A road trip with family or friends is a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime. Listening to the best podcasts for road trips can make those long car rides some of the best times of your life.
But what about those hours in between, when the conversation dies and the music on the radio becomes too monotonous? That’s where podcasts come in. The best road trip podcast can keep you entertained no matter where you are.
So, buckle up and turn on an amazing podcast! Our picks for the best podcasts for road trips in multiple formats keep you entertained during your long journey.
Table of Contents
Best Podcasts for Road Trips 2023
Comedians Jason Mantzoukas, June Diane Raphael, and Paul Scheer look back at movies they claim should never have been made. With a guest each week, they break down and tear apart downright silly B-movies. Episodes are one to two hours long and have plenty of hilarious conversations to keep you laughing.
Legendary former talk show host Conan O’Brien claims he has never made a lasting friendship with any celebrity guests on his talk show. So, this best podcast features a celebrity guest in each weekly podcast where they dive into personal histories, friendships, and more, on Conan’s quest to finally have a friend.
Smartless has long-form interviews with celebrity guests with three celebrity hosts for fun chats and banter. Actors and comedians Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett talk to fellow friends and comedians in this easy-going podcast format. One of the hosts surprises the other two each week with a mystery guest, keeping it fun every episode.
Comedians Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus offer plenty of laughs in this comedy podcast, Newcomers, where they talk about cultural phenomena they missed watching. Each season covers a different pop culture franchise that they have yet to watch before, from Star Wars to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each episode is like listening to your friends explain movies and has hours of content to keep you laughing during your trip.
Long Format Non-Fiction Podcasts
You’ve heard of TED Talks – maybe you’ve watched one online or seen a clip of one online. TED Talks speakers provide informative, inspirational, motivational speeches heard by millions around the world. But what about the stories that are too risky to share on the world stage? This podcast produced by TED deep dives into the hidden stories that surround us. “Sincerely, X” provides a space to share powerful ideas anonymously. Host Sarah Kay discusses complex topics with subjects that cannot publicly share their identity.
Stuff You Should Know covers it all for history buffs or those who love to know random facts and trivia. From essential historical events to things you may have never considered, this best road trip podcast is updated weekly and dives into a different topic in each episode. This is sure to keep your boredom at bay during long car rides and is a good choice for a family road trip.
Since you’re already on a long road trip, why not pair it with a travel podcast? Travel Tales is a lighthearted conversation highlighting the best and worst travel experiences that travel can offer. Host Mike Siegel chats with his friends, comedians, actors, writers, travel journalists, and more.
True Crime Podcasts
This true crime podcast will keep you on your toes until the last moments. Sweet Bobby, produced by the Tortoise podcast network, tells the story of Kirat meeting Bobby, one of the world’s most sophisticated catfishers. The entire series aired in 2021, and all seven episodes are available to stream, making it the perfect binge for your road trip.
Part comedy, part true crime, part horror, this weekly podcast explores topics like conspiracy theories, serial killers, UFO sightings, ghosts, and more. Hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zabrowski explore real and imagined horrors, with two episodes released weekly. You’re sure to be sucked into these chilling stories, with over ten years of episodes to listen through.
The Dropout covers the intriguing story of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos. Produced by ABC News chief correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and journalists Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, this podcast tells the stories of fame and ambition gone horribly wrong. This show was also adapted into a limited TV series starring Amanda Seyfried.
Historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook look into a historical topic in each episode with skepticism and plenty of questions. Each episode takes an in-depth look at a historical event or figure, is informative, and offers a historian’s perspective on both the past and present.
For any film buff, Karina Longworth’s long-running podcast covers the age of old Hollywood and more. This storytelling podcast explores the secrets and forgotten history of the golden age of Hollywood in the 1900s. Film historian and film critic Longworth writes, narrates, records, and edits each episode, heavily researched for historical accuracy. Each episode covers a particular era, star, or scandal and is also part of “seasons” or series so that a whole series can be listened to during your road trip.
Podcast episodes are available to listen to on your smartphone through apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, to name a few. Most are also downloadable, so you can download a few episodes beforehand without using precious mobile data.
For any long road trip, a great podcast can keep you on your toes, intrigued by the mystery, or laughing until you’re crying. You don’t need to watch great storytelling solely through a film or TV show. Podcasts can keep you entertained for hours and feature long-format content over multiple episodes or seasons. Plenty of episodes for a cross-country family road trip!