The Best Podcasts for Long Road Trips

May 17, 2021 | Tips & Resources

One of the most dangerous perils of long road trips is boredom. Boredom negatively impacts your mood and your ability to pay attention to the road. Keeping your mind active and engaged is a great way to stay alert so that you can drive safely.

For many years, drivers relied on radio for this purpose, but there was a downside: Eventually, they traveled out of range and couldn’t hear the music, news, game or talk show they enjoyed.

Fortunately, podcasts have come to the rescue. Covering every possible topic, including politics, humor, sports, current events, science, and true crime, recent podcasts are almost always free to listen to and are available on-demand. This means that you can start and stop a podcast as often as you wish and never have to worry about being out of range of a radio transmitter or missing the end of a show because you have to stop and get out of your vehicle for a bit.

Looking for the best podcasts for road trips? Here are some suggestions, all of which are available on Spotify as well as other podcast platforms:

15 Minute History

Just as the title suggests, 15 Minute History offers short history lessons told by graduate students and faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. Each episode focuses on sometimes obscure, always fascinating historical figures and events.

Phoebe Reads a Mystery

Not all road trip podcasts need to be over-the-top. Sometimes, you just want a good story. Each episode of Phoebe Reads a Mystery is a chapter from a classic mystery or novel. These are usually older books, allowing the producers to avoid copyright issues, but many people swear by this podcast for its soothing narration.

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend

Can’t get enough of talk shows? There are plenty of interview-focused podcasts available, but Conan O’Brien is a master of the craft. His podcast features long-form interviews with celebrities from the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment.

A Very Fatal Murder

If you enjoy humor, check out A Very Fatal Murder, which is produced by The Onion. Performed in the style of public radio, this hilarious series parodies melodramatic “true crime” reporting.

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

Speaking of public radio, Wait Wait. . .Don’t Tell Me is a popular NPR trivia game show that is sure to keep you guessing (and engaged) during long trips.

BBC Global News Podcast

Want up-to-date world news from a different perspective? The UK’s BBC Global News Podcast is a daily 30-minute show that highlights what is going on worldwide. Straightforward reporting and interviews with people on the ground make this an incredibly engaging and informative podcast.


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