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A road trip isn’t a road trip without good music.
In my opinion, a road trip playlist must consist of at least one of the following:
- Be upbeat to get you through those long stretches of highway
- Highly singable
- Educational – lessons about the 1980’s music is considered educational, right?
- Songs about road trips – duh?
First, let me tell you about how I created my playlist
If you don’t use Spotify, I highly recommend it. It’s a music streaming app that allows you to create your own playlists. Need inspiration, you can also listen to one of their many playlists based on mood, genre, or decade. And of course, they have their own version of songs to sing in the car. Spotify is free with ads, or you can upgrade to a premium subscription for $9.99 a month.
Ultimate Road Trip Playlist
You can listen directly to my Ultimate Road Trip Playlist on Spotify. As of writing today I have over 70 songs, enough for 4 1/2 hours on the road. But, don’t take just my list alone! I reached out to several other travel bloggers to get their favorites as well. Here’s a list by the above categories of our must-have Road Trip Songs!
- Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammer
- Happy – Pharrell
- I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Life’s a Beach – Heymous Molly
- Immortals – Fall Out Boy
- Renegades – X Ambassadors
- Geronimo – Sheppard
- Perfect Day – Hoku (You know the song from Legally Blonde)
- Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
- King of the World – First Aid Kit
- Counting Stars – One Republic
- Best Day of My Life – American Authors
- Every Chance We Get We Run – David Guetta
- ABC – Jackson 5
- When Will I See You Again – Owl City (Jennifer plays this song to remind her boys that even though they may be sad to leave again, a new adventure awaits)
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
- Super Trouper – Abba
- A Horse with No Name
- American Pie – Don McLean
- End of the World – REM
- Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
- Candy – Paolo Nutini
- Runnin Down a Dream – Tom Petty
- Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon
- Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
- Riptide – Vance Joy
- Happy Together – The Turtles
- Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty
- Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy
- Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
- The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3
- I’m a Believer – The Monkees
- You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
- Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith)
- Africa – Toto
- Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (A1A – Beach Front Avenue)
Remember – I did say 80’s songs are educational!
- You Spin Me ‘Round – Dead or Alive (sadly we had to explain what a record and spinning was)
- Unhappy Birthday – The Smiths
- Friday I’m In Love – The Cure
- Rapture – Blondie (the best part is when they try to rhyme cars/guitars etc like the old-school rap in the song)
- 8-6-7-5-3-0-9 Jenny by Tommy Tutone
- Turning Japanese by the Vapors
- Rebel Yell – Billy Idol
- Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N Roses
- Love Shack – The B52s
- Rock the Casbah – The Clash
- You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party – The Beastie Boys
- Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
- We are Family – The Pointer Sisters
- She’s A Maniac – Michael Sembello
- I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
- Cruel Summer – Bananarama
- Your Love – The Outfield
- Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
I grew up in the ’80s (obviously, but most of those songs were suggested by Shobha!) but I loved the 60’s. The next part of this list is educational – let’s call it music history – from the ’60s to ’70s.
- My Generation – The Who
- Jolene – Dolly Parton
- All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
- Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
- Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
- Tiny dancer – Elton John
- Danke Schoen – Wayne Newton (Because, you know, Ferris)
- Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd
- It’s Not Unusual – Tom Jones (Try not to do the Carlton if you’re the driver)
- Anything by the Beach Boys
- Anything by the Beatles
Road Trip Songs
These include some classics as well as new ones to discover
- Holiday Road – Lindsey Buckingham (The Original National Lampoon’s Vacation Version)
- Holiday Road – The Frank & Todd Show (Acoustic cover that’s a lot of fun)
- Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
- Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
- Small Town – John Mellencamp
- Into the Great Wide Open – Tom Petty
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Route 66 – Chuck Berry
- ‘Til We Run Out of Road – Jewel
- Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Shanghai Cigarettes – Caitlin Rose
- Southern Sun – Boy & Bear
- Same in Any Language – i Nine
- Home – Phillip Phillips
- American Girl – Tom Petty
Please check out the following bloggers who contributed to the Road Trip Playlist
Shobha George of Just Go Places – She’s doing the dream Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip this summer!
Marta Correal of Learning Escapes – She introduced me to Paolo Nutini, a new favorite!
Maggie Abernathy of Dakota Gypsy – She’s got some fantastic pieces on the National Parks.
Jennifer St. Louis of Our Family Travel Adventures – Her family is on a worldschooling adventure and they are living my dream!
I want to hear from you! Keep the conversation going and comment below with your must-have Road Trip Playlist song!