Have a vacation coming up? Don’t leave home without downloading the best podcasts for your road trip or flight!
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I’ve been traveling a ton lately. And road trips and flights mean hours of downtime on planes or in cars.
As much as I love a juicy magazine or book, there’s no better way to pass the time than a great podcast!
I blame my husband for getting me hooked. He travels every week for work, constantly flying or driving somewhere. And he spends a lot of that travel time listening to podcasts.
After enjoying his go-to podcasts, I started seeking out my own faves. There are so many great podcasts out there that it’s hard to know where to find the best ones. So I thought it would be fun to round up some binge worthy podcasts for your next vacation!
Best Podcasts for Road Trips and Travel
No matter what your interests are, there is a podcast for you!
I’ve rounded up over 20 of the best podcasts for road trips, flights, or even commutes. There is something here for everyone, from humorous podcasts to true crime podcasts (and so much more). You’ll find some of the most popular podcasts here, as well as some hidden gems.
Download these top rated podcasts before your next trip, and make sure to let me know your faves, too! I’m always looking for new ones.
By the way, if you’re not familiar with how podcasts work (or even what they are!), skip to the end of the posts. I’m sharing some easy tips to get you started.
1. By the Book
(Comedy, Society & Culture, Self-Help)
If you’re interested in self-improvement, you’ll love this podcast! The two hosts of By the Book live by the rules of a different self-help book in every episode. Some books are hits and some are misses, but the reaction of the hosts to the rules is always funny. And you’re sure to enjoy the interesting conversations surrounding the books, whether you’re a fan of self-help books or not.
2. Ear Hustle
(Society & Culture)
I highly recommend downloading Ear Hustle, especially if you’re interested in social justice. The podcast is hosted by an inmate at San Quentin State Prison and an artist who volunteers there. They talk to each other, as well as other inmates, about what life is like in the prison system. Their conversations are fascinating and often tear jerking.
4. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Could you use a little extra happiness in your life? Then, you need to listen to Happier, hosted by Gretchen Rubin (who you probably know from her books) and her sister. This show is all about practical advice for developing good habits that can make you a little happier. The episodes are always thought-provoking and the tips are easy to implement.
5. Happier in Hollywood
(Health, Self-Help, TV & Film)
Happier in Hollywood is hosted by two veteran TV writers (one of whom is Gretchen Rubin’s sister). If you have any interest in the TV or film industry you’ll enjoy this insiders view. And their latest show just got picked up, so the next episodes should be especially interesting. One caveat: these ladies live somewhat rarefied lives in LA, so some of the things they talk about (like getting weekly smoothie deliveries) can be hard to relate to.
6. Anna Faris is Unqualified
(Self-Help, TV & Film)
I’ve just started listening to Unqualified, and I already love it. It’s hosted by the actress Anna Faris, and each week she talks to a different Hollywood personality … like Dax Shepard, Billy Eichner, Heather Graham, and Allison Janney. Anna, her co-host, and the guest chat for a bit, then they take questions from their listeners (on a variety of personal problems) and provide advice. I love the unique format, and the questions and advice they give are always interesting!
7. Smartest Person in the Room
(Society & Culture)
Smartest Person in the Room follows an interview format with the host trying to learn something from her guest (the smartest person in the room). Each season has a different theme … the current one is very timely: Bias. Past themes have included Mind/Body, Viral, Religion, and Hollywood. I’ve found some of the seasons more interesting than others. Bias, Viral, and Hollywood have been faves, but I may have skipped the other two … ha ha.
8. My Dad Wrote a Porno
Okay, this recommendation may seem a little out of left field, but hear me out! My Dad Wrote a Porno is basically what it sounds like … the host’s dad wrote a dirty book. Each week he reads a chapter and discusses it with his two best friends. The book is poorly written, gross, and awkward, and the conversations the hosts have are hilarious. If you need a laugh, this is one of the best podcasts to listen to! And obviously, this one has some language … you’ve been warned.
9. Family Ghosts
Every week on Family Ghosts, a guest tells the story of a family member who has loomed large in their family’s history … grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace. It’s all super interesting and makes me wish my own family history was a little more exciting (or maybe not)!
10. Young House Love Has a Podcast
This podcast comes from the insanely popular bloggers of the same name. And if you enjoy the blog, then you’ll love Young House Love Has a Podcast, too! The main themes of the podcast are home decor and renovation, but John and Sherry (whose fun personalities make the podcast) cover other lifestyle topics like organization, money, and life with kids, too.
11. Heaven’s Gate
(Society & Culture)
Heaven’s Gate is all about the cult of the same name. In 1997, thirty-nine members of the Heaven’s Gate cult took their own lives in a mass suicide. This engrossing podcast examines the cult’s history, and the host talks with former members and attempts to answer the big question: why did they do it?
12. WTF with Marc Maron
(Comedy, TV & Film, Politics)
Twice a week on WTF, comedian Marc Maron interviews a new guest, like Conan O’Brien, Terry Gross, Melissa McCarthy, or Barack Obama. The guests always have such interesting stories to tell. This is the one podcast I always enjoy while driving with my husband, and we have such a great time listening to (and discussing) the guests!
13. In the Dark
In the Dark hooked me right from the start! The first season was an investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, one of the US’s most notorious child abductions. It’s a fascinating story that raises many larger issues. Season two is happening now, and it examines the case of Curtis Flowers, a man who has been tried six times for the same crime. Do not miss this podcast!
14. Dirty John
If you love true crime stories, you need to listen to Dirty John! It’s about a well-to-do interior designer who falls under the spell of (and marries) a man who checks all the boxes, but may be too good to be true. This gripping podcast will keep you on the edge of your seat right up until the end.
15. Slow Burn
The first season of Slow Burn was about Watergate, a scandal that brought down a president. If you’re anything like me, you don’t know as many details about this story as you think. This podcast is especially fascinating given the US’s current political situation, and I loved that the episodes were only about thirty minutes long. This is one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to recently, and I burned through the whole thing in one flight. Season two is about Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and it’s also highly binge-worthy.
(True Crime, Society & Culture)
This podcast is from the producers of Serial, a popular podcast which sparked a craze a few years ago. I never really got into Serial, but I definitely enjoyed S-Town. It starts out as a murder investigation, but ends up being more about the story of one man and the small town in Alabama that he despises. It’s a really interesting look at small town life.
17. You Must Remember This
(TV & Film)
You Must Remember This explores the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. In a town where image is everything, the host dives deeps to share the fascinating stories and scandals of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It’s definitely a must listen if you have any interest in classic movies or history.
18. Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48
Marcia Clark Investigates is a new podcast hosted by OJ Simpson’s famous prosecutor. She looks at the evidence surrounding some of the most notorious US homicides in recent history, like Casey Anthony, Chandra Levy, and Drew Peterson. The podcast is tied into Clark’s TV show on A&E (which I haven’t seen), and it’s really interesting to get a legal expert’s fresh take on these cases.
These last few are business and blogging related. In my opinion, a long plane ride is one of the best times to focus on learning new tips and techniques to boost your business.
If you’re a marketer or a blogger (or have an interest in starting a blog), these podcasts are great resources!
19. Simple Pin Podcast
(Blogging, Social Media)
The Simple Pin Podcast is dedicated to all things Pinterest. You’ll learn all the latest trends, tips, and techniques for maximizing your presence on Pinterest. Super useful content!
20. ProBlogger Podcast
ProBlogger has been around forever, so you know that the ProBlogger Podcast is going to be a great resource! Each week you’ll get blogging advice and tips. I have to admit that one of the reasons I love this podcast (apart from the expert content) is the host’s awesome Australian accent!
21. The Chopped Podcast
The Chopped Podcast is specifically geared toward food bloggers, but really, any blogger will get a lot out of it. It covers everything from writing to photography, working with a VA, and so much more.
22. The Food Blogger Pro Podcast
The Food Blogger Pro Podcast is hosted by Bjork from mega-blog Pinch of Yum and the Food Blogger Pro membership site. Liked Chopped, it’s geared toward food bloggers, but any blogger could benefit from it. This popular podcast offers practical advice for bloggers on everything from SEO to getting more eyes on your content to developing a niche. A must listen in my opinion.
More About Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed reading about the best podcasts for road trips and other travel! Which one will you listen to first?
If you’re new to podcasts, it’s definitely time to jump on the bandwagon! Here’s some info and tips to get you started:
- What is a podcast and how do they work? A podcast is kind of like a radio show, and it’s made up of different episodes. You can find them on all sorts of topics. Each episode of the podcast is formatted as a digital audio file, and you download it to your computer, tablet, or phone before listening.
- Are podcasts free? Most podcasts are free, although if the podcast has been around for a while, you may have to pay to download the archives.
- What does it mean when you subscribe to a podcast? When you subscribe to a podcast, new episodes will automatically be downloaded to your device as they become available. You can also listen to episodes of most podcasts without subscribing if you visit the podcast’s webpage.
- How can I find more podcasts? There are a few ways to find new podcasts. On your podcast app, you can search for new podcasts or scroll through popular podcasts by topic. One of my favorite ways to find new podcasts though is by going to a podcast I already enjoy on my podcast app. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll see a section called “You May Also Like” where you can find similar suggestions. (By the way, this advice is for the iPhone podcast app, but I’m sure other apps work similarly.)
What is your favorite podcast? I’d love to hear your recommendations!
P.S. Want more vacation inspiration? Check out all of my travel posts here.