Best audiobooks for road trips

Travel Essentials

The average audiobook length is between 6-12 hours. The longest audiobook on Audible is John Piper’s “Romans: The Greatest Letter Ever Written” at 154 hours and 1 minute.

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Which audiobooks are best for long trips?

Road trips are a great adventure, and audiobooks are a great way to spend those hours on the open road. A memorable book will take travelers on a journey while they’re en route to their destination. Yet, finding the best audiobooks is a trip itself because it’s as much about the narration as the story. 

There’s no need to struggle to fix your eyes on the book while riding on the train, going through turbulence on the plane, or experiencing a bumpy ride — listening to an audiobook can put you off the misery. These are the audiobooks that will keep listeners hooked throughout any road trip. 

"How to Land an A330 Airbus" by James May

“How to Land an A330 Airbus” by James May

The former Top Gear host offers up plenty of words of wisdom in this audiobook. May explains nine skills everyone should have, including how to land a plane, play the piano and deliver twins. He narrates the book with an upbeat tone and his trademark dry wit. The book’s structure provides easy points to pause at a rest stop without interrupting the listening experience.

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"Never Settle: Sports, Family and the American Soul" by Marty Smith

“Never Settle: Sports, Family and the American Soul” by Marty Smith

ESPN reporter Marty Smith has written a sports book that even non-sports fans will love. Interspersed between anecdotes about travels with Nick Saban and Tim Tebow are stories from Smith’s childhood and those about raising his own family. No sports knowledge is necessary to appreciate tales of hard work, optimism, and empathy for others. He narrates with a folksy appeal as if listeners are guests in his home.

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"Dead in the Water: A Cherringham Mystery" by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

“Dead in the Water: A Cherringham Mystery” by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Travelers looking for a story to get lost in will love this fun whodunit narrated by Neil Dudgeon, who stars as John Barnaby in the long-running detective series “Midsomer Murders.” Ex-cop Jack and amateur sleuth Sarah have to find out who killed a local teacher, and Dudgeon brings a whole cast of suspects to life. It’s a breezy mystery that’s not too dark or complicated to keep up with.

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"Humble Pie" by Gordon Ramsay

“Humble Pie” by Gordon Ramsay

Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay is known for his fiery TV persona, but listeners get a more complete picture of him from his autobiography. Ramsay opens up about his complicated childhood and how he’s become one of the best chefs in the world with charm and candor. His distinctive voice provides captivating narration, although there are no explosive tirades in this well-written book.

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"Hidden City: The Unimaginables" by J.S. Furlong

“Hidden City: The Unimaginables” by J.S. Furlong

Travelers taking their road trip with family or those searching for a great new author will love this fantasy adventure novel. Chess champion Stacy moves to a new city and finds out it’s home to a supernatural community. Circumstances lead skeptical Stacy to use her chess skills and unite with her best friends to save the day. The book promotes wonderful messages about strong women, teenage empowerment, and helping those in need. Parents will appreciate that while kids will enjoy a magical and suspenseful story that’s more detailed than most young adult novels.

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"On Her Majesty's Secret Service: James Bond, Book 11" by Ian Fleming

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: James Bond, Book 11” by Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming’s estate has re-released several James Bond novels with celebrity narrators. The best of the collection is “Doctor Who” star David Tennant narrating Bond’s most intense adventure. Tennant handles the book as if he’s delivering a performance on stage. There’s never a dull paragraph, and every character sounds unique. He brings great emotion to Bond losing his wife and embarking on a quest for revenge against iconic villain Blofeld. That makes this classic book feel brand new.

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"Voice Lessons: How A Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky and an Animaniac Saved My Life" by Rob Paulsen with Michael Fleeman

“Voice Lessons: How A Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky and an Animaniac Saved My Life” by Rob Paulsen with Michael Fleeman

Rob Paulsen is known for voicing the characters of Pinky in “Pinky and the Brain,” Yakko Warner in “Animaniacs” and two different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He finally gets to tell his own story in this inspirational book. Paulsen takes listeners on a ride from his humble upbringing to becoming a voice actor and being diagnosed with throat cancer. Yet, he never loses his joy, which shines through in his narration. Children and kids at heart will love how Paulsen includes the voices of Pinky, Yakko, and other characters.

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"Awakened" by James S. Murray with Darren Wearmouth

“Awakened” by James S. Murray with Darren Wearmouth

This audiobook will make any road trip feel like a real escape. That’s because Murray and Wearmouth have written a suspenseful thriller about mysterious creatures that emerge from the New York subway to wreak havoc on the city. “Awakened” keeps listeners on the edge of their seats and moves at a steady pace. Murray reading the audiobook adds to the experience because he’s a first-time narrator having as much fun reading as the audience is listening.

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"For the Love of Europe: My Favorite Places, People and Stories" by Rick Steves

“For the Love of Europe: My Favorite Places, People and Stories” by Rick Steves

Rick Steves has made a career out of writing about travel, so it’s no surprise that he’s written an outstanding travel book. “For the Love of Europe” is part guidebook, part diary. Steves spends over 10 hours on great European landmarks from Venice to the Swiss Alps, talking about people he’s met in each location. He narrates the book as if he’s bringing readers along on his many PBS specials. Listeners might come away with an idea for their next road trip!

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"The Answer Is... Reflections on My Life" by Alex Trebek

“The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life” by Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek won over millions of fans as host of “Jeopardy!” by putting the focus on the contestants. However, in this autobiography, the focus is finally on him. Trebek provides plenty of behind-the-scenes information and speaks honestly about his battle with cancer. Yet, this is a full book about a full life, including marriage, parenthood, and Trebek’s extensive charity work. Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is an amiable narrator with contributions by Trebek throughout.

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