The year 2020 will go down in history as the year that the world stood still. Travel bloggers started talking about and taking photos around their hometowns; gardens all over the world received makeovers, and planes were grounded as the travel industry was quite literally put on pause.
Travel restrictions have made getting away in 2020 near impossible, with those taking the leap to go abroad facing uncertainty around quarantining, social distancing and sudden border closures. With so many of us itching to get away but finding ourselves bound to our hometowns, we have turned to Netflix for the travel goods – and luckily, the streaming network has not disappointed.
Here are just a handful of the best shows Netflix has recently released to satisfy those travel urges.
Down to Earth: with Zac Efron
This programme, launched in the summer of 2020, saw the Hollywood heart throb pick up his bags and head to various destinations around the world, with each episode focussing on a different location and a different overriding theme. One of the most memorable episodes included an in-depth look at water and how (believe it or not) somewhere in France there exists a place which hires water sommeliers – able to explain the distinct differences between water types all over the world.
This programme gives us a good look at the sustainable efforts of different cultures and communities, while introducing us to cuisine and viewpoints from all over the world. A good, if a little random, use of Zac Efron’s time and fame.
Restaurants on the Edge
If you travel for food and local cuisines, then this is the show for you – and may even help you plan your travels for the future once borders are reopened again. The premise of the programme is to help struggling eateries, by connecting them with their local culture and ensuring that the dishes served are as glorious and memorable as the views that surround them.
A very feel-good programme which reminds us of the importance of local community cultures and influences, this is a show which will make you want to really get stuck in to understanding the next place you visit – through both food and everything that comes with it.
Targeting a completely different audience, this Netflix special is perfect for those who love interiors and who really put time and effort into selecting the best accommodation and location for their holidays. Whether it’s a cliffside rental home, a luxury floating suite atop a canal or river, a 5 star boutique room in a secluded hotel, or a villa right in the heart of the community, this show explores some of the most eye-catching rental homes around the USA. Using the expertise of real estate experts to renovate and turn simple homes in showstopping stays, this show is completely and unashamedly American from head to foot, with fantastic introductions to some of the states’ most notable locations.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Another one for the foodies, this show takes Chef Anthony Bourdain and plants him in a series of locations around the world, to sample the local cuisine and explore new places through his stomach. The perfect programme to satisfy the tastebuds of those who like to experience new places through tastes and flavours, this one will have you reaching for a cookbook and trying out some of the incredible things that Bourdain introduces the viewer to.
National Parks Adventure
If, for you, a holiday is all about exploring and adventure, then this USA-set Netflix show will be right up your street. Including an in-depth look and exploration of some of the USA’s most famous national parks, this programme is narrated by the famous Robert Redford and is a great way to look at and enjoy some of the untamed American wilderness from the comfort of your own home.
Jack Whitehall: Adventure with my Father
Offering a comedic look at family travel, this Netflix special plants the British comedian and his father in some of the world’s most interesting locations, giving the viewer the rare perspective of new cultures from both Jack (a 30-something comedian) and his Father.
The mix of comedy and interesting travel highlights makes this a much-watch for the family, as Jack and his Father experience a plethora of activities available in different holiday destinations and introduce us to places through a whole new set of eyes.
One of the most interesting shows to make the list, this programme visits popular destinations but then takes the viewer behind the scenes to the little known and under-visited “dark tourism” spots – including cult life in Mexico, atomic swimming experiences, and radiation sites.
Think of the most unconventional bucket list in the world, then put it on Netflix, and you basically have the premise of Dark Tourist.
Our Planet (and basically anything else by David Attenborough)
He’s the hero of our natural world, having been working to protect it and educate us about it for the majority of his career. This show by David Attenborough, like all his others, seeks to revel and showcase the majesty and beauty of nature, with underlying warnings which hint at the uncertain and worrying future which faces much of our natural world. It’s a realistic and harrowing look at the reality of the world around us, but Attenborough does it in such a way that the show is also full of wonder, love and nature’s magic – letting the viewer enjoy the spectacular views and shifts in some of our most treasured landscapes.