We all have “summer jamz” and “car tunes” playlists set on Spotify. It’s our go-to music to play while driving with the windows down. But next time you’re about to go on a long drive, either alone or with friends, try listening to a podcast. I know you’ve all heard of “Serial,” but turns out there are other amazing podcasts that are also fantastic—informative, hilarious, and you can listen to them while you drive, which you can’t do with your favorite Netflix shows. Podcasts are made for multitasking millennials, and it’s time we embraced them.
So as you pack up and hit the road for the beach this Fourth of July weekend, or if you’re just planning a road trip, make sure to download episodes from these awesome podcasts beforehand to pass the time of the long drive.
If you know me, you’ve probably heard me talk about this podcast, or reference an episode, or go on a girl-crushy rant on how amazing this show is. Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation of a podcast to listen to, I practically scream this one. I’m pretty sure that I’ve linked one or more episodes in every article I’ve written for Literally, Darling. Cristen and Caroline are fantastic hosts, and they talk about topics ranging from Laverne Cox to Man Caves to OCD. They dig into hard-hitting issues in a relatable, enjoyable way and do a lot of research into their podcasts while infusing their brand of humor and charm into each episode.
Favorite Episodes: Exotic Beauty & Fat Bottomed Girls
Every Saturday at 11 am, I would leave my dance class and enter my mom’s car, and she would turn on NPR and we would listen to Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! Then, after we got home 10 minutes later, we would either sit in the car and finish the show or run inside and turn on the radio and listen together. So, granted, this show has a lot of sentimental value to me. But this news trivia and quiz show is hilarious, the panelists are funny and clever, and the celebrity guests are fun to listen to. If you’re on top of the news, you’ll have fun trying to beat the clock and get the answers correct. If you’re not, you’ll learn a lot about the random things that go on in the world just by listening to the hilarious quiz questions.
Favorite Episodes: June 20, 2015 (Guest Mindy Kaling) & April 4, 2015 (Guest Jeremy Piven)
Recently, this podcast made the news when the President used the n-word in a recent episode—whatever your opinions on the use of the word or the appropriateness of the conversation, this podcast is hilarious and definitely NSFW. His two-part episode with Louis C.K. was named the #1 podcast episode of all time by Slate. He interviews funny people and they have great conversations; it creates a hilarious dialogue that you can’t stop listening to, no matter how long your drive to the beach is.
Favorite Episodes: President Barack Obama* & Louis C.K.
*OK seriously just listen to this episode so you know what’s going on in the news
No list of podcasts would be complete without including This American Life. It is probably the most well-known podcast on this list, and the creator of TAL is also the creator of Serial. If that doesn’t tell you enough about how great this podcast is, know that this show has won tons of awards and has been running since 1995. Ira Glass hosts each episode, which takes non-fiction topics and uses journalistic storytelling to inform and engage listeners in issues that many of us may be interested but have little background knowledge on. It’s not like reading a newspaper article, or listening to a news show—each episode takes real stories from real people and weaves them into a fascinating and informative narrative.
Favorite Episodes: Three Miles & The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind
We already have a summer playlist and reading list. Now it’s time to make your summer podcast list. So download the Podcast app on your iPhone, plug it into your car, and drive off to your perfect Fourth of July weekend.