A long road trip is a crucial part of life and growing up that everyone experiences. There are certain items that are essential to having the ideal road trip. For instance, every road trip needs lots of snacks, water, and good music. However, another key to a successful road trip is an enthralling podcast. A good podcast will make the road trip go by fast. Nowadays, there are hundreds of podcasts that are worth checking out. Here’s a guide to the best podcasts for road trips.
Both fiction and non-fiction offer critically acclaimed podcasts that make the road trip feel like a luxury cruise. Non-fiction true crime podcasts will keep the driver and passengers on the edge of their seats for the entire drive. There are always celebrity podcasts where they have candid interviews with other famous stars. At the same time, fiction podcasts feature gripping horror series, mind-bending mysteries, and hilarious parodies. There is truly a podcast for every road trip.
Serial is one of the most popular true-crime podcasts of all time. It’s essential for every road trip and the perfect series to binge listen to while driving long hours, stuck in traffic, or speeding down the highways. Investigative reporter Sarah Koenig hosts the critically acclaimed podcast.
The breakout first season revolves around the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee. The court convicted Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Adan Syed, of the murder and gave him 30 years. Koeing masterfully draws listeners to this gripping thriller. She slowly unravels the mystery forcing the listener to question everything. The success of Serial brought renewed attention to the case. The popular series is the best choice for all road trips.
2. WTF With Marc Maron
WTF with Marc Maron is one of the best podcasts in history. Comedian Marc Maron brings his hilarious sense of humor to his world-famous podcast. Maron’s non-fiction podcast features a long list of enthralling interviews that are perfect for a road trip.
Maron’s interviews are often revealing and fascinating on many different levels. Road trippers have a ton of excellent interviews to choose from, including President Barack Obama, Chris Rock, Mandy Moore, Jerry Seinfeld, and Robin Williams.
3. Welcome to Night Vale
In the town of Night Vale, paranormal activity and strange occurrences are an accepted part of life. The fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale treats bizarre paranormal events as regular and mundane. In fact, they treat supernatural events the same as the weather and traffic.
The podcast revolves around Cecil Baldwin hosting a radio show that reports on the town’s local festivals, the traffic, a cat floating over a sink, and the weather. It’s the best podcast for road trips. It’ll keep everyone entertained and laughing through every traffic light.
4. Dirty John
Dirty John is easily one of the best podcasts for road trips. No road trip is complete without a nail-biting true crime podcast. The serialized podcast Dirty John follows the life of John Meehan and his relationship with Debra Newell.
Host Christopher Goffard takes listeners on a thrilling journey into a story of abuse, manipulation, and mystery. Eventually, it comes to a heart-stopping conclusion when Meehan attempts to kidnap Newell’s daughter Tara. The podcast will make that long road trip go by in a breeze.
5. The Bright Sessions
Few podcasts compare with the critically acclaimed Bright Sessions. It’s the ultimate road trip podcast, without a doubt. It revolves around therapist Dr. Bright as she treats super-powered individuals, including a mind controller, a time traveler, and a mind reader.
Dr. Bright takes listeners on a mysterious journey into the world of superpowers. The gripping podcast will have travelers choosing to stay in the car to listen to every second.
6. Missing Richard Simmons
For decades, fitness icon Richard Simmons was everywhere. He made appearances on all the late-night talk shows, had a recurring role in General Hospital, and taught fitness classes at the mall. Suddenly, in 2014, Simmons disappeared from the public eye.
In the podcast Missing Simmons, journalist Dan Taberski sets out to uncover the truth behind Simmons’s retirement. He tackles various theories and rumors that began to spread. For example, Taberski examines the theory that Simmons’s housekeeper is holding him hostage. The Missing Simmons podcast will elevate that road trip to a whole new level.
The Wizarding World is one of the most beloved franchises in movie history. It includes the critically acclaimed Harry Potter series and the prequel Fantastic Beasts. Four super fans love the franchise so much that they decided to create a podcast, MuggleCast.
Each week, the hosts dig deep into the series and discuss various topics related to the franchise. It’s a good podcast for road trips that appeal to kids and parents.
8. Wow in the World
The children’s podcast Wow In The World brings together two of the best podcasters, Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz. The weekly podcast features Thomas and Raz discussing the latest news on science and technology.
It gives a fascinating insight into various topics related to kids. It’s the type of podcast the entire family can enjoy on a road trip.
9. Dolly Parton’s America
Dolly Parton’s America follows the life of the iconic Dolly Parton. Host Jad Abumrad dives deep into Parton’s incredible career and her status as a Hollywood icon. The exceptional podcast looks closely at Parton’s career, iconic songs, and the famous theme park, Dollywood.
It examines Parton’s rise to the top and her ability to remain there for decades. Dolly Parton’s America is the ideal road trip podcast.
10. Ear Hustle
The phenomenal podcast Ear Hustle will keep the driver and passenger’s attention for the entire road trip. Ear Hustle revolves around former San Quentin State Prison inmates Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams discussing life behind bars and adjusting to life after prison.
In fact, the first three seasons take place in San Quentin Prison when Woods and Williams were still inmates. The fascinating podcast will keep listeners engaged to the very end of the trip.
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11. My Favorite Murder
A true-crime podcast is a perfect way to get through every road trip. My Favorite Murder is ideal for every road trip since it brings true crime and comedy together.
Comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark host the thrilling podcast. Kilgariff and Hardstark each present a mysterious crime or historical event. They discuss the story and look at all the facts. It’s one of the most intriguing podcasts today.
12. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
Family road trips often feature screaming kids, a mother trying to keep control, and a father threatening to turn the car around. Luckily, the critically acclaimed podcast The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel will save the day.
The children’s fiction podcast follows Manu “Mars” Patel and his friends as they investigate the disappearances of two other friends. The nail-biting podcast takes Mars and his friends down a mysterious rabbit hole. The podcast is undoubtedly one of the best podcasts for road trips.
13. Crime Junkie
The Crime Junkie podcast has quickly become one of the best true crime podcasts in the world. Hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat present the mind-twisting podcast to critical acclaim. Each episode revolves around an unsolved murder, missing person case, or solved crime.
The series features numerous gripping mysteries, including the Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre, the murder of Katy Page, and the disappearance of Jamie Fraley. The podcast often brings attention to cases that the media ignores, such as the disappearances of Relisha Rudd and Unique Harris.
14. The Dropout
Rebecca Jarvis hosts the critically acclaimed true-crime podcast The Dropout. The series revolves around convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos.
The podcast chronicles Holmes’s rise to becoming a self-made billionaire and her downfall for deceiving investors. Holmes claimed she discovered a groundbreaking technique to test blood with one drop of blood. The unbelievable podcast will leave listeners wanting more. In other words, it’ll extend the road trip.
15. Armchair Expert
Actors Dax Shepard and Monica Padman host the popular podcast Armchair Expert. It’s the perfect podcast to increase the laughs during the road trip.
The series features Shepard and Padman interviewing a wide range of celebrities, reporters, and other professionals. The funny podcast quickly became one of the most popular in the last few years. It should be at the top of every road tripper’s playlist.
16. Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness is an amazing podcast for that long and grueling road trip. Jonathan Van Ness, or JVN, is a popular podcaster and hairdresser known for appearing in the reality series Queer Eye.
JVN brings his unique perspective and engaging personality to this brilliant podcast and tackles several topics, including climate change, viruses, and the milky way. JVD is an excellent podcaster to add to every road trip.
17. America’s National Parks
A road trip explores the roads, highways, and local coffee shops along the way. The perfect road trip podcasts explore parts of the world too. For instance, America’s National Parks podcast is ideal for a road trip.
The non-fiction podcast explores America’s most gorgeous and incredible parks. Discover America’s best parks while exploring the open road. It’s one of the best podcasts for road trips.
18. Story Pirates Podcast
At one point in life, everyone experiences a family road trip. Let’s be honest, the family road trip has many challenges, such as keeping the kids entertained. However, parents shouldn’t sacrifice their entertainment.
Therefore the Story Pirates Podcast is ideal for the family road trip. It’ll keep the entire family entertained. The episodes are often educational and take inspiration from stories written by other kids. The family road trip could even end with the kids writing their own episodes.
19. How I Build This
Journalist and podcaster Guy Raz will make every road trip feel like a trip through time. He has hosted several popular podcasts for NPR. For instance, he currently hosts the podcast How I Built This.
Raz discusses brilliant innovators, groundbreaking minds, and entrepreneurs that changed the world. He dives deep into the backstory and explores every aspect of it. It’s easily one of the best podcasts for road trips.
20. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
Keeping kids entertained for a long road trip is one of the most difficult assignments in life. However, the perfect podcast will keep those kids glued to their seats. One of these podcasts kids and parents will love is The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian.
The series follows 8-year-old Finn Caspian and his friends on a journey through space. They visit mysterious planets and meet various aliens. The exciting and thrilling series will make that 12-hour road trip much more manageable.
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21. TED Radio Hour
TED Radio Hour is the perfect podcast for that long road trip. Each episode features three previously recorded TED Talks exploring a specific topic, such as food, happiness, and the creative process.
Plus, the episodes include additional information, follow-up interviews, and unique audio design. The informative and entertaining episodes make the road trip feel like flying first class.
22. Stuff You Missed in History Class
History class is often dull and puts students to sleep. Clearly, that would be a bad idea for a road trip. However, the Stuff You Missed In History Class will keep the road trip entertaining to the very last stop.
Hosts Holly and Tracy take viewers on a fun and informative journey through history. They often cover fascinating historical moments that teachers left out of their history lessons, such as the invention of the dishwasher.
23. Wild Thing
The intriguing podcast Wild Thing revolves around host Laura Krantz examining Bigfoot’s myth and existence. It all started in 2006 when Krantz discovered that anthropologist Grover Krantz was her relative. He dedicated his life to the search for Bigfoot and was the only scientist to believe in Bigfoot’s existence.
Laura decided to dive deep into the story and began to realize the story behind the myth. She tackles questions about evolution, conspiracy theories, and more. It’s one of the best podcasts for a road trip.
24. Reply All
Obviously, without the Internet, there would be no podcasts for long road trips. Therefore, it only makes sense to make a podcast about the Internet. Reply All features hosts Alex Goldman and P.J. Vogt discuss stories about how the Internet changed the world and people changed the Internet.
The fascinating series includes guest hosts, trivia, and other fun segments. However, allegations of a toxic workplace led to the end of the series.
25. Travel With Rick Steves
There truly is nothing better than a travel podcast while going on a long road trip. When it comes to traveling and podcasts, Travel with Rick Steves is the best option. Travel writer Rick Steves enjoys traveling to uncommon tourist areas and engaging in local culture.
His weekly podcast features conversations with callers and experts about travel, the communities, and culture. It’s one of the best podcasts today and is perfect for traveling.
The fiction podcast Limetown combines the best of both worlds. It’s as if the X-Files and Serial had a baby. The brilliant podcast draws listeners in and keeps them guessing to the very end.
It follows American Public Radio journalist Lia Haddock as she investigates the strange disappearance of 300 people from a research facility, Limetown. As Lia uncovers the mystery, she reveals that her uncle was one of the people that went missing. Lia soon becomes entangled in a dangerous mystery. It’s easily one of the best podcasts for road trips.
27. Family Road Trip Trivia Podcast
One of the most challenging tasks in the world is getting a child to sit still for an entire road trip. A podcast with a lot of talking won’t help the situation, that’s why a trivia podcast is ideal because it becomes an interactive game.
The Family Road Trip Trivia podcast is perfect for the whole family. Parents and kids will forget about the road trip as they compete. The podcast trivia covers various topics in which every kid is an expert, including space, cheese, and Stranger Things.
28. TED Talks Daily
TED Talks Daily provides brand new content every day for listeners to enjoy while driving in the city or the countryside. Elise Hu looks at various subjects from different perspectives, such as a future where humans and machines co-exist or how to reverse engineer the human brain.
This brilliant podcast will add insight and deep conversations to a great road trip.
29. Curious Kids Podcast
During road trips, kids usually struggle to stay in their seats. However, the excellent Curious Kids Podcast will keep kids and parents engaged for long road trips. Hosts Jacob and 8-year-old Olivia present the educational podcast.
Kids submit questions to the podcasts about various topics, such as eggs, gravity, dreams, pirates, and more. The goal of the podcast is to learn about new things while having fun. Kids will love the podcast so much that they’ll be begging to go on another road trip.
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