Podcasts for Thanksgiving travel are a great way to pass the time during your trip. The podcast space has exploded this year. With thousands of topics, there truly is a podcast for everyone.
Travel forecasts predict 2018 to be one of the busiest travel holidays in recent memory. Combine that with bitter cold, and a long trip can be a less than pleasant experience. Most of us will face long delays sitting in traffic (or weather), or we will get to enjoy the “hurry up and wait” aspect of flying.
Before You Leave:
If you’re driving, most cars make it extremely easy to play podcasts. You can connect via Bluetooth, or an Auxiliary or USB cord. (The USB connection will also charge your phone – be sure to have a way to charge your phone if you’re on a long road trip). If you have an iPhone, some cars even support Apple CarPlay, allowing you to navigate your phone’s menu from the screen in your dashboard (please be careful not to be distracted while driving, of course). Also, if you’re concerned about data plans (especially if you have kids with you), download the shows at home over your Wi-Fi before you leave. Podcasts don’t use nearly as much data as video, but if you find yourself worried about your data consumption at the end of every month, every megabyte counts!
If you’re flying, you’ll of course want to download your shows and episodes before boarding. You may not be able to stream audio when your phone is in airplane mode. Sure, most flights have WiFi (for a fee), but those networks are often unreliable.
How Do I Listen?
New podcast listeners should know you need an app to listen to them. If you’re traveling with an iOs device (iPhone, iPad, etc), the Apple Podcasts app (formerly part of iTunes) is the easiest, most simple way to listen. The app is already on your phone. For Android users, Google Podcasts (already on your phone) has made great strides in recent months, but if you have any issues, you can use third party apps. Spotify is the most popular podcast app behind Apple, and you may already use it to listen to music. They’ve been improving their podcast functions. You can also try other apps like Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
Here are some podcasts for Thanksgiving travel that will make your trip feel much shorter. Follow the links, or simply search for them in your favorite podcast app.
Serial – this is considered the “gateway” podcast for many podcast listeners. It was created by the folks at NPR affiliate WBEZ-Chicago, and it’s now in its 4th season. Each season follows a true crime case, and it really takes a deep dive into the offense, the ensuing trial, and much more. Think of it as the “Law and Order” of podcasts. Serial has won virtually every broadcasting award out there.
The Daily – This New York Times offering is a must-listen for me every weekday morning as I walk my dog. Now, before you scream “Fake News,” know that The Daily tackles one big story every day. Yes, many times they delve into politics. However, as I write this, their last three episodes have been in-depth looks at the war in Yemen, El Chapo’s journey from Mexican drug kingpin to an NYC court, and an expose on what Facebook knew and tried to hide. Each day, host Michael Barabaro interviews a prominent Times reporter. These reporters are experts in their fields. Earlier this year, they did a special series called Caliphate, that was an outstanding glimpse into ISIS.
My Dad Wrote A Porno – now, this clearly will not be for everyone (especially if you are traveling with children), but this should disprove the podcast stereotypes that all shows are about news and politics and are delivered by a sloooow-speaking National Public Radio anchor. MDWAP is up to 2 million downloads per episode. It’s also the reason my neighbors think I’m crazy. I frequently listen in the afternoons while walking my dog. Sometimes I get funny looks when I walk down the street seemingly cackling with laughter for no reason.
Here’s the premise. An Englishman named Jamie is the host, and his dad has (very poorly) written an erotic novel. Each week, Jamie reads a chapter to his female friend Alice and his gay friend James. They dissect the writing, including author “Rocky Flintstone’s” lack of knowledge of anatomy and often poor word choice. I believe their English accents make their reactions even funnier. In fact, the show became so successful, it inspired “Rocky” to write several more books in the series. I’m just getting into Season 2, and I’m trying to proceed slowly. I want to have enough left for my drive from Michigan to New England over Christmas.
WTF Podcast with Marc Maron – one of the 800 pound gorillas in the field, Maron is a 20 year stand-up veteran. He routinely has A-list celebrity guests. He even did an episode with Barack Obama. This show is very well-regarded in the podcast community.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug a few shows that I’m directly or even tangentially involved with.
The Quizzo Cast: I’ve spent the last 18 months hosting bar trivia in and around Metro Detroit for local company Quizzo! Currently, I’m co-hosting a bi-weekly show in which we play trivia with guests and talk about events we are doing with the company.
Spiro Avenue: Mainly a long-form Detroit sports-talk podcast, I helped Justin Spiro re-launch last week with a spirited political discussion. We took two very good friends from opposite sides of the aisle and debated all things right, left, Trump, race, and more.
The D Brief: For a year, I worked with Seth Resler and Becky Scarcello on this show, which showcases the burgeoning Arts and Entertainment scene in and around Detroit. Worth a listen.
Podcasts for Thanksgiving travel will make your week much more enjoyable. There’s something for everyone. Open your favorite app and search for knitting, gaming, Constitutional Law, Friends, or whatever your heart desires. Audio is much more portable than video (especially if you’re driving), and there’s an intimacy and companionship to having a “friend” along for the ride.