These Are the 10 Best Podcasts to Binge on a Road Trip

Obviously Serial made the list

So many podcasts to choose from, so little time. Homecoming, Sandra, S-Town, Up and Vanished, Presidential, Serial

When you’re cruising down the highway with hours of driving ahead of you, it’s the perfect opportunity to pop on a podcast. There are now seemingly endless options when it comes to the popular form of media which allows you to delve into subjects like true crime, business, politics, pop culture, or even the sudden disappearance of one of the most iconic celebrities around.
Check out these 10 podcast series that are perfect for a road trip.


The first season of Serial, hosted by NPR vet Sarah Koenig earned a Peabody Award (the first podcast to do so) for its investigation into the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee and the eventual arrest of her classmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The second season took a similar approach when it examined the case of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban and later charged with desertion.
While the single-case focus has been a hit for Serial, Koenig is changing things up for Season 3 by instead taking on the entire criminal justice system. With unprecedented access to Cleveland’s courts, Koenig and reporter Emmanuel Dzotsi recorded inside courtrooms, judges’ chambers, back hallways and attorneys’ offices. What they discovered was a shocking legal process that very few outside of the system know about.
Number of episodes in each season: 11-12
Length of episodes: 40-60 minutes
Frequency: Weekly (all of Season 1 and 2 are currently available)


Hosted by Lillian Cunningham and featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning historians such as David McCullough and journalists like Bob Woodward, the Washington Post first released Presidential’s 44 episodes leading up to Election Day 2016. Still as relevant now as it was then, the podcast explores the “character and legacy” of each of America’s presidents and also examines how the most powerful position in the country has changed since George Washington was first sworn into office.
Number of episodes in each season: 48
Length of episodes: 30-50 minutes
Frequency: Weekly (all episodes currently available)

Binge Mode: Game of Thrones and Binge Mode: Harry Potter

One of the most popular shows on air, Game of Thrones, was the initial focus of Binge Mode, a podcast that takes fans through every episode of the HBO series. While exploring the story’s history, characters and themes, the podcast also touches on possible theories.
Hosted by The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion, Binge Mode wasn’t content to stick with one fictional world and launched a second series which breaks down J.K. Rowling’s epic Harry Potter books.
Number of episodes in each season: 10-40
Length of episodes: 30-40 minutes
Frequency: Daily-Weekly

Up and Vanished

Inspired by Serial, American director and documentary filmmaker Payne Lindsey set out in 2016 to investigate the disappearance of high school teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead, who vanished from her apartment in Ocilla, Ga., 12 years earlier.
“The largest case file in Georgia’s history” baffled police and eventually went cold. However season one of Up and Vanished resulted in an incredible outcome that will leave you eager for Season 2, which focuses on the 2016 disappearance of Kristal Reisinger in Crestone, Colo.
Number of episodes in each season: 24 plus bonus episodes
Length of episodes: 25-30 minutes
Frequency: Weekly

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

If you don’t immediately recognize his name, Chris Lighty was the co-founder of Violator, a record label and management/marketing company that represented top hip-hop artists like Nas, Ja Rule, Missy Elliott, L.L. Cool J and 50 Cent as well as Mariah Carey.
In Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty, from Gimlet Media and the Loud Speakers Network, listeners explore why The New York Times called Lightly “one of the most powerful figures in the hip-hop business” and credited him with helping “establish the genre as a major commercial force—complete with huge record deals and tie-ins with commercial brands—during its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s.” Lightly passed away in 2012 at just 44 years old, with investigators deeming his death a suicide.

Desirée O is a freelance arts, entertainment and lifestyle writer.