With a vaccine rollout underway, it finally feels like the days of being stuck at home may be coming to an end. People dream (and book) summer trips; airlines are adding interesting new routes instead of having to cut them. But before we had any hope, we had travel TV shows that made us fantasize about all the places we couldn’t go. For some people, travel shows are a way to adventurously explore or culturally immerse themselves without leaving home. For others, they are a planning resource for future trips. The travel television that debuted during the pandemic allowed us to do all of this and more. Here are five fan favorites and what they meant to travelers back home. “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italy” Stanley Tucci travels around Italy to discover the secrets and delicacies of the country’s regional cuisine. (Courtesy of CNN) Stanley Tucci. Where do we even start. Former model, Oscar nominated actor and Emmy Award winner, viral cocktail artist. America’s favorite supporting actor finally has time to shine in his CNN series, “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italy”. In this role, Tucci makes his way to Italy, tasting prosciutto di Parma in Emilia Romagna, eating his favorite pasta on the Amalfi Coast, and drinking in the country’s century-old shop windows. From her home in DC, Savannah Wormley has watched the Tucci show since it premiered in February. This dovetailed with other travel and food shows she was drawn to this year, such as “Chef’s Table” and “Foodie Love”. So far, Wormley has loved the cinematography of the show and she didn’t expect Tucci to be such a suave travel TV. “I think it’s such a nice escape from everything that’s going on right now,” Wormley says. “I especially love ready meals, and I think it’s great to see Stanley interact with Italians and learn more about the food they eat. You can tell it brings him so much joy. [This pandemic, I’m drinking through the souvenir wine I’ve collected since I was 14] ‘Men in Kilts’ cast Sam Heughan, left, and Graham McTavish explore their homeland, Scotland, immersing themselves in its culture and history. (Courtesy of STARZ) For a spotlight on Scottish culture and landscapes, there’s “Men in Kilts” on Starz. The show follows “Outlander” cast Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish as they delve into the food, drink, and traditions of their homeland. It’s a love letter to Scotland told through joke-filled road trips. For Angel Lunsford in Salem, Ala., “Men in Kilts” felt both useful and hilarious. Since before the pandemic, Lunsford and a friend have planned a trip to Scotland for 2022. They both watched ‘Men in Kilts’, in order to discover more points of interest to see and cultural experiences to try. They have also found new restaurants and types of food that they will be looking for on their trip. “It shows you a lot of places you might want to go that weren’t on your list,” says Lunsford. “We wouldn’t have known about them if we hadn’t seen the show.” [With a new series of her own, Padma Lakshmi is at the top of her game] “Taste the Nation” Padma Lakshmi delves into Japanese culture, ubiquitous in Honolulu, to understand the extent of the country’s cultural imprint. (Courtesy Dominic Valente / Hulu) On Hulu, “Taste the Nation” follows award-winning cookbook author and longtime “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi as she travels across the States -United to tell the culinary stories of the country. The show, which stops at places like El Paso, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, and Honolulu, is a celebration of the immigrant communities that shape American culture. Andrea Alexander started watching the show in May 2020 at a time when travel seemed far, far away. She loved learning more about food and the people who make it, as well as the show’s focus on their fight against marginalization. While staying at home with her family, Alexander says, Lakshmi’s show helped her travel vicariously in ways other TV shows couldn’t. “I couldn’t go to a restaurant. I couldn’t, like, see the world on a plane, so that helped me in that regard, ”says Alexander, who lives in Rochester, NY. [Everything travelers need to know about vaccine passports] “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” People familiar with Zac Efron may know him as Troy Bolton from the “High School Musical” trilogy. But with his Netflix show, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron,” the actor reintroduced himself as a champion of the natural world. Efron travels to places like Costa Rica, Sardinia, and the Amazon rainforest to raise awareness of environmental issues, and he dives into unique experiences – like ayahuasca tourism – along the way. At her home in Santa Barbara, Calif., Where she is raising her young family and a brood of chickens in the backyard, Katherine Guzman Sanders and her husband entered Efron’s show after watching the trailer via fault. “Their trip was really tough,” she says. “But sometimes those are the types of shows that I like to watch, where they do what I don’t necessarily want to do, but at least I feel like I had that experience.” “Barefoot with Mickela Mallozzi” PBS launched a two-part special in February of “Barefoot with Mickela Mallozzi” highlighting Carnival in a Year Without Carnival. Host Mickela Mallozzi traveled to the French Caribbean to present the holidays to the islands of Guadeloupe, exploring music, dance and black Guadeloupe identity. Jason Watson, a self-proclaimed “PBS geek” in New Hyde Park on Long Island, was already a fan of the resort’s food and travel shows, like Eating In with Lidia. When “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi” appeared, he loved the show’s concept of travel, music and dance, which reminded him of Anthony Bourdain’s work. “I think it’s important that people can have this when you can’t go anywhere; you can become it in yourself, ”he says. “I think it’s good for people to see that gradually things will come back, and people will be able to travel and explore the world, see other people and learn more about others.” Carnival fans can find the episodes on local PBS stations, Create TV, PBS.org, and the PBS app, as well as the show’s past seasons on Amazon Prime Video. Learn more about travel during the pandemic: Tips: Advice Column | Coronavirus test | Disinfect your hotel | Stealing documents update: pandemic packaging | Airport protocol | Staying Healthy on Airplanes | Fly or drive? | Stopovers Road trips: Tips | Car rental | Best Snacks | Long-haul trains | Rest stops | Cross-country training.