Hitting the open road with a full tank, plenty of snacks and that sense of freedom of a road trip is wonderful. But sometimes those empty straights begin to drag and you need something to entertain you. Here are our current top 10 podcasts perfect for a long drive.
They say that travel is often more about the journey than the destination. It’s never more true than when you plan a road trip.
Of course it helps when there’s something extraordinary waiting for you as you pull up the handbrake at last, but a driving holiday is all about getting there, no matter where ‘there’ might be.
Every road trip needs a few essential items.
Snacks (preferably in the form of a box of Shapes), drinks and something to listen to.
So as we watched the Sydney skyline disappear in our rear window, we paired Christina’s phone to the car’s Bluetooth and attacked our carefully curated podcast list with relish.
10 podcasts perfect for a road trip
In no particular order, here’s what we listened to as the odometer slowly clocked our Ks on our epic 2,500km drive through the country down to the Mornington Peninsula.
True crime has had a massive resurgence recently and no one does it quite as well as Karen and Georgia.
These two ladies relish a good serial killer tale and draw you in with their irreverence, humour and astonishment. But even better than listening to stories they’ve found themselves is when these ladies read out emails from fans telling of their own close calls with a violent death.
Taking profanity to next level, Do the Right Thing is a panel of British comedians whose moral compasses are tested each show by host Danielle Ward.
The show explores ever weirder scenarios to see how the funniest people on screen and stage would handle themselves… if you know what I mean.
The story of the Hodel family and their connection to the Black Dahlia murder.
A truly haunting yet incredible tale of a family beset by the most terrible of dramas. From abuse, incest and deserted babies to an uncanny link to the gruesome 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short aka the Black Dahlia.
Even more compelling than the podcast’s own subject matter is that it’s hosted by the great granddaughters of George Hodel – the man who may well have committed America’s most infamous unsolved murder.
Decoder Ring presents a fascinating dive into cultural mysteries and social trends.
With the help of experts in the field, host Willa Paskin examines a multitude of topics from people’s sudden fear and hatred of clowns to the covalence that queer icon Judy Garland has with the LBTQIA+ community.
What a shock it must have been for host Jamie Morton when he discovered his dad’s attempts at writing an erotic novella.
This hilarious podcast is Jamie’s verbatim reading of the horrendous story of Belinda Blinked, and he and his two friends Alice Lavine and James Cooper dissection of each ‘book’. There are several. By the way, try not to binge this one too long. We’ve discovered it can have negative effects!
Definitely the weirdest podcast you’ll find, The Beef and Dairy Network is a brilliant parody of what you’d expect a rural animal husbandry show to be.
In fact it’s so good, it can take a little while for you to realise it really isn’t the “podcast companion to the Beef and Dairy Network website and printed magazine”. There is no website or magazine. Yet.
Interviewing a wide selection of people from the beef and dairy industry, the host sheds light on the strange and random community “involved – or just interested – in the production of beef animals and dairy herds”.
Debunking medical myths and looking into historic ailments, this husband-and-wife team (she’s the doctor) pop a thermometer ‘up there’ and set the world to rights one germ-ridden yarn at a time.
It’s a wonderful blend of Justin’s panicky comedy and Dr Sydnee’s level-headed no-that’s-not-true explanations that makes this podcast so appealing, interesting and funny.
My favourite podcast, this is the deepest of all deep-dive podcasts.
Journalist and history fan Dan Carlin goes into incredible depth in tales of ancient to recent history regaling us in his compelling voice of the details of Genghis Khan, WWI, the Cuban Missile Crisis and many more. Get ready for some pretty serious stuff though – his podcasts are epic.
Creator of our favourite TV show Taskmaster, Alex Horne hosts this whimsical yet well-honed musical interview podcast.
Chatting to new guests – usually from the British comedy circuit – each show, Alex is accompanied by his incredibly talented five-piece band as they create songs and games. This is either a unique interview format or just a bunch of guys (and girls) getting together to play music and have a laugh. It’s very entertaining either way.
This BBC investigative production travels across the planet to try and find out the truth behind a scam that took the world by storm.
Dr Ruja Ignatova created One Coin a new cryptocurrency set to change the world of finance forever. However, the further journalist and host Jamie Bartlett delves, the darker things get. Internet scams, federal arrests, pyramid schemes, mafia and suspected kidnappings all feature in this fascinating tale.
And perhaps the answer to the riddle of what really happened to the Missing Crypto Queen – Dr Ruja Ignatova.
Of course, there are new awesome podcasts coming out every day, and whenever we write lists like this we wonder how they’ll look six months from now.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of solid podcast recommendations, you should check out this list on Smaggle. It’s very impressive.
And if you have any recommendations for good roadtrip podcasts, please tell us about them in the comments. We love a good recommendation.