Hit the road with these Best Podcasts for Road Trips

Looking for the ultimate road trip playlist? Our 2024 guide to the best podcasts for road trips is packed with selections that promise to make your drive fly by. From hard-hitting interviews and hilarious comedy to fiction and history, we’ve curated this list with a mix of personal favorites and recommendations from friends with different interests.

It’s a diverse lineup designed to cater to all tastes, ensuring you’re entertained and engaged no matter where the road takes you. Dive into these picks and let the miles roll by with stories that intrigue and inspire.


A trio of friends brings you laughs and top conversations with a mystery celebrity guest.

best Smartless episodes

Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett have this unique chemistry that turns every episode into a party. Their surprise guest format keeps things spicy and unpredictable, fostering a relaxed and incredibly engaging vibe. I found myself laughing out loud one minute and pondering deep thoughts the next, especially during the Robert Downey Jr. episode. It’s not just entertainment; it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions that leaves you feeling closer to these celebrities than ever. If you’re in the mood for humor, sincerity, and a bit of star-studded glamour, SmartLess is your go-to. Wondering where to start? Kick off your SmartLess journey with the Jerry Seinfeld or Ricky Gervais episodes. 

Ready to embark on your SmartLess road trip adventure? We’ve curated the ultimate Smartless episode guide.

Armchair Expert

Dive deep into the messiness of being human with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.

Armchair Expert

Armchair Expert is more than just a podcast; it’s a beautiful exploration of humanity. Dax Shepard and Monica Padman create an intimate and expansive space, allowing their guests to open up in unexpected ways. Whether it’s the raw honesty of Monica Lewinsky or the wisdom of Esther Perel, each episode feels like a masterclass in empathy and understanding. What I love most is their ability to blend humor with sensitivity, making you feel part of a meaningful conversation among friends. If you want to laugh, learn, and maybe even shed a tear, Armchair Expert is your perfect travel buddy. It’s a ride through the highs and lows of life, guaranteed to make every mile more entertaining.

Craving more Armchair Expert for your journey? Discover our curated list of Armchair Expert episodes that promise to be the best companions for your road trip adventures.

We’re Alive

An intense audio drama blending survival stories and zombie apocalypse to deliver a unique narrative about the human spirit’s resilience.

Podcast Genre: Fiction
Apple podcasts rating: 4.8/5
Approximate duration: 30’

We’re Alive stands out as a thrilling post-apocalyptic drama that will engage you with the tale of survival in a world overrun by the undead. Kc Wayland meticulously crafts the series, bringing his characters’ desperation, fear, and hope to life with immersive sound design and stellar voice acting in an immersive narrative that ensures each of its nearly 200 half-hour episodes is meticulously crafted. 

Following the survivors’ struggles and triumphs, you’re invited to explore humanity, community, and resilience. Each episode builds on the last, ramping up the tension while peeling back layers of character depth and plot intrigue.

Whether you’re catching up on the past seasons or diving straight into the latest, We’re Alive is a binge-worthy choice for your 2024 road trip. 

WA is the best audio drama show to ever hit the airwaves. Everything from the writing all the way down to the sound of a squeaky chair is just perfection. Each of the series brings you characters you love and/or hate. I’ve listened to the show a couple times through and each time I learn something new. 

Listener review

Marvel’s Wolverine: The Lost Trail

Venture into the Louisiana bayou with Logan in this action-packed Marvel podcast that combines mystery, suspense, and comic book charm.

Podcast Genre: Fiction
Apple podcasts rating: 4.8/5
Approximate duration: 40’

Embark on an adventure into Louisiana’s mysterious Bayou with Marvel’s Wolverine: The Lost Trail. This podcast, created by Ben Percy and an excellent production crew, presents a thrilling mix of intrigue, thrill, and suspense.

This pod finds our hero Logan, voiced by Richard Armitage, searching for redemption in New Orleans. His mission soon gets complex as his ex-lover Maureen and many others mysteriously disappear. As Logan teams up with teenager Marcus Baptiste, they encounter biker gangs, Cajun thieves, and powerful mutants.

With 22 intriguing episodes, Wolverine: The Lost Trail’s immersive story brings the charm of comic books to your ears, making it a perfect companion for your road trip.

I would love for more Wolverine stories like this. Or more superhero stories like this. It’s got thrills and it’s got chills and if you love that mystery and strange side of comics well you will find it all here. If you really pay attention you can almost imagine the pages of the comic book.

Listener review

Behind the Bastards 

Uncover the darker side of history in this unique podcast that explores the lives of history’s most notorious figures with humor and deep insights.

Podcast Genre: Society & Culture
Apple podcasts rating: 4.4/5
Approximate duration: 100’

If you’re intrigued by the darker chapters of human history, Behind the Bastards is an essential pick for your road trip podcast playlist. 

In each episode (be prepared, they are long), former war journalist and writer for Cracked, Robert Evans and a guest explore the rise, reign, and fall of historical figures who left the world worse than they found it.

From infamous dictators to scandalous celebrities, they go beyond basic historical facts to uncover bizarre, often shocking personal details. A regular dash of comedic input from the guests, as well as Evans’ producer Sophie, ensures the narrative stays engaging without becoming too harsh.

Whether examining the dark side of Bikram yoga, the role played by Josef Mengele and tNazi doctors or probing the dubious allegiance of Coco Chanel during WWII, Behind the Bastards keeps you hooked with its storytelling and quirky insights. With longer episodes released weekly or split into two parts, it’s perfect for those lengthy stretches of your road trip.

Well researched, darkly humorous stories about terrible people past and present. Some are well known and some you may not have heard of, all will have you questioning how people can be so evil.

Listener review

American History Tellers

This podcast offers an immersive journey through significant events in American history, highlighting their lasting impact on present-day life.

Podcast Genre: History
Apple podcasts rating: 4.6/5
Approximate duration: 40’

American History Tellers takes you on a journey through the annals of American history. Host Lindsay Graham digs beyond the surface of significant events that have shaped our history and culture, shedding light on how the past continues to impact our lives.

This show offers nearly 300 episodes of in-depth exploration, each roughly 40 minutes long. Its vast repertoire encompasses seasons focused on diverse themes, such as the Cold War, the Prohibition, the Age of Jackson, and more recent accounts like the Boston Molasses Disaster and Hawaii’s journey to statehood.

Get ready for a road trip that’s as much about time travel as the open road.

What I love most about this podcast is Graham’s ability to add eyewitness perspectives to historical events. How did it feel to BE there in these moments, to live through these times? I also appreciate that he takes events that might have been just a sentence or two in my history textbook and expands on them. I was a history nerd before I started listening to Graham, and I’ve already discovered so much about America’s past that I didn’t know.

Listener review

The Dollop

History and comedy collide in this unique podcast that presents obscure stories from American history in a hilarious and engaging format.

Podcast Genre: Comedy
Apple podcasts rating: 4.7/5
Approximate duration: 70’

The Dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds is an engaging blend of comedy and history, perfect for a road trip. 

This podcast lightens up obscure tales from America’s past with humor. Here is how they make it: Dave, a seasoned comedian and history buff, selects a quirky, lesser-known story from the annals of American history each week. He presents it to Gareth, also a comedian, who’s hearing the story for the first time and will ask further questions and make extra comments.

What unfolds is an hour-long, vibrant mixture of improv comedy and intriguing history. You will learn about diverse topics ranging from the dramatic rivalry between Edison and Tesla or the significant impact of the automobile revolution on urban life to the tragic fate of the Radium Girls. Gareth’s uninformed perspective and sharp comedic responses breathe life into these stories, making for a hilarious and educational listen.

The Dollop is more than just a podcast; it’s a mobile comedy club that makes history unforgettable.

This is a great show for that “hahahahaha oof” feeling. And a great place to learn a bunch of facts that you’ll have to pretend you read in a book when you argue with your family abt American history.

Listener review

Normal Gossip

An unexpected mix of humor, human intrigue, and everyday stories turned extraordinary. This podcast makes the mundane seem fascinating and provides a unique perspective on life.

Podcast Genre: Comedy
Apple podcasts rating: 4.7/5
Approximate duration: 70’

Looking for a dose of humor, human intrigue, and a chatty companion on your next road trip? Try listening to Save Normal Gossip. This podcast turns everyday stories into something incredible. The host, Kelsey McKinney, is a reporter and writer featured in well-known media like The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan. In this podcast, she uses ordinary gossip sent in by listeners to create engaging one-hour episodes that feel like a fun conversation.

What makes Normal Gossip special is its charming blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar. It uncovers fascinating aspects of everyday life, diving into the decisions and scenarios of people you’ll never meet. Perfect for a road trip, Normal Gossip is highly addictive, furiously frivolous, and outrageously fun.

The hook of this show is juicy gossip, but what makes it work is Kelsey’s brilliant storytelling. The stories are rich in detail and funny turns and the podcast does an excellent job of not flattening the characters out into archetypes or reducing the stories to narrative cliches. It keeps everything hilariously unpredictable—and feels more true to the shining messiness of life. 

Listener review

Darknet Diaries

Experience the hidden corners of the internet with this podcast that explores stories about hackers, privacy, and cybercrime, bringing the complex world of digital security to life.

Podcast Genre: Technology
Apple podcasts rating: 4.9/5
Approximate duration: 50’

Darknet Diaries offers an immersive journey into the lesser-known corners of the internet, making it a must-listen for those looking to learn and think critically about cybercrime, digital privacy, the internet culture, cryptocurrencies, and even the tactics used for manipulating online platforms.

You will discover a world of knowledge and intrigue through this incredible podcast series launched in 2017 by Jack Rhysider. You will find unbelievable cases ranging from half an hour to an hour per episode. With Rhysider’s compelling narration and the inclusion of original interviews and audio footage, prepare to be amazed at every turn.

With its unique blend of suspenseful storytelling, rigorous investigation, and complex subject matter, Darknet Diaries is an indispensable addition to our list.

Jack hosts and guides the stories of this show with exquisite precision and candor. Good interviews are not all equal. Some people simply lack the curiosity and or skill needed to really get honest chronicles and open conversations. Not Jack. So I applaud the team that makes the show for creating an environment and a series that does it right. We get to share in the glory of having truths and prickly, dark, difficult questions and topics explored and laid out in the light. This kind of journalism, if one can call it that, is precisely what the world needs more of.

Listener review

Some episodes to get started:

  • Episode 17 – “Finn”: Explore how a young loner turned schoolboy hacker.
  • Episode 32 – “The Carder”: Join a high-stakes chase to catch infamous hacker Roman Seleznev.
  • Episode 27 – “Chartbreakers”: Discover how some cheat their way to the top of podcast charts.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates

Explore complex global issues with Bill Gates in this podcast designed to satisfy intellectual curiosity and foster a better understanding of the world.

Podcast Genre: Society & Culture
Apple podcasts rating: 3.5/5
Approximate duration: 35’

This podcast, hosted by none other than tech magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates himself, is a voyage of intellectual curiosity and problem-solving.

Each episode will engage you with a tangle of complex topics, from unraveling the mysteries of Alzheimer’s to exploring the potential and ethics of plant-based meat. Gates and his incredible guests work together to unscramble these intricate matters, immersing you in their quest for clarity and understanding.

What sets this podcast apart is its acceptance of initial confusion and the subsequent journey to clarity. It’s not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about embracing the messiness of the learning process, taking you along for the ride. 

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates demonstrates that the learning journey can often be as rewarding as the destination of understanding. 

Say what you will about Bill Gates, but he’s read more books than the majority of us, talked to more experts than we have, and spent more time digging into many of humanity’s most pressing and complex problems. I’m glad he uses his platform to share these convos with a larger audience. I wish billionaires didn’t exist, but since they do, I wish more would spend their time and resources the way he does.

Listener review

Whether you’re seeking thrilling tales, probing debates, or humorous anecdotes, these podcasts promise to transform your journey into an engaging adventure. Pack your bags, prepare your playlist, and hit the road. Every trip tells a story, and these podcasts promise to make yours unforgettable. Safe travels and happy listening!


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