What are the most critical components of a successful road trip?
A great destination or two? Yes. Excellent company? For sure. Appropriate road trip snacks? Absolutely.
But following quickly on the heels of all those elements is another one that can all too easily be overlooked: the soundtrack.
Many travelers, road trippers especially, prefer music to help guide them to their destination. And to be sure, there’s something to be said for crooning along with your favorite tunes at full volume as you cruise down the highway.
But on really long drives, even your favorite playlist may end up getting stale. You may find yourself in search of something a little more, well, talky. Enter podcasts: talk radio segments, often independently produced, covering every topic under the sun. (Seriously, every topic, from diapers to dentistry.) They’re a great way to fill the time on long drives, and some of them can even help you plan your next adventure! Here are the ones we suggest you subscribe to today.
Best Travel Podcasts
What better to listen to during your travels… than a travel podcast? From helping you make your travel dreams a reality to piping others’ fun and fascinating travel stories straight into your ears, here are some of the best travel-related series to check out.
1. Zero to Travel
Consistently ranked amongst the top travel podcasts on air today, Zero to Travel helps and encourages listeners to make their wildest travel dreams a reality, regardless of their life circumstances or available budget. Aimed at both travel newbies and veterans alike, this podcast will get you on the road faster than you can say, “Are we there yet?”
2. JUMP (formerly known as The Budget-Minded Traveler)
Want to travel, but feel like money’s standing in your way? It’s a pretty common sentiment… and it’s not one that has to limit your adventures, according to Jackie, the founder and mastermind behind the JUMP podcast (formerly known as The Budget-Minded Traveler). Although the project started out as a blog, it quickly spawned a podcast, where Jackie tackles some of the most pressing money-related issues travelers face and teaches listeners how to overcome them. Along with usable tips, the podcast is also filled with dreamy stories of her own travel adventures… just in case you are stuck at home for a while and need to fulfill some mental wanderlust.
3. The Dirtbag Diaries
One of the leading names in travel podcasts, The Dirtbag Diaries is sponsored by none other than recreational gear giant Patagonia, and focuses on all things outdoor adventure. If you’re into hiking, biking, kayaking, or just getting off the grid and boondocking in your camper, you’ll hear all sorts of relatable stories if you tune in.
4. Women Who Travel
Hosted by Conde Nast Traveler editors Lale Arikoglu and Meredith Carey, this podcast is all about women getting on the road and taking their adventures into their own hands. Along with all the fun stuff you expect from a travel podcast — restaurant and sightseeing recommendations, stories from the best travel journalists — Women Who Travel also tackles some of the gender-specific challenges of hitting the road. With 66 episodes and counting, there’s a whole lot of great content here to binge!
5. The RV Miles Podcast
You didn’t think we’d write a list of podcasts without having an RV-specific one in the mix, right? Well, the RV Miles Podcast is definitely one of our favorites, offering hints and tips to both beginning RVers and veterans. You’ll learn the ins and outs of boondocking, get a glimpse into the full-timers’ lifestyle, and even get some leads on new campgrounds and destinations to discover. Any way you cut it, it’s well worth subscribing to, so check it out!
6. America’s National Parks Podcast
Presented by outdoor clothing vendor L. L. Bean, America’s National Parks Podcast brings you stories from inside our nation’s most venerated landscapes — the same ones you’ve likely got on your to-visit list, lined up for your next RV trip. You’ll learn about the fascinating histories underpinning these special places, giving you even more context to help you enjoy your own visit.
Best Podcasts for Road Trips
Travel podcasts are great, especially when you’re still at home in the process of planning a trip. But some of the best podcasts for a road trip actually have nothing to do with travel. Rather, they’re full of useful information, fascinating stories, and the cultural touchstones that keep us connected to our world.
Here are some of the best podcasts to check out the next time you’ve got a whole lot of empty air to fill.
This is the big one: the podcast that put podcasts back on the map. Hosted by the now-famous Sarah Koenig, Serial tells one story episodically each week — and has done so now for three seasons. The first covers the case of Adnan Syed, a convicted murderer who maintains his innocence. The second, Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army man accused of deserting. And finally, season three gave listeners a look — or a hear? — inside the daily workings of the court system at the justice center in Cleveland. Each season will have you hooked in an instant, and makes for the perfect long-drive listening fodder.
8. Ear Hustle
Ever wonder what it’s really like inside jail? We’ll give you a hint: the shenanigans in Orange is the New Black may look like fun at times, but is not exactly true to life.
Well, Ear Hustle, a podcast spearheaded by visual artist Nigel Poor and (now former) prisoner Earlonne Woods, takes you into the heart of San Quentin State Prison in California’s bay area, one of the oldest penitentiaries in the nation. You’ll learn about how inmates spend their time, what life events and choices landed them there in the first place, and the challenges they face both inside and upon release. It’s a fascinating ride, and an important look into our nation’s penal system.
If you’re a fan of true crime but prefer stand-alone episodes to longer-form storytelling a la Serial, we recommend you check out Criminal. It’s an independently-produced podcast focusing on all aspects of true crime, from those who’ve done wrong to those who’ve had wrong done against them and the law enforcement professionals who are called in to deal with it all.
10. The Habitat
One of the lesser-known of Gimlet Media’s esteemed family of podcasts, The Habitat follows a team of volunteers taking part in a unique scientific experiment: what happens if you seal six highly-trained individuals into a dome on a remote mountain in Hawaii? Meant to emulate the conditions on Mars, these brave individuals take on the challenge for a whole year. The Habitat puts you inside right along with them, where you’ll learn about their obstacles, successes, defeats, triumphs, and dramas.
What are Your Favorite Podcasts About Travel?
Here at RVshare HQ, we’re always looking for more great travel-related content — and not only for our own edification. Although we’re all certified travel nerds here and love listening to and reading details on others’ travel for fun, we’re also committed to bringing you the latest and greatest in travel news, hints, tips, and advice… which means staying in the loop is imperative!
If you have a favorite travel podcast or another travel-related blog you read on the regular, we’d love to hear about it — so let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more great RV-related travel content, well, you’re in the right place… because that’s literally what this blog is all about!
At RVshare, we’re all about helping you make your travel goals a reality, and we try to bring you the information you need to ensure you enjoy the journey every step of the way. If you’re looking for a few posts aimed at beginning RVers (or those considering making the leap to full-timing), try out the following RVshare blogs for starters:
- Beginner Questions To Ask Yourself Before Renting An RV
- 6 Iconic American Road Trips
- Ready to Hit the Road? 7 Full-Time RVing Must-Haves
- RV Living Inspo: Full Timer YouTube Channels
Wherever the road leads you, or even if you’re stuck at home for now, we hope that this post means you’ve got some fun and informative voices in your ears for the journey. Happy camping!
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