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The Best 20 Audiobooks for Family Road Trips (2024)

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Are we there yet? 😅 Ah, the family road trip! 🚗 

There’s nothing quite like it. The open road, the beautiful views, the constant chorus of “Are we there yet?” from the back seat… One of the best ways to keep everyone entertained (and sane) during a long drive is through the magic of audiobooks. Trust me, they’re a game-changer. Not only are they a great way to pass the time, but they also help develop various skills in young children. 

Do you need some inspiration or further persuasion? 😁

Audiobooks for Younger Kids (4-8 yo)

Let’s dive into why audiobooks are a must-have for your next family adventure and which ones are the best for younger kids.

Why Audiobooks Are Great on Road Trips

  • Entertainment for All: Audiobooks are perfect for keeping the whole family entertained. Whether it’s a short trip to the local grocery store (actually I even listen to audiobooks or podcasts on my 10-minute ride from school drop-off to work 😅) or a long road trip across states, a good story can captivate kids of all ages.
  • Screen-Free Fun: In a world dominated by video games and screens, audiobooks provide a much-needed break from visual stimulation. Plus, they reduce the chance of motion sickness that some kids get from watching screens in the car.
  • Skill Development: Listening to audiobooks helps kids develop listening skills, vocabulary, and imagination. They learn to follow a story, understand complex sentences, and picture scenes in their minds.
  • Bonding Time: Sharing a story can be a great way for the family to bond. Discussing the plot, characters, and your favorite parts helps create lasting memories.
  • Convenience: With services like, Audible, your local library’s digital collection, or even a free trial of an audiobook service, you can easily access a wide variety of titles suitable for young children.

Skill Development Through Audiobooks

We listen to various audiobooks a lot – I will reveal a bit later our actual favorites 😊 It was not my intention to add something to our days, especially for skill development… but it turned out, and we see it in practice that listening to audiobooks are almost as good as listening to parents reading out stories and books laud* 😊

*I also read some kids’ books for our local audiobook library providing free services to blind people. It was fun, and guess what, I got a really kind email from one of the listeners thanking me for letting him “read” that book. 😊

  • Vocabulary and Language Skills: Listening to a variety of stories exposes children to new words and phrases, enhancing their vocabulary and understanding of language.
  • Listening Skills: Audiobooks require kids to listen attentively to follow the story, which can improve their ability to focus and pay attention.
  • Imagination and Creativity: Without the visuals, kids need to use their imagination to picture the story, which definitely boosts creativity.
  • Comprehension: Following a plot, understanding characters, and predicting what might happen next are all parts of comprehending a story, which audiobooks help develop.

Top 10 Audiobooks for Younger Kids (4-8 yo)

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1. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

charlottes web audiobook

A timeless tale of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The audio version is beautifully narrated, bringing the story to life for young listeners.

2. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter

peter rabbit audiobook

Follow the mischievous adventures of Peter Rabbit as he sneaks into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Perfect for little kids who love animal stories.

3. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” by Roald Dahl

mr fox audiobook

Roald Dahl’s charming story of a clever fox who outwits farmers. It’s a fun and engaging audiobook that will be enjoyed by the entire family.

4. “The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne

winnie the pooh audiobook

Join Pooh, Piglet, and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood for gentle adventures and heartwarming tales.

5. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

matilda audiobook

The story of a brilliant young girl with telekinetic powers and her journey to find happiness. Kate Winslet’s narration makes this a captivating listen.

6. “The BFG” by Roald Dahl

bgf audiobook

Another Dahl classic, this story of a Big Friendly Giant and a young girl named Sophie is filled with whimsy and adventure. It’s a great audiobook for younger kids with a sense of wonder.

7. “Stuart Little” by E.B. White

stuart little audiobook

The adventures of a little mouse named Stuart who lives with a human family in New York City. A delightful tale that encourages bravery and kindness.

8. “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

narnia audiobook

This magical story of four siblings who discover a hidden world is narrated by a full cast, making it an immersive experience for young listeners.

9. “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo

despereaux audiobook

A modern classic about a brave mouse who loves music and stories. It’s a great audiobook that’s both heartwarming and exciting.

10. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

harry potter audiobook

Introduce your kids to the world of Harry Potter with this first book in the series. Jim Dale’s narration is legendary and will keep the whole family hooked.

This is our actual favorite 😊

The Best 10 Audiobooks for Older Kids (8-14 yo)

Alright, so we’ve got the younger kiddos sorted, but what about the older ones?

They’re at that age where their tastes can be pretty sophisticated, but still adventurous and fun-loving. Audiobooks for this age group should be engaging, a bit more complex, and filled with exciting adventures.

The good news is that if you are traveling with older kids, your chances are higher to find audiobooks that are really enjoyable for adults too 😊

Here’s a list of audiobooks that are perfect for older kids, aged 8-14.

1. “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan

percy jackson audiobook

Dive into the world of Greek gods and demigods with Percy Jackson. This fast-paced, humorous, and action-packed series is a favorite among middle-grade readers.

2. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling

harry potter audiobook

If you haven’t already introduced them to Harry Potter, now’s the time. If your kids already listened to the first book, they can follow with the Chamber of Secrets now! Stephen Fry’s narration of the entire series is fantastic and will keep them entertained for hours.

3. “The Chronicles of Narnia Complete Audio Collection” by C.S. Lewis

narnia audiobook

Just like with Harry Potter, this classic tale of adventure and fantasy is perfect for older kids. You can go on with all the books if you have older kids!

4. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien


Join Bilbo Baggins on his epic quest. This beloved prelude to “The Lord of the Rings” is filled with adventure, humor, and memorable characters.

5. “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket


The darkly humorous adventures of the Baudelaire orphans are perfect for kids who enjoy a bit of mystery and wit. Tim Curry’s narration is a treat.

6. “Holes” by Louis Sachar


This modern classic about a boy sent to a juvenile detention center in the desert offers mystery, adventure, and a bit of history. It’s a captivating listen that’s hard to pause.

7. “Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson


This prequel to Peter Pan is filled with magic, pirates, and adventure. It’s a great audiobook for those who love fantastical tales.

8. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio


A touching story about a boy with a facial difference who attends school for the first time. It’s an inspiring and heartfelt listen that encourages empathy and kindness.

9. “The Lost Library” by Rebecca Stead & Wendy Mass


“When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.”

I just came across this one while searching for ideas for this post… It sounds so interesting that I will need to listen to it too! 😁

10. “The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods” by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell


A thrilling fantasy series with intricate world-building and unique characters. It’s a great choice for kids who love adventures.

Why These Audiobooks are Great for Older Kids

  • Engaging Plots: These audiobooks have complex and engaging plots that keep older kids hooked.
  • Rich Vocabulary: The language in these stories helps expand their vocabulary and language skills.
  • Character Development: Older kids appreciate deeper character development, which these books provide.
  • Life Lessons: Many of these stories offer valuable life lessons about bravery, friendship, and perseverance.
  • Adventure and Imagination: These books fuel their imagination and take them on unforgettable adventures.

So, load up these audiobooks for your next family road trip and watch as your older kids get lost in the magical worlds they create. It’s the perfect way to keep them entertained and maybe even spark a lifelong love of literature!


Audiobooks are the best family-friendly entertainment for road trips, offering a range of benefits beyond just keeping the kids quiet. They’re a great way to engage young readers and older kids alike, making those long drives feel shorter and more enjoyable. Whether you’re introducing your little ones to the magical worlds of E.B. White or Roald Dahl, or diving into more complex tales with Neil Gaiman and the Harry Potter series, there’s something for everyone.

For younger children, family-friendly audiobooks can transform a car ride into an adventure filled with talking animals, fairy tales, and whimsical characters. These stories not only entertain but also help develop their listening skills, expand their vocabulary, and ignite their imaginations.

Older kids can benefit from audiobooks that introduce them to more intricate plots and themes. These stories often feature brave main characters, great adventures, and the challenges of growing up. They are perfect for fostering a love for reading and storytelling. Whether it’s a summer vacation, a short trip to the local library, or a long road trip, having a selection of great audiobooks is a must.

Audiobooks narrated by renowned English actors or those featuring a full cast can bring stories to life in ways that captivate listeners of all ages. They offer an easy listen that can turn a routine car ride into a shared family experience filled with laughter, excitement, and even a few life lessons.

Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot to access these stories. Many services offer free audiobooks or free trials, making it easier to find the perfect audiobook for your next family adventure. From classic children’s books to modern tales, there’s an audio version out there that will keep everyone entertained and create lasting memories.

So, as you get ready for your next road trip, don’t forget to pack a selection of the best audiobooks. They’re the perfect companions for creating quality time with your family, discovering new worlds, and making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

Happy listening! 😊

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