A Podcast Playlist For Thanksgiving Road Warriors If you've got hours stuck on an interstate or an airplane in your near future, this list — four hours of entertaining listening — is our gift to you.
NPR logo A Podcast Playlist For Thanksgiving Road Warriors

A Podcast Playlist For Thanksgiving Road Warriors

Hopefully these Chicago travelers had plenty to keep them entertained Tuesday evening. That looks like it might have taken a while. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Hopefully these Chicago travelers had plenty to keep them entertained Tuesday evening. That looks like it might have taken a while.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

For some, Thanksgiving means a perfectly trimmed turkey, piles of mashed potatoes and beautiful pumpkin pies. For others it means travel. Lots and lots of travel.

If you're one of the millions of Americans with hours of traffic on the interstate or on a plane in your future, this list is our gift to you. It should keep you entertained through about four hours of holiday travel turmoil. To make it easy for you to relax and just listen, you can click to hear the entire playlist in our mobile app, NPR One. Or, pick the podcast episodes that most interest you from the list below and listen on NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts.

We hope this helps stave off boredom, road rage and utterances of "are we there yet?"

A history of the holiday

Ever wonder what the descendants of the Native American tribe that brokered peace with the pilgrims think of that deal? The Memory Palace from Radiotopia offers a different perspective on the holiday in "On the Shores of Assawompset." 13 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Getting anxious about family dynamics

Time in transit gives you a chance to think about all the fault lines that will crisscross your holiday table. The "Thanksgiving" episode of Hidden Brain offers advice on how to avoid family fights, and what to do if one breaks out. (Hint: the answer is not throwing stuffing across the table.) These social science-based tips will make for a happier holiday for everyone. 20 minutes

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Or, if you're gathering ammunition for political debates

You're still relatively fresh and relaxed. Now is a great time to dig into the meaty reporting Kelly McEvers has done about President Trump's business for Embedded. The entire "Trump Stories" series is fantastic, but "The Golf Course" is a great place to start, telling a story of how Trump one business operated when he was trying to get his way. 44 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Now for a little fun

With her usual dose of dry, British humor (or humour?), Allusionist host Helen Zaltzman tells us what we can and can't learn about a person from their handwriting. The "In Your Hand" episode of this Radiotopia podcast will give you all the tools you need to understand your crazy relatives, based solely on their handwriting samples. (Just kidding. Sort of.) 13 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Kids starting to get antsy?

Keep them engaged, entertained and educated with Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz's curiosity-sating Wow in the World. In this episode, the pair wonders why onions make us cry — and hopefully will give your kids a laugh. 20 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Dig into civics (and its discontents)

The Taxman, the brand new three-part podcast from Colorado Public Radio, is the story of a very dynamic and persuasive anti-tax activist who convinced voters in the state to usher in a radical new tax law. This is a story of alliances, arch-enemies and the unexpected consequences of idealism. 38 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

A deep dive on a tough topic

Settle in for this amazing story of an underage girl who finds herself in a marriage she never really wanted. Who is to blame, and how is this happening in this country? The "Child Marriage in America" episode of WGBH's Frontline Dispatch is well worth your time, with fascinating characters and narrative illuminating a subject rarely explored in this country. 53 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

The children really need a distraction

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified from WHYY is a family-friendly, pulpy, old-fashioned radio adventure. Follow Eleanor, an enterprising reporter, as she saves the world from the schemes of an evil villain. 15 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

A mental escape

The traffic is starting to get to you, your back is hurting and the kids are giving you a headache. Let the "Om Alone in India" episode of Rough Translation send you on a trip around the globe for World Yoga Day. While there are thousands of yoga mats out in Times Square, some in India aren't thrilled with the cultural appropriation. Serenity now! 32 minutes.

Listen on NPR One or download from Apple Podcasts

Remember what's wonderful: family

You're almost there. Let's focus on what this holiday is all about. This episode of StoryCorps, "Gifts From Our Parents," will make you want to give your mom or dad a huge bear hug and thank them for everything they've done for you through the years. You may want to keep the tissues nearby for this tearjerker. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road. 20 minutes.

Listen on NPR One

Maybe none of this appeals to you, or you've already listened to it all? In that case, just turn on the NPR One app, kick back, and listen to a curated, personalized collection of the best news stories and podcasts from public radio and beyond.

Happy listening, and happy Thanksgiving!