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Best Road Trip Genres/Playlists


(Image source: Pixabay)

The Great American Road Trip – miles and miles of beckoning highway stretching out before you, no worries or responsibilities eating away at your enjoyment, and a blank vacation canvas ready to be painted with your new experiences. But wait, you can’t head out without your road trip music! Otherwise the whole thing would be incomplete and your enjoyment diminished.

Icing on the cake, sprinkles on your ice cream, or whatever metaphor you prefer, the right road trip music will sweeten the trip and make the miles go down easier. Here are some suggestions:

Best Road Trip Genres

First of all, let’s be clear that your road trip music is for you. If you have kids, they’ll be doing their own thing. They will either have their ear buds screwed in tight and listening to their own music or be absorbed in watching some movie on a tablet or the vehicle’s DVD player. So remember: this playlist’s for you . . .

  • The best place to start, then, is with classic rock – the kind of music that gets your blood pumping and makes you want to roll down the windows and crank it up.
  • Electric dance music with its driving beat and bass drops will help the miles roll by while you’re immersed in the music.


(Image source: Pixabay)

  • If you’d rather have something a little more experimental, there’s indie rock with its chill vibe to complement the rhythms of the road.
  • For something familiar but less demanding, consider a little pop for the catchy hooks and repetitive lyrics that make it easy to sing along with.
  • For music that has a lot to say about the road, there’s always country.

Best Road Trip Playlist Selections

When you’ve selected your genres, it’s time to build a playlist. There’s nothing more frustrating – or dangerously distracting when you’re driving – than chasing songs on the radio or punching buttons trying to find the song you want on a CD. So consider these picks for a mile-eating road trip playlist . . .

  • “LA Woman,” The Doors – Sometimes called the best driving song ever recorded, “LA Woman” will get you on down the road in that uniquely Morrison style.
  • “Me and Bobby McGee,” Janis Joplin – Penned by Kris Kristofferson and Joplin’s trademark song, it’s all about the freedom of unfettered travel.
  • “Girl Called Alex,” Kurt Vile – A favorite of millennial indie rock, this song is about introspection – perfect for when those long miles engender a reflective mood.
  • “I’ve Been Everywhere,” Johnny Cash – First recorded by Hank Snow, this song is a singable and loose delineation of destinations reached all across America, rendered in Cash’s inimitable baritone.
  • “Take Me Home Country Roads,” John Denver – What can we say? This is a top sing-long song that captures the allure of backroads nostalgia.
  • “Midnight Rider,” Allman Brothers – If you care anything about Southern rock, you have to include this song about fugitive travel from these pioneers.


(Image source: Pixabay)

Nothing too complex here that requires much thought – just pure enjoyment for the road.

So get your playlists in order, all stocked with the best road trip songs, and enjoy the freedom and the thrill of the open road. Fall is right around the corner – and that’s a great time to hit the highway.

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