Memorable Road Trip Songs: The Ultimate Playlist

What Songs Do You Have on Your Playlist?

Unlike most people that choose to hop on a plane at the earliest opportunity, we are a couple who, wherever possible, will drive.  For us, there is no better feeling than setting off on an epic road-trip, knowing that we will be driving through varying terrains, different countries and trying out our all-but-none-exist language skills.

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Me and My Dad on one of our many road trips

I remember my first ever lengthy family road trip. I was thirteen when my dad announced that for our all-important summer holiday we were changing location – no longer were we heading to the Isle of Wight, just a short hop away, we were off to the land of pizza, pasta, and fine wines.

At just shy of 1000 miles, we were heading to Italy and because my dad doesn’t enjoy flying we were driving.  Through France, Germany, and Austria, over mountain passes and through tiny villages we drove until finally, we landed on the Italian motorways where drivers really are as crazy as people say.

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Who wouldn’t enjoy driving with scenery like this?

For some, this would all be too much, I understand that, but for me, and my siblings, it has become a journey that is now often repeated – and we love it.

But what keeps us going when the nights start to draw in or we are sat in a long line of traffic?  No, it’s not witty banter or a game of eye spy, it’s our music playlists. 

There is just one problem.  It is not very often that Paul and I can agree on the type of music we want to listen to.  I am a bit of an 80’s girl with a thing for Culture Club which means that every time Karma Chameleon comes on I do have a habit of singing out loud, whilst Paul is more of a Dance kind of guy and loves the tracks that all seem to roll into one.

However, there are a few songs that we both agree are both great for driving to and they always appear on our playlist.

16 Songs That We Love To Listen To When Driving

#1 Road To Nowhere by Talking Heads

#2 Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

#3 Here I Go Again by Whitesnake

#4 I’m Gonna Be by The Proclaimers

#5 California by Phantom Planet

#6 Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra

#7 My Sharona by The Ramones

#8 Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy

#9 Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf

#10 On The Road Again by Willie Nelson

#11 Fast Car by Tracey Chapman

#12 Ticket To Ride by The Beatles

#13 Staying Out For The Summer by Dodgy

#14 Highway to Hell by AC/DC

#15 Moonlight Drive by The Doors

#16 Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

As you can see many of songs that we can both agree on tend to fall into the Old School Rock Classics category which suits us because, I don’t know about others, but when we are driving we can think of nothing worse than having to listen to a slow, love song or a song so melancholy you feel like you need to pull over for a snooze.

How Do We Keep Our Playlist Up-to-Date?

Having such different tastes in music means that it is often difficult to find songs that suit both our tastes and it probably doesn’t help living in Italy where we are exposed to a far more eclectic selection of artists and bands than if we had been back in the UK.

If someone had told me a few years ago I would have been listening to French or Italian singers I actually would have questioned them – I didn’t even know a French or Italian singer – whereas now our iPods playlists are jam-packed full of different genres, artists and bands.

However, we also enjoy listening to music that reminds us of home and therefore we often use sites like HMV to research current trends, new artists and the latest Top 40 just to see whether there is anything else we would like to add to the ever-growing song compilation list we currently have stored.

Do you have a favourite song that you drive to?  Perhaps you are more of a flier but have certain songs that you always listen to on a long journey.  We would love to hear your suggestions, highlighting to us what else we should be adding to the IPod Playlist before our next big trip.



  • Suze Cassis says:

    Great article! Now you’ve got me thinking….

    How about:

    * House of the King – Focus (classic rock track)
    * Born slippy – Underworld (a dance classic)

    Equally if you fancy a whole album, why not try They Might be Giants – Apollo 18. It was my soundtrack for an epic month’s drive around Spain a few years ago and I still love it.

    Otherwise have you thought about an audio book or a comedy podcast (Radio 4 has some brilliant ones) to help pass the time?

    Happy travels…..

    • I want to try Audio Books although I haven’t done so yet and I often forget about podcasts. I love your music suggestions as well. Thinking I might be downloading a few more songs. 🙂

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