Need a new podcast to listen to as you plan for your next road trip? Got a long stretch of driving in your future? Here are 3 podcasts to check out to help the miles pass a little more quickly.
No, they’re not cutting edge new releases but they all have kept both my husband and I entertained for several trips and, in case they haven’t made it onto your radar yet, are worth checking out.
Warning: these are not family-friendly and some contain strong language so they’re best listened to via headphones while your kids are in the car. Hey, it will help drown out the Paw-Patrol songs blaring from backseat!
3 Podcasts for Road Trips
Produced by the folks who brought you Serial and from the studios of This American Life, S-Town is the achingly beautiful story of a man in small town Alabama who contacts the host, Bryan Reid, about some local government corruption. The first episode will have you thinking this is a murder mystery and in some ways it is, but really it’s a portrait of a place in the rural south and a man who doesn’t exactly belong.
Yes, the story is compellingly sad but I heard someone else make the argument that the real reason to listen to this is to hear host Brian’s compassionate and empathetic narrative. Your ability to empathize with the people of S-Town is 100% due to the integrity and dignity with which he presents the story. A difficult but completely worthwhile listen that will have you binging through all 7 episodes. Trigger warning: You’ll find dark topics discussed in the show so if you’re sensitive to that, read some overviews or reviews first. Lots of strong language too.
I wrote about this a few months ago in my What I’m Into post for January and still highly recommend this podcast. I think older kids and teens would also enjoy it, especially if they’re interested in history. Each episode from the Washington Post focuses on a president and, beginning with George Washington, you can listen along to the evolution of the Presidency.
It’s been so fun to learn about all the men who’ve served in the Executive Office and the various ways they’ve impacted the position. I’m not going to lie, it’s also slightly reassuring to hear we’ve had lots of different characters, temperaments, and personalities in our long history as a nation and that we’re still standing despite/because of them. Some episodes are a little slow but it’s worth listening (maybe at 1.5x speed for a few of them) to in chronological order to get a true sense of our nation’s history.
Produced by NPR, this series interviews a new company founder each week. Find out the behind-the-scenes stories, and sometimes drama, of some of your favorite companies like Melissa and Doug, Southwest Airlines, and Crate and Barrel. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur yourself, I think the stories are so interesting and shed light on the crazy paths that many businesses follow in getting started.
If you are working for yourself or thinking about it someday, the interviews are a total peek behind the curtain of really successful ideas that started at a kitchen table and that is pretty hopeful when you’re just getting started yourself. You can start in any order and pick the companies or founders that you most want to hear
So there you have it, three new podcasts for some grown-up listening as you cruise down the road. You’ll still have plenty of time to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider and play I Spy with your kids but if you need a break from all that family togetherness inside the minivan, pop in those headphones and find your inner parent-peace while you tune into one of these great podcasts. If you need more suggestions, check out my favorite podcasts from last year.
What podcasts have you been listening to? Any that helped make your road trip go faster? Share your ideas below!
PS – Want more great suggestions? I send a newsletter a couple of times a month to subscribers and often include a new podcast, show or book recommendation. Sign up to get added to the list and receive your free 1 hour vacation planning guide!