Audiobooks for Family Road Trips that Kids AND Parents Enjoy

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Audiobooks for family road trips make the miles zip by. Before leaving home, load up the smartphone or CD player with stories for everyone’s listening pleasure. Check out our picks for best audiobooks for family road trips with little kids, big kids, and tweens/teens. These audiobooks are sure to be a hit with kids and parents alike.

Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips ~ for kids of all ages, from young children through teens

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Audiobooks for Family Road Trips with Little Kids

The Cricket in Times Square

Younger children love the sweet tale of Chester, The Cricket in Times Square. He's accompanied by his friends Tucker and Harry, a mouse and cat living in the Times Square subway station. They help our hero discover the Big Apple, just like any adventurous traveler should.

Geronimo Stilton

Originally released in Italy, the Geronimo Stilton series of books have become a favorite of children around the world. Follow the escapades of Geronimo, his sister Thea, cousin Trap, and Benjamin, the favorite nephew. The stories take place in every corner of the globe, with Geronimo solving mysteries and eating cheese wherever he goes. Fabumouse!

Matilda

Any story by Roald Dahl makes a fantastic audiobook choice, and that certainly holds true for Matilda. Our plucky heroine takes on school bullies big and small. In the process she discovers her own surprising powers. This inspirational story teaches children that they can be mighty, no matter their size or age.

Dr. Dolittle

Animal lovers will adore listening to The Story of Dr. Dolittle. This delightful classic focuses on a physician who learns a secret language to communicate and work with animals, including a rare creature that is part unicorn.

Audiobooks for Family Road Trips with Big Kids

39 Clues

The 11 primary books in the 39 Clues series follow the central characters, the Cahill kids. These siblings are in charge of guarding family secrets. The series' plentiful plot twists will keep listeners in suspense mile after mile.

The Roman Mysteries

The Roman Mysteries audiobooks will inspire wanderlust to visit Rome and its ruins. Led by the noble Flavia and her band of child detectives, this series details real and fictional accounts of Roman history, including the eruption of Vesuvius and destruction of Pompeii.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang audiobook differs a bit from the Disney classic, but in the best way. Listening to this story during a road trip will make your kids wish the family car could fly too.

Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia bring the fictional kingdom of Narnia to life. This fantasy realm is inhabited by magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals. The Pevensie children accidentally discover Narnia, and then become intwined in the history of that fantastical world. The Chronicles of Narnia teaches good versus evil with engaging tales. The story spans across seven books, making it a fabulous choice for a multi-leg road trip with kids. Start with the first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Percy Jackson

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan weaves Greek mythology into tales about the ultimate outsider hero. Like Harry Potter, Percy discovers he is no ordinary boy. He’s actually the demigod son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. That lineage comes with lots of power, baggage, and mythical responsibilities. Start your Percy Jackson audiobooks adventures from the beginning, with The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Audiobooks for Family Road Trips with Tweens + Teens

Harry Potter Series

Listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made my family's 16-hour drive down the California coast a quiet, engaging breeze. When great writing is accompanied by great storytelling, everyone gets into the story. Any of the Harry Potter books would make fantastic car listening. (Even without kids in tow!) New to the series? Start your Harry Potter road trip adventures with Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone. The early books in the series are great for younger kids, but the stories become darker and better for tweens or teens as they progress.

The Uglies Series

This trilogy focuses on artificial beauty, its cost, and the value of critical thinking. The Uglies series' heroine, Tally Youngblood, uncovers the truth behind the distinction between “pretty” and “ugly” in a post-apocalyptic future. Tweens and teens just may discover a new way of looking at others, and at themselves, after listening to this one.

Artemis Fowl

The young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl is in a battle against a high-tech fairy underworld. There are eight spellbinding fantasy stories in the series. My boys loved listening to these fabulous audiobooks, even on short trips to school and the soccer field.

Where to find audiobooks for family road trips

The audiobooks market has grown and changed over the years. Audible has become an audiobook subscription juggernaut. Get two free audiobook downloads when you sign up for Audible now. Once you've registered with Audible, it's easy to download audiobooks for family road trips via Audible.com or Amazon. Additionally, you can buy audiobooks on CD if your car has a player. This story includes links to both Audible and CD audiobooks to make your family's journey more fun.

Are there any other audiobooks for family road trips that you recommend? Share your tips in the comments below!

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About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 16 and 18). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 18 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

Comments

  1. These are great! I love audio books on road trips. It’s a great way to get in some “reading” while nothing else is going on.

  2. This is such an awesome idea! What could possibly be a better story time situation like this than a road trip?!

  3. Normally, we listen to music on the way traveling, sometimes we talk about our passion for cat and dogs. I think my nieces will love listening to The Story of Dr. Dolittle. The content seems perfect for them. Thank you for sharing.

  4. My son listens to music all the time, but I bet I could challenge him to try an audio book, what a great idea! I could appeal to his laziness, say it is instead of reading to see how it goes! Thanks for this!

    • Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama says:

      It may spark a desire to read more! You never know, but with so many choices, he will not be bored by the great stories.

  5. Great idea to listen to audiobooks on road trips! My sister in law is always looking for ways to keep her kids entertained – I will give her your recommendations!

  6. I love the idea of listening to family friendly audio books on a road trip. I get so sick of listening the the radio, which seems to play the same songs on repeat. When you’re in the car for several hours, it gets tedious!

    • Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama says:

      Totally agree. Audiobook really do help to make the miles fly by on long trips. Great for air travel too.

  7. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    We used to love listening to audiobooks on our frequent road trips. We did the Harry Potter novels and lots of other ones too.

  8. Ah these are some really good choices! Audiobooks keep everyone entertained on long car rides. I would definitely enjoy listening to these.

  9. I love audiobooks in any car ride. I sometimes will play them even if I’m only going 10 mins. These are all great choices

    • Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama says:

      Me too! I used to drive by school drop-offs after getting too engrossed. 😉

  10. This is a pretty comprehensive list. I like it. Looks like you have covered just about every age group.

  11. I am yet to own an audio book. But I can see how fun it would be to have for road trips

  12. Audiobooks are an awesome road trip entertainment idea! It sure beats having to listen to the same animated movie for the thousandth time.

  13. Audio books are a great idea for car rides! We are always fighting over music but this is something we would all enjoy.

  14. Love these recommendations! Perfect for our next trip!

  15. That’s really lovely. It’s nice to have audiobooks on your road trip. I think these are great choices. I would definitely go for the Harry Potter since that’s what my family likes.

  16. Jeanine says:

    I haven’t done audiobooks in such a long time. Road trips would be a great way to get them in. I think they’d be fun for the whole family!

  17. Great choices for kids of all ages and I think I would love to hear the Harry Potter myself on a long trip. My son loved Roald Dahl still does. I don’t need for the little ones but those are great selections.

    • Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama says:

      Glad you like the choices. I tried to highlight something for everyone!

  18. You have SO many good ones on your list. We’ve often listened to a book or two on our road trips and love it!

  19. This is such a great idea for those long road trips. Matilda is one of our favorites!

  20. Great list of audio books for kids/littles here, gotta keep them busy and entertained! 🙂

  21. Thanks for this list of audiobooks. Traveling with kids can be a bit stressful and we must find ways to keep them entertained. I think the idea of getting them audiobooks is a great idea.

  22. I love this list of audiobooks that you compiled. Listening to stories during long road trips are sure to keep the kids busy. I love that you listed these books according to age groups.

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