6 Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

Planning a road trip this summer? Be prepared and bring along plenty of audiobooks! Check out this list of best audiobooks for family road trips.

This is a great list of audiobooks for family road trips!

If you’ve ever gone on a long road trip with your family, halfway through the trip you might have wondered what you were thinking.

As everyone gets restless and boredom sets in, the tension in the vehicle begins to mount.

The mood goes from one of excitement to one of restlessness, and then, finally, to one of misery.

Have you ever had that experience? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Why We Love Audiobooks

Last year we took a looooong road trip to Florida. It was very long!

It was 17 hours in a minivan with 5 kids, 2 adults, tons of luggage, and barely room to move at all.

Did I mention it took forever to get there?

Thankfully, my husband had the genius idea to plan ahead and purchase some audiobooks and audio dramas for the trip.

We also brought along a couple of movies the kids could watch, but we preferred the audiobooks since it was something we could all enjoy.

Audiobooks allow the whole family to share in the story, and they also allow children to continue to enjoy the scenery we’re driving through, rather than staring at a screen.

best audiobooks for family road trips

Once we realized how powerful audiobooks could be for road trips, we started bringing one along pretty much anytime we knew we’d be in the vehicle for an hour or so.

We’re a little old school and listened to these audiobooks on CD. 

But now it’s so easy to download audiobooks to an app on your phone, then play the books over your vehicle’s audio system. 

Plus with downloads you don’t have to worry about scratched or missing CDs! 

Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

There are so many audiobooks out there to choose from, and I’ve only included a few classics in this post.

Just click the titles below to be taken to the downloadable audiobook version of each book. You can also select CD versions on some of these as well.

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosures here.

1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Our whole family loved this book! Even though we’d been hearing about this story for years, we still hadn’t gotten around to actually reading it yet.

Listening to the audiobook was a very enjoyable way to share the story together as a family.

I still remember listening to this book this past fall as we drove to the apple orchard (a couple hours from where we live) and then finishing it up the following month as we drove to the pumpkin patch (also a couple hours’ drive).

2. The Sign of the Beaver

It had been several years since I read this book to my oldest son during our school read aloud time, and the rest of the family hadn’t heard it.

This was another story the whole family really enjoyed.

3. Little House in the Big Woods

You can’t go wrong with The Little House books

My husband and I read these when we were young, and we’ve been reading them to each of our kids for over 20 years. 

4. The Boxcar Children

This is a fun series about four orphan children and the adventures they have. 

It might not be quite as interesting to older (12 +) kids but the whole family could enjoy these. 

5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins

This book is a clever and humorous story about a housepainter who got involved with a troupe of penguins.

6. Hattie Big Sky

6 best audiobooks for family road trips

My daughter and I listened to this story as I drove her to and from her orthodontist appointments last year (2 hours both ways!).

I had never even heard of this book before, but I loved the story, and I thought the narrator did an excellent job.

What Are Your Favorites?

So, those are the best audiobooks for family road trips that I know of at this point.

Another time I’ll try to share our favorite audio dramas, as those have also been a staple of our road trips.

But now I’d love to know if you have any favorite audiobooks we could add to our collection!

Let me know the titles of your favorites in the comments!

More Family Activity Ideas


  1. Joy,

    My family and I have spent many an hour in the car driving across the country and we enjoyed the Harry Potter books. The books are long enough that one book would last for most of the trip. Did you know that some libraries carry Audio Books and they can be checked out just like regular books? I don’t know if Cracker Barrel still does their rent an Audio book thing or not but a few years ago they had a program where you would rent the audio story and could return it to any other Cracker Barrel and exchange it for a new one. Hope you have good travels this summer.


    1. Thanks for sharing the tip about getting audio books at the library, Maureen! We have done that a few times, and it’s so helpful. I had never heard of the Cracker Barrel program—what a great idea!

  2. This was a great list. We are taking a long trip to Virginia and do go through all of the various phases. A little too quickly. I wrote these down to purchase and try for our trip. Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. My kids LOVE audio books and we go through a lot and then repeat the ones we love.

    Chronicles of Narnia
    A-Z Mysteries
    Mrs Piggle Wiggle
    BFG and anything else Roald Dahl

    Wingfeather Saga if your kids are older

    And I’ve heard great things about Harry Potter’s audio version so I’m excited for my kiddos to be a touch older

  4. The Penderwicks series have been our favorites to listen to, hands down. We also loved Matilda, narrated by Kate Winslet. Miracles on Maple Hill was also very good.

  5. These are great! We do love the Boxcar Children and we have enjoyed listening to most of the Magic Tree house books on cd too. My boys are older now and we’ve listened to all of Rick Riordan’s audiobooks while in the car. Pinned.

  6. You have some of the classics listed here! I love it. My kids read all these when they were in school and my all time favorite – the Box Car Children! We are neighbors over at #LiveLifeWell today.

    PS.. if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3am PST and runs through Sunday night. you can find it at debbiekitterman.com/blog (Please feel free to delete the link if you think it inappropriate).

  7. Besides the stories you listed, my son and I enjoyed The Trumpet of the Swan, read by the author, The Secret Garden, and the Bible dramatizations found here:

    Take care 🙂

  8. Heirloom Audio has some great dramatic CDs. While they’re not technically audiobooks, they are based on some of GA Henty’s books, and they are excellent. We own all of them — so far, and we’ve listened to them multiple times. I can’t recommend them highly enough. 🙂


    1. One of the audio dramas we listened to on our road trip last summer was The Dragon and the Raven from Heirloom Audio. We loved it! I’m hoping we can get some more of those in the future. Thanks for sharing, Nikki!

  9. We LOVE listening to audiobooks when we travel, too. Not only does it pass the time well, but it builds family memories. I compiled a list in a post as well, but hesitate to leave it here for fear of seeming like I just stopped by to link-drop. 🙂 Feel free to stop over and find it if you’re looking for more ideas. Pinning this!

    1. I’m sure my husband and I will continue our audiobook tradition even after our children are grown, too! 🙂

  10. You have some great ones here. I remember listening to Little House on the Prairie as we were driving through Kansas.Being near the location brought it alive. Farmer Boy is fun to listen to. Not when you are hungry, though, because so much food is mentioned. Hank the Cowdog is one of our favorite series. Science Fair by Dave Berry is what my son is currently listening to for the second time this week.

    1. Oh, yes, the food descriptions in Farmer Boy are plentiful! 🙂 My boys really enjoyed reading some of the Hank the Cowdog books, but we haven’t listened to the audio books yet. Thanks for your suggestions!

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