Audiobooks are totally essential for travelers.
I know. Earth-shattering news. What did you guys ever do without me? Haha. Weirdly enough, I never thought much about how amazing audiobooks are until this year.
In February, I decided to subscribe to Audible – an audiobook service on Amazon – and personally, I think the money was well spent. Despite claiming that I’m an avid reader, I always slip into “reading slumps” or times when I don’t want to touch a novel, memoir, whatever. How long are these reading slums? Ugh, they can last for weeks and weeks and weeks.
Why all the sluggishness? The internet’s partially to blame. Having so much information at my fingertips distracts me. However, sometimes I wonder if I’m still suffering from “graduate school burn out” all these years later. I’m proud I have a Masters Degree in English Literature. I worked hard for my degree and loved my Romanticism courses.
Nevertheless, when I reached the end of my schooling, I wanted to run across the Ben Franklin Bridge and scream into the night. What would I scream? A promise to myself that I’d never touch another book again. You can only write so many essays about literary movements, politics, symbolism, sociological relations until your mind turns into nasty boring mush – which then craves cheap entertainment like candy.
Audiobooks have really helped me slide back into reading. No, really, they’re great. I listen to a few chapters before I fall asleep. My kindle is my new reading savior. And the more I use Audible, the more I realize how awesome audiobooks are for travelers, in particular.
I remember the days before e-readers. Holy cow. I made TSA laugh more than once, because my suitcase and bag were either crammed with overly ambitious Charles Dickens books or spooky Stephen King novels. Hey, my tastes are diverse.
Kindles changed everything. And audiobooks? Offer book-loving travelers even more.
1. Perfect for planes, trains, and cars.
Travel sometimes requires long distances and lots of hours. A six hour car ride. Twelve hours in the air, passing time on a plane. If you’re like me and get restless easily, then audiobooks are for you! Pop on your headphones and listen to a novel or memoir. Get lost in the character’s voice. You’ll arrive at your new destination before you even know it.
2. Save space in your carry-on bag.
Like I already said, I had to stuff my backpack with novels back in the day. I never had room for gifts, and sometimes my bags were overweight, meaning more fees for everyone! Yay!
Physical books are great. I still buy them, because they look beautiful on my shelves, and I enjoy the feeling of holding a book. But let’s be honest. They’re not very practical for traveling.
With your Audible account, you can keep audiobooks on your kindle or your phone! Download five or six books for no extra weight. It’s so worth it when you’re running through a strange train station, trying to figure out your platform within the next five minutes.
3. Quicker to consume more books.
Like I said earlier in this post, I think all book lovers are familiar with the notorious “reading slump.” It’s even easier to stop reading when you’re traveling, and I think the reasons are super obvious. You’re tired from walking tours, exploring museums, hiking national parks, whatever. Every inch of your body wants to climb into a soft and warm bed. Read? No. Never.
Audiobooks makes it much easier for you to consume more books. Make them part of your nightly ritual and listen to them in bed. Soon you’ll finish a novel – regardless if you’re jetlagged or in a hostel dorm!
Need suggestions? Check out these great 50 Books About Traveling.
4. Multi-tasking and reading? No problem!
I’m the first to admit that I’m a horrible multitasker (anyone else feel this way?). If I’m not focusing on ONE SINGLE THING, I feel overwhelmed and give up. Haha, weak, but true.
Audiobooks allow you to do more than one thing at a time, while “reading” a brand new book. Having this freedom is important when you travel since your senses are overloaded and you need to multitask all the time. For example, let’s say you rent a car and head into the Scottish Highlands to reach your next hotel. You can listen to your favorite book as you ogle at the lush scenery and drive to your new destination. Go, reader, go!
Do you think the price ($14.95 per month) is worth it?
Honestly, I do. Audiobooks are stupidly expensive compared to paper books and e-books, I know. If your local library doesn’t have audio for whatever reason, then you’re screwed if you wanna build an audio library.
However, I don’t think Audible’s (Amazon’s) prices are unreasonable especially considering that you get the first three audiobooks for free when you sign up for your membership. Afterwards, you get one audiobook for $14.95 a month. Considering audiobooks can easily cost $20+, it’s not too bad of a deal.
Are you a fan of audiobooks? What’s the last book you’ve read? Share in the comments!