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In the next few months I’ll be traveling to multiple away soccer games, three different dance competition weekends and a six-hour car trip to watch my son graduate Army Boot Camp. That’s a lot of miles on my car and a lot of time spent with kids who are tired of being in the car.

But, unlike previous dreadful car trips, this time I’m ready. I have a plan.

I will not have the sibling fighting and drama that we had this summer.

It had been about three hours in to our 10-hour drive and I couldn’t take one more announcement of, “I’m bored,” or, “He’s taking up too much room.” Not only was I regretting being the sole driver on such a long car trip, I was regretting the trip altogether.

In a moment of sheer desperation to drown out their bickering, I turned on one of my favorite podcasts that I listen to on my daily walks.

And then magic happened. The kids started listening, too! Then they asked to hear another podcast episode. And another!

In fact, family podcasts were such a success I spent some time in our hotel room downloading even more podcasts for our ride home later in the week.

Since we’ve been home, my kids have downloaded podcasts on their own and regularly listen on the way to school or in the evening before bed. And now anytime we all get in the car together, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store, we turn on a podcast!

These six podcasts have become family favorites. They are a great way to plug in together or to help the miles go faster.

Snap Judgment 

This is the podcast that began our listening love affair. Described as, “storytelling with a beat,” Snap Judgment tells the story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, with a great musical score to accompany it. A favorite on our trip was the story of a how a Rabbi became friends with a prominent KKK leader. Not all Snap Judgment podcasts are appropriate for all ages, but host Glynn Washington gives fair warning when questionable content is about to be discussed.

TED Talks

These are short (less than 20 minutes) talks given by the brightest minds in science, business, education, and technology. We especially enjoyed magician David Blaine’s talk on how he held his breath underwater for 17 minutes and developmental researcher Kang Lee’s talk on how to tell when children are telling a lie. A couple times during vacation my kids used their new lie detector skills on each other.

Stuff You Missed In History Class

Definitely not a boring history lesson. Co-hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey delve deep into history you may never have even thought to discover such as the Crayola Crayon Story, The Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 and a history of pizza (hint: pizza has a much more interesting, and delicious, history than your local take out place!).

How Stuff Works

If your vacation takes you camping in one of the great national parks, you should never try to outrun a grizzly bear. This is just one helpful tip we learned listening to 4 Threats You Should Never Try To Outrun on the How Stuff Works podcast. My boys especially enjoyed the 5 Gross Things That Happen When You Die episode.

The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast

Classic literary lovers may particularly enjoy this one. The podcast features not only Lovecraft stories, but also other works of fiction that inspired the author.

Star Talk Radio Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson 

Tyson rotates co-hosts with popular comedians and celebrities to discuss “Everything under the sun; Or rather, under the universe!”

If you have younger children in the family, check out the wide selection of family friendly podcasts at podbay.fm.

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