Long road trips can be the worst–or the best, depending on your environment, destination and conversational partners. Hopefully you’re in the car with someone you enjoy spending time with, but if not…you’re definitely going to be looking for something to do to pass your time. I’ve taken a few of those trips myself lately, and have discovered a few things to do on a long car ride to keep my husband and I entertained and make the hours and miles fly by.
Podcasts are probably my favorite way to make time fly by in the car. My husband and I have about 5 different podcasts that we love to listen to, and the perfect time to listen is often in the car. If you’re anything like I was about 2 years ago, you’re probably under the impression that podcasts are dry and boring, with dry and boring topics that don’t interest you (talk radio comes to mind.) Not true however! There are so many categories and topics to choose from that I believe there’s something for everybody. I had no idea that there were so many interesting podcasts I would enjoy listening to so much.
First of all, you’ll need a way to access and download the podcasts. I’ve only tried the Podcast Addict app to find new podcasts as I’m relatively new to the podcast world, but I know that there are many others to use. I will embed the website link into each podcast title to ensure that you find the right one, and also list the podcast description from the same website. The first four podcasts I have personally listened to and enjoyed, and the last one is one of my husbands favorites that I haven’t listened to yet.
Snap Judgement–(Storytelling, with a BEAT) mixes real stories with killer beats to produce cinematic, dramatic radio. Snap’s raw, musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see the world through the eyes of another. There are 85 episodes, often around 30 minutes long or so. These are real, personal stories told by different people each episode. I highly recommend these, almost every story I’ve listened to has been riveting. Most of these episodes are probably no worse than PG-13 for those who are wondering.
S Town–John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
There are 7 episodes, a little less than an hour long for each. This one took me to the end of the first episode to get hooked, but boy was I hooked. It may take you a little into the first episode to get into this one, but you won’t regret it. Approximately R rated: This one has a lot of language and some sexuality, so fair warning.
This American Life–Mostly we do journalism, but an entertaining kind of journalism that’s built around plot. In other words, stories! Our favorite sorts of stories have compelling people at the center of them, funny moments, big feelings, surprising plot twists, and interesting ideas. Like little movies for radio. From the award winning radio show, This American Life. Episodes are about an hour long. There are around 600 episodes of this podcast. There are some fascinating stories here as well.
Welcome to Nightvale-A twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
There are around 176 episodes currently, around 20 minutes long. Now, this one is a little weird and may not be for everyone, but someone with the right sense of humor will enjoy it. Approximately PG content.
Here Be Monsters-A podcast created by and for people interested in pursuing their fears and facing the unknown. 20-30 minute episodes-I’m not sure how many there are. I’ve not personally listened to this one yet, but my husband enjoys it. I look forward to listening soon.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
Audio books are nothing new, but if you find a really good one they are also great at making the time pass quickly. I won’t waste time recommending a bunch of books as only you know what genre you like, but I will list the one that I personally found riveting. Infected by Scott Sigler is a book that actually comes in many different formats–hard copy, podcast format and of course audio book. Click the link above to go directly to the website for more information.
Book synopses taken from above website: Perry Dawsey is 6-foot-5, 265 pounds of angry ex-linebacker. He knows all too well that if he doesn’t control his quick temper, people get hurt. Through constant focus, he has locked his violent past away in the deep dungeons of his mind. The infection changes everything.
This sci fi novel is fascinating and once you start listening/reading you will not want to stop. Infectious alien spores have affected people around the world. Once they find their host, they grow and gradually begin to control them. I will say that the gruesome details in this book made me nauseous a few times but were part of what kept me transfixed by the story. I’ve never been so captivated by such a strange, gruesome topic. Approximately R rated, a lot of language and gag inducing graphic details.
Audible (by Amazon) is a great popular option for finding and listening to audio books. Amazon currently has a limited time offer: sign up for a 30 day free Audible trial and get two audio books free. Click here to go to Amazon and view offer details.
TED talks can be surprisingly interesting! They are short (roughly 20-30 minutes), powerful talks on a variety of topics. Try at least one out even if it sounds boring. You can watch on Youtube, or download the TED talks app and choose from new, trending or most viewed categories. Tap on the video then download so that you can watch later on the road, even if you have no service.
I’ve watched several, but my two favorites at this time are:
The Power of Introverts (Susan Cain)
Your body language may shape who you are. (Amy Cuddy)
I hope you enjoyed reading my list of things to do on a long car ride and found it helpful. Let me know if you tried any of the things I suggested, I would love to hear from you! Comment below!