10 Awesome Ways to Stay Entertained on a Long Trip – Episode 11

10 Awesome Ways to Stay Entertained on a Long Trip – Episode 11

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Co-pilots have a special responsibility. Besides keeping the pilot well snacked, cozy, & on the right path, we have the added pressure of keeping them awake and entertained.

Failure to do so could be dangerous to your health.

Should you choose to accept this mission, we’re here to help.

In this episode, we’re gearing you up with 10 awesome ways to stay entertained on a long trip whether on a plane, train or automobile.

So charge-up those smartphones, grab your green juice & get ready to make the miles as memorable as the destination.

1. Audiobooks

If you get motion sick like me, the thought of reading in the car sounds as inviting as drinking a cupful of sour milk.

But as they say: So many books, so little time.

Then came audiobooks.

Now I don’t have to live in fear of dying under stacks of unread paperbacks. #ThanksTechnology

I tend to favor publications from Audible.com. I just like their player better. Occasionally, if they don’t have what I want, I can find it in the iTunes store or for the Barnes & Noble NOOK app.

Another reason I prefer Audible is since they’re associated with Amazon*, often times I can add-on the Kindle* version of the eBook for just a few bucks more.

The best part, with their Whispersync technology*, you can flip between the eBook or audio version & always be in sync. Sweet! For the list of compatible devices, go here*.

iPhone Tip

You can’t purchase audiobooks through the Amazon or Audible iOS apps. But you can by going directly to either of their websites through a web browser, like Safari.

App Store Download Download Audible for Androids on Google Play

2. Pandora (streaming radio)

If you’re between the ages of 12 & 30, you already know what Pandora is.

For the rest of us, Pandora is free, personalized, internet radio powered by the Music Genome Project.


1. Easy to use
2. Great for discovering new music
3. Create up to 100 stations based on your favorite songs, artists, era, or even comedians
4. Share stations with others
5. Free with an option to upgrade to an ad free, unlimited skips & better sound quality experience
6. Rate the tracks with a thumbs-up or down for a more personalized experience. Can also “seed” stations with similar artists and songs to add more variety.

That means I can consolidate my Tiffanie and Debbie..oops Deborah Gibson stations.


1. 6 song an hour skip limit
2. Ads

Paid ($5/month)

1. No ads
2. More skips
3. Premium audio quality (web only)

To get ya’ started, here’s a comedy station we complied.

Pandora App Store Download

Download Pandora for Androids on Google Play


3. Sonza (streaming radio)

SongzaSimilar to Pandora, Sonza is a free, music streaming & recommendation service. Pick from various playlists created by music experts based on time of day, mood or activity.

My only complaint is that they need some help with their playlists titles. I have a difficult time accepting that one of my favorite stations is called Mom-Jeans Jams. Dammit.

At least Pandora will let me rename my Little Mermaid station to something less…Little Mermaid-ish.


1. Easy to use
2. Great for discovering new music
3. Fewer ads
4. Free (no paid version)
5. Playlists based on time of day, mood or activity, genre or era


1. May hear a lot of the same songs if you listen to the same playlist often. It is called a playlist, after all.
2. 6 song an hour skip limit

Download Songza in the App StoreDownload Songza for Androids on Google PlaySongza.com

4. Spotify (streaming radio)

SpotifyIf you’re a music junkie like me, you just hit the jackpot.

I used to buy 1-4 albums a month. Now I can save that money for new hiking boots.

You’d think that you’d miss out on a whole-lot-of-awesomeness when opting for the free version. But amazingly, install the free app on your PC or Mac listen to what you want, when you want.

I’m addicted.


1. Access to a ton of artists & entire albums
2. Listen to existing playlists & discover new music
3. Create & share your own playlists
4. Check out entire comedy albums
5. Like Songza, enjoy playlists based on mood, activity, genre or era
6. Be a Karaoke star with instrumental tracks

Download & install the PC or Mac app to listen to any song, album or playlist in order. Even skip more than 6 songs an hour. Yassss!!!


1. May be a little harder to navigate for technological novices
2. Can’t download & listen offline
3. When playing an album or artist’s collection, songs are shuffled with other songs thrown in every so often
4. Ads
5. 6 song an hour skip limit

Paid ($10/month or $5/month for students)

1. No ads
2. Download & listen offline
3. Premium sound quality

Download Spotify in the App StoreDownload Spotify for Androids on Google PlaySpotify on the web

5. This American Life (podcast & app)

This American LifeTrying to explain what TAL is about to someone who hasn’t heard of it can be challenging. They even say so themselves.

Basically, it’s a weekly radio show based on a theme with stories about that theme. Some will make you laugh. Others will leave you a crying mess. This is storytelling at its best.

One of our fav episodes covers a month at a Jeep dealership in Long Island.

Their podcast is free, but only the last episode is ever available at a time in iTunes or Stitcher. Be sure to subscribe & auto download each episode. That way, you’ll be stocked up for your next trip.

The $3 app allows you to stream their entire library for free. It also allows you to download 1 episode at a time for listening offline.

Download This American Life in the App Store

Download This American Life for Androids on Google Play

This American Life on the web

6. RadioLab (podcast & app)

RadioLabIf you like This American Life, chances are you’ll also love RadioLab.

“Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy & human experience.”

Tip You can subscribe & automatically download episodes to stock up on this show.

Or better yet, get the $3 app to have access to their entire library.

One of our faves is a totally amazing one on Memory and Forgetting.

Download the RadioLab app in the App StoreDownload the RadioLab app for Androids on Google PlayRadioLab on the web

7. StoryCorps (podcast)

StoryCorps podcastKleenex Alert: If this podcast doesn’t make you just a little misty, you are one tough cookie.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

These stories will restore your faith in humanity. Now please excuse me while I go wipe my tears away.

“So I ran back to the bus, and I said, ‘Sweetie, your restaurant is right here.’” – New York City bus operator, Ronald Ruiz remembers one of his passengers on the City Island line in the Bronx.
StoryCorps on the web

8. The Moth (podcast & app)

The Moth5 minutes of fame…or shame, is all these folks get when their names are randomly pulled from the NPR tote bag to share their story related to the evening’s theme.

True stories. No scripts. Just a spotlight, mic & a standing-room only crowd.

Only the best of the best end up on the podcast. The better than the best become finalist at the GrandSLAM competition and earn another chance to show off their storytelling chops.

Only the last 5 episodes are posted on iTunes. So subscribe & download new episodes for your listening library.

Or buy the $1 app & have access to all stories.

App Store Downloadgeography-48

9. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading (podcast & app)


Certain TED talks have inspired me to nurture creativity, live before I die, be vulnerable & even to embrace my quirkiness.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

Check out the podcast.  Or even better, install the free app to find featured talks, bookmark your faves, make new discoveries, & be inspired.

Can’t get enough of TED, check listings for a TEDx event by you.

Download TED in the App StoreDownload TED for Androids on Google PlayTED on the web

10. Serial (podcast)

SerialFrom the creators of This American Life comes another highly addictive podcast. Serial’s current season unfolds weekly bits of a true story about a teen sent to prison for killing his girlfriend.

With all of the twists, turns & surprises, be sure to start at Episode 1 since we won’t know how it ends until we get to the end.

Serial is a podcast where we unfold one nonfiction story, week by week, over the course of a season. We’ll stay with each story for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it.

Check out the visual stuff like maps, letters & logs.

Serial on the web

That wraps up our list of fave ways to stay entertained across the miles. Did we miss any of yours? Let us know. My short attention span is always excited to check out something new.

Lena & Kristina

* The asterisks indicates an affiliate link. It’s just an easy, no-additional-cost-to-you way to support this podcast & blog. #winwin

And don’t worry. Amazon won’t tell us about the Laser Hair Removal Device you bought.

About the author

I.T. Overlord by day. 3 wheeled moto geek by night. Giving cancer the middle finger and spreading sunshine along the way.

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