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There’s no other way to say this: The Travel Channel is a strange place.
Both in the programming—overflowing as it is with ghosts, cryptids, and demons, oh my—and in just how far it’s strayed from what you might think of when you hear the words “Travel Channel.” The network was once packed with documentaries on international travel, trailblazing food programming from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, and shows about awesome water parks.
But the network rebranded itself as the Trvl Channel (still presumably pronounced “Travel”) in 2018, and it has since leaned hard into a slate of shows centered on the paranormal and the off-kilter. That means shows like Portals to Hell, in which Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate haunted locales. Or The Dead Files, in which psychic medium Amy Allan and retired NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi also investigate haunted locales. Or In Search of Monsters with its episodes on the Yeti and the Mothman. It isn’t high art, but sometimes you want spooky fun.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Trvl Channel online.
How to watch the Travel Channel for free
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer the Trvl Channel. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your budget, what other channels you just can’t live without, and what device (or devices) you plan on streaming with. We cover all of those essential issues below. But don’t worry: No matter which service you select, you’ll be able to start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch the Travel Channel for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Dish Network’s foray into over-the-internet live TV is the most popular such service in the U.S. That’s no surprise, given the low barrier to entry it offers for many of the most popular cable networks. For only $25 a month, you can sign up for a tier of Sling TV that will handily compete with any basic cable package. Sling TV offers a slightly dizzying array of options: two distinct packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that you can sign up for separately or together (Sling Orange + Blue, which costs just $40 per month), and add-ons ranging from premium channels like Starz to cloud DVR storage. Fortunately, the Trvl Channel is an easy case: You’ll get it with Sling Blue or Sling Orange. Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.
- Cost: $16 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Philo local channels
Philo began in a Harvard dorm room as a makeshift attempt to circumnavigate the Ivy League university’s lack of cable. It’s since grown into just about the best deal in live streaming television—at $16, you won’t find a lower barrier to entry anywhere. Sure, at that bargain price you’re getting a more limited channel selection, with no sports and none of the major news networks. But there are some real heavy-hitters among its over 40 networks, including AMC, BET, MTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, and, of course, the Trvl Channel. Philo also has a generous DVR policy, so your favorite shows fit on your schedule. You can read more about Philo’s DVR strengths and limitations here. You can check out a complete list of Philo’s channels right here.
- Cost: $44.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu is practically an elder statesman on the streaming entertainment scene, first launching in 2007 and quickly garnering fans as one of the best places to catch up on streaming episodes of recent TV series. But over the years Hulu has expanded its offerings considerably, with a variety of subscription tiers both commercial-free and ad-supported—as well as its own Netflix-style slate of often-excellent original programming. Hulu with Live TV includes access to all of Hulu’s own original content, of course, but also allows you to watch over 60 channels live, the Trvl Channel included, with 50 hours of storage dedicated to live TV—a particularly handy feature for sports fans. You can check out a complete list of Hulu with Live TV’s channels here.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s offering in the crowded live-streaming-TV arena, and with packages that start at $44.99 for over 45 channels, it’s a solid option. You can save shows up to 28 days, and up to five people can share a package. Four tiers—Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra—allow you to pick the package that works for you. The Trvl Channel is available on all four tiers. And if your God of War machine doubles as your primary media center, PlayStation Vue is the only game in town—no other streaming TV service works on the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3. You can see all of the PlayStation Vue channels here, and read more about the PlayStation Vue DVR here.
- Cost: $44.99 for the first month, $54.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
FuboTV built its reputation on channels that distribute live sports. If you want a truly dizzying array of soccer options (and really, you should), FuboTV’s the best game in town, pardon the pun. But FuboTV’s not just the best place for cord-cutters to devour professional cycling; it also has loads of cable standards, with over 90 channels in its basic package. The Trvl Channel is present and accounted for, and you also get AMC, E!, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Syfy, CNN, the Food Network, and many others. You can check out the complete FuboTV channels list here, and you can read more about FuboTV’s DVR here and check out our comprehensive FuboTV review.
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Patrick Caldwell is a streaming entertainment reporter. He previously served as a staff music critic at the Austin American-Statesman.