and miles for beginners, listener award booking success stories, rewards travel news & updates, aspirational travel, and reviews of different loyalty programs. Erik and AJ are thorough in their reviews and don’t hold back in critiquing rewards programs, airlines, apps, and destinations. A great weekly resource for any points and miles devotee.
Amateur Traveler is an award winning travel blog & podcast full of quality travel information and advice. With over 500 episodes under its belt as this goes to press, the Amateur Traveler podcast is primarily focused on destinations. Each destination covers a mix of things to see, places to go, cultural experiences, local cuisine, travel conditions on the ground, and recommended accommodation, tour, and transport operators. Destinations range from hyper-localised reviews of U.S. cities sharing where to get the best hot dogs, to reviews of remote countries such as Tibet, Ethiopia, and Micronesia. Amateur Traveler is a fantastic resource for the trip planning and idea hatching stages of travel, in addition to being a good listen, with producer Chris Christensen often hosting traveling royalty as guests to dish the goods on their favorite destinations. Super solid, reliable content without the fluff.
News, reviews, interviews, points hacks and a healthy dose of AV geek makes up the content for Dots, Lines & Destinations (DL&D). One for the industry insiders as much as for the general points and miles community, DL&D is an (almost) weekly roundup of industry news/reviews for loyalty programs within the U.S. presented by four dedicated rewards travelers including Seth Miller of Wandering Aramean and Hotel Hustle. Both entertaining and informative, the DL&D podcast is another solid resource for rewards travelers.
One for the budget traveler and loaded with tips and tricks to keep you traveling longer while reducing your overheads, Indie Travel is a personal favorite of mine. Craig and Linda Martin are a couple of Kiwis that have been on the road non-stop for over a decade, with the Indie Travel Podcast being just one part of the Indie Travel website and blog. A new episode is issued every two weeks focusing on the practicalities of world travel, opportunities to fund your travels, ethical travel, fantastic interviews from like-minded people and a healthy dose of Kiwi humor. Indie Travel is as much entertainment as it is education. Ranked the best travel podcast by Lonely Planet, Indie Travel is one of our go-to travel resources.
Rick Steves is one of the most respected authorities on European travel in the U.S. The author of numerous guidebooks and the host of his own TV travel show; Rick has an unrivaled knowledge of Europe having built his 40+ year travel career uncovering the best destinations and experiences from across the ditch. The podcast version of Rick's weekly radio show features authors and travel experts discussing different destinations, cultures, with in-depth interviews providing tips and tricks to make the most of international travel.
Whether it’s destination inspiration to get you through the week or you’re looking for an audio guide to make the most of your favorite rewards programs, podcasts are an awesome way of filling the hours spent in transit or waiting for your next flight. Have any podcasts you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
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