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The 8 Best Travel Shows and Documentaries on Netflix

Many of us are now vaccinated and boosted, travel restrictions are loosening up in some places, so who knows? 2022 might be the year many of us start traveling again. While jumping on an airplane (or even being in an airport) may not sound appealing at the moment, there’s no doubt many of us are missing the awe and adventure of exploring new places. Enter technology and its ability to nurture that wanderlust. No doubt, our staycations are a lot more enjoyable and safer when living vicariously through the best travel shows on Netflix.

We’ve also curated the best travel shows from Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more, just in case Netflix is not your primary streaming service. After you view stunning panoramic shots of the U.S. National Parks, delicacies from far-off places, and feats of human bravery, you might feel a little bit better about staying at home.

If you like all kinds of docs, we’ve got you covered with Netflix documentaries (or maybe you’re just really into crime docs and action flicks). We also have an overall guide on the best Netflix movies and Netflix shows.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron (2020)

Down to Earth with Zac Efron
60 %
8/10
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Zac Efron, Darin Olien
If you’re looking for a new travel show to binge on, Down to Earth is exactly what you need. Zac Efron travels around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to highlight different sustainable ways of living. By shining a light on solutions to problems rather than the problems themselves, this docuseries has an overall positive message. And Efron’s bro-like presence only makes it more enjoyable.

The Chef Show (2019)

The Chef Show
8.2/10
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Documentary
Cast Jon Favreau, Roy Choi
Created by Jon Favreau
This wonderful show all began during the filming of director and actor Jon Favreau’s hit movie, Chef. Roy Choi had been brought on as a consultant for the film and the two ended up bonding over the cooking process. Throughout the series, the lighthearted duo travels around the country cooking with celebrities and famous chefs. They also showcase a variety of delicious recipes, taking you step-by-step through the process along the way. The Chef Show is also one of our top picks for the best cooking shows on Netflix right now.

Street Food Collection (2020)

Street Food Collection
8.0/10
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast David Gelb, Brain McGinn
Created by David Gelb
This Netflix series from the creators of Chef’s Table will explore a different region each season. We start off on the streets of much of Asia — Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and more — to see the carts, stalls, and markets that folks visit on the go, in the middle of the night, or even every day. Unlike other food shows, Street Food spends each episode highlighting the intense personal connection between the meals and the people who make them. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds, then pretend you can smell all the smells.

Tales by Light (2015)

Tales by Light
8.3/10
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Documentary
Created by Abraham Joffe
All of the most potent documentary films, in-depth magazine features, and stirring nonfiction works have someone to thank: The person behind the camera. Photographers are often left out of the spotlight because they’re too busy searching for the next perfect shot (and, you know, taking it). Tales By Light, which began as a short series from Canon and evolved into a partnership with National Geographic, introduces you to one amazing photographer in each episode and takes you along his or her next journey to capture elusive wildlife, unique communities, and heartfelt themes. The almost metaphysical look through the lens at another person looking through a lens encourages you to see the subject matter in a slightly different light (no pun on the show’s name intended).

Dark Tourist (2018)

Dark Tourist
60 %
7.5/10
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Documentary
Cast Sebastián Treviño, David Farrier
Created by Carthew Neal, David Farrier, Polly Fryer, Mark McNeill
Cults, rituals, gangs, war zones, crime scenes, and ancient ruins. In this documentary, our host, David Farrier, travels the world in search of the dark, the devious, and the dastardly. Unlike the other features in this list, this series will show a whole new side of tourism, where the darkest sides of humanity are shown all around the world.

Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream (2022)

Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream
6.8/10
1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Darice Chang, Kathy Cheng, Brian Hioe

In a new, original series from Netflix, Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream details the exciting and ever-changing night life of multiple Asian countries. With each episode, we see a different, thriving Metropolis that comes alive for travelers as well as locals. The camera crew will follow a few, quirky individuals who are either a part of the entertainment or simply choose to take part in it on a very regular basis.

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (2017)

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father
7.6/10
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Reality
Cast Jack Whitehall, Michael Whitehall
Created by Jack Whitehall
Would you travel through foreign countries with your dad? Comedian Jack Whitehall drags his father, Michael, around on unlikely adventures that force them both out of their comfort zones. Their difference in tastes causes some interesting (and often funny) disagreements. For example: One of them wants to stay in a hostel. The other wants to stay in a five-star hotel. Who do you think wins?

Lorena, Light-footed Woman (2019)

Lorena, Light-footed Woman
7/10
tv-g
Genre Documentary
Cast Lorena Ramirez
Ultrarunners and marathoners are notoriously gear-obsessed. Who doesn’t want the latest technology in shoes, clothes, and snacks? Lorena Ramírez bucks that trend completely. The Mexican native competes in her indigenous garb: Sandals and skirts.

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