Follow the footsteps of TV travel stars

SAM | 4th April 2020

Travel:  This is how much it would cost if you were to follow the footsteps of these TV travel stars…


From Bear Grylls to Jane McDonald and Joanna Lumley to David Attenborough, TV travel stars’ have visited some amazing places across the globe, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. But which star has racked up the most miles over their careers, and how much would it cost if you were to visit the same travel and leisure destinations?


Bear Grylls


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


Always curious and never still, the famed adventurer has built a reputation for his uncompromising approach to the survival documentary television format. His intrepid desire to demonstrate extreme survival techniques in some of the world’s most hostile environments has provided some real edge of the seat, gross-out moments over the years. Often at the same time.


  • The second most travelled star on our list, Bear Grylls has visited 46 countries, and 187 trips over his career.
  • The most expensive journey undertaken, was from Belize to Yukon, which would cost an eye-popping £3,069 for a round trip.
  • Scotland to Norway was a more modest expedition with price for this peaking at a much more reasonable £23.
  • If flying isn’t your thing, maybe pass on making a journey from Indonesia to Panama, as this clocks in at a staggering 11,063 air miles. Or the same as flying the diameter of the US 4 times.


David Attenborough 


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


Everybody loves a bit of David Attenborough. With his charming personality, and tenacious desire to inform and educate, it’s no surprise he’s considered a national treasure and adored the world over. With such a colossal CV, it’s safe to say David has racked up a sizeable amount of land/sea/air miles over the years.


  • He has travelled 1.9 million miles over his lifetime, the equivalent of flying round the earth 763 times.
  • To follow Sir David Attenborough to every location featured on his Life on Earth series it would cost £52,874.
  • The cost of flights over a lifetime add up to an eye-watering £176,722.
  • Has travelled to 94 different countries over the course of his illustrious career.


Joanna Lumley


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


From Absolutely Fabulous to The Wolf of Wall Street, the champagne-sipping British icon is no stranger to a life on camera. She is also a born adventurer, having made several daring expeditions over the course of her TV career.


  • If you wanted to visit every location from Joann Lumley’s 2017 India series, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that the 5,000-mile round trip would cost a modest £798.
  • Postcards is the most expensive series overall, which consisted of 12 destinations round the world, would cost £3,3349.
  • Whilst this may seem extravagant, it is similarly priced to a two-week all-inclusive holiday for a family of 4.
  • Has taken 40 trips altogether.


One of Britain’s favourite holiday companies, Shearing’s crunched the numbers on TV travel stars, revealing who’s made the most trips, visited the most countries, and the most expensive series overall.


Jack Whitehall


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


Starting his career on the daunting stand-up comedy scene, Jack Whitehall’s public schoolboy charm has seen him flourish into beloved figure in the UK, with appearances in the US becoming more common. He’s also dipped into the travel space, which sees him as an unlikely double act with his father, where their vast generational gap makes for some entertaining viewing.


  • Jack Whitehall’s Travels With My Father is his only travel show so far, but has still visited an impressive 16 countries.
  • To follow them on their first series would cost £6,641, the equivalent to a luxury holiday in the Maldives.
  • This has resulted in 26,368 miles travelled overall, or 4 round trips from the UK to Hawaii.


Richard Ayoade


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


A travel documentarian for the modern millennial and everyone’s favourite IT expert. His Travelman series is the perfect companion when it comes to planning your next mini break. Usually with one of his comedy peers, Ayoade creates a short, sharp guide to best sights and experiences of a particular city.


  • He’s visited 22 countries so far and taken 33 trips.
  • This would set the average traveler back £5,779, which seems reasonable compared to the giddying heights of some other trips our stars have been on.
  • Over the course of his show’s run time, he has journeyed 72,091 miles in total.


Jane McDonald 


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


Jane McDonald recently announced her exit from Channel 5 show ‘Cruising with Jane McDonald’ – and if you’re a fan of the show, you’re probably a little disappointed! To give fans of the Yorkshire lass their fix and give Jane the ultimate send-off, this is how many miles she travels throughout the series.


  • To follow Jane McDonald to every destination she’s travelled to, it would cost £14,057
  • Overall, this equates to a whopping 64,626 miles which is equivalent to 15 round trips from the UK to Australia.
  • Her 2017 trip to Alaska, where she took a helicopter trip up to an ice field for a dog-sledding adventure is the most expensive overall, costing a whopping £2,387
  • The 2017 series tallies up as the most expensive, with a round trip to each destination featured costing approximately £7,256.
  • She’s visited 32 countries over her TV career.


Simon Reeve


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


Simon began his career in the early 2000’s and has largely spent his time exploring far flung corners of the Earth, brining different cultures and new ideas to the screens of western viewers. He also (perhaps most importantly) enjoyed a stint on The Celebrity Great British Bake off back in 2013.


  • At 47 years old, Simon Reeve has visited 81 countries in 18 series making him the third most travelled star on the list.
  • He has accounted 307,519 air miles in total, which is more than the distance to the moon.
  • His 237 trips would cost £45,207, with stops in Africa, Australia and Asia.



Michael Palin


How much it costs to follow the footsteps of TV travel stars


It’s now been fifty years since Michael Palin first burst onto our screens. Making his fame from Monty Python, Palin has travelled a long way since then. The actor and comedian has also had a well-documented career in travel television. From train travel, to perilous adventures to both the Sahara’s and Himalayas, Palin is certainly made of steely stuff.


  • 99 trips have been made since his first foray into the travel documentary.
  • This equates to £23,172.
  • In terms of distance travelled, that would be 153,764 miles at £0.15 per mile.