Road trips are the epitome of adventure. Whether you’re driving along the coast, through mountain ranges, or across wide-open plains, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of the open road. But let’s face it—long drives can sometimes get monotonous. That’s where audiobooks come in. They’re like having a captivating storyteller riding shotgun, making the miles fly by. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the best audiobooks for road trips, ensuring you’re entertained, engaged, and maybe even enlightened during your travels.

Why Audiobooks Are Perfect for Road Trips

Audiobooks are a game-changer for road trips. Not only do they provide hands-free entertainment, but they also keep the driver engaged and alert. I’ve found that a great audiobook can make a six-hour drive feel like a breeze. Plus, they offer a shared experience for all passengers, sparking conversations and making the trip more enjoyable for everyone.

Listening to a well-narrated story can transform the atmosphere inside your car. Imagine cruising down the highway, the sun setting in the distance, and a thrilling mystery unraveling through your speakers. It’s an immersive experience that combines the joy of reading with the excitement of travel.

The Best Audiobooks For Road Trips: A Curated List

1. “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

daisy jones

Narrator: Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, and a full cast
Genre: Fiction, Drama

This audiobook feels like listening to a documentary. The story of a 1970s rock band’s rise and fall is brought to life by a full cast, making it feel incredibly real. Perfect for fans of music and drama, it’s an immersive experience that will have you feeling like you’re part of the band’s tumultuous journey.

2. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt

Narrator: David Pittu
Genre: Fiction, Literary

Theo Decker’s life story, intertwined with art and tragedy, is beautifully narrated by David Pittu. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a profound and moving listening experience, perfect for those who enjoy deep, character-driven stories.

3. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

Narrators: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell
Genre: Historical Fiction

Set in the 1960s South, this powerful story about African American maids working in white households is brought to life by an exceptional cast of narrators. Their performances add an extra layer of depth to an already impactful story.

4. “Ready Player Two” by Ernest Cline

Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The sequel to “Ready Player One” continues the thrilling adventures in the OASIS virtual reality world. Wil Wheaton’s narration is spot-on, making it a perfect pick for fans of sci-fi and high-stakes adventure.

5. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Genre: Historical Fiction

Bahni Turpin’s compelling narration brings this imaginative and gripping novel about a young slave’s journey to freedom to life. It’s a powerful story that will keep you engrossed for hours.

6. “Circe” by Madeline Miller

Narrator: Perdita Weeks
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

A lush and vivid retelling of the myth of Circe, offering a fresh perspective on the enchantress from Homer’s Odyssey. Perdita Weeks’ narration is enchanting, making this a must-listen for fans of mythology and fantasy.

7. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

Narrator: Roger Wayne
Genre: Self-Help, Non-Fiction

Manson’s blunt and humorous guide to living a better life is filled with practical advice and entertaining anecdotes. It’s a refreshing listen that’s perfect for those moments when you need a little pick-me-up.

8. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

Narrator: Jack Hawkins, Louise Brealey
Genre: Thriller, Mystery

This psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. The mystery of a woman’s silence after her husband’s murder unravels in a way that’s both gripping and unexpected, making it an excellent choice for suspense lovers.

9. “Beartown” by Fredrik Backman

Narrator: Marin Ireland
Genre: Fiction, Drama

A deeply moving story about a small town’s struggles and the bonds that hold its community together, centered around a junior ice hockey team. Marin Ireland’s narration captures the emotional depth of the story, making it a compelling listen.

10. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Narrator: Polly Stone
Genre: Historical Fiction

A poignant and powerful novel about two sisters in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Polly Stone’s narration brings out the bravery and resilience of the characters, making this an unforgettable listen.

11. “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Narrator: Martin Jarvis
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

This hilarious and imaginative story about an angel and a demon teaming up to prevent the apocalypse is a delight. Martin Jarvis’ narration adds to the comedic and whimsical nature of the book, making it perfect for light-hearted listening.

12. “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg

Narrator: Mike Chamberlain
Genre: Self-Help, Non-Fiction

An insightful look into the science of habits and how understanding them can lead to personal and professional transformation. Mike Chamberlain’s clear and engaging narration makes this a practical and interesting listen.

13. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Genre: Memoir

An inspiring memoir about a young woman who grows up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho and eventually escapes to learn about the wider world through education. Julia Whelan’s narration captures the raw emotion and determination of Tara’s journey.

14. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel

Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Genre: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic

A haunting and beautiful novel set in the aftermath of a global pandemic, following the interconnected lives of survivors. Kirsten Potter’s narration brings an eerie yet hopeful tone to this compelling story.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Audiobook for Your Road Trip

Consider the Preferences of All Passengers

When selecting an audiobook, it’s important to consider what everyone in the car might enjoy. Are you traveling with kids? Opt for something family-friendly like the “Harry Potter” series. Driving with a friend who loves thrillers? Try “The Silent Patient” or “Gone Girl.”

Balance Between Different Genres

Variety is the spice of life, and this holds true for audiobooks. Mixing genres can keep everyone entertained. You might start with a gripping thriller in the morning and switch to a light-hearted comedy after lunch. This way, you keep the experience fresh and engaging.

Opt for Full Cast Narrations

Full cast narrations, like “Daisy Jones & The Six” or “The Help,” can be particularly immersive. They make the story come alive with different voices for each character, providing a richer and more engaging experience.

Check the Length of the Audiobook

Make sure the length of the audiobook matches your travel time. A 15-hour epic might be perfect for a cross-country road trip, but a 6-hour drive might be better suited to a shorter, punchier story.


Audiobooks are the perfect travel companions for road trips, offering entertainment, engagement, and a shared experience. From thrillers to memoirs, from science fiction to historical fiction, there’s something on this list for every taste. So load up your audiobook player, buckle up, and get ready for an unforgettable journey with these top picks.

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