Let’s hear it for travel podcasts!

With more and more families opting for multi-generational holidays together, it’s important to get everyone on the same page before you head out. The right podcasts can be useful to get kids and seniors excited about travel, prepare them for what to expect, and to keep them entertained on long journeys. Follow our guide to choosing the best travel podcasts…

Travelling with the extended family has become a real post-pandemic trend. Families kept apart for over 20 months are now reuniting for vacations of value. This means three generations (or more) reconnecting over a staycation. Travel podcasts are a great way to gear everyone up for the upcoming trip. Especially so for the kids and seniors in the family. Relatively easier to navigate and access for both age groups — with reduced screen time and, thus, parental anxiety — podcasts help create enthusiastic travellers. And, of course, for everyone to pick up vital facts and trivia along the way!

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Podcasts provide entertainment as well as information to children and teens during long journeys. Image: Shutterstock/asife.

There are hundreds of travel podcasts out there that take you on audio journeys around the world and back. Most podcasters do define their listener groups and curate content specific to their target listeners. Apart from digital nomads, solo travellers and female travellers, family travel is a major niche for podcasters. Travel podcasts for kids are also a vast offering, with fascinating shows created for young minds and imaginations.

Picking the right podcast

Factor in these points while selecting podcasts for kids or senior citizens:

Duration: Fidgety kids on a road trip may lend their ears for 20 minutes at the most. You don’t want them to miss the sights altogether by engaging them for longer. Seniors, however, would be more patient listeners so 30- to 40-minute episodes are good.

Content: Obvious factor but still needs elaboration! Select a podcast that’s age-appropriate for kids as per their specific age groups. Young adults don’t want to be patronised. Neither do seniors want things dumbed down. So, a fun, casual podcast style is best. Also, international podcasters’ accents should be intelligible for both sets of listeners!

COVID-related information: COVID-19 information of relevance, especially when travelling international would help in a travel podcast. It’s handy to know the current practices that locals approve or not, as well as the general mood of the people living there.

Try these out for starters…

Here are some travel podcasts to add to your listening library as you gear up for the big fat family vacation.

The Musafir Stories: Hosted by the travelling duo of Faiza Khan and Saif Omar, The Musafir Stories brings together Indie travellers sharing their unique revelations from all corners of the country. A blend of accessible locations, which are great to unwind with the family’s seniors, makes this a great show to tune in to. The TMS approach is to ‘reach out to a mix of people to understand the breadth, length and depth of travel’, says Saif, regarding the curation of guest speakers on the podcast. The simplicity of language and narration, authentic information and recommendations appeal to those who would appreciate something off-beat but not too physically strenuous.

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Saif Omar and Faiza Khan of The Musafir Stories. Image: Courtesy TMS. 

For instance, for someone who may have had their fill of Goa’s beaches or inland locations over the years, Islands of Goa with ‘Nomadographer’ Stuti Bhadauria is a charming travel podcast leading to quaint discoveries of Chorao, Divar and St Estevam.

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Chorao, Divar Island, St Estevam: Podcast by The Musafir Stories. Image: Courtesy Stuti Bhaduria www.nomadographer.com

Another great show on TMS is The Secret Miracles of Landour by Akash Mehrotra. Heritage, history, and happy trails bring alive a scenic three-day vacation to appeal to the seniors in the family!

Thoughtful Travel: Perth-based Amanda Kendle’s podcast Thoughtful Travel is the show that goes several steps beyond the when-how-where routine of travelogues. After her successful Not A Ballerina travel blog, she brings together two or three bloggers, artists and travellers to chat about a specific travel experience. Rather than being location-specific, TT is about travel being a medium of impact and change for travellers, the places they go to and the people they go with. Episode 209: Travelling with Grandchildren brings together three different grandparents who travelled with one, two and even 10 grandchildren and created trips to treasure in the process! Any grandparent would anticipate the challenges and appreciate the cherish-able nuances of venturing into the world with their tots. Listening to this show will surely generate sufficient excitement.

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Mick Sullivan, whose podcasts are a hit with kids everywhere. Image: Courtesy Megan Schanie.

The Past & The Curious: This one is for young adults. This is also a history podcast. But it will not make eyes roll. Instead, endearing content of this travel podcast wins them over. Educator and multi-faceted American artist, Mick Sullivan, creates engaging shows that are, in his words, ‘a direct extension of working with children and realising the things that they like’. These leave the young ones tickled, engrossed, and enriched with fascinating details of historical figures, foods, and locales. All with stories researched and written by Kentucky-based Sullivan and produced by his talented PATC team. There’s humour and song in 25- to 30-minute episodes. Food Tales: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Ice-Cream Cornucopias and Chicken offers universal appeal. Hittin’ the Road: Niagara leaves you amazed at humankind’s abilities and Telescopes and Stars makes the story of science a great road-trip companion.

PATC’s success lies in its authenticity and an honest desire to address listeners as aware and mature individuals. It creates a circle of trust and respect as the artist and his audience travel the world for all its wonders.

Must Read: Adventure novels that promise to make travel exciting for kids

Circle Round: Organic ingenuity abounds in these podcasts developed and produced by American parents for young children. Boston-based WBUR puts travelling, history and imagination into a mesmerising melting pot that keeps listeners engaged from start to finish. There are folktales acoustic effects and performers that pour their hearts into it. They bring alive all things from Argentina to Myanmar alive in 15- to 20-minute episodes. Perfect for little travellers aged four to 10.

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Colouring sheets like this one are available for kids on the Circle Round site. Image: Courtesy Circle Round.

Where To Go: This travel podcast was created in 2020 to keep listeners up to speed, especially those who’ve had their travel plans upset by the pandemic. Hosts Lucy Richards and James Atkinson of Where To Go speak in a casual, candid manner and always remember to celebrate the wonders of the locales they’re focused on. They get local urban enthusiasts to tell us all about living and loving their cities. The content balances facts and fun and leaves you with a more realistic picture of Florence in this season and whether to mask up in Amsterdam’s cafés or not.

Podcasts, travel podcasts, children, teens, seniors, technology
Today’s seniors are clued in to technology like never before. Plus they have the patience to listen to longer podcasts too! Image: Shutterstock/Vane Nunes.

After long periods of isolation and social distancing, the opportunity to head out again is more than welcome. Once again, footloose families are marking their calendars for long weekends and vacations. Travel podcasts can be of great value both before and during your trip and deliver enough fodder for dining table or fireside chats. Tune in and travel safe!

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