Great Netflix Travel Documentaries You’re Missing Out On
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!