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Entertaining Podcasts to Listen to On the Road

The holidays are just around the corner. I can’t believe it, either! For many of us, this time of year means lots of food, drink and time in a car or plane. I’ve found podcasts help the time fly by! Here are a few shows I’ll be loading on my phone before heading to grandma’s house.

Travel with Rick Steves

I adore Rick Steves. He knows more than just about anyone when it comes to travel. His weekly podcast features one-hour conversations with guest experts and callers about travel, cultures, people, and the things we find around the world that give life its extra sparkle.

Extra Pack of Peanuts

Travis Sherry’s podcast shows you how to travel more and spend less money! Great trip suggestions, packing tips, strategies for scoring cheap hotels and airfare… what’s not to love?

Ask Me Another

If you love NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!, you’ll love this show, too. In my experience, trivia makes the miles fly by! Plus, you can get competitive with your fellow passengers.

The Diane Rehm Show

In my opinion, Diane is a national treasure. Although she will be retiring after the election, she has had an award-winning public radio show since 1984 that’s, of course, available via podcast. Her interviews with leaders, authors and artists make you feel like you are a part of a great conversation where no one bickers over opinion. Facts are laid out and discussed.

On Being

I started listening to this show on the radio at 6am when I was waking up early to feed babies. It’s a thought-provoking hour about what it means to be a human being in all our spiritual, physical messiness. I always feel really great after listening to it.

The Longest Shortest Time

If you’re a parent, you should definitely give this show a listen. It’s all about pregnancy, parenting and the challenges that come with it. Also, it has the BEST name, ever. As anyone with kids knows, the days are long, but the years are short!

The Mortified Podcast

Adults read from their childhood diaries and it’s hilarious. Often not safe for listening with kids in the car. 😉

Mystery Show

I recently heard this show is on indefinite hiatus, but the old episodes are still available and really, really fun. Here’s the gist: host Starlee Kine solves mysteries that can’t be found by just Googling. For example, figuring out the meaning behind a very obscure vanity license plate, or the story behind a vintage Welcome Back, Kotter lunchbox.


Looking for a new podcast? Check out Sampler, all about highlighting podcasts. Some are mainstream, others are incredibly niche (for example, a podcast all about professional wrestling). You may find your new favorite show!

Dear Sugar

Did you read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild? Who didn’t?! In this podcast, she and fellow writer Steve Almond answer listener’s questions about love, heartbreak, and how to handle complicated interpersonal relationships. It’s like a more modernized version of Dear Abby and it’s totally addicting. Maybe you’ll learn some strategies for coping with all that holiday family time!

Intelligence Squared

Today’s top political & ethical topics tackled in an Oxford-style debate. The show encourages audiences to “think twice,” fostering intelligent discussion grounded in these things called facts. You’ll sound soooo smart at the Thanksgiving table!



Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the “How to Become Batman” episode, which explores how a blind man has learned how to see using sound. Crazy and incredible!


Did you read any of the Freakonomics books? This is the podcast version, hosted by economists Steven Dubner and Steve Levitt, who examine the hidden side of everything as viewed through an economist’s lens. It will definitely spur some great car ride conversations!

This American Life

You’ve probably heard this NPR show (with episodes now numbering in the 600s, I think!). But did you know you can access their entire archive online? Ira Glass and team are some of the best storytellers on the planet. This show will make you laugh, cry and reflect—often all at the same time.

What are your favorite podcasts? Share in the comments!

I’ve found podcasts help the time fly by! Here are a few shows I’ll be loading on my phone before heading to grandma’s house.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. It’s an off shoot of This American Life, but Serial is a podcast about an investigative reporter delving into complicated court cases. They put all the facts out there and have great perspectives from all angles of the case. It really makes a road trip fly by!

    1. Serial and Undisclosed (one murder case jumps from Serial to Undisclosed) has kept my attention for a couple of months now. Spellbinding!

  2. I frequently listen to Filmspotting, The Nerdist, and a host of Smodco shows. I have my own sailing podcast called The Shooting The Breeze Sailing Podcast. I also listen all of the other sailing pods like On The Wind, Sailing in the Mediterranean, Sail Loot, The Sailing Rode, and Slow Boat Sailing.

  3. I’ll be sure to check these out. Ever since I discovered The Joe Rogan Experience and some other podcasts I barely watch TV anymore. It is so important that people have access to honest, unbiased forms of media – that’s what’s great about podcasts. Also it’s great to listen to someone else’s conversation for a couple of hours, it’s like having new friends.
    I’ve started a blog recently and I recorded a podcast with my friend just last week. We talk about a lot of things; music, politics; marijuana and more. I’d encourage everyone to check it out, also I’d love to hear some feedback –

  4. “The Moth” and “Radio Lab” are 2 that I never miss. Also “The News From Lake Wobegon” is always great! And the TED Radio Hour….. I could go on and on…lol

  5. The Bowery Boys, an informative podcast about New York City,with a wide range of topics . Meanwhile for a bit of trivia,Says You ! Gives the brain a workout,great for road trips.

  6. My favorite podcasts are:
    Travelogue – A weekly travel podcast by Conde-Naste Traveler.

    Join Us In France- A fantastic podcast about traveling in France! It makes you feel like planning your next vacation to France immediately.

    The Phileas Club- a monthly discussion from people around the world about current events and seeing them from other countries’ perspectives.

  7. Good Job Brain! Fun trivia and kid friendly. I’m a huge Wait Wait fan, so also enjoy Friday Night Comedy, which includes The Now Show, which is kind of like a UK version.

  8. I love Reply All. Love it. And if you like true crime, Casefike. Well written, produced and presented. 5part Belango is superb.

  9. The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe- they will remind you of Paul Harvey’s “the rest of the story” segments.

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