Whoosh…. You speed along the highway with no destination in mind. The ocean to your right, a canopy of trees to your left. It’s just you and the open road. This is paradise.
Why not make the scene above even more beautiful? Why not engage your mind with a choice selection of books. And don’t worry. You don’t have to actually read them. You can have them narrated to you by a soothing and melodious voice.
Below I have listed the best audio books that I have listened to on my many travels. They include everything from adventure to romance to motivational books that will make your travel even more memorable.
Here are the best audio books for traveling:
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- On the Road: The Original Scroll
- The Kite Runner
- The Fault In Our Stars
- The Harry Potter Series
- “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character
Best Audio Books for Traveling
It’s always a good idea to read a book when you’re traveling to take away your boredom. But with audio books you don’t have to stress your eyes, rather you can stare out of your window and look at the fields pass you by while listening to the same books being narrated by someone.
These audio books will surely keep you engaged with your surroundings and have a time of your life – literally killing two birds with one stone. So for your upcoming road-trip, I’d suggest you give the following audio books a try.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Author: Mark Twain
Narrator: Nick Offerman
I couldn’t help but chuckle all throughout my road trip when I was listening to this book. The relatability of Tom’s shenanigans made me feel like a kid again. This is a must listen to if you want a good laugh as your cruising in your car during your road trip.
The book follows Tom Sawyer, a young boy who has a knack for getting into trouble. The young Sawyer is a lovable menace who is restless and prefers the outdoors to the constraining environment of his house and school. When caught, it was usually aunt Polly who played task master and punished him by making him white wash the fence for example.
The sly Sawyer made his chore seem so enjoyable that the kids in the neighborhood ended up doing the work for him. Tom’s happy go lucky style of living resonated with his pal Huckleberry Finn whom he used to escape school to hang out with.
Huckleberry Finn, himself a social outcast, showed Tom another side of life that was exciting and filled with adventure. The time they spent together are replete with adventures and fun.
Explore the childhood you never had as Twain takes you through the quaint town of Saint Petersburg and the adventures of the mischievous Tom Sawyer.
On the Road: The Original Scroll
Author: Jack Kerouac
Narrator: Will Patton
Does the idea of hitch hiking and traveling to unknown lands get your blood pumping? Do you crave the unfamiliar and seek its unknown delights? If yes, then On the road is the perfect audio book for you.
Follow the beat generation writer as he explores the delights of traveling across America in this semi-auto biographical novel. This book was characteristic of the 1960’s when ideas such as free love and exploring unconventional wisdom was rising in popularity in the United states.
Kerouac’s free flowing verse is a perfect vehicle to narrate the adventures of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty’s travels across the US. Theirs is a quest for self-knowledge and exploration and the vastness of America is their experimental lab. Kerouac’s love for humanity and his compassion shine through this novel and make it a must read.
If you are looking for inspiration for your next big adventure, listening to Kerouac will surely get your thrill-seeking hormones flowing.
The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Narrator: Khaled Hosseini
Loss and grief are weaved through perfectly with spurts of happiness in this masterpiece by Khaled Hosseini. If you are looking to feel deeply and get shaken to your core, this is the book for you.
The book follows two boys who grow up together in Afghanistan. One the son of a wealthy businessman, Amir, and the other the son of his servant, Hazara . The boys grow up together and are inseparable.
Hazara, a simple boy, is absolutely devoted to Amir to the point where he would actually give his life for him. Amir feels guilty of this attachment and is unnerved by it. The book is a coming-of-age story and narrates the tribulations of Amirs and Hazara’s friendship with each other.
Hosseini masterfully explores the guilt that Amir experiences with the unequal friendship and his insights into the human psyche is phenomenal. The peculiarities of the childhood friendship is carried forward into the boys adulthood that explores many inconvenient truths. This is a story of betrayal, war, love, loss and a coming of age of Amir.
Hosseini has a knack for displaying human character fluidly that one immediately resonates with each character. Listen to this book, for those lazy Sunday afternoons’ that will make you constantly sit at the edge of your seats.
The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Narrator: Kate Rudd
I’m not much of a romantic since I find most romance novel cheesy and overdone. But I will gladly make an exception for this novel.
John green’s fault in our stars is unconventional and bold. The story follows Hazel, a cancer patient, who has been granted some extra time due to a medical miracle. When all seems bleak, Love is all you need as Paul McCartney would say.
Enter Augustus Waters. Waters joins Hazel’s cancer kid support group and the two of them develop an irrevocable connection. As the two cancer patients hopelessly fall in love with each other, the reality of what’s going to happen next slowly dawns upon them.
This novel is a tearjerker, and you can’t help but feeling sad for the two characters. The intertwining of their fates and the romance that develops really makes you wonder… What was the fault in their stars. Listen to this beautiful novel when you feel especially romantic on your travels.
The Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K Rowling
Narrator: Jim Dale
This one is perfect for the family road trip. The Harry Potters series are a cult classic, and I can’t help but watch the reruns every single time it plays on the television. The books are obviously more detailed and vivid than the movies can hope to capture.
There is no way that the boy who lived will not rouse your spirits and transport you into a magical theme land. I can’t tell you the number of times I wished that I would get my admission letter to Hogwarts.
The series follows Harry Potter, the boy who escaped from the clutches of the dark Lord Voldemort. Harry along with his friends Ron and Hermione work together to kill Voldemort by destroying the horcruxes. Along the way, witness the fantastical world that J.K Rowling creates that includes mind boggling potions class, speedy quidditch matches and lively wizarding duels.
This is a story of friendship and follows the classic trope of the triumph of good over evil. If you have trouble getting the kids to keep quiet during your road trip, this will capture their imaginations instantly. A must listen to if you want to escape the monotony of life.
Author: Michelle Obama
Narrator: Michelle Obama
If you love hustling and are inspired by people who dared to dream big then this is the perfect book for you. Becoming is the personal story of Michelle Obama that is extremely awe-inspiring.
The book is divided into three sections: the first is her upbringing in Chicago, her ivy league education and her career as a lawyer. The second is her relationship with Barrack Obama. The third part reveals details of their family life in the white house.
Michelle was the first African American first lady of the white house and she strives to create the most inclusive white house in America. Her passionate zeal to connect with people and be a champion of woman’s rights in America and across the world is what made her such a lovable figure in America and beyond.
With utmost candidness and wit, Michelle describes her triumphs and her pitfalls and lays bare the challenges of being a first lady in the white house. This book is a must listen to if you want to feel inspired by greatness and live a life that is extraordinary.
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character
Author: Richard P. Feynman
Narrator: Raymond Todd
Follow the journey of one most the peculiar characters in modern physics, Richard Feynman, and his fantastical escapades. Feynman is known for his wit and unquenchable curiosity about the world around him.
Follow him along his journey as you take a deep dive into this wonderful man’s psyche and be amazed at what you find. From discussing concepts on atomic physics with Einstein to accompanying a ballet with a pair of bongos to painting a naked female toreador, Feynman has done it all.
If you want to explore the eccentric world of a genius scientist, you must listen to this audio book. When I listened to the book, there were multiple times when I downright laughed, or I was in awe with how Feynman used to think. A must have for when travel gets a little monotonous.
Traveling on your own can get lonely at times. Luckily books are your favorite companions and with a wide range of audio books available online you will never feel lonely on your travels ever again.
Keep your mind engaged and afresh with the books above and keep venturing on.