Summer is finally here — and after many months of being cooped up, it’s time to get on the road!
You may be surrounded by great scenery, but let’s get real… you can only look out the window for so long. And what happens if you end up stuck in traffic or driving through the night, when it’s not so easy to see what’s going on around you? You better have something interesting to listen to.
That’s, of course, where a good podcast comes in.
But when you’re on a road trip, what you really need is more than just a good podcast. You need a great podcast — and one with plenty of episodes ready to be queued up so you can get totally addicted on the way to your destination. Have you ever stumbled on a great new pod, only to discover that you’re already out of content to enjoy? It’s a great way to put a damper on your journey.
Plus, finding a bingeable podcast makes you a more responsible driver! You can listen to episodes back to back without having to mess with the other shows you have banked on your phone. It’s a safety issue, really.
When it comes to summer road trips, bingeing on podcasts is where it’s at.
11 Podcasts Perfect for Any Summer Road Trip
It’s a great time to find your new favorite pod! Check out these music, food, sports, friendship and storytelling shows. They’ll help you get all the way from Point A to Point B… no matter how far away Point B may be.
Music lovers, rejoice! Whether you know a lot about the technicalities of music or simply love bopping to your favorite beats, the Song Exploder podcast is bound to open your eyes to a brand new level of music appreciation. On each episode, host and show creator Hrishikesh Hirway prompts musicians to break down their popular songs in fascinating detail.
There’s something for everyone in the Song Exploder catalog, no matter their preferred musical era or genre. Featured guests include artists from Fleetwood Mac and U2 to Billie Eilish and Lorde.
Must-listen-to episode: “HAIM”
If there’s anything that’s as important to a successful road trip as great listening material, it’s gotta be coffee. A cup of joe will keep you going as you clock up the miles to your destination.
If you’re a coffee lover, you’re going to love Adventures in Coffee. The episodes are organized in narrative style, giving listeners a peek into the business of coffee and the experience of enjoying it.
Must-listen-to episode: “Prove the coffee snobs wrong… Instantly!”
Sometimes, you’re just craving a good story. Fantastic storytelling draws you right in, makes you feel all the feels and can help the time pass quickly. When you’re on a long car trip, passing the time quickly is especially important. Before you know it, you’ll have devoured a few episodes and you’ll have arrived. It’s a win-win.
Radio Diaries is a great choice for lovers of narrative shows. Each episode is its own first-person diary, exposing listeners to personal stories from a wide range of people and to little-known pockets of history. Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman is behind the show, so you know it’s high-quality.
Must-listen-to episode: “The Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 Years Later”
4. Trail Weight
As you travel along your own journey, you might enjoy having the company of another person on theirs. Trail Weight will do the trick. Hosted by Andrew Steven, Trail Weight offers stories from a long backpacking adventure through the Sierra Nevadas.
Each episode integrates elements of audio diaries, recordings from the trail and interviews with guests who have their own experiences with self-discovery to share. By the time you’re finished with your road trip, you might just learn something about yourself too.
Must-listen-to episode: “Act One”
If you’re anything like me, you learned a little bit about Greek mythology in school, but you often find yourself feeling out of the loop when you encounter references to various myths in conversations and pop culture. And no one likes to feel out of the loop!
Close your mythology knowledge gap with a binge session of the Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby podcast, which explores the world of myths from the perspective of a millennial who leaves no stone unturned when researching each episode. Liv Albert is a proud nerd for mythology… and she might just inspire you to become one too.
Must-listen-to episode:” CXXVIII: The God of Many Names and Many Lovers, Dionysus & Ampelus (PRIDE!)”
There are plenty of sports podcasts out there that can keep you up to speed on what’s happening on the field — or on the court, in the ring, etc. — from day to day or week to week, but if you prefer something a little longer-form, you have likely met your match in Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson. And you don’t have to be a Mike Tyson superfan to get into this show!
On each episode, boxing superstar Tyson interviews a celebrity guest. Many of his guests are athletes, but this podcast is especially well-suited for group road trips where some, but not all of the travelers are sports fans. Over the course of a binge session, you’re bound to find an episode featuring someone from the entertainment space as well.
Must-listen-to episode: “Dennis Rodman”
Friends make the best road trip buddies… but they also make the best podcast co-hosts. Need proof? Check out Friendshipping!
Friendshipping! is billed as a “feel-good advice show about friendship” that makes suggestions “on the tricky stuff that’s making you feel weird.” It’s juicy and relatable and incredibly human. Hosts — and real-life pals — Jenn and Trin might even offer you food for thought on your own relationships.
Must-listen-to episode: “Inconsiderate Doofuses”
Foodies with an appetite for excellent audio will surely not be disappointed by The Splendid Table. It’s a thoughtful adventure into the food world that offers interviews with food celebrities, behind-the-scenes peeks into famous kitchens, deep dives into must-have kitchen tools and so much more.
A word to the wise, though: don’t choose this podcast for your road trip if you’re still hungry for the perfect on-the-go snack. It’s basically guaranteed to get your stomach growling.
Must-listen-to episode: “Say Cheese!”
Is there anyone who hasn’t found themselves scrolling through bad reviews of a restaurant or travel destination and laughing just a little bit? You’ve gotta admit: it’s kind of fun.
The hosts of Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet have taken this idea to the next level, building a whole podcast around the reviews written by dissatisfied travelers. The show features dramatic (and hilarious) readings of one-star reviews that will remind you that something good will always come out of a vacation… even a bad one.
Must-listen-to episode: “Reviews of the Mall of America”
10. The Sporkful
Episodes of The Sporkful go down just as easily as potato chips and gummy bears, which makes them ideal for a road trip. There’s something for every foodie craving in this episode catalog, whether you’re interested in learning about the ice cream machines at McDonald’s, the ideal shape for pasta or how celebrity couples compromise on dinner.
Must-listen-to episode: “How Crying in H Mart Helped Michelle Zauner Grieve Her Mother”
11. Broken Record
This music podcast has a true dream team behind it — producer Rick Rubin, writer Malcom Gladwell and former New York Times editor Bruce Headlam. Put these superstars together, toss in the long-lost art of record liner notes and you’ve got yourself an absolutely binge-worthy pod that will keep you grooving with every mile that passes.
Each episode explores the liner notes of a particular album, giving listeners a unique look at the songs, artists and lyrics they love.
Must-listen-to episode: “Liz Phair”
Alli Hoff Kosik is a writer, editor, content manager and podcast editor based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the host and producer of The SSR Podcast. Alli is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Temple University. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.