I’ll share some of the best audiobooks for road trips to make the experience extra meaningful for you and your road trip companions.
Are you planning a road trip with your family or friends? Maybe you’re taking on the road alone. Whatever the case, having a collection of the best audiobooks is the perfect way to prevent boredom on the road.
This list of road trip audiobooks includes many genres and styles, so there’s something for everyone.
Table of Contents
Why Listen to Audiobooks on a Road Trip?
You can do many things to pass the time while you’re on the road, and listening to audiobooks for road trips is ideal.
Here are some benefits of the perfect audiobook for the open road.
Maximize Your Time.
Audiobooks help pass the time during long drives, making the trip more enjoyable. Play a science fiction classic while driving, and the hours will pass quickly.
As you listen to a great story, you get to keep your eyes on the road, making listening to the best audiobooks a safe way to pass the time. Next thing you know, you’re already at your destination.
Learn Something New.
Sure, you can play music while driving out with the whole family.
Listening to an audiobook is an excellent activity for expanding your knowledge.
Pick up a self-help audiobook or a history book that’ll teach you one or two new things while you’re on the road.
A good non-fiction audiobook can give you valuable insights while on the road. You could learn pop culture, business, sales, vocabulary, psychology, or spirituality.
Widen Your Perspective.
Audiobooks are a superb way to get different perspectives and experiences since you can choose from many genres and authors.
I like listening to Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Gladwell, and Taylor Jenkins Reid when driving solo.
Many other authors on my list will help you better grasp life and the world.
If you’re going on short road trips, you could probably listen to an album or two from your favorite singers.
An audiobook might be a better option if you drive for eight hours and want something more continuous.
Audiobooks are perfect for long stretches on the road. You can just let it play and keep driving.
The 17 Best Audiobooks for Road Trips
Have you packed your bags and filled up your gas tank? Here are the 17 best audiobooks for road trips.
Red, White, & Royal Blue
Written by Casey McQuiston, Read by Ramón de Ocampo
“Red, White & Royal Blue” is one of the best audiobooks for couples’ road trips. This novel follows the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry of Wales as they navigate a pretend romance to solidify a significant alliance between their nations.
The novel delves into love, politics, and family themes as the two men develop feelings for each other and face the difficulties of being in the public eye.
Written by Justina Ireland, Read by Bahni Turpin
“Dread Nation” is another must-have on this list of the best audiobooks for road trips. The storyline of this science fiction tale is an alternate history where zombies arise after the Civil War.
The story follows Jane McKeene, a young woman of color educated to become a zombie hunter, or “attendant,” in a school for African American girls.
The novel delves into themes of race, class, and power as Jane struggles to survive in a world where the dead walk and where she must also fight against the racism and oppression she encounters.
The Night Circus
Written by Erin Morgenstern, Read by Jim Dale
“The Night Circus” is one of the best road trip audiobooks if you and your group love fantasy stories.
This fantasy and love story follows two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who compete in a secret, mysterious circus that only opens at night.
The circus, named “Le Cirque des Rêves,” is a magical and enchanting place where reality and fantasy blur, and the competition between Celia and Marco becomes a battle for survival and love.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, Read by Rob Inglis
I’ll throw a popular classic into this list of best audiobooks for road trips.
The Lord of the Rings is the perfect listen for road-tripping with your best friend.
This story begins with a hobbit named Frodo Baggins and tells of his quest to eliminate the One Ring, an ancient and powerful ring created by the dark lord Sauron.
The classic tale takes place in Middle-earth, a fictional world inhabited by various races, such as elves, dwarves, and hobbits.
The story follows Frodo as he sets out on his mission with a group of unlikely allies, including a wizard, an elf, a dwarf, and two men. The band comes together to form the fellowship of the ring.
As you might know, there are other books in this series, but “The Fellowship of the Ring” is the best place to start if you’re on a road trip, as it sets the tone for the whole trilogy.
You could also listen to “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” if you’re on a long road trip.
My favorite is the audiobook version narrated by Rob Inglis, one of the best audiobooks for family road trips.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Written by Issa Rae, Read by Issa Rae
“The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” is one of the best laugh-out-loud memoirs and the most fun audiobooks for road trips. It recounts a person’s experiences growing up and navigating the world as a young, awkward, and introverted Black woman.
The book covers various topics such as race, identity, relationships, and career aspirations.
It also delves into her struggles with self-esteem and fitting in. Through “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa beautifully shares how she found her voice and became a successful creator, writer, and producer.
Written by Susan Cain, Narrated by Cathe Mazur
“Quiet” examines how cultural bias towards extroversion affects our understanding of introverts and their potential.
The book covers the history of personality traits and the science behind introversion and extroversion. It also looks at how these traits affect multiple aspects of life, including work, relationships, and creativity.
Written by Jenny Lawson, Narrated by Jenny Lawson
“Furiously Happy” has a humorous and honest style and delves into how the author learned to find happiness and laughter amidst difficult circumstances.
This book covers the author’s experiences with therapy, medication, self-care, self-esteem, and more.
I put this audiobook on my list of funny audiobooks for road trips.
Written by Michelle Obama, Narrated by Michelle Obama
“Becoming” is one of the best nonfiction audiobooks for road trips. This memoir, written by former first lady Michelle Obama, is an intimate and candid account of her experiences and covers a wide range of topics.
The audiobook dives into a short history of her early life, education, career, family, and time in the White House.
This audiobook touches on Michelle’s life struggles and challenges, her reflections on the country’s state, and her vision for the future.
If you like digital audiobooks that inspire you to dream big, then this should be on your list for your next road trip.
Where the Crawdads Sing
Written by Delia Owens, Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
“Where the Crawdads Sing” tells the story of Kya Clark, a young woman raised alone in the marsh and known as the “Marsh Girl.”
Considered one of the best audiobooks for road trips, it interweaves Kya’s past with a present-day murder investigation in which Kya becomes the prime suspect when a man is found dead in a quaint little town.
The novel explores love, loss, and the impact of nature.
The audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell is something you’ll love listening to for sure.
The Alice Network
Written by Kate Quinn, Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld
“The Alice Network” is a historical fiction novel set during World War II. It tells the story of Charlie St. Clair and Eve Gardiner, two women involved in a secret operation known as the Alice Network.
The book interweaves both women’s stories, one in the past and one in the present. The two collaborate to uncover a mystery from the past.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” is one of the best audiobooks for long drives. It follows the story of two Mexican-American teenage boys, Aristotle (Ari) and Dante, who form an unlikely friendship during the summer of 1987.
Ari is angry and resentful, while Dante is confident and self-assured. The novel delves into themes of identity, family, and friendship as the two boys come to understand and accept themselves and each other.
The book is known for its powerful and honest portrayal of the complexities of growing up and coming of age and the importance of human connection.
People We Meet on Vacation
Written by Emily Henry, Narrated by Julia Whelan
“People We Meet on Vacation” tells the story of two friends, Poppy and Alex, who embark on a summer road trip to reconnect after years of estrangement.
Throughout the story, they encounter various characters and unexpected events, challenging their friendship and forcing them to confront their feelings for one another.
Written by Tara Westover, Narrated by Julia Whelan
“Educated” recounts author Tara Westover’s experiences growing up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho and her journey to educate herself and ultimately leave her family to pursue higher education.
The book delves into family, abuse, education, and self-discovery themes. Critics praised it for its powerful and raw storytelling and insights into education and the power of determination.
Written by Matthew McConaughey, Narrated by Matthew McConaughey
“Greenlight” is a collection of personal anecdotes, musings, and reflections from the author’s life and career.
The book covers his upbringing in Texas, his initial days in Hollywood, and the actor’s rise to fame.
The narrative has a non-linear format, with McConaughey using his journal entries, letters, and notes to reflect on his life, beliefs, and personal philosophy.
Written by Nic Stone, Read by Anika Noni Rose
“Shuri” is a standalone set in the Marvel universe and follows the character of Shuri, the sister of T’Challa (Black Panther) and one of the most intelligent people in the Marvel world.
The book tells the story of Shuri, a brilliant inventor, and scientist, as she becomes the Black Panther when her brother goes missing.
The novel delves into leadership, identity, and sisterhood themes.
This audiobook is a fantastic listen for young adults tagging along for the ride.
Written by Akwaeke Emezi, Read by Christopher Myers
“Pet” is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a young, gender-fluid individual named Jam from a small town in Nigeria.
The novel follows Jam’s journey as they discover a monster that only they can see and sets out to uncover its intentions and how to stop it.
Jam learns about themselves, their family, and their town.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Written by Melissa Bashardoust, Read by Nikki Massoud
“Girl Serpent, Thorn” tells the life story of Soraya, a princess who is cursed to be a half-girl and half-snake feared by her family and kingdom.
Soraya must navigate the dangerous court politics and figure out her identity and place in the world.
The fantasy novel delves into themes of power, identity, and family as Soraya fights to break free from the curse and find a place where she belongs.
This audiobook is another must-listen for young adults and one of my favorite audiobooks in the fantasy category.
Other Excellent Audiobooks
Looking for more options? Here are some other amazing audiobooks to check out for your road trip:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
- 11.22.63 by Stephen King
- The Dark Tower by Stephen King
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Sula by Toni Morrison
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Narrated by Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers
- Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman
- Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Where To Buy AudioBooks
Are you wondering where you can pick up audiobooks? Here are my recommended places to buy audiobooks for your next road trip.
- Audible (the best one by far)
- Google Audiobooks
- Libby by Overdrive
- Buy it from a local bookstore via IndieBound
The Bottom Line
Determining the best audiobooks for road trips will make your next friend or family road trip a great experience while expanding your knowledge and imagination.
A captivating and expertly narrated audiobook can assist in passing the time during long drives and create a shared experience among travelers.
Furthermore, audiobooks for road trips can help establish a specific ambiance, whether a lighthearted comedy or a thrilling mystery. You can also give your road trip companions audiobooks as gifts.