Are We There Yet? Audio Stories To Make The Trip Fly By

Dec 20, 2016

Winter break and holidays often mean long car or airplane trips that can feel even longer driving alone or with a car full of sleepy family members. Whether you're looking for entertainment on a long solo sojourn, a car full of kids, or a road trip with friends we've got you covered to make sure you are entertained!

Road trip:

  • If you haven't listened to Serial yet, there is a reason it broke records for downloads and has often been heralded as the zenith of podcasting. The first season clocks in at nine hours of riveting radio. (This story deals with homicide and is not appropriate for kids.)
  • Hamilton: An American Musical. Surely you've heard of Hamilton by now? The smash musical is sung straight through so you don't miss any plot listening to the cast recording (although it might take a few songs to distinguish which character is singing). Three hours will fly by, but have some tissues ready for the end.
    (If you have already listened to Hamilton but haven't heard the Hamilton Mixtape, YOU'RE WELCOME.) 


  • WBEZ's Making Oprah is a three part (approximately three hours) series looking back on 30 years of daytime television's most famous host. The series is interesting even for non-Oprah fans.
  • Catch up This American Life or peruse their holiday episodes of which there are many. This American Life tells several stories on a theme, alternately tragic, hilarious, and moving.
  • Gimlet media's StartUp- four full seasons of starting a business from the ground up, fascinating even for those without an entrepreneurial streak.
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour is an old-timey radio drama podcast with fun stories- for older kids and adults, themes skew mature.

For families and kids:

  • Eleanor Amplified is a serialized adventure clocking in at nearly two hours of 10-15 minute episodes. Recommended for kids 8-12.

Compelling conversation starters:

  • Death, Sex, and Money with Anna Sale is a podcast about "the things we think about a lot and don't talk about enough." Sale doesn't shy away from tough conversations that spur conversation.
  • Modern Love, the podcast, takes some of the best essays from the essay series of the same name from the New York Times and brings them alive through readings by famous actors.
  • Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape our world: personality, consciousness, relationships, health and turns the understanding you think you have upside down. Always interesting, often poignant.

A podcast of more podcast recs?! Pop Culture Happy Hour (a great podcast with shorter shelf life than those recommended) sat down to talk about particularly good episodes and series of OTHER PODCASTS. Enjoy your trip!