Great Netflix Travel Documentaries You’re Missing Out On

White background Netflix

As an average income 20-something, I can’t afford to travel all the time. Thankfully, I live in a gorgeous city where I can take quick afternoon breaks, but when I’m lounging at home and just want to chill, here are some of my favorite Netflix travel documentaries to gather inspiration from.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the money you will spend buying flights around the world once you get too hyped on the wonder of it all. 

Top 5 Netflix Travel Documentaries:

Netflix Tales By Light

1. Tales By Light

3 Seasons (2015 – Present)

Explore the unseen places of the world with photographers, professional scuba divers, and non-profit CEOs. Each are fulfilling their passions for giving a voice to the invisible,  protecting natural ecology, and developing young artists.

With 3 seasons worth of content, there are plenty of topics to choose from. My personal favorite episode is in season 3, “Children in Need” highlighting the strain that children in Bangladesh encounter daily from the eyes of a National Geographic photographer. If you’re looking for inspiration and renewal of compassion, this Netflix travel documentary is for you.

Netflix street food

2. Street Food (2019)

An adorable peek into the real lives of street food vendors from around the globe. Highlights include Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan. As a brand new release at the end of 2019, the cinematography is engaging and the story line is compelling. 

The Netflix staff goes beyond the recipes and explores what makes the street food vendors passionate about their creations. Not to mention, you’ll end every episode looking for authentic street food delivery options to keep the drool in your mouth. 

Netflix jack whitehall travels

3. Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

2 Seasons (2017, 2018)

British comedian Jack Whitehall adds yet another layer of snarky, dry humor in this new brand of travel show. His father, Michael Whitehall seems almost too stuffy British to be real and it is hilarious! 

The premise of the show is that adult child Jack decides to do a 10-years later “gap year” experience… and takes his 65+ year old father with him. Watch them argue over hostels, street food, and cultural experiences and challenge yourself to not be a Michael Whitehall on your next adventure. Unless you go to a resort, then definitely sip your tea by the infinity pool a la Michael Whitehall.

Netflix dark tourist

4. Dark Tourist (2018)

This Netflix travel documentary goes far beyond the blue waters of the typical Maldives vacation. Check out the scary parts of the world that aren’t on the tourist maps like nuclear bomb sites, caves of bones, and haunted forests.

Follow journalist David Farrier and get engaged with the lesser known and unseen parts of the world. Plan your own dark tourism trip if it piques your interest!

Netflix our planet

5. Our Planet (2019)

A spinoff of BBC’s Planet Earth series, this Netflix travel documentary is a calming look at the Earth’s creatures and ecosystems. Travel between deserts, shallow seas, and the arctic tundra in minutes and witness the true wonders of the natural world.

For a look at night ecosystems, check out Night on Earth as a second component to this series. My husband Mitchell and I love putting on one of these episodes in the evening to help us wind down before bed. 

Final Review:

Hopefully these seasons of TV shows will keep you busy for at least a few weeks! These are some of the best ways I’ve found to inspire myself to begin researching my next travel destinations. Use your screen time to immerse yourself in this big blue planet we live in!

Happy planning!

Pinterest Netflix Travel Docs

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  1. Ashley on April 16, 2020 at 2:45 am

    These all look so interesting! I’m gonna have to definitely check out Our Planet.

    • Megan on April 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm

      It’s a really great one when you’ve already seen and loved Planet Earth!

  2. Brittany on April 16, 2020 at 3:37 am

    Love Planet Earth! And I can’t wait to watch the Street Food series. That’s my jam right there.

    • Megan on April 16, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      It’s sooo neat! I love that they included the real stories of the people who MAKE the food, not just the ingredients!

  3. Amber m Sherman on April 16, 2020 at 4:28 am

    this is great, I def want to look into the first one! Another one is Night on earth. I was addicted that show. So good. Great list to get out in the world when we cant actually go to a place.

    • Megan on April 16, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      We love that one too! I almost died of joy when the adorable blind desert mole showed up! SO CUTE!

  4. Julie Ruhl on April 16, 2020 at 4:32 am

    We’ve watched most of these, but we still need to watch Tales by Light. I’ve heard really good things

    • Megan on April 16, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      It’s a really great one that has a bit more artistic focus than the others!

  5. Kanupriyaa on April 17, 2020 at 8:09 am

    These are such cool documentaries! Netflix has some pretty good stuff on travel

    • Megan on May 8, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      They really do, I’ve been pleasantly surprised!

  6. ChildrenofWanderlust on April 17, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Some great suggestions. I’ve not seen any of these so will have a look tonight. ?

    • Megan on May 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      Yay, glad to hear it!

  7. […] We still don’t plan on having children of our own but highly consider adopting someday. San Diego is still our home base where we enjoy beach trips, mountain hiking, traveling to new places, and are still watching a lot of Planet Earth documentaries. […]

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