Thursday, 13 June 2019

Best Audiobooks for Your Family Road Trip

Reading, in any form, whether it’s the weight of a paperback in your hands or the sweet sounds of an audiobook filling the room or filling your car, can be heaven to your ears. I know it’s heaven to mine.

On long, or short road trips, kids want to keep asking “are we there yet?” Or they might get restless and bored with the coloring books and iPad games you gave to them to distract them.

When this happens, you might want to consider popping in an audiobook, turning up the volume, and letting someone else’s voice take you out of this world and into a fictional and fantastical realm.

It goes without saying to make sure that while you’re in this fantastical realm that you remember the rules of the road to make sure you and your family are safe, and to make sure your car insurance is up-to-date so you and your family are protected in case accidents happen.

Now, before we get into the best audiobooks, where are the best places to get audiobooks? Audible is the most well-known, but there are others such as OverDrive or Libby (best if you want to get your audiobooks from libraries), and Scribd. You can also go the traditional “retro” route and get audio CDs for your stereo player.

Wherever you choose to get your audiobooks from, let’s now talk about the best audiobooks that both kids and parents can enjoy together.

J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Books

The father of fantasy and the creator of the world of Middle Earth, Tolkien’s fantasy world has spawned several Hollywood movies. While this series might be the best for older kids, the adventures of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit will keep everyone on the edge of their seats. The adventures of Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship who seek to defeat Sauron in Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King will keep attention off of road signs and keep the kids from the question “Are we there yet?”

The Harry Potter Series

J.K. Rowling’s series is well-known worldwide, as are the movies that spawned from the books. Whether you or your kids have seen the movies or read the books already, it is worth it to hear them performed by the wonderful narrator, Jim Dale. He keeps you entertained and is never boring. There are seven books in the series: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows, so make sure that you start with The Sorcerer’s Stone. This series will take you through several family road trips and into the Wizarding World of Hogwarts.

You can also delve into the audiobook of another J.K. Rowling creation, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Fudge Series

Judy Blume reads the books about young Peter Hatcher and his little brother, Fudge. You can start with any of the books in the series, but my suggestion would be to start with the first in the series, Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing. These books are set in New York City, and the tales and wacky adventures of an everyday family might have you making comparisons to your own family, and will leave everyone in a fit of giggles.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Greg Heffley has a run of bad luck in the Heffley family. He has a diary, a gift that he got for his birthday and didn’t want in the first place. But it’s a gift he’s going to make full use of. Greg’s antics had me laughing when I read the books, and they will have you and your kids laughing as you listen to them.

Charlotte’s Web

Like audiobooks further down the list, Charlotte’s Web is an audiobook that is a bit on the shorter side. But the tale of Wilbur, a pig saved from death first by the young girl Fern and then by the kind and loving spider, Charlotte, is a tale that is tender, sweet, and enjoyable. It is also a timeless tale that is good for a short road trip.


This audiobook is on the long side (research shows 16 hours, to be exact), and much like The Harry Potter Series, will take you through several family road trips. While I have not listened to the audiobook myself, I can speak to the written book, and it is sublime. The story of a poor farm boy finding a blue stone, which hatched a dragon, will keep you and your family engaged to the very last word.

Roald Dahl Audio Books

As a kid, you may remember reading such books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. Roald Dahl has a way of taking the weird and the wild and spinning yarns...whether it’s a man named Willy Wonka who owns a factory that he gives to a boy named Charlie, a boy named James who lives in a giant peach with an assortment of insects he calls family, or a girl named Matilda with some interesting powers, these books will keep both you and your kids engaged. These are shorter audiobooks so they might not be the best for a long road trip; shorter family road trips are the best for these books.

Beverly Cleary Audio Books

Beverly Cleary wrote many books you probably read as a kid: The Mouse and the Motorcycle, the Ramona books, and Henry and Ribsy. There is a great assortment of books by Cleary and a great many stories to choose from, and you and your kids will be delighted by her tales.

Of course, there are a lot of audiobooks floating around out there. These are the ones that make me nostalgic, and the stories that I have enjoyed the most. Give these a try, and I hope you and your family will enjoy them too.

About the Writer

Brandy Clark is a freelance copywriter at and likes to write horror for fun at When it comes to horror, the best horror movie is John Carpenter’s The Thing. Besides writing, she is also an avid bibliophile, her favorite books being anything written by Stephen King. She resides in Missouri with her two dogs, Layla and Hayley.

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