The celeb travelogue is big business – six of them are already on screen in 2023.
It can be a great way to escape from everyday life, even if you aren’t there yourself, as the celebs travel to luxury locations or destinations closer to home, bringing the amazing places into our homes.
So with that in mind, we’ve picked the best hosts from the budget disasters and given them our rating.
Among them there’s fun and laughter on Channel 5’s Holidaying With Jane McDonald, where she gets to experience things we can only dream of.
ITV’s new travel release, Amanda And Alan’s Italian Job, sees the duo do up a dilapidated house in beautiful Sicily.
And Channel 4’s popular series, Travel Man, sees host Joe Lycett spend a long weekend with one celeb in a particular location.
Holidaying With Jane McDonald
Where are we? The first episode sees us in Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery.
How are the hosts? Wakefield-born Jane is pleasant company, even if the show’s insistence that she keeps making friends with strangers in a queue feels like a police report waiting to happen. It ends, as it must, with a song.
What do they do? It’s surprisingly high-octane. Jane takes the SlotZilla Zipline above Fremont Street, tackles the X-Scream at The Strat hotel that dangles you 866ft over the edge of the tower and, swoon, takes in a Donny Osmond show.
Any good tips? There’s a bizarre extended sequence where Jane tells us to test the shower and don’t eat from the mini-fridge when arriving at a hotel. I mean, duh.
Escape-ability? 8/10. The show may not be much cop but you can’t deny Vegas’s charms.
Amanda And Alan’s Italian Job
Where are we? We’re in Sicily, where Amanda Holden has bought a dilapidated house and is doing it up while taking in the local culture with good pal Alan Carr.
How are the hosts? The two are close friends and Carr is as fun as you would expect but Amanda is the real surprise as someone worryingly handy with a sledgehammer.
What do they do? They take time to go water-biking in the ocean and visit stunning ancient salt pans.
Any good tips? That if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Escape-ability? 9/10. A jolly watch and Sicily is beautiful.
My Cornwall With Fern Britton
Where are we? We’re exploring the historic hundreds of Cornwall (shires, if you will) and, in the first episode, the magical aspect of the county.
How are the hosts? Britton deserves a medal for keeping a straight face while a woman talks about getting a ‘corner tingle’ from a damp wall near a holy well.
What do they do? Britton packs a lot in. From visiting stone circles near a village called Minions to St Nectan’s waterfall.
Any good tips? You can speak to mermaids via a conch shell apparently.
Escape-ability? 7/10. Hokum but a spiritual excursion has its charms.
Motorhoming With Merton & Webster
Where are we? The second episode sees comic couple Paul Merton and Suki Webster taking their motorhome around the picturesque Cotswolds in the UK.
How are the hosts? Suki definitely feels more suited to the eternally upbeat tone of a travel show than Paul, who mainly stands around and makes the odd remark.
What do they do? Surprisingly little. They mainly sit around and eat. There is a brief sojourn to a local lavender farm in Snowshill and a visit to the Rollright Stones – a poor man’s Stonehenge – just outside Chipping Norton.
Any good tips? From taking a portable wi-fi dongle to the perfect heat stove, the show is packed full of tips for budding motorhome owners.
Escape-ability? 5/10. The Cotswolds is beautiful part of the UK but is this the best way to see it?
Bradley and Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad
Where are we? Dad and son are in Mexico on their Central American adventure.
How are the hosts? There were times when I thought thrill-seeker Barney was genuinely trying to kill off his dad. Credit to Bradley, he’s got more guts than me.
What do they do? The centrepiece is a horrifying ‘iron climb’ up La Tanda mountain. If that wasn’t enough, they descend into the Cave of the Hanging Serpents, filled with more than 9,000 bats and the snakes that eat them.
Any good tips? The odd fact that the Cornish pasty is popular in Mexico.
Escape-ability? 4/10. The show is brilliant but I’ll be cold in the ground before you get me in that bat cave.
Where are we? The alternative travel show spends 48 hours in Lithuania’s bohemian capital of Vilnius – best known for an ad campaign in which it christened itself ‘the G-spot of Europe’.
How are the hosts? Joe Lycett continues to try to put his own stamp on a show that doesn’t quite fit his undeniable talents. Sarah Millican is this week’s special guest.
What do they do? A whistle-stop tour sees them ride a hot-air balloon to take in the sights and visit the arty enclave of Užupis.
Any good tips? Joe and Sarah make quick work of Lithuania’s national dish of cepelinai (so-called as they look a little like Zeppelins). It is, unsurprisingly, a form of dumpling.
Escape-ability? 8/10. Vilnius looks perfect for a long weekend.
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