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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Road trip radio can be like roulette. Either there’s nothing good on or, just as the first great song in a half hour comes on, you drop into a valley or get blocked by a bunch of trees and boom—nothing but static. To save you from that fate, we’ve compiled a list of great podcasts for every length that will keep you interested and alert, no matter how many miles you have left to go on your road trip.

RELATED: Vote up! What’s the best travel song ever?

Day trips (4 hours or less):

Overheard at National Geographic: Peter Gwin and Amy Brigg’s incredible stories about Pompeii, crystal caves 1,000 feet below the Earth’s surface or an island inhabited by zombie mice are sure to get you pumped for your day’s adventure.

The NPR Politics Podcast: Hosted by a variety of political reporters from one of the top news agencies in the US, NPR’s Politics Podcast is perfect for catching up on the news while getting context for why it matters. Shorter episodes make for easy listening on quick trips.

Ear Hustle: Ear Hustle is at times sobering, uplifting, funny and hopeful, but always fascinating. Hosts Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor present an unflinchingly honest look inside San Quentin State Prison and at the lives of prisoners after release.

Weekend Getaways (4-10 hours):

Dirty John: An interior designer falls for a handsome doctor with a big smile and an exciting backstory. As his past and his secrets are uncovered, she’s pulled down a dark, twisted road with love, deceit and danger at every curve. “Dirty John” will have you riveted from start to finish and, with a total run time just under six hours, it’s the perfect length for a weekend road trip.

My Favorite Murder: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark add wit and humor to an otherwise grisly subject, as they discuss stories of murders, hometown crimes and harrowing survival. It’s a recipe sure to keep you alert and entertained on your next getaway.

Joe Exotic: Tiger King: If you, like us, spent your quarantine following the exploits of the colorful big cat handler, this one’s for you. Journalist Robert Moor’s fresh perspective on Joe Exotic, Carol Baskin and the outlandish cast of characters surrounding them will keep you on the edge of your seat while the miles roll by and the drama unfolds.

Long Hauls (10+ hours):

Ask Iliza Anything: Comedian Iliza Shlesinger will have you laughing through any long-haul trip as she answers listener questions about psycho exes, questionable fashion and how to keep the neighbors from stealing your cucumbers.

Zero Blog Thirty: With weird military news, stories of unbelievable combat heroism and bomb sniffing dolphins, Barstool’s military humor podcast is cross-country bingeable for everyone.

Shame on You: Canadian gay dudes Jordan and Brad offer a healthy dose of relationship reality in their “unapologetic guide to giving zero f*cks.” It’s an uplifting podcast that’ll keep you going, even if you have to drive across Kansas.


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Zach Cunning

Zach Cunning

Zach’s love of travel has led to him walking Roman roads along the Camino de Santiago, bartending throughout South America, surfing the Atlantic coast of Morocco and teaching backpackers everywhere the fine art of shaking up the perfect margarita. When he’s not traveling, Zach lives, works and studies in Chicago.

One thought on “Great podcasts for every length of road trip”

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