Best Audiobooks for Road Trips: Top Picks For Travelers

Audiobooks have steadily risen in popularity, providing a hands-free way to enjoy literature during various activities—one of which is driving. Notably, long road trips give travelers ample time to engage in stories that can transform hours on the road into an adventure in itself. The key to an exceptional road trip audiobook lies in its ability to capture and maintain the listener’s attention through captivating storytelling and strong narration.

When selecting audiobooks for road trips, it’s essential to consider the length of the book in relation to the trip duration. Longer books are perfect for extended journeys, ensuring a consistent narrative throughout the drive. However, for travelers with varying tastes or those embarking on shorter trips, an anthology or a series of shorter stories could prove to be more suitable. Additionally, the choice of genre plays a pivotal role—be it a gripping thriller that makes time fly or a light-hearted comedy that keeps spirits high.

It’s also crucial to look for a well-produced audiobook with a skilled narrator whose voice matches the tone of the book. Quality of production, including clear audio without distortions and seamless editing, ensures a comfortable listening experience. Moreover, the compatibility of the audiobook with your vehicle’s audio system or portable devices should be verified beforehand to avoid technical issues during the trip.

We understand the significance of a compelling narrative paired with an exemplary production to enhance the road trip experience. Our search for the best audiobooks for road trips involved listening to a variety of genres and assessing them based on story engagement, narration, length, and production quality. We’re here to guide you through this selection to ensure your next journey is accompanied by the perfect audio companion.

Engrossing Audiobooks for Your Next Road Trip

Embarking on a road trip can be transformed from mere transit to an enriching experience with the right audiobook. We’ve journeyed through countless hours of storytelling to curate a selection of audiobooks that are sure to captivate you as the miles fly by. Our carefully chosen listens range from thrilling fiction to enlightening non-fiction, ensuring that every traveler can find an audiobook that resonates with them. Whether you’re looking for laughs, learning, or a gripping tale, our compilation has you covered. Read on for our top picks that will make your next road trip unforgettable.

1. Coyote’s Odyssey

Coyote's Sunrise

We just embarked on a journey with “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise” and find it to be a heartwarming companion for long drives.


  • Engaging narrative that keeps the family entertained.
  • Narration by Khristine Hvam adds depth to the characters.
  • Tackles important themes, making it great for sparking conversations.


  • Some listeners may crave adult-oriented content for balance.
  • A 9-hour length might be too long for those preferring quick stories.
  • Physical book labels may not align with the pristine digital experience.

The moment we pressed play on “Coyote’s Odyssey,” the miles started to slip away unnoticed. Dan Gemeinhart’s storytelling is immediately captivating, and Khristine Hvam’s narration brings a heart and soul to Coyote that’s especially impactful. It’s been a rare treat to share laughter and find a story that resonates with both young adults and grown-ups alike.

During the trip, we’ve come across several thought-provoking themes ranging from grief to resilience and the bond of family; they sparked valuable discussions among us. The diversity of characters provided a rich tapestry of perspectives, creating a reflection of a journey not just across the country, but also internally, navigating through complex emotions and growth.

Our experience with “Coyote’s Odyssey” is akin to having a new friend in the car, one whose story you’re eager to dive back into after each rest stop. Sure, the target audience may be young adults, but we’ve found the narrative universally appealing. What struck us most was the seamless blend of humor and depth, a combination that’s kept us equally entertained and invested in the twists and turns of the storyline.

Aspect“Coyote’s Odyssey” Experience
NarrationKhristine Hvam’s expressive voice elevates the emotional depth of the storyline.
EngagementA plot that keeps all ages glued to the speakers, fostering a shared adventure.
Educational ValueOffers educational moments without distracting from the entertainment value.
Emotional ResonanceStrikes a powerful chord, touching on universal themes of love and belonging.

In conclusion, our time with “Coyote’s Odyssey” wasn’t just about filling hours on the road; it was an enriching narrative journey. It offered us more than just a story—it gave us a shared experience, weaving threads of thoughtful conversations throughout our road trip. If you’re looking to add depth and delight to your travel entertainment, Coyote’s tale is one we certainly recommend.


2. 56 Days

56 Days Cover

If you’re looking for a gripping narrative to keep you engaged through a long drive, ’56 Days’ might be the ticket you didn’t know you needed.


  • The story unfolds with a suspenseful pace, ideal for long stretches of highway.
  • Character depth and plot twists keep listeners deeply invested.
  • Exceptional narration that enhances the immersive experience.


  • Frequent time jumps could be disorienting for some.
  • Themes related to the pandemic might not be everyone’s preference.
  • Some listeners might find the multiple character viewpoints challenging to follow.

Catherine Ryan Howard’s ’56 Days’ is a psychological thriller that had us on edge during our recent road trip. Set amidst the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown in Dublin, this tale of a novel romance intertwined with a murder mystery kept our full attention, with the miles flying by as the suspense built.

The narrational prowess of Alana Kerr Collins gave a unique voice to each character, making the story come alive. It felt like we were a fly on the wall, witnessing the rapid developments and twists at every turn.

However, we did find ourselves rewinding on a few occasions to keep track of the timeline and perspectives. The novel beckons your full attention, especially if you are navigating through time-shifts the plot involves. We would suggest this audiobook for those who enjoy stories that play with structure and can handle the thematic elements of a pandemic backdrop without it being a downer on their drive.

AspectRating (Out of 5)Comments
Story Engagement4.5Intriguing plot with well-timed twists.
Narration5Collins’ performance was captivating.
Complexity3.5Time jumps may require extra attention.

’56 Days’ turned out to be a companion that brought an intriguing layer of excitement to our journey. So, if you’re hitting the road and need a tale that demands your attention and perhaps makes the trip seem shorter, this audiobook is worth considering. Just be prepared to keep your focus sharp – you won’t want to miss any details.


3. The Road Trip

The Road Trip

On our last journey, “The Road Trip” proved to be an entertaining companion, blending humor and emotion effectively.


  • Engaging characters and dynamic interactions
  • Seamless narration that keeps us immersed
  • Various comedic elements provide levity


  • Pacing can feel slow in certain segments
  • Occasional perspective shifts may be jarring
  • Not all humor lands for every listener

As we set off, the voices of Josh Dylan and Eleanor Tomlinson filled the car, bringing Beth O’Leary’s characters to life with authenticity. The duo’s chemistry as narrators added depth to the audiobook, making the hours on the road slip by with ease.

Mid-trip, we noticed the pacing ebbed and flowed. While parts of the narrative captured our attention, there were stretches that felt less compelling. However, the overall story kept us hooked with its blend of romance and wit.

Arriving at our destination, we reflected on the experience. Despite a few hiccups with the story’s rhythm and the mix of past and present timelines, “The Road Trip” left us with a satisfying blend of laughter and thought-provoking moments. It’s a tale that’s well-suited for those long stretches of highway.

EngagementGood – Characters and their interactions are captivating.
NarrationExcellent – Narrators bring authenticity and continuity to the story.
Pace & HumorMixed – Some parts are slower paced and the humor occasionally misses the mark for certain audiences.

Embarking on a new journey with “The Road Trip” as our audio entertainment left us feeling like we had just made a few new friends on the road. The genuine portrayals and amusing scenarios were, for the most part, delightful. We’d recommend it to fellow travelers looking for a story that mixes romance and laughter with a side of emotional depth.


4. The Pioneers: Unabridged

The Heroic Story of the Settlers

For those with a love of history and Americana, “The Pioneers” will make the miles fly by with its engaging narrative of early settlers.


  • Engrossing storytelling keeps listeners hooked
  • Provides a deep understanding of American frontier history
  • Superb narration adds to the listening experience


  • May require keen interest in US history
  • 10 hours may be too lengthy for some listeners
  • Historical detail can be overwhelming

Drawing upon our recent experience with “The Pioneers,” we were captivated by David McCullough’s detailed chronicle of America’s westward expansion. It felt as if we were transported back in time, journeying alongside the settlers who braved the unknown.

Combined with John Bedford Lloyd’s compelling narration, the audiobook’s vivid storytelling made our road trip educational and entertaining. The delivery was immersive, painting a picture of the pioneering spirit that is easy to visualize and appreciate.

What stood out for us was the depth of research; it was like having a front-row seat to history, with the intricate tapestry of characters and events. Admittedly, the wealth of detail may seem dense at times, but for a history enthusiast, it only serves to enhance the experience.

Historical InsightOffers extensive background on the settlers’ challenges and triumphs.
Narrator’s PerformanceBrings the story to life with exceptional clarity and engagement.
Immersive ExperienceKeeps the listener captivated with its rich narrative, making time pass quickly.


5. An Innocent Client

An Innocent Client

We found “An Innocent Client” to be a gripping companion on our last road trip, full of twists that kept us alert through every mile.


  • Engaging legal drama that keeps you hooked
  • Well-executed narration delivers an immersive experience
  • Perfect length for long drives


  • Some plot points may be predictable for avid readers of the genre
  • Character development may not be deep enough for some listeners
  • The ending may feel rushed to those who prefer a slower resolution

During our last lengthy drive, we had the pleasure of listening to “An Innocent Client,” an audiobook that made time fly. The narrator, Tim Campbell, did an exceptional job bringing to life Scott Pratt’s characters in this intriguing legal thriller. His voice held our attention, depicting the tension and drama of a complex case, and we found ourselves hanging on to every word.

Any lulls in our journey were quickly forgotten as Pratt’s narrative unfurled. The storyline, centered around defense attorney Joe Dillard, is filled with sufficient intricacies to distract one from the monotony of a long drive. Whether it was the striking details of the characters or the descriptive court proceedings, we were fully immersed.

Upon finishing “An Innocent Client,” we felt a mix of satisfaction and eagerness for more. The final twists, although somewhat foreseeable, were enjoyable nonetheless, and we were left discussing the fate of Pratt’s protagonist for miles. It’s a testament to an audiobook’s quality when it can stimulate such lively conversation and debate among us.


Buying Guide

When selecting audiobooks for road trips, we need to consider several factors. These will enhance the listening experience and ensure that our selection is enjoyable and suitable for all passengers.


A lengthy audiobook can cover significant portions of a long journey.

  • Short trips (1-3 hours): Look for titles under 3 hours.
  • Medium trips (4-8 hours): Audiobooks ranging from 4 to 8 hours fit well.
  • Long trips (9+ hours): Opt for audiobooks over 9 hours or a series.


The genre should cater to the interests of all listeners.

  • Fiction: Engaging narratives can be immersive.
  • Non-fiction: Educational content could be more to your taste.
  • Mixed: Versatile content to suit varied preferences.

Focus and Complexity

Match the audiobook with the trip’s need for focus and concentration.

  • High Engagement: Complex plots or intricate details for engaged listening.
  • Moderate: Lighter, more relaxed content for casual listening.
  • Low Engagement: Simple storytelling for background listening.

Content Suitability

Content should be appropriate for all passengers.

  • Family-friendly: Ensure content is suitable for all ages if traveling with children.
  • Adults only: Choose more mature themes for adult listeners.

Narrator Performance

The narrator can make or break an audiobook.

  • Engaging: Confident, clear narration holds attention.
  • Varied Voices: Distinct character voices add depth.
  • Pacing: Consistent pace, not too fast or slow.

Reviews and Ratings

Use reviews and ratings as a guide for selection.

AspectGood RatingPoor Rating
StoryEngaging storylineLackluster plot
PerformanceCompelling narrationMonotone or poor pacing
Audio QualityClear and crisp soundPoor sound or editing

By keeping these factors in mind, we should be able to choose engaging audiobooks that complement our journey and keep everyone entertained.

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