Summer is almost here, and that itch to take yourself on the perfect holiday is becoming hard to ignore. If you’re looking for an extra reason to get yourself browsing booking websites, then take a look at our list of the best TV shows that’ll make you want to travel.

From high budget drama series like The White Lotus  to some good old fashioned travel documentaries like Planet Earth , these shows will provide plenty of travel inspiration and provide an irresistible escape.

The White Lotus

We had to put The White Lotus on here because if you’re one for sun-drenched resorts and glamour, TWL has it in spades. Each season follows a different cast of characters in an anthology format: Season 1 takes place in the fictional White Lotus resort in Maui, Hawaii, and predominantly focuses on questions of class, wealth and privilege. Our cast includes characters like Nicole (Connie Britton), Rachel (profile-link]Alexandria Daddario[/profile-link]), Olivia (Sydney Sweeney), Kitty (Molly Shannon), Mark (Steve Zahn) and of course Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge, who returns for season 2). The next season meanwhile takes the action to Sicily, and changes things up thematically to explore gender, money, sex and relationships. The resort goers this time around include Bert (F. Murray Abraham), Quentin (Tom Hollander), Harper (Aubrey Plaza), and Dominic (Michael Imperioli). A third season is being filmed and set to be taking place in Thailand.

Watch it on: Sky Atlantic and NOW

Emily In Paris

Emily in Paris is obviously a show to watch if you’ve been thinking of spending a weekend in the French capital, and while we can’t say it’s 100% based in reality, it’s hard not to be swept along. If you happen to be unfamiliar with the show, it follows an American marketing executive early in her career (played by Lily Collins) who jets off to Paris in order to give an American perspective to a French marketing firm. While there, she becomes enchanted with the city and its inhabitants, falling for more than one guy and crucially keeping up social media appearances. It’s also a show if you love fashion, since Emily is seemingly always in a new chic outfit as she explores French life. While it’s obviously nearly entirely about France, the future season has been teased to take her out of the country and on a trip to Rome…

Watch it on: Netflix

Big Little Lies

A series about the complications of life and marriages, following a group of mothers living near each other in Monterey, California. Alongside the compelling writing, plots and drama, Big Little Lies is worth a watch partly for that coastal setting, particularly so you can gawk at the giant houses that our characters live in. Monterey itself is very picturesque, with both beautiful sea to gaze into and vast mountains and sweeping valleys. The powerhouse cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, Meryl Streep and more. Sure, these upper-class women seem to have it all in life, but there’s a web of secrets and a murder investigation that draws them all into crisis.

WATCH IT ON: now

Succession

Succession mostly focuses on the squabbles and infighting of the Roy family, over the fate of Waystar RoyCo, headed by patriarch Logan (Brian Cox), who’s in his later years and in uncertain health. There’s plenty of memorable witty dialogue and a host of unfortunately flawed characters, but also a fair few amazing locations that they visit- this is the world of the super-rich after all. Waystar RoyCo itself is headquartered in New York, but we also travel with the Roys to Croatia, Italy’s Tuscany region, as well as the UK. Season 4 also hinges on a trip to Norway, where Big Little Lies’ Alexander Skarsgård pops up as tech billionaire Lucas Mattson. The rest of the Roy clan includes Logan’s children Roman (Kieran Culkin), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), as well as other key characters like Shiv’s husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and Greg (Nicholas Braun).

Watch it on: Sky Atlantic and NOW

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Moving into travel documentary territory, Anthony Bourdain’s much-loved travel show Parts Unknown is definitely a series to make you want to get up and pack your bags for a journey across the globe. In particular, as with a lot of Bourdain’s work, there’s an emphasis on diverting from well-trodden tourist tracks and finding ways to experience locales from the eyes of those who live there. It’s all about finding places a bit off the map, and showcasing under-appreciated and lesser-known cuisines to what we often seen on TV. Some of the most interesting episodes take place in Uruguay, Hanoi in Vietnam, Newfoundland and the Greek Islands, along with more “traditional” travel destinations like Rome, Lyon and Miami. The other great thing about the show is there are 12 seasons and 104 episodes, so you can watch them all or pick and choose what intrigues you.

Watch it on: UKTV Play, Amazon Prime

Planet Earth I-III

Obviously, Planet Earth doesn’t tend to cover much in the way of cities, but it’s still second to none in how it can transport you to different spots around the globe, and of course, showing you endless wildlife. Any David Attenborough documentary will make you want to travel, but the Planet Earth series is so expansive and comprehensive in its look at the world. The third series is the most recent, releasing back in October last year, and sees Sir David guiding us through the habitats and vistas of Tasmania, Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil, Mozambique, Canda and more, while one of the episodes, Human, looks at creatures in urban cities like Melbourne and Manhattan.

Watch it on: iPlayer

‌Ripley

Netflix’s very stylish adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley is filmed in black and white, and is a pretty intense thriller, but it also features some pretty beautiful locations. The plot follows the life of the titular Tom Ripley (played by Andrew Scott), a scam artist based in New York in the 1950s, whose approached and hired by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf (Kenneth Lonergan) to find his son Dickie (Johnny Flynn.) Dickie took himself abroad to get away from his family and life back home, but Herbert is keen for someone to convince him to return. So Ripley sets off to Italy, where Dickie is living with his close friend Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning), and there are some very picturesque moments as Ripley descends into a world of fraud and murder.

Watch it on: Netflix

Gossip Girl

Much like Emily In Paris, Gossip Girl is known for its very idyllic look at life in a big city. Set in the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York, it follows the lives of a group of upper-class young adults and their trials and tribulations. With a cast led by Serena (Blake Lively) and Blair (Leighton Meester), the six-season series is one you’ll probably get addicted to, in part due to the drama and rivalry between characters but also due to the enticing life of the socialite. There’s a litany of shows out there that help make the Big Apple a super popular tourist destination, but Gossip Girl’s easy to watch nature and constant focus on very affluent slices of New York make it easy to sink into. The social media landscape was still going mainstream by the time the last few seasons aired, but it feels like it slots into our current TikTok/Instagram world perfectly.

Watch it on: iPlayer


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