Whether it be a road trip across the US, a train ride through Europe, or a long flight to Thailand – if you’re traveling somewhere you’re bound to need something entertaining to occupy your time. I got hooked on podcasts while on a 6-month road trip from Oregon to the Florida Keys and back again and I was so enthralled that at times I wouldn’t even leave the car. I’ve put in hundreds of hours of listening to the good. the bad, and the ugly so that you don’t have to. Stick to my top 9 and you’ll be set for the long journey that awaits you!
My Dad Wrote a Porno
If you’re from the UK you’ve undoubtedly already listened to the first 2 seasons of My Dad Wrote a Porno and you’re anxiously awaiting each new episode of season 3. But if you’re not, this hilariously raunchy podcast may not yet be on your radar.
Jamie and 2 of his friends read and comment on a porno that his dad, pen-named Rocky Flintstone, has written called Blenda Blinked. Rocky’s writing is awesomely awful and the commentary that the 3 provide along the way will have you literally in stitches. The rivet from the hull of the Titanic will have a whole new meaning after listening to this one. Keep in mind that you’ll need earphones for this one and it’s not appropriate for kids.
Ever wondered whether or not organic food is actually better for you or for the environment? Or where zika originated and how it could actually affect you? The host of Science Vs has an adorable Australian accent and keeps the content light and humorous while providing fact-based info. It’s educational without being a bore and will leave you wanting more (see what I did there?).
Serial (Season 1)
If you haven’t heard of or listened to the first season of Serial, you’re probably living under a rock and don’t even know what podcasts are. I’ll sing its praises anyway since it is my all-time favorite and is insanely popular for a reason.
It’s the story of Adnan Syed who is currently serving a prison sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend… a crime that he claims that he didn’t commit. The host, Sarah Koenig sorts through loads of old evidence and some new evidence and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. You’ll go back and forth, guilty or not guilty, over and over again while listening.
But don’t waste your time on Season 2, I couldn’t even get through 3 episodes. Hopefully Season 3 gets back to its roots!
There has been a sad and terrible trend of police violence in the US in recent history, particularly in regards to racial profiling. People are afraid of police officers even when they aren’t doing anything wrong because of the limitless power that the uniform seems to offer.
74 Seconds details the story of a traffic stop gone wrong and a play-by-play of the 74 seconds that elapsed between the cars stopping to officer Jeronimo Yanez’s deadly shooting of Philando Castile. The podcast continues through the trial of Officer Yanez and the aftermath of the court decision.
All of the information on the trial is publicly available so the podcast isn’t necessarily providing any new details, they are just organizing and presenting it in a way that is easy to digest. At times it can be difficult to listen to the audio from that night but they warn you ahead of time.
How would I describe the Reply All podcast? It’s about the internet. About people and the internet. The internet and people. About hackers and phishing and conspiracy theories and sabotage and loads of other random stuff. It’s impossible to accurately describe really.
The hosts are really entertaining and can make light of even the most boring of subjects. You’ll learn something new in every episode. And sometimes your new knowledge will horrify you. Just subscribe to it, trust me.
If you’re anything like me, a google search of “Trump tweets” can lead to a dangerous spiral of sadness, despair, and too many confusing and differing opinions from both political parties. Skip the daily news stories and catch up on all of your news once a week by listening to the NPR Politics podcast.
They pick the biggest stories of the week and provide fact-based reporting from political experts. They don’t get too into the weeds on anything but provide enough background information to keep you from getting confused.
Start-up (Season 4)
This season of Start-up follows Dov Charney, the controversial former CEO of American Apparel on his journey to start a new business. Dov is wacky and eccentric and is both lovable and loathable depending on the episode.
The podcast follows him around as he tries to build a new empire but also chronicles his lurid past at American Apparel where he was accused of sexual harassment and other indecencies that finally led to his firing. Listen to the podcast and then you can make up your own mind about him and whether or not you’ll shop his new line. And Google the top 10 most scandalous American Apparel ads of all time first to give you some context before you listen.
Homecoming is not your typical podcast – it’s a psychological thriller that plays as if you were watching a television series, only without the television screen. The main character, Heidi Bergman, seems to have lived two parallel lives; first as a compassionate military case worker and now as a waitress who’s entire life seems to revolve around caring for her mother. Her two worlds collide in a way that will keep you enthralled and wanting more!
Science… Sort of
Science… Sort of offers an entertaining, down-to-earth take on a variety of science, pseudoscience and pop culture topics. Topics can range from in-depth discussions on climate change to statistical modelling of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse.
Patrick, Ryan, Charlie and a host of other science-minded individuals offer their take on the latest advances in astronomy, physics, biology, and geology. If you like Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic books, beer or all of the above, you should check out this podcast!