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The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist by 20 Travel Bloggers

The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist by 20 Travel Bloggers

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ultimate road trip playlist

We’re at the start of our USA road trip where we’re cruising down the east coast, rolling along the south, and hiking back up the west until we reach Vancouver.

Everyone knows that a you need a road trip play list when embarking on a road trip! That’s why I reached out to some travel bloggers and asked them for their one, must have song when off on a road trip.

I’d call our road trip a cross-country trip, but I suppose it’s a bit more than that! We’ve got until 6th June (when our visa runs out) and at the moment we’re waiting out Storm Stella on the New Jersey coast before racing down south for warmer weather in Florida.

Last night we sorted out a device that means we can play Spotify through our car. As, let me tell you, North American radio stations might be even more repetitive than Radio 1 and they’ve a bigger obsession wit Ed Sheeran than my sister does.

The songs below evoke memories of these travel bloggers own road trips, first solo adventures and numerous happy times on the road.

The resulting road trip playlist is below along with travel bloggers memories from the road. You can add this road trip playlist to your Spotify here.

What’s your must have song on a road trip? For me it’s got to be anything that I can sing the words to. Loudly. (Sorry Thom) The Easy 90s and Indie Party playlists on Spotify are great for this and so is this road trip playlist.

Sloop John B, The Beach Boys

ultimate road trip playlist

My favourite song for the road is “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys.  I play it over and over and scream-sing along to it.  I discovered how much I love this song when I took a Beach Boys CD with me for the trip from Miami to Key West.  Oh what a trip that was!  And this album made it even better and more memorable.

Carole Terwilliger Meyers, Berkley & Beyond

So Good, B.o.B.

This song reminds us of how great we have it to be able to travel.  It’s especially memorable for my wife and I. Whenever we play it, we are reminded of all of the adventures we have had together.

Dan Bagby,

Mama Mia, ABBA

ultimate road trip playlist

I love singing Mama Mia by ABBA or road trips, because I can do the funny head movements, and stir up Gordon who is driving, and people in other cars think I am odd.

This is a photo of me singing AND playing Pokemon, while Gordon was driving to the snow.

Paula McInerney, Contented Traveller

Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails

Paula hates Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails so I sing it on road trips to stop her singing ABBA all of the time, and turning her head like them. She is a brat on a road trip.

Gordon Arthur, Best of Travel Bloguer

Birth and Death of the Day, Explosions on the sky

ultimate road trip playlist

To me, a road trip is the ultimate experience… You’ll feel euphoria, anxiety, boredom, excitement and everything in between. But when you hit that moment in the road trip where you are enjoying the sights and feeling a bit introspective with appreciation and joy – this song will literally blow your brain to teeny tiny pieces.


Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf

ultimate road trip playlist

This is the song of the opening credits of the road trip film: easy rider. It’s the ultimate road trip song. No other music makes me want to drive through empty roads endlessly… and it makes me feel as stylish as the riders in the film.

Jorge, CoupleRTW

Vagabond, Wolfmother

Listening to this song always makes me want to go on an adventure! The blithe rhythm and the lyrics  – I’ll tell you everything about being free – immediately inspire you for any kind of travel, be it a road trip, camping, or hitchhiking across continents! Preferably I should not sing along though because that might just ruin it for everyone…

Karin, Girl Astray

Holiday, Vampire Weekend 

It’s a fun upbeat tune that reminds me of traveling to Leeds with my husband and his family for a fun-filled weekend. We listened to everything from indie to rap but this song stands out the most. It woke us all up after a lengthy drive and got us jumping singing and dancing inside the car. Love an awesome road trip sound track!

Alex, Travel Fashion Girl

One Way Ticket, LeAnn Rimes

My favourite country road trip song is definitely “One Way Ticket” by Leanne Rhymes. It’s such a great song to roll the windows down and belt along to! It helps you to imagine buying that one way ticket and never coming back!

Megan, Why Wait To See The World

Big Jet Plane, Angus and Julia Stone (STERN* remix)

(STERN* remix here)

Back in 2012/13, Craig and I planned our first travel trip together, five-weeks backpacking in Southeast Asia. At the time a remix of Angus and Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane was doing the rounds on Soundcloud, the perfect theme tune for our big holiday! The words were so fitting; new loves about to take a trip.

Gemma & Craig, Two Scots Abroad

Spider Webs, No Doubt

For me, Spider Webs is being 16 and driving long distances in my first car – a tiny old Mazda. The ska punk classic is perfect for a windows down and volume up kinda day during a summer road trip.

Taylor, Travel Outlandish

There Will Be Time, Mumford & Sons (ft. Baaba Maal)

ultimate road trip playlist

We practically had this song on repeat when we road tripped across South Africa. It’s so unique, and catchy – we couldn’t get out of our heads. It starts off slow as Baaba Maal (one of Senegal’s most famous magicians) sings in the Pulaar language, and gets progressively faster as Mumford & Sons joins in and drops the refrain. It was also awesome because they had just been on their Gentleman of the Road tour together across South Africa!

Ian, Escaping Expectation 

Freaking out the Neighborhood, Mac DeMarco

ultimate road trip playlist

This song reminds me of cruising along winding roads past soaring mountains and stunning lakes in the North Cascades of Washington, U.S.A. My boyfriend and I had just started a 3-week road trip – two young lovers heading off on a summer adventure full of freedom! I think the song epitomises the excitement of being young and carefree.

Shannon, Sole Seeking

Mc Hammer, U Can’t Touch This

ultimate road trip playlist

As soon as Mc Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” comes all I can say is get out of my way. The song just instantly has me singing along and for some reason I get a heavy foot! I have loved this song since I can remember, I have memories walking around the block with my walkman in hand (totally showing my age) jamming out to Mc Hammer thinking I was the coolest kid on the block.

Now I drive a minivan thinking I am the coolest cat on the road jamming out to the same song.

Hannah, Getting Stamped

Happiness, Alexis Jordan

Happiness reminds me of my first ever UK trip (December 2010) as the song is always played on the radio during my 3 months stay. It gives me good vibes and I feel like I’m featured in a tourism campaign lip syncing to this song and feeling every single second!

Mica, Senyorita 

Send Me On My Way, Rusted Root

Ultimate Road Trip Playlist - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

On My Way’ is the best way to start a road trip and also great lyrics to start a song. Therefore Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root is the perfect road trip song to sing at the top of your lungs while you hit the highway and begin to enjoy the freedom that road tripping gives.

Lauren, hashtaglojlo

500 miles, The Proclaimers

This song will forever remind me of my favourite TV show “How I Met Your Mother”. Ted and Marshall had to listen to it on repeat during every road trip because the tape got stuck in the player. I have to admit, I am guilty of playing this song over and over simply because of its catchy lyrics and great beat.

Yulia, The Foodie Miles

Grace Kelly, MIKA

ultimate road trip playlist

This song reminds me of every road trip with my boyfriend, now husband. We always create a variety of playlists before any trip and this song was (and still is) one of the first song to listen to! We enjoy belting out the lyrics because it’s wildly funny to attempt those high notes.

Logan & Kallsy, Pages of Travel

Anne Wants to Dance, Papooz

I’m all for beats when making a playlist and whenever I am on a drive, Anne Wants to Dance by Papooz is on loop. I think it’s a good song to put as the first track of a road trip playlist – it builds up the mood as it is not too soft and not too loud. Just enough for you to gather a few good vibes. Listen to it and if you don’t like it, I owe you a beer when you come to Tel Aviv.

Trisha, PS I’m on my way

Holiday, Madonna

And finally my own submission! Whenever we used to go on holiday as a family we’d always put this song on and sing (badly). A family holiday isn’t complete without this song!

Our holidays used to involve a lot of driving. When we were younger and smaller the back seats of the car would be laid flat creating a bed for the three of us and my Dad would leave drive towards Italy or the Alps if it was winter.

Mejor Vijae

Wednesday 14th of October 2020

Very nice list, thanks


Monday 17th of August 2020

Very interesting article.

Doona Neace

Sunday 20th of October 2019

Your recommended list is really amazing and I save all of this. Before reading this I'd heard three of these songs before, these are Grace Kelly, MIKA, 500 miles, The Proclaimers, and Spider Webs, No Doubt

Tom @ Abroad American

Monday 8th of May 2017

I did a 7,502-mile road trip in the summer of 2015 from Chicago (where I lived) across the country to northern California, up the west coast, and across the top of the country, visiting national parks and cities along the way. Music was an ESSENTIAL part of that trip. I downloaded so much from my Google Play Music library so I didn't suck up my data the whole trip.

I found that over the course of the trip, our tastes changed, almost as if the soundtrack matched the point in the journey we were in. The music also tended to match the landscapes. Whenever we were rolling through absolutely beautiful national park-type scenery, it tended to be more Americana, a la Joe Pug and Nathaniel Ratliff. On the highway, we scrounged around my library and played everything from Mumford and Sons to Aerosmith.

Great list - and I really like your explanations for the choices - sometimes it's just a song that connects with you, no matter the genre or artist. Gotta go with what makes you move (or sing in your case XD)!

Hannah Kacary

Tuesday 9th of May 2017

Totally get what you mean about music changing as you go along! Ours has definitely been changing a lot :)


Thursday 16th of March 2017

Thank you for including my entry! :D Happy Trip :D