Author Lisa Greenwald once said that a “vacation was only a vacation if it involved reading at least two books on the beach.” It’s true that books make a trip more fruitful and rewarding, with pleasant images filling your mind as it eases into relaxation. However, actual books might be a drag to bring to vacations and you run the risk of damaging them as they are exposed to different kinds of elements. A good alternative for this travel must-have are audiobooks.

Audiobooks are perfect for traveling because of the simple fact that they don’t take up physical space in your luggage. Aside from that, you can set your gaze upon the breathtaking scenery without worrying about missing anything. If you’re traveling alone, these audiobooks will give you the ideal companionship during a much-needed break from work or school: imaginative and brimming with stories. 

The Graduate by Charles Webb

Read by Hope, William & Thomas, Sian & Mahoney, Danny & Full Cast

This book by Charles Webb is about Benjamin Braddock, a 21-year-old fresh graduate from a suburban university. Benjamin is emotionally sedated with the huge expectations bestowed upon him by friends and family, and his disenchantment made him yearn for things out of the norm. Set in the summer of 1963, Benjamin engages in an affair with an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, who is the wife of his father’s business associate. This leads to more confusion and anxiety, making Benjamin go through on a three-week road trip so he can spend time with “commoners.” If you have seen the movie adaptation starring Dustin Hoffman, then you’ll probably know the fleeting feeling that goes with its ending; and that’s the right kind of conclusion you can hear while on a vacation.

You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett

Read by Annie Hemingway

This novel is about a group of girlfriends and their emotional evolution in the age of nationwide talent shows. Sasha, Rose, Jodie, and Nell sing and record videos for fun, but they never thought that one of their stolen videos would be entered in a talent show. This audiobook highlights the importance of friendship and how it flourishes after intense amounts of pressure and betrayal. If you’re on a vacation with your closest friends, then this audiobook is a good addition to your bonding activity.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Read by Emilia Fox

This dystopian science fiction novel is one of Kazuo Ishiguro’s best works and was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize. The novel has three acts that explore the life of its protagonist, Kathy, during her upbringing in a boarding school in England called Hailsham. The book has two other major characters, Tommy and Ruth, and they all try to answer their lives’ questions by going against the rules of their school. While answering to their need to travel and see what’s “out there,” they find out a shocking truth that ultimately tangled their beliefs. This novel is filled with beautiful imagery paired with a somber-yet-imaginative narrative that will make your vacation memorable and enchanting.

Next of Kin by Joanna Trollope

Read by Eleanor Bron

This story is set in an English farm and highlights the rural life, making it the right literary accompaniment to your getaway. It revolves around Robin Meredith, who has long been living in his family’s farm beside River Dean with his American wife, Carolyn. Carolyn has never really settled into the rural life and after she died, this left a hole in Robin’s life with their adopted daughter, Judy. Then comes Judy’s friend Zoe, an independent, free-spirited soul who acts as a catalyst of change. If you’re on a vacation hoping to nourish your soul with new-found hope, the theme of this novel will fit right into your expectations.  

Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner

Read by Anna Massey

This 1984 Booker Prize-winning novel by Anita Brookner is a perfect selection for your trip in more ways than one. Aside from its vacation-worthy setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, the theme is similar to a getaway that’s filled with surprises. After experiencing a troublesome relationship with a married man, romance novelist Edith Hope yearned for a retreat and stayed in this hotel. In Hotel Du Lac, Edith encountered other guests with different personalities: there’s Mrs. Pusey and her daughter Jennifer, and Mr. Neville, an attractive middle-aged man who will turn her life around just when she needed it most.

All of these audiobooks can be found and bought in Audioboom’s general fiction selection, along with a catalog of podcasts and talks that can also serve as great accompaniments to your next adventure-filled vacation.