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Great Podcasts to Listen to on Your Next Trip

The summer season is upon us. This means a lot of travel time between all the wonderful destinations we are planning to visit. It’s always best to plan something to keep not just the kids, but also yourself entertained to help make any long lines and waits a bit more tolerable. I’ve found podcasts help the time fly by! Here are a few shows I’ll be loading on my phone.

Podcasts for Travel Inspiration

Atlas Obscura
I love the Atlas Obscura website—all about the world’s hidden (and often weirdest) places. Now you can find bite-sized audio versions on their podcast of the same name. Host Dylan Thuras takes listeners on an audio journey to discover new and hidden places. A recent favorite? An exploration of Catalina Island’s bison herd. Yes, you read that right!

Let’s Go Together Podcast
Kellee Edward’s Travel + Leisure podcast features diverse voices sharing their unique travel experiences and inspiring others to explore the world. She is a good friend of mine, and her interview style highlights conversations I’ve been missing.

Everything Everywhere
My husband loves this show from travel expert Gary Arndt. Gary actually has three podcasts: This Week in Travel; The Global Travel Conspiracy; and Everything Everywhere. Everything Everywhere is great in the sense that it’s a short and sweet lesson about interesting people, places, and things from around the world and throughout history. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, history, science, geography, and culture.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
For me, travel is about being in the moment. However, learning about a place’s past always enhances the experience. That’s why I love Stuff You Missed in History Class. The episodes do a deep-dive into history’s most interesting events and people, and with hundreds (thousands?) of episodes logged, chances are wherever you’re traveling next is represented somewhere in those archives.   

Favorite Ongoing Shows

the daily

Start Here
There are a lot of daily news podcasts, but I like the little bit of extra flair host Brad Mielke brings to the show. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on current events without getting sucked into all the other distractions on your phone. Press play and let someone else tell you the news.

The Daily
The New York Time’s daily deep dive into a hot topic, with fascinating interviews from those affected by current events. It’s a personal approach to delivering the news, which I love.

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.

Modern Love
Heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories of love, loss and redemption. This audio version of the popular New York Times column of the same name features notable personalities reading the popular columns. At the end of each episode, the hosts interview the original essayists to discuss post-column life.

Revisionist History
Malcolm Gladwell does such a great job of finding interesting stories. On this podcast, he re-examines something from the past — an event, a person, an idea, even a song — and asks whether we got it right the first time. Spoiler alert: we rarely do!

Bingeable Series

dolly parton's america

Dolly Parton’s America
America is so divided right now. And yet… one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question lead host Jad Abumrad to take on a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons.

The Dropout
Binge alert! This series tells the wild and unbelievable story of Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos, a blood-testing technology that she claimed would revolutionize the medical industry. You will not believe the things this company got away with as their founder flew closer and closer to the sun.

Love history? This five-episode series from the NYT is a must. Dropped on the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing on American shores, 1619 dissects the legacy of slavery in the United States. You will learn a lot.

Wind of Change
There’s no shortage of conspiracy theories about the Central Intelligence Agency. But this one is really out there…. Or is it? The premise: The C.I.A. orchestrated the writing of “Wind of Change,” a power ballad by the German heavy metal band Scorpions as part of a covert campaign to undermine the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Sounds crazy, but there might be some there there.

If You Have Kids…

goodnight stories for rebel girls

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Though the title says “for Rebel Girls,” boys and adults will love these stories, too. These 20-minute-ish episodes featuring narration about the lives of inspiring women are a good listen for kids ages six and up and for grown-ups, too. You’ll learn about notable women in history, like Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, and Celia Cruz.

Six Minutes
It’s a fast-paced fictional story (six to 10 minutes per episode) that will grab the attention of both kids and adults. When the Anders family finds an 11-year-old girl called Holiday floating in icy Alaskan waters with no memory of who she is, things start getting…. weird. Superpowers, robots, and remote islands—all the makings of a family-friendly action-adventure mystery.

WOW in the World
Kids and grownups will love this NPR podcast from hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz. You’ll hear stories about the latest news in science, technology, and innovation. Stories that give kids hope, agency and make us all say “WOW”!

Brains On
This radio show/podcast that takes kid-submitted science questions and answers them with the help of experts. For example, why do we have crushes? Is time travel possible? Do dogs know they’re dogs? The result is a fun show that’s as silly as it is educational.

What are your go-to podcasts? Share in the comments!

Whether I'm traveling by plane, train or car, I’ve found podcasts help the time fly by! Here are a few shows I’ll be loading on my phone.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. This post is a godsend to me today as I have been languishing in a sea of “what podcasts are out there that I would like to listen to?” I didn’t know where to start and you saved the day! Thank you, Samantha. I love your posts and I too am a travel junkie! Keep up the good work! 👍

  2. The TJ Show *****
    What should I read next?
    Ground Truth
    Masterpiece Studio
    Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson
    The Way I Heard It

    My favorites

  3. I recommend Sidedoor from the Smithsonian Museums and Rick Steve’s podcast. Sidedoor takes you behind the scenes of the many museums that make up the Smithsonian. Interesting and quirky stories about history, people and events. Rick Steves always has interesting guests. They include travel guides (some who work for him), authors and others associated with the travel industry. What I like is the guests are on for 20 minutes to the full hour so you really learn a lot. I have discovered some great books by listening to his podcast. Looking forward to Season 5. I am from southwest Florida and loved your show about my part of the world.

  4. Talking Tudors is a favorite of mine. I love everything England and adore anything having to do with Tudor England. Combines my love of this and travel like no other. I listened to Natalie Greunenges pop cast while walking through Tudor England a few years ago.

  5. I love love love Babcia and YiaYia Travel The World! Light, funny and travel…. Actually now that I think about it, they mention your bag a lot!

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podcasts to list to on your next trip
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