The best podcasts for any type of journey

Get your phone charged up

It feels like podcasts have been with us forever, but it was only in the middle of the 2000s that people began to realise their potential - remember the name of the format is taken from Apple's iPod, and podcasts were around for years before the iPhone came along.

Their popularity has risen and fallen down the years, but they're now undoubtedly more widespread than ever before, with many radio programmes having podcasts of their own, and many independent podcasts providing a living for the people who appear on them.

Listening to podcasts is a particular enjoyable way to spend a journey, whether you're tuned in through headphones on the bus, or you've playing podcasts through your car stereo. Here are a few we'd currently recommend, no matter what your journey type.

The daily commute

You do your daily commute every day - obviously - so it's safe to assume you know the route well and can focus on a podcast, whether you're driving or taking public transport.

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review - with film reviews, middle-aged men squabbling, special guests, musical clips and more, this is one of the BBC's most popular podcasts. Before tuning in your might want to brush up on the Wittertainment Code of Conduct.

Tech's Message - if you want a weekly update on everything happening in the world of tech, then Tech's Message is one of the best options out there, with plenty of uniquely British humour (and cynicism) to boot... just the thing for that morning trudge into work.

A long road trip

Long road trips are a good opportunity to spend extended, unbroken periods of time with a podcast, so we've picked ones that are more detailed and require a bit more focus.

Stuff You Should Know - exactly that, really. This is a podcast that's always illuminating, always educational, and always presented in a friendly and approachable way. You'll end your road trip knowing much more about the world than you did when you started it.

Hardcore History - another of the most popular podcasts in the world, Hardcore History podcasts have been known to stretch to several hours, but they're always engaging and engrossing as well as being very informative, so they're perfect for a long road trip.

Long-haul flights

With nowhere to go but your mind, the best podcasts for plane journeys have to be ones that spark your imagination. Just don't forget to pack your noise-cancelling headphones.

Lore - Lore has picked up many an award and a bunch of praise in its relatively brief history. The secret of its success is the way it combines a genuinely interesting (if rather dark) true-life story with a campfire-style listening experience that works really well.

Welcome To Night Vale - if you want something just as imaginative but even more fantastical (and creepy), give Welcome To Night Vale a go. It really defies description, but the official "turn on your radio and hide" tagline sums the podcast up pretty well.

Short trips round the neighbourhood

You don't want anything too heavy or lengthy when you're just nipping to the shops and back - these podcasts are easily to digest in smaller chunks and have a light-hearted tone.

The Allusionist - this is a podcast all about words and their origins, and if you want to be entertained as well as educated then it's well worth a listen. It might sound a little dull and dry from the description, but it's actually a lot of fun and perfect for tootling around town.

Answer Me This - ostensibly a show for answering life's nagging questions but actually just a way of discussing all kinds of issues with a comedic slant, Answer Me This is always brilliantly entertaining and eye-opening. Just what is the most expensive item at Argos?

On your way out

Of course there are all kinds of "nights out" but we're assuming yours is going to be relatively upbeat, so we've picked a music and a comedy podcast to get you in the mood.

How Did This Get Made? - a fantastic dissection of the worst of popular culture, saving you from wasting time watching rubbish movies and shows and giving you plenty of laughs along the way. There are plenty of archive episodes to crawl back through as well.

The Great Albums - almost exactly what it says on the tin: The Great Albums goes in depth with a great album every episode, with clips, conversation, and a track-by-track review. If you've never heard of a particular album, then it's a way of discovering new music too.