Best Road Trip Audiobooks

Best Road Trip Audiobooks
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Road trips are great. You can delight in the ever-shifting natural scenery, meet new people and drive from one place to another, with little need for accommodation or anything else, for the road trips are just as fascinating as the most recent page-turner.

Nevertheless, travelling with kids or even alone can present new challenges. How to keep your offspring busy? How not to fall asleep, while at the wheel? The answer to all these questions is to take audiobooks for a family road trip, but first, make sure you know which books to upload.

I’ve made up a list of the top ten books to listen to on your roadtrip for all travel durations, and for all tastes and ages. Thus with this selection of audiobooks, your family road trip can be really conducive to a happy time together, and shared emotions. At the same time, if travelling solo, you will also feel that there is someone, the author or the narrator, close by, to keep you focused and alert.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell’s first novel is considered one of the top books for a road trip. Set in Paris and London, it is a case study of how to move around on a shoestring, and make your travails a veritable piece of art.

If you tune in on the YouTube audio copies of the text, you will no doubt feel compelled to drive on and will have next to no urges to fall asleep.

Bear in mind that even if George Orwell is most famous for his 1984 and Animal Farm, it is Down and Out in Paris and London that kickstarted his literary career, and introduced his unique writing style, best described as KIS English, meaning Keep it Simple.

People of the Abyss

One of the good audiobooks for road trips is People of the Abyss. Pre-dating Down and Out in Paris in London, this piece of sterling prose may have actually inspired George Orwell, then Eric Arthur Blaire, to pen his first text!

What makes it so conducive to a nice road trip, is the gritty imagery, incisive wit, and clear prose, the three components of a perfect 6 hour road trip audio book Amazon boasts only few like.

Light in August

In the oeuvre by Willian Faulkner, the whole story revolves around being on the road. It is an interlacement of different stories, and even though considered one of the main masterpieces of American Literature, Light in August is also an exquisite portrayal of life on the move.

Upload an audio copy of the book, hit the road, and get inspired by this quasi-nomadic prose, which makes travelling through America a rite of passage to a world where time seems to have frozen and beauty, art and adventure seem to thrive, like gargantuan plants embowering your literary road trip escapade.

On the Road

One of the most notorious road trip accounts, On the Road is not among good books for a family road trip. You can indulge in the vivid raunch-oozing prose alone or with a friend, making it one of the best road trip audio books for couples.

The text takes you across America, and ushers you into the world of the Beat and Beatniks, the generation made immortal by casual sex, drug use and a penchant for trenchant English prose and virtually no audio books for kids road trips.


An odyssey of a love-lorn mixed-race couple, Brazil is the only major American novel set in this Latin American country! But it does not mean it is in any way inferior to other listed pieces of writing…

You can have a peek into the exotic world of torrid passion and clammy clime, by turning on Updike’s chef d’oevre and following the super sensual account of adventures that young lovers, Isabella and Tristao will face on the road.

Bear in mind that the book is full of magic realism and even if there can be some explicit passages, the author’s all-pervading love for the protagonists makes it one of the best audio books for kids road trips and among the best audio books for family road trip.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Known partly thanks to the world-famous eponymous adaptation on the screen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is among the best audiobooks road trip can help you indulge in.

Follow in the steps of Dr Gonzo and Mr Duke across the scorching hot Nevada desert, but learn from their mistakes. Listen to what happens when the urge for the “forbidden” wins over your self-preservation instincts: and don’t you dare repeat!

Brideshead Revisited

Counted among the best roadtrip audiobooks, Brideshead Revisited is an ode to youth, with frequent depictions of road trips. Succumb to the allure of picnicking on the grass by the road, and drinking wine while young and road-tripping, and increase the volume of your audiobook, for the rendition is really awesome.

What is more, what makes this book feature among good audio books for road trips is the unique melancholic sadness of the narrator’s voice: something which recommends this book for somewhat nostalgic road trips re-visiting the land of one’s childhood and youth.

Don Quichotte

One of the models of a road trip, prior to the invention of fuel-powered vehicles, Don Quichote by Cervantes is a world literature classic and one of the best audio books for a family road trip. What makes it feature among top audio books for road trips is the delicately crafted story-line and exquisite depiction of being on the road.

Turn on the magnificent Spanish roadtrip chronicle, and travel across centuries without stopping driving: one of the essential secrets behind engrossing audio books for long road trips.


A fresh take on the time-hallowed classic, Quichotte is a story of a travelling salesman, one of the road-trip professionals. But differently from “Coming up for Air”,  Orwell’s great audio book for a roadtrip, it is a story of love.

Follow Quichotte, and his son Sancho, across the US, and see if their love quest will come to a favourable result; also don’t forget it is Rushdie’s familiarity with both roads and language that made this arguably the best audio book for road trip.

Keep in mind that the work is full of allusions to contemporary American politics and general culture, making it one of the best audiobooks to listen to on a road trip for general education.

Travels with Charley

Do you like pets? If so what can be better than Travels with Charley, a 1960s travel account of a road trip through the US by the American famous author, J.Steinback? An account of the author's travels with his poodle, Charley, it is a masterpiece and a real love tribute to the US highways.

Considered both one of the best road trip audiobooks for couples and ranking among the best audio books for long road trips, it is an outstanding work of genius.

It primarily deals with the question of “what are Americans today?” and to this purpose provides one of the most striking portrayals of the unique lives lived along the inter-state highways and seems to promise an answer that leaves some hope for a less divided America.

Download and head for the quest of your own, to witness what is America in constant flux…

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About the Author

Ivan Ivoilov is a freelance writer. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he has spent the last four years exploring the Indo-Pacific and is doing a Master’s degree in Estonia, at the University of Tartu. Ivan’s main interests include collaborative creative writing and creating bespoke tours and pop-up writing retreats. Follow Ivan and his literary adventures on Instagram, or Facebook.