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Ahh the best road trip songs. Who hasn’t googled that? And I’ve been all about road trips lately since we just went on a short one to the beach and we are getting ready to embark on a longer road trip in a week. It can be pretty consuming actually when you have back to back road trips. With a child. There’s so much to plan besides the itinerary and packing list. You have to make sure your car is road trip ready, which includes being clean, a full tank of gas, and also light maintenance – tires in good condition, fluids topped off, no engine problems, etc.
But then there are things like making sure you have the best road trip songs for your playlist! Music is super important when you are driving for hours on end in the car. It will keep you entertained while you are bored staring at miles of highway. It can even keep you awake when you are tired of staring at the same miles of highway. And while playing DJ is super fun and a hugely coveted role in my family, I thought I’d save you some pressure of creating the perfect playlist. For 10 songs anyway. So I have compiled the Top 10 Best Road Trip songs for your playlist. As determined by me. The Queen of Loving Music. (And if you make it to the end of this post, I’ve even made a free Spotify playlist for you.)
1.) Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna
I am not the world’s biggest Rihanna fan. In fact, I only like a handful of her songs, but this is one of them. I like it because it’s upbeat, catchy, and makes you want to just own that moment. Also, it’s appropriate for little ears. Mostly. But I think it’s great for a road trip for obvious reasons. I mean, I realize it’s a metaphor and not actually about driving, but if you take it at face value it totally works. It’s off her Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded album (actually, I do like most of this album). Get Shut Up And Drive here.
2.) Like A G6 – Far East Movement
I’m going to stretch this one a little bit as this song is technically about a jet. But that’s a mode of transportation so go with me here. Not that all the songs on this playlist have to do with driving or flying or transporting, as you’ll see later, but it certainly helps with keeping you pumped about driving for hours. I’m getting off topic. I chose this song partially because of the transportation connotations but mostly because it makes you want to dance. Which is always entertaining when you’re in a car. I mean, have you ever watched someone totally rock out while driving? It’s hilarious. Usually for the cars watching, not the dancer. Get Like A G6 here.
3.) HandClap – Fitz and The Tantrums
This one has nothing to do with traveling but dang is it fun. My daughter loves this song which is great because when we listen to it in the car, I’m hoping that means there will be more hand clapping and less “Are we there yet?” (She will turn 4 while we are on our trip and thinks asking that is hilarious). But seriously, I dare you to listen to this song and NOT clap along. It’s infectious. In a good way. Get HandClap here.
4.) Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
This song was technically the summer anthem last summer but it’s still so awesome so I had to include it on this list. I just like getting pumped while driving in the car. Especially when I’m excited to go on vacation (read: get to our destination). Also, my husband refuses to listen to any slow songs in the car. He says it puts him to sleep. So this playlist might be slightly bias towards fast songs as it’s also what we plan to listen to in the car on our trip to Canada. Anyways, I know you know the song so I don’t have to sell you on it. Get Can’t Stop The Feeling! here.
5.) Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
Okay, seriously, did you think there would be a best road trip songs playlist without this song? It’s like Mr. Cochrane wrote it for drivers to listen to mile after mile. And I don’t even need to explain this one. Also, I prefer the original version the best. Just throwing that out there. Get Life Is A Highway here.
6.) Penny & Me – Hanson
Alright alright. Before you ignore this because it says the word “Hanson” (gasp!) it’s a pretty decent road trip song. I mean, it’s all about driving with the windows down and the radio up. What is more road trip-ish than that? Also, it falls into the “generally upbeat” category so that’s always a win. So seriously, get Penny & Me here. You won’t be sorry.
7.) She Sets the City on Fire – Gavin DeGraw
This might be my favorite Gavin DeGraw song ever. Actually, it definitely is. I cannot help but sing along and I’m sure you won’t be able to resist either. This song is just plain fun. Like bounce along in your seat while stumbling through the legato lyrics kind of fun. And you’ve probably heard the song, but just in case you haven’t get She Sets The City On Fire here.
8.) Yeah! – Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris
So this song is like ancient. Okay, it’s only like 13 years old but that’s middle aged when it comes to music. I mean, when I went to Cancun after high school graduation this song was all the rage. Seriously, it was everywhere we went. So I have that nostalgia factor with this song (I mean, partying in Cancun at 18 with no parents? Yeah, it was a good time). I’m happy to hear this song anywhere. It’s especially welcome when I’m driving down the highway staring at the same thing mile after mile. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know this song, but I’m sure you want to hear Yeah! again.
9.) Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
This song and the next one are two of my favorite songs ever. They are straight up classics and let’s be honest, you’re probably always in the mood to listen to them (I am!) but especially on a road trip. So on the playlist they go for your enjoyment. And mine. I mean, who doesn’t love this song? I’m pretty sure it’s been redone a bunch of times but the original is the best (as always) so get Summer Of ’69 here.
10.) Boys of Summer – Don Henley
Last, but certainly not least, I give you Don Henley. The quintessential road trip song. Perfectly upbeat to keep you happily moving along toward your destination. I know The Ataris covered this song back in like 2004 or something, and their version was pretty good, but Don Henley’s is still the best. Check out The Boys Of Summer here.
So there’s my Top 10 Best Road Trip Songs. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to this awesome playlist right now because I can’t wait until we leave for our trip.