Are you searching for good books to listen to while driving? Explore the best audiobooks for road trips to have an inspiring and laughter-filled time.
We don’t know about you, but while we love traveling, we don’t necessarily enjoy endless hours in the car, even if the scenery is stunning. Plus, our middle fingers get exhausted…
We’ve road-tripped all over, including other countries like Italy, Switzerland, Latvia, Ireland, Lithuania, Aruba, Estonia, Scotland, and Iceland.
How do we pass hours upon hours in the car after we’ve counted all of the sheep and sung along to the radio in multiple languages? Podcasts and audiobooks!
Along with our team’s recommendations, we asked audiobook expert, Eline from Lovely Audiobooks, what she considers to be the absolute best audiobooks for a road trip.
Below, find great books to listen to in the car in all genres, including nonfiction, memoir, fiction, romance, LGBT+, historical fiction, YA, thrillers, and more.
Most of these road trip audiobooks won’t be all about road trips themselves either – we have another reading list for that.
However, they are sure to inspire your travel around the world – and maybe your life – diversify your reading, and make you think more deeply. Let’s get started!
P.S. These audiobook selections pair well with an Audible Plus membership.
If you love hitting the road, check out these fantastic books featuring road trips.
Grab the best books to listen to in the car here:
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- Book of the Month: Get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month. You might snag an early release or debut author. Along with selecting a book a month, find terrific add-ons, both trendy and lesser-known titles.
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- Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without using a VPN.
Table of Contents
36 Best Audiobooks For Road Trips
For Fiction Lovers
Selections from Eline
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Martin Jarvis
Good Omens has made an incredible comeback.
Whether you’ve seen the Amazon show, read the book, or have yet to experience this awesome story about friendship and the apocalypse, this is one of the best audiobooks for road trips for Gaiman lovers.
Good Omens is produced with a full cast of voice actors including Peter Serafinowicz for a BBC radio play. Plus, it’s a great choice for a long drive.
Find even more terrific movies and series based on bestselling books.
Evidence Of The Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated By Julia Whelan, Greg Newborn & More
One of the best audiobooks for short road trips, Evidence Of The Affair is written in epistolary form.
Carrie sends a letter to the husband of the woman who she believes is having an affair with her own husband.
Each soulful letter Carrie and David continue to write to each other explores themes of love, fear, and forgiveness.
Discover even more of Eline’s top short audiobooks perfect for day trips.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by George Guidall
Neil Gaiman is everywhere these days, and American Gods is one of our favorite audiobooks for a road trip.
Shadow, this honestly good guy, finds himself utterly out of options after being released from prison.
He runs into a group of rather odd people. With them, he’s going on a road trip through America.
Find another Neil Gaiman book, Neverwhere, on our fantasy audiobook reading list.
Selections from Christine
The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
Narrated by Steven Rowley
If you are looking for the best audiobooks for road trips featuring middle-aged characters, Rowley’s The Celebrants is an absolute must. It’s one of the best books of 2023, too!
Inspired by the equally terrific friendship movie, The Big Chill, follow along as five college friends reunite throughout their lifetime whenever one of them requires a living funeral.
They formed this pack upon the death of one of their college roommates – possibly by suicide – and call upon it when they are in desperate need of their own type of saving.
Skydive, swim with the sharks, and rescue kittens as these best friends grow and age with humility and humor.
For queer road trip audiobooks, The Celebrants is intuitive, funny, and relatable. We loved Rowley’s The Guncle just as much.
Just know that the novel comes with a few trigger warnings, including suicide, addiction, and more.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Narrated by Lynn Chen
Crazy Rich Asians both as a book and movie did not disappoint.
The first in the series, we enter the lives of the rich and not so famous except in their excessive wealth.
Rachel Chu falls in love with one of the richest families’ offspring, Nick Young, causing a tizzy of gossip and instant jealousy.
Is she good enough for this family? In fact, who the heck is she?
Sit back with some popcorn for family scandals, love affairs, and a story about proving love conquers all.
Crazy Rich Asians is definitely binge-worthy and one of the best books to listen to in the car on the way to see your family.
You may also enjoy Kwan’s Sex & Vanity, a story sure to transport listeners to Capri, Italy as well as NYC.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Narrated by Caroline Lee
Big Little Lies remains one of our favorite books, and we equally enjoyed the TV series.
Someone is left dead, and the suspect list is endless.
Behind closed doors, all of the players – especially the women – have deep, dark secrets. No one is as Stepford Wives as they seem.
Watch the drama unfold as friendships are built and marriages crumble.
One of the best audiobooks for road trips, Big Little Lies promises to take your mind off of the traffic and into a gripping mystery.
Discover even more great books set in Australia.
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Where The Crawdads Sing was one of the most popular books of 2019, an intriguing movie adaptation, and one of the best road trip audiobooks if you are headed to North Carolina.
Owens transports readers to the marshland around the Outer Banks.
Kya Clark, who has never fit in, is suspected of killing Chase Andrews. Isolated as a youth from society because her family is poor and neglectful, Kya has always been a naive and easy target.
Learn about love, death, and coming of age in the most tragic of circumstances. Just listen with awareness as author Delia Owens faces her own personal allegations.
Discover even more of the best Southern books sure to transport you there.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Narrated by Toni Morrison
We always love hearing Toni Morrison’s poetic and sage voice, and Beloved is truly one of the best audiobooks for a road trip that will tug at your heartstrings.
Meet Sethe, a slave who escaped slavery. However, Sethe is still enslaved by her past and the haunting death of her nameless child.
One word sits on the baby’s grave, Beloved. This is a ghost story like no other, based on a real-life person, that shows the effects of generational trauma.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Narrated by Paul Boehmer & More
Are you looking for good audiobooks for road trips for historical fiction lovers? Try The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which also landed on the big screen.
We loved listening to this audiobook with its multitude of narrators, bringing each unique character vividly to life.
With the end of WW2, Juliet needs inspiration for her next book. She heads to Guernsey where she learns about the secret The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Completely endearing, fall in love with this gaggle of islanders and one of our favorite WWII historical fiction novels.
More from Dagney
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
Narrated by Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, and many more
If you’re in need of great audiobooks for road trips for music lovers who want a break from the radio, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is the perfect option.
The book follows a famous fictional interracial rock duo from the 1970s, detailing their rise to fame, their break up, and a precarious comeback tour decades later.
Opal Jewel is a Black Afro-punk musician who believes she’s destined to be a star. Neville Charles is a White Brit who has come to NYC to try to make it as a singer.
Nev meets Opal at an amateur open mic night and though he doesn’t think she’s the most beautiful woman or the best singer, she has star quality, so he asks her to join him.
In truth, they have little in common, but they work well together as a singing duo. Soon the two have signed with Rivington Records, and their careers are on an upward trajectory.
But the more famous they become, the more attention they attract, and not all of it is good – especially with racism still alive and well in the USA.
This full-cast audiobook is done in the style of an oral history documentary, with each character telling their own version of the story.
For a fun, immersive experience, this is one of the best audiobooks for road trips for anyone who loves a good book about music.
For similar road trip audiobooks, our readers also enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six, which is told in a fun interview style about an imaginary band in the 70s.
Thrillers, Suspense, & Mystery
More from Dagney
She Started It by Sian Gilbert
Narrated by Sarah Ovens, Anne-Marie Piazza, Ione Butler, Billie Fulford-Brown, Sarah Cullum, and Ella Lynch
For those who love island-set novels and explosive thrillers with satisfying endings, She Started It is one of the best audiobooks for road trips.
Annabel, Chloe, Esther, and Tanya have been best friends since they were kids. As adults, they’re not sure they even like each other, but now they’re tied together by too many secrets.
When they’re invited on the trip of a lifetime by Poppy, an old school acquaintance who is getting married, they can’t say no.
The thing is, they haven’t spoken to Poppy in years, and they weren’t exactly close in school. In fact, you could say they were a bit unkind to Poppy as kids.
But Poppy says she wants to put all of that behind them, so what’s the harm in accepting such a lavish, all-expenses-paid trip to a remote island?
She Started It is full of drama, secrets, and unlikeable characters and is the perfect popcorn revenge thriller and fictional wedding novel for the summer.
And if that sounds fun to you, then the full-cast narration definitely makes it one of the best books to listen to in the car if you’re on your way somewhere remote or beachy.
TWs: self-harm, bullying, and more
Discover more top book releases from 2023.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
Narrated by Candace Thaxton
Looking for the best audiobooks for a road trip during the winter months? Or, perhaps just craving a book with winter vibes? I’m Thinking of Ending Things is the audiobook for you.
Jake and his unnamed girlfriend – the book’s narrator – are on a road trip through the countryside to see Jake’s parents.
The intent is to spend Thanksgiving there, which Jake is clearly excited about. Our narrator, however, is thinking of ending things.
She can’t really say why, exactly. By all accounts, Jake is great. But something isn’t working in their relationship and she wants out.
But as the night progresses, things get weird and the weather takes a turn for the worse, trapping the couple in a snowstorm.
This is easily one of the best books to listen to while driving if you love a chilly, unsettling atmosphere and don’t mind something that makes you think a bit while you cruise.
Discover even more must-read Canadian books.
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Narrated by Darrell Dennis
For those who believe that the best road trip audiobooks can also teach you something, Winter Counts is a great pick as it is imbued with Native American history and culture.
Everyone knows that when the police fail to do their jobs on their South Dakota reservation, you hire Virgil Wounded Horse to step in and mete out punishment.
But when Virgil finds out that the youth on the reservation are using heroin and his own nephew winds up in the hospital, he doesn’t need someone to hire him.
Now Virgil is determined to find out who is selling drugs on the rez and take them out of commission.
With the help of his ex-girlfriend, Marie, Virgil tracks down a lead that takes him from South Dakota to Denver.
If you’re someone who can appreciate a slow-burn mystery while you drive, Winter Counts is one of the best audiobooks for road trips.
Read more of the best Indigenous books.
Best Romance Audiobooks For A Road Trip
Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt
Lucky Suit is 2.5 hours long, which makes this one of the best audiobooks for a road trip to a nearby state. And, it’s safe to play on speakers for everyone.
Enjoy a light-hearted romantic comedy by romance queen, Lauren Blakely, which is perfectly narrated by two of romance’s most beloved narrators, Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt.
These two will draw you in and make you wonder how Kristen and Cameron actually end up together.
Are you driving across the states? Try our 50 State reading list.
Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe
Narrated by Lauren Rowe and John Lane
Ball Peen Hammer is absolutely not a speaker-safe audiobook to listen to while driving unless you are going on a road trip alone.
But, this contemporary romance isn’t only incredibly sexy, it’s also absolutely hilarious and heart-warming.
Keane and Maddy find themselves on the road trip version of a blind date. They talk, get to know each other, and, of course, have to keep their hands off of one another.
But that never quite works out, does it?! Ball Peen Hammer is one of the great audiobooks for road trips if you devour romance.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Narrated by Robin Eller & Cary Hite
For long stretches in the car, The Voting Booth is a happy, cute, and funny YA romance audiobook.
But, it’s also a profound critique of voter suppression, especially in urban areas and communities with people of color.
Marva is excited to finally vote in her first election. But, then she watches as Duke is turned away from their polling location, unable to vote.
These two strangers spend the day battling for democracy and their right to vote.
If you are looking for good audiobooks for road trips about politics and race – perfect for teen voters – The Voting Booth is extremely relevant, especially in the past decade.
The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole
Narrated by Regina Hall, Mindy Kaling & More
Part science-fiction, part love story, Alyssa Cole comments on how current events could lead to a very bleak future and what happens if you accidentally fall in love with an artificial human.
Trinity Jordan leads a pretty normal life, working from home until her neighbor’s hot nephew moves in. She soon realizes that Li Wei’s actions are strange because he’s actually A.I.
With the goal of helping Li Wei become more human, you’d never expect love to be a part of the equation.
The A.I. Who Loved Me is one of the best books to listen to in the car because of its outstanding production with a full cast as well as Regina Hall reading the main character.
Plus, who doesn’t love Mindy Kaling?
Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh
One of the best audiobooks for a road trip with strong chronic illness representation, you’ll adore Get A Life, Chloe Brown.
Chloe has become a homebody battling Fibromyalgia – a debilitating and, at times, painful chronic illness. Her former friends and fiancée failed to support her, leaving her behind and scarred.
However, when faced with death, Chloe decides to reclaim her life with a fun bucket list. She enlists the help of her sexy apartment handyman, Red, and true to rom-coms, falls for him.
Red has his own baggage, though, including overcoming an abusive relationship. Can they make it work, and what will they learn along the way?
Get A Life, Chloe Brown is one of the best books to listen to while driving if you are craving a feel-good, sincere storyline with a brilliant protagonist and even more books in the series.
Nonfiction Road Trip Audiobooks
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstock
Narrated by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstock, and Paul Giamatti
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered is the story of the two women behind one of the most successful true-crime podcasts – and one of our favorites – My Favorite Murder.
You don’t have to listen to or know the podcast first to enjoy their book, either.
Karen and Georgia talk about anything from aging parents to careers and substance abuse. Some of the topics may be triggering, including eating disorders, addiction, and sexual assault.
Yet, their stories are also funny, relevant, and relatable. And of course, they dive into their passion for true crime, creating an entire generation of Murderinos.
Peruse all of our favorite podcasts here.
The Science Of Mindfulness by Ronald Siegel
Mindfulness is a popular term, but there’s actual science behind it, too.
The Science Of Mindfulness gives a great overview of why a mindfulness practice can improve your quality of life and even help significantly with depression and anxiety.
If you are someone who tends to overthink things, you might find this audiobook helpful to understand how mindfulness changes the brain before actually starting to practice.
Plus, learn how to feel more relaxed and sleep better. The Science Of Mindfulness is one of those road trip audiobooks sure to enhance your daily life.
More From Christine
Quiet by Susan Cain
Narrated by Kathe Mazur
Many of the best books to listen to in the car are nonfiction titles, especially since they can sometimes feel like sloggers on the couch.
Susan Cain’s Quiet makes for one of the best audiobooks for road trips as it’s informative, interesting, and talks about introverts versus extroverts.
Susan Cain specifically describes the dynamic of an extroverted society and its effects on introverts.
Cain is a champion of the quieter folk and discusses how in a world that cannot stop talking, introverts have merit too.
Discover some secretly popular introverts and their societal contributions. This road trip audiobook is all about introspection.
Biographies & Memoirs
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Narrated by Jenny Lawson
We follow Jenny Lawson on Facebook as The Bloggess, and oftentimes, she speaks to the rawest part of our souls.
Lawson is honest, relatable, and hilarious. For road trip audiobooks sure to spark inspiration, grab Furiously Happy.
Lawson shares her battle with mental health, as she suffers from both anxiety and depression. She advocates for loving and accepting yourself no matter what.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Narrated by Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur, and B.J. Novak
Mindy Kaling will forever crack us up while also pulling our heartstrings.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is one of the best audiobooks for a road trip if you need a good laugh. All of your passengers will laugh along too.
Follow Mindy as she hilariously and embarrassingly discusses growing up. She talks about weight, fame, friendship, and romance in the most honest and open way.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Narrated by Michelle Obama
We love Michelle Obama’s podcast, which pretty much guarantees that Becoming should also be at the top of your road trip audiobooks list.
Listen as the former First Lady shares her experiences about growing up in Chicago and attending college.
Michelle Obama talks about dating Barack Obama, and the many challenges she faced and continues to face as a Black woman, career woman, and mother.
Always poignant and classy, she retains such humility and sincerity with stories that many will find themselves nodding their heads to.
Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness
Narrated by Jonathan Van Ness
Named as one of NPR’s favorite books of the year, you know that Queer Eye star JVN is going to make one of the best audiobooks for road trips sure to entertain. We just love the show too!
Van Ness’s voice radiates off of the pages and into your car in this beautiful, raw, and at times, hilarious biography about overcoming addiction and childhood molestation – which may be triggering for some.
A perfect LGBTQ+ road trip audiobook, Over The Top is for maturer audiences looking for inspiration to reaffirm their amazing self-identity.
Truly learn to live your most authentic and happy life just like the queen that you are.
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
Narrated by Phoebe Robinson & John Hodgman
For good audiobooks for road trips that you’ll hear recommended over and over again, with good reason, pick up Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair.
With discussions about pop culture, feminism, and race, Robinson shares her experiences working and living as a Black woman where, you guessed it, people ask if they can touch her hair.
She’s tired of being “the black friend,” as well as everyone’s go-to for all things racial – along with having people think she’s uppity just for voicing her opinions.
You know, the sexist, racist words and actions that still exist today.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
If you are looking for the best books to listen to while driving – with Kleenex in the glove compartment – don’t pass up Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
Sure, this might be a bit clichéd now – even the Gilmore Girls did their revival spoof on it – but it’s also quite raw and relatable.
For travel-related audiobooks for road trips, this one is sure to leave you shaken. You will feel every ounce of Strayed’s pain.
Overcoming the loss of her mother and failed marriage, Strayed is broken and lost. Even though she is not a hiker, she makes an unhinged and wild decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
We follow Strayed’s journey as she learns to forgive, grow, and rebuild her life. This is a great memoir for hikers; just don’t throw your hiking boot over the cliff.
Find even more of the best books set in California.
Born A Crime By Trevor Noah
Narrated by Trevor Noah
One of our favorite nonfiction books about South Africa, Born A Crime is one of the absolute best audiobooks for road trips.
You might know Trevor Noah from his previous work as host of The Daily Show.
In his memoir, Noah shares his journey growing up in Apartheid South Africa with a Black mother and white father, a crime during that time period.
A coming-of-age story, learn more about the brilliant man and comedian. His childhood antics are pretty hilarious and not always legal.
Noah is guaranteed to make you laugh while discussing more serious issues including racism and racist policies.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Narrated by Tina Fey
You most likely know Tina Fey from SNL and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She’s pretty much a legend here in the United States.
If you are looking for funny audiobooks for road trips, try Fey’s Bossypants where she shares her early life and dreams before becoming the famous actress that we all know and love.
You’ll laugh, find commonalities, and feel like you are listening to your best friend chat about life.
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson
Narrated by Rob McQuay
We wish that Bill Bryson would narrate his books. We picture his sarcasm and wit radiating out of our stereo.
It’s also no secret that Bryson is one of our all-time favorite travel writers, too.
If you are road-tripping around the United States and headed to the Appalachian Trail, don’t skip reading, watching, or listening to A Walk In The Woods.
Bryson and his boozy buddy, Katz, have no business hiking the Appalachian Trail, but they do it anyway. You’ll love them for it. Heck, maybe they will even inspire you.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Narrated by Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers & More
If you love entertainers, you’ll equally love Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Think poems, stories, lists, mantras, inspiration, and advice.
This is one of the best audiobooks for a road trip for the cast alone: Seth Meyers, Carol Burnett, Patrick Steward, and even Poehler’s parents.
Expect to laugh and hear words to live by.
Best Books To Listen To In The Car With Teens & Tweens
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Narrated by Emily Klein
One of the best road trip audiobooks for mature tweens and teens, Sepetys’s Between Shades Of Gray is a hard but essential listen.
Fifteen-year-old Lithuanian, Lina, is thrown into a crowded train headed for a Siberian work camp.
Separated from her father, Lina sends her drawings through secret channels hoping to locate her father’s prison camp to let him know that she is alive.
Will Lina and her family survive?
If you enjoy YA WW2 historical fiction about more obscured histories, Ruta Sepeys is an engaging, transportive, and unique storyteller.
Read more books with colors – like gray – in the title.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Narrated by Katt Rudd
Imagine pulling into your destination yet instead of smiling, you are sobbing hysterically in your car. Passerbys assume you hit a squirrel.
Nope. You are just listening to the young adult novel, The Fault In Our Stars.
The Fault In Our Stars is one of the best audiobooks for road trips – or work commutes – that we have listened to addressing terminal illness in youth.
Cancer is a hard battle, and Hazel and Augustus meet at a cancer support group.
Their story focuses on healing, living your life to the fullest, and love. Have the tissues ready.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Clearly, we think that Gaiman has the best audiobooks for a family road trip, and The Graveyard Book is perfect if you devour stories about haunted houses.
A middle-grade and YA novel, meet Bod.
Bod has the only beating heart in his graveyard family, and we watch as he comes of age in the ghoulish world of magic.
He also faces the danger of leaving the cemetery and being hunted by the man who killed his parents.
Find even more seriously spooky books for adults and teens.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Narrated by Bahni Turnpin
Whether you read the book, listen to the audiobook, or watch the movie, The Hate U Give is a powerful novel, especially released during the start of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
However, it certainly makes for one of the best audiobooks for road trips for the entire family, especially today.
Just be aware that there is violence, death, and tough discussions.
Dive deeper into racism as well as the murdering of innocent young Black men by the police as Starr Carter seeks justice for her best friend’s death.
More from Dagney
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
Narrated by Tess Sharpe
If you’re looking for the best books to listen to in the car with teens, look no further.
This was meant to be a simple drop-off at the bank; instead, teen Nora O’Malley finds herself having an awkward morning with her ex-boyfriend and current girlfriend.
…And then the bank they’re at gets robbed.
But Nora isn’t like most teenagers. The daughter of a con artist, Nora knows things about the world and criminals that she shouldn’t.
And as things escalate inside the bank, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to get them all out safely.
The Girls I’ve Been is a riveting YA thriller about a bank heist, but also about complicated mother-daughter relationships, young love, and so much more.
It’s also one of the best audiobooks for a road trip with the family (though not appropriate for younger kids), or anyone who loves a good heist story!
Save The Best Road Trip Audiobooks For Later:
What are some of your favorite audiobooks for road trips?
What road trips have you taken that you loved? What are your favorite books to listen to while driving? And, do prefer audiobooks or podcasts? Let us know in the comments.
Before you go…
If you love all things hitting the open road, be sure to watch our favorite road trip movies sure to inspire your next vacation. Whether you are traveling with friends or reconnecting with family, you will find something great on this list.