101 Perfect Road Trip Songs for an Epic Road Trip Playlist!

Roadtrip Songs
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

Spread the love

Looking for a great road trip playlist? Well, look no further! This list includes my personal favorite road trip songs, recommendations from road trip experts, catchy hits, and a few surprises.

This road trip playlist spans decades, genres, and countries, so there’s something here for everyone! Save this post so you can play these road trip songs on your next road trip!

Can’t read now? Pin for later!

Best Road Trip Songs for a Road Trip Playlist

The Top 50 Road Trip Songs

Here are fifty amazing road trip songs. See below for fifty more and a free Spotify road trip playlist that you can save and play on Spotify!

Road Trippin’ (The Red Hot Chili Peppers)

A true classic road trip song from the Chilli Peppers’ 1999 album ‘Californication’, which tells the story of the band’s road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. Sung by lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis, with John Frusciante and Flea providing acoustic guitars and backing vocals, the song projects those chilled out, positive vibes and the freedom anticipated from life on the road. 

The single was only released in Europe, with two versions released in the UK, and later the third version in Australia. The video wasn’t released to a US audience until the ‘Greatest Hits’ album was released in 2003. -Jenny from Peak District Kids

American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

It’s hard to believe this classic American rock song never even charted when it was released on the band’s 1976 debut. It was also the last song the band ever performed together live, over forty years after they originally released it.

Super Bass (Nicki Minaj)

This song was on Minaj’s 2011 debut album. While she has become a staple featured artist on numerous songs over the past decade, this is the best of her songs for simply singing along.

Super Bass has been listed on numerous songs of the summer compilations, including this one by Rolling Stone.

Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)

Born to Run was released in 1975 on the eponymous album by Bruce Springsteen. This was the song and album that made “the Boss” a mainstream hit, and it is considered to be one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

It’s a love song sung by a hot-rod riding tough guy to a woman named Wendy. The protagonist implores Wendy to leave their hometown and hit the road with him, saying “we gotta get out while we’re young, ’cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run”. This sentiment will resonate with anyone who’s ever had the urge to get behind the wheel and head out of town for new adventures. -Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan

I’m Gonna Be [500 Miles] (The Proclaimers)

Any fans of the tv show How I Met Your Mother know this is the ultimate road trip song, especially if your tape deck is broken and it’s the ONLY song your car will play.

Even if you aren’t a HIMYM acolyte, any song that literally lists the miles one needs to traverse automatically deserves a spot on your road trip playlist.

Roadtrip Songs

Come on Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners)

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners is hands-down the best road trip song that there is. This alternative song was originally released back in 1989 and was written by Billy Adams, Kevin Rowland, and Jim Paterson.

There is yet to be a cover as good as the original. From the amazing tune of the song to the gradual pacing throughout, Come on Eileen is one song that will have everybody in the car singing, no matter their age. -Krystianna from Volumes and Voyages.

A Horse with No Name (America)

A Horse With No Name is a song from the band America and is probably one of the most famous songs of the 70s. When you listen to it, all you want to do is sing along. It’s a perfect song for an amazing road trip across the USA in an old hippie van. So next time you are traveling don’t forget to add it to your playlist! -Robin from Everything Yoga Retreat

Love Shack (The B-52s)

This 1980s classic hit by the B-52s is so popular that it’s been featured in shows and movies as well as getting its own parody on The Simpsons, “Glove Slap.”

Of course, the eponymous Love Shack was an actual shack that only got destroyed in 2004. So you really could “get away” for decades.

This infinitely groovy song is easy to sing along with, and of course you have to shout out at the end, “Tin Roof Rusted.”

Toxic (Britney Spears)

This Grammy award-winning song is catchy AF. While it might not be Britney Spears’s most famous or most popular track, it’s the grown-up tune your road trip playlist.

The video was deemed too racy for MTV to play during the day. In fact, it was once voted the sexiest music video of all time.

America (Simon & Garfunkel)

This song about two hitchhikers mentions American highways by name (hello, New Jersey turnpike) so it’s almost like it was written to make this list. And even though the track is over fifty years old, it still describes an angsty beauty that resonates today.

Roadtrip Songs

Back to You (Bryan Adams)

A perfect song for a road trip is the toe-tapping ‘Back To You’ performed by Canadian artist Bryan Adams. The song – which was co-written by Eliot Kennedy – features several lyrics about travel but is mostly about the yearning desire and wish to be somewhere else.

The acoustic version of the song is particularly good! The strong pulse of the song and its catchy melody make ‘Back To You’ a great road trip song for playing loudly and singing along to. -Sinead from Map Made Memories

9 to 5 (Dolly Parton)

If you are on a road trip, you get a chance to escape your 9 to 5 job, at least for a few days. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy singing along with Dolly Parton complaining about how much corporate America sucks the life out of you. Even if you like your job, there’s always something to angry sing about!

Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)

While there are a few Talking Heads songs that would fit right in on a playlist for a road trip, but it’s this Parliament-Funkadelic inspired new wave hit that was the bands highest charting single.

Run Run Run (The Velvet Underground)

This song about the dark side of New York City is nonetheless fun to sing along with, perhaps because it isn’t structured like other more conventional songs. It also works as somewhat of a time capsule. At over fifty years old, it chronicles an NYC that in many ways no longer exists.

Society (Eddie Vedder)

As an avid traveler, I love to be on the road most of the time and one of my favorite road trip songs is “Society” which is sung and composed by Eddie Vedder. The song was selected for a soundtrack for the popular travel film Into The Wild. In fact, Eddie Vedder has written a few more songs for the same film which narrates an epic travel journey.

The song depicts a journey of a young curious man, who after graduating decides to quit the materialistic conventional world and leave for a lifelong road trip into the wild. As the song goes, the lyrics beautifully articulate his intent to chase his grand vision to live in the wild, which is much larger than usual life he had been living so far. 

In fact, the lyrics make one appreciate the beauty of road trips even more. -Debjani Lahiri from THE VAGABONG.

Roadtrip Songs

Ramblin’ Man (The Allman Brothers)

The most traditionally successful of all the Allman Brothers’ songs, this 1970s hit was inspired by (though not a cover of) a 1950s Hank Williams song. Its country flavor and peripatetic main character make it the perfect road trip song, especially if you’re out on the road alone.

Fell in Love with a Girl (The White Stripes)

This fun alternative song is less than two minutes, but you can belt along to it the entire time since the lyrics come at a steady clip. Fun and unassuming, this song was actually proclaimed by Rolling Stone as one of forty songs that changed the world.

Hold On (Wilson Phillips)

Considered one of the greatest girl group songs of all time, this 1990s hit is beloved by fans of the movie Bridesmaids. It’s the ultimate sing-along song for your girls’ trip.

Life is a Highway (Rascal Flatts)

The song Life is a Highway was originally recorded in 1991 by Tom Cochrane. It is an uptempo country song about the journey of life. The song ultimately ended up not being a huge hit for the member of Red Rider. The song was then updated with a more modern sound in 2005 by Rascall Flatts for a Disney blockbuster movie.

The song premiered as the leading single for the well-known and popular movie, Cars. The updated version flew to the top of the charts with over 4 million downloads.

It is a fun road trip sound because you can’t help feeling happy and singing along. The lyrics are relatable, especially during a road trip. The song is all about riding out life and exploring different stops. Isn’t that what road trips are all about. It’s about taking everything that comes, exploring, uncertainty, and adventure. -Corritta from It’s a Family Thing.

Crazy in Love (Beyonce)

No road trip playlist is complete without some Beyonce, and what better than Beyonce’s first solo single (featuring Jay-Z, of course). And since it’s Queen B, the song of course hit number one.

READ  25 Hilarious Route 66 Puns & Instagram Caption Inspiration

See if you know all the lyrics, including Jay-Z’s verse.

Roadtrip Songs

Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire)

This 2007 single was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the best of the year. If the road is starting to wear on you, this song will fit your mood. Seemingly upbeat, yet the lyrics are worn-down, perfect for a long trip with lots of stops.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston)

This 1987 Grammy-Award winning hit is a Whitney Houston classic, and no road trip play list should fail to have some Houston to belt while hitting the road. This synth-pop chart topper continues to make lists of the best dance songs. You’ll need this kind of energy after a long day on the road.

Rocky Road to Dublin (The Dropkick Murphys)

Rocky Road to Dublin needs to be on every list of epic road trips. Originally written by D. K. Gavan and popularised by Harry Clifton in the 19th century, this Irish song became an instant hit with street performers all over Ireland.

Not only is this slip jig (a particular style of Irish dance) particularly catchy because of its fast beat and crescendo, this song is also about traveling and the adventures, experience, insights, and hardship that it might bring. If you want to enjoy a traditional rendering of the song, check out the version of The Dubliners or The High Kings.

For all of those who like a bit more punk during their road trip, listen to the version of The Dropkick Murphys (which was used for a scene in Sherlock Holmes). -Emer and Nils from Let’s Go Ireland

Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey)

While it’s possible that this Journey hit has been overplayed in the past decade thanks to major 80s nostalgia, I’m more of the belief that when it comes to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the limit does not exist.

This 1980s rock song has also received a renaissance thanks to its appearance in a pivotal Sopranos scene. However, you don’t need an HBO subscription to appreciate just how great it feels to sing this song at the top of your lungs with the windows down.

Down by the Water (The Decemberists)

Named by NPR as one of the top 100 songs of 2011, this Grammy-nominated indie rock song is pure modern Americana. It’s also catchy and singable, borders on country music without crossing over into it, and features not just the Decemberists but also the work of indie darling Gillian Welch.

US - Route 66 Road

I Like It (Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin)

Every year there’s an acknowledged song of the summer, and every song of the summer has an honorary spot on the best road trip playlists. Not only do they harken back to great summer road trips of the past, but they also are designed to be the perfect accompaniment to hot days and long nights.

What makes I Like It a step above other songs of the summer is a few special elements. First, as a Latin trap song, it’s both familiar and yet different than what else was out at the time.

Writing for Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos proclaimed that it “sounds like it was chemically concocted in a mad scientist’s lab to be 2018’s reigning song of the summer…Everything about this song is perfect for summer: the trap-meets-salsa beat, features from two of reggaeton’s biggest stars, a sample of Pete Rodriguez’s half-century-old boogaloo hit “I Like It Like That.”

And of course, who doesn’t want their road trip to include getting to shout our that you’re “‘Bout my coins like Mario.”

Breeze (Xavier Rudd)

Xavier Rudd is an Australian artist, known for his interesting culturally mixed style. He is one of the rare musicians who brings together European and Aboriginal culture from Australia in his music and lyrics.

Any instrument you can think of, he plays it! Guitar, keys, drums, and didgeridoo. Listening to the song Breeze is a bit like having a wave of freedom and fresh air going through your body. The lyrics will transport you to the most beautiful and relaxing places. It’s a beautiful and inspiring song, perfect for any road trip.

If you want to discover more road trip songs by Xavier Rudd, you can listen to Follow the Sun and Spirit Bird. -Pauline from BeeLoved City

Old Town Road [Remix] (Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus)

What might appear corny at first is actually subversive and brilliant and was created by one of the most prominent Black country artists of the past few decades.

The 2019 song of the summer, it was the first hit of the Tik Tok era and one of the only country trap songs to gain international acclaim. And it didn’t just get everyone’s attention, it became the Longest-Running No. 1 in Hot 100 History.

And the fact that Lil Nas X did that while being a Gay, Black country music artist is astonishing enough, but he also did it by reaching listeners in new ways and on new platforms. Or maybe that’s just how much extra hard he had to work to get the recognition that his song deserved.

Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)

Another genre-crossing Black artist, Tracey Chapman’s rock anthem to cars lead to adulthood, freedom, and ultimately responsibility was included on Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute.

Rolling Stone listed the song in the top two hundred greatest songs of all time, and it received Grammy award nominations and MTV Music Video nominations the year it came out.

Of course, today we mostly think of it as just an amazing song, connecting the open road with the need to “be someone” and a hope for things to get better.

Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)

This 1960s rhythm and blues classic is an ode to buying a woman a car and then her not letting you ride in it. (Or maybe “ride in it?). I honestly had no idea until I starting writing this post just how crazy this scenario was, but I guess it was the sixties.

Setting aside the narrator’s belief that he deserves a ride (or “ride), I think I am going to love singing this song out loud even more. Just because you buy me a car don’t mean I got to let you ride in it. Call this an accidental women’s empowerment song?

Oklahoma - Big sign by the roadside of Highway 1 at the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area and campsite at the Ouachita National Forest in Muse, Oklahoma.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

Nothing beats this Queen classic for a rockin’ road trip tune everyone can sing along to. Its catchy melodies and operatic high notes through to air guitar riffs will have you all chanting out loud and swaying along with an unmistakable head bop! One of the greatest rock songs of all time, this fun, quirky, and high-energy hit that will definitely help you pass the miles and put smiles on everyone’s faces. -Keri Hedrick from Our Globetrotters

Umbrella (Rhianna)

Rhianna belongs on this list, as she belongs on every list. And when considering the Rhianna cannon, I find that my favorite to sing when I’m a little horse and want to shout into open windows on the highway is “Umbrella.” And since that’s an important component of the criteria for this list, well then this is the song that wins.

It’s strange to think this quintessential Rhianna track was actually written for Britney Spears. What would the world be without Rhianna’s performance in this video? I shudder.

Immigrant Song (Led Zepplin)

This 1970’s Led Zeppelin Viking metal song includes one of the most fun and ridiculous screams and ample opportunities to shake your fist into the air.

While the opening lyrics might seem inventive to say the least:

We come from the land of the ice and snow
From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow
The hammer of the gods

Robert Plant once let people know, saying “We weren’t being pompous … We did come from the land of the ice and snow. We were guests of the Icelandic Government on a cultural mission. We were invited to play a concert in Reykjavik.”

This is the perfect song to sing on a road trip in an old van, a la School of Rock. Bonus points if your road trip is around Iceland.

…Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)

The song that introduced us to Britney Spears is perhaps one of the catchiest of all time. It’s almost impossible to believe the track was written for the Backstreet Boys and TLC. How could anyone else be the voice behind the classic lyrics?

So Good (B.o.B.)

“So Good” by B.O.B is an upbeat song perfect to raise your mood during a road trip. Not only will it make you want to dance, but it also serves as a great reminder of how good it is to be able to explore the world. It tells you not to rush, but take it slow and soak up the sun. So as the song says, “Pack your bags real good baby, cause we’ll be gone for a while.” -Dan Bagby from CabinCritic.co

Woman Jumping on Highway sign for Route 66 on asphalt of country road

Raspberry Beret (Prince and the Revolution)

While I do enjoy the Yo La Tengo cover, nothing can ever even approach the majesty of a Prince tune, even one as unassuming as his rendition of “Raspberry Beret.”

Reaching number 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100, the song may tell the tale of a bike ride and boy’s first encounter with a girl, it’s the perfect song to take out on the open road.

READ  15 Inspiring Route 66 Quotes & Instagram Captions

Party in the USA (Miley Cyrus)

While the song may start out in an airport, any fan of the movie Pitch Perfect knows this song deserves to be sung a capella on your team bus on the way to a music competition.

Even if you have no idea what I’m talking about, this is a song about playing “my song.” It’s meta without taking itself seriously.

Vogue (Madonna)

When you’re in a car bopping along, you want to dance. Yet, you’re in a car, so your hands have to do the dancing. And while the eponymous dance is much more than hand movements, the Vogue is the perfect dance to imitate while in the passenger’s seat. If you’re the driver, keep them on ten and two.

Movin’ Right Along (Alkaline Trio)

A road trip song that’s perfect for driving with kids or being a kid at heart while you drive is Movin’ Right Along. The song was released as part of The Muppet Movie soundtrack in 1979.

It features Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear singing a fun and playful song while driving across the country. The lyrics are clever and the tune is catchy so it’s a perfect addition for the soundtrack of any road trip.

Movin’ Right Along was given an updated cover by Alkaline Trio, a band that clearly enjoyed the song in their own childhood because they nail the original zaniness of the track. -Derek and Mike from Robe Trotting

You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd (Roger Miller)

Roger Miller, a homegrown Oklahoma legend, created some of the best songs honky-tonk road trip songs of the 1960s. So much so that’s it’s hard to narrow down to just one or two for this list.

If you haven’t heard of Roger Miller, you’ve probably still heard his music since he recorded three of the songs on Disney’s animated Robin Hood, including the sad-but-lovely “Not in Nottingham.” His character, Allan-a-Dale narrates the movie, and Miller’s animated performance is unforgettable.

When selecting from Miller’s catalog for this list, I went with my personal fave. For me, “You Can’t Roller-skate in a Buffalo Herd” is one of the most fun, and since you’ll see lots of bison and buffalo on certain road trips from Oklahoma City, I think it’s fitting for this website that we have at least one buffalo-themed road trip song on this list.

Hit the Road Jack (Ray Charles)

This Grammy award-winning Rhythm and Blues song is not about how great it is to be on the road, but rather about telling a man to hit the road and “don’t you come back no more.”

So if you happen to be on a road trip because your girl has kicked you to the curb, then the song is the perfect one to narrate your journey. Otherwise just enjoy the irony while singing this American classic at the top of your lungs.

USA - Oklahoma - Scenic descent from Mt Scott, Oklahoma A scenic view descending the twisting road from Mt. Scott, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma

No Diggity (Backstreet)

This 1996 Grammy award-winning R&B hit ended the Macarena’s reign at the top of the charts, yet it still sounds relevant today. It’s hard to believe the two songs are even from the same era.

Between the fun of singing the lyrics to attempting both rap verses, there’s so much to keep you entertained during your long drive.

Khawabon Me Parinde (Mohit Chauhan)

Khwabon Ke Parindey (the birds of dreams) from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Live Only Once ) is a beautiful road trip song written by Javed Akhtar and sung by Mohit Chauhan and Alyssa Mendonsa. The song plays while three main characters (Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar) are on a road trip to Seville, Spain.

This song with a perfect road trip vibe makes for the best road trip songs of all time. You can listen to it (on repeat) over and over and never get bored. Yes, it’s that soothing and meaningful. This one song perfectly epitomizes the theme of the movie ZNMD – Seize the day! -Anjali from Travel Melodies

One Week (The Barenaked Ladies)

There’s a certain glee you feel when you master all the lyrics to this fun song. The Barenaked Ladies can sing ballads, but they also can go fast, as evidenced by their popular title track for the tv show The Big Bang Theory.

Packed with pop culture references, it’s not enough just to get the lyrics right, you also need to figure out what they’re referencing. It’s both a perfect nineties time capsule and a timeless classic.

I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)

Some songs are meant to be sung loud, and “I Will Survive” might be the most important of this subgenre. While there are some great covers, like the one by Cake, it’s the disco beats and perfection of Gaynor’s vocals that make this one of the most important songs in American music history.

Think I’m being hyperbolic? In 2016, the Library of Congress voted to have Gaynor’s original recording preserved in the National Recording Registry, citing its “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” importance.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham!)

Fans of the movie Zoolander will instantly think of the movie’s amazing-yet-tragic model gasoline fight set to this song. If you’re running out of energy, this purposefully energetic pop song can wake you right up, no gasoline fight required.

Oklahoma - Driver view of 2-lane curved road beside large rock cliff

Doo Wop [That Thing] (Lauryn Hill)

Lauryn Hill’s first song from her debut album premiered at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, starting her solo career off with a bang. It went on to win Grammy and MTV Video Music awards, cementing Hill as a superstar.

This song is uplifting, beautiful, singable, and positive – all great traits in a road trip song. It also stylistically fits in with nearly every decade of American music, a truly timeless classic.

Into the Great Wide Open (Tom Petty)

Into the Great Wide Open is the perfect road trip song for your cross country adventure. The song was written and performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and appeared as the third track on their 1991 album of the same name. 

Into the Great Wide Open is a song about endless possibilities and the excitement that comes with going after your dreams. It makes you feel anything is possible, which is exactly what you want when hitting the open road. -Eden from Rock a Little Travel

July, July (The Decemberists)

Opening with the promising lyric, “there is a road that meets the road that goes to my house,” the song “July, July” is an ode to mysterious stories, ghosts, and strangeness. Yet, the heat of summer is think in this song, and its upbeat tune hides its darkness.

Of course, any song named after one of the most popular months for road tripping is going to get consideration for this list, but what puts it over the top for me is its forward-looking nostalgia. The narrator reminds the audience that “…we’ll remember this when we are old and ancient, though the specifics might be vague…” just like all important road trips.

Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)

As someone who has driven to (okay, mostly past) Wichita many a time, I can’t express how much joy I get at singing the lyrics “I’m going to Wichita, far from this opera forevermore…”

This unexpected sports anthem is also wildly popular nearly twenty years after its release, due to its military imagery and near marching beat. I’m sure the White Stripes never imagined it would be chanted at stadiums when they recorded it. Perfect for any road trip heading to a sporting event, whether you’re going to Wichita or not.

Mr. Blue Sky (ELO)

This 1970s prog rock gem is fantastical and robotic, yet its actually an ode to an open sky – the perfect fodder for a road trip! Like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Mr. Blue Sky” has multiple parts and approaches the operatic at times, making it even more appealing to sing along to as you travel.

De Donde Vengo Yo (Choc Quib Town)

One of the breakout songs from the Colombian hip-hop group Choc Quib Town, “De Donde Vengo Yo” is a song that is full of the raw, electric energy, that the group is famous for. 

The best thing about this song? During your road trip, whenever you are dizzy or a little low on energy, put it on and it will wake you up with its zazzy beats and Afro-Latin rhythms right away. Soon you will be singing along (or trying to do so if you don’t speak Spanish). -Deb from The Visa Project

Oklahoma - Country road in Oklahoma with white clouds against a blue sky.

My Sharona (The Knack)

This 1979 ode to the songwriter’s girlfriend asks proclaims “Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run,” and if that wasn’t sign enough that this song belongs on a road trip playlist, I don’t know what is.

This song bops along at a fast clip, perfect for dancing along in your seat.

Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)

“Take me Home, Country Roads”, John Denver’s signature song is one of the most beloved country songs of all time. If you are driving through the scenic beauty, majestic mountains, or to the countrysides, playing this song will bring the feelings of home and belongings.

For a traveler, the world is home. But the place where the soul is raised is always special. This song is a tribute to every traveler’s almost heaven ‘Home’! This classic song was written by Bill Danoff and his wife Taffy Nivert.” -Nishu Barolia from Tannedtravelgirl

READ  The Big Route 66 Bucket List: 50 Can't-Miss Things to See on Route 66

Behind the Wheel (Depeche Mode)

Behind The Wheel is a very popular song written by Martin Gore and sung by the deep voice of the stage wonder that is Dave Gahan. This is reason enough for this legendary 1987 single by Depeche Mode to be considered one of the best singles of all time. However, Behind The Wheel is also one of the most epic road trip songs ever.

Both the song’s lyrics and its official video evoke memories of unforgettable moments on the road while fueling the ever-burning lust for brand new road trip adventures to strange uncharted lands at the same time.   -Maria & Katerina from It’s All Trip To Me

On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)

On the Road Again by Willie Nelson is a really great upbeat song to get you in the spirits of traveling. It’s the perfect fun, campy song to play on your road trips as you get to get on the road again!

Originally sung by Willie Nelson, you can find lots of different versions from rock to pop and even Alvin & The Chipmunks. Next time you’re on the road, check out your favorite cover of On The Road Again-Sara from Awesome Gift Guides

Route 66 (Chuck Berry)

Probably the epitome of the American road trip tune, Route 66’s lyrics are literally a catalog of the cities on the original American highway that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Route 66 was written as a 12-bar blues in 1946 by the actor Bobby Troup while he and his wife were on their way to Los Angeles to try their hand as LA songwriters. The song was first recorded in a smooth pop version by Nat King Cole in 1946 and became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts.

Later versions turned it more into a rocker and it was covered by both Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones. If you want jazzier versions try those from Diana Krall or Brian Setzer. -Tom Bartel of Travel Past 50

Route 66 badge hanging on a car mirror of a classic car

Home (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero)

With a catchy tune guaranteed to get stuck in your head, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is an upbeat love song perfect for the end of a road trip. 

The song feels like that perfect summer day you spent with someone you loved and will conjure up the best feelings from the adventure you just had. 

Blast this right when you cross your county line, grab your significant other’s hand, and sing along to tell them that “home is wherever I’m with you.” -Ale from Sea Salt and Fog 

Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen)

One of Queen’s most popular songs, Don’t Stop Me Now, was released in 1978 as part of their album Jazz and as a single in 1979. It also forms part of the band’s Greatest Hits album which was released in 1981.

It has been covered by McFly, Foxes, and The Vandals. This is one of the ultimate feel-good songs and is perfect for long drives – especially if it happens to be a road with some bends.

For maximum effect, it should be played at volume with the windows rolled down and everyone singing at the tops of their voices! -Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes

The Long Way Around (The Chicks)

The Dixie Chicks single, “The Long Way Around,” was released on January 8th, 2007. It was a critical and commercial success, on their first album released after their criticism of the president at the time and the backlash that occurred. 

“Take the Long Way Around” embraces non-conformity and doing things your own way. There are some anthemic qualities that make you want to blast the volume up to 11. If you put this song on your road trip playlist, it will stay there. -Theresa Ladner from Adventures in Middle-Aged Travel

Ghost Riders in the Sky (Johnny Cash)

The next song on your road trip playlist should definitely be “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash. Roll the windows down, crank up the volume, and sing at the top of your lungs as the miles fly by.

Play it at night as your day winds down as the perfect wake-you-up song. Written in 1948 by Stan Jones, it has been performed by dozens of artists including Elvis Presley and The Chicks. Perhaps the most famous is Johnny Cash’s 1979 rendition, which remains popular today. -Heather from Oregon Outdoor Family

Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N Roses)

Sweet Child o’ Mine is a song by American heavy metal band Guns N’ Roses.  It charted as a US hit single in August 1988.  The lyrics were written by the band’s lead singer, Axl Rose, and the song featured in Guns N’ Roses debut album, Appetite for Destruction.  Sweet Child o’ Mine has been covered many times, most notably by the likes of Sheryl Crow, Anastacia and Texas.  It makes a brilliant road trip song as it’s nostalgic with a cracking guitar solo and lyrics you can unselfconsciously belt out while driving along. -Nikki from Gin and Cocktails.

Route 66 in California at sunset

Africa (Toto)

“Africa” by American band Toto is a timeless road-trip classic that has stayed popular since its release in 1981. Its sultry base ascending into a powerful crescendo makes it a feel-good tune.

Toto band members – David Paich and Bobby Kimball – wrote the song from the view of a boy telling a story about Africa from what he has seen on TV and what he has read.

It is meant as an analogy of the nostalgia you can feel for a place that you have never actually visited.

“Africa” peaked in the 1980s and was top of the charts around the world. Toto gained five platinum discs for the recording.

It was covered by American band Weezer in 2010.

Forty years on and “Africa” is still as popular today as when it was released and is regarded as a cult classic by all generations. -Angie of Where Angie Wanders

Ei Path Jodi Na Shes Hoy 

“El Path Jodi Na Shes Hoy” is a Bengali song that means “If the road does not end.” The song is popular with Bengalis in West Bengal as well as worldwide.

The song is from a movie named Saptapadi (1961), directed by Ajoy Kar, Lyricist Gauriprasanna Mazumder. The song is sung by Hemanta Mukherjee and Sandhya Mukherjee. This song was shot while they are on a road trip with a bike. -Ruma from The Holiday Story  

Thinking of a Place (War on Drugs)

“Thinking Of A Place” is an 11-minute musical epic and embodies classic Americana at its best, featuring absolutely everything from guitar and harmonica solos to murmuring synthesizers.

The song takes you on a joy ride as it builds to a number of crescendos, before moving into a psychedelic odyssey and then almost fading out, all the while carrying the listener along on a wave of nostalgia for a trip that hasn’t even happened yet.

“Thinking Of A Place” is all about a journey, both literally and figuratively: as the lyrics say, “I’m thinking of a place and it seems so very real”. Utterly sublime. -Sasha from Mog and Dog Travels

Free Road Trip Playlist on Spotify

Here is this playlist on Spotify. You can follow it in your Spotify app and play it on your trip, or you can bookmark this post and play from here.

More Great Road Trip Songs for Your Road Trip Playlist

Here are the rest of the songs that make my top 101 road trip songs on this playlist:

Apesh*t (The Carters)

Hurtin’ Me (Stefflon Don Ft. French Montana)

If She Wants Me (Belle & Sebastian)

Waterloo (ABBA)

Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)

Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)

Feel Good Inc. (The Gorillaz)

Boasty (Wiley Ft. Steflon Don and Idris Elba)

Roadrunner (The Modern Lovers)

Running on Empty (Jackson Brown)

Jolene (Dolly Parton)

American Idiot (Green Day)

Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Ray)

Island in the Sun (Weezer)

Proud Mary (Tina Turner)

Uptight (Stevie Wonder)

Where It’s At (Beck)

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (R.E.M.)

Homeward Bound (Simon & Garfunkel)

Walk It Talk It (Migos Ft. Drake)

Jack & Diane (John Cougar Mellencamp)

We Didn’t Start the Fire (Billy Joel)

Me Gusta (Shakira)

1979 (The Smashing Pumpkins)

The Way (Fastball)

Black Beatles (Rae Srummond)

Under Pressure (Queen and David Bowie)

Basket Case (Green Day)

Whatever You Like (T.I.)

If I Had a Million Dollars (Barenaked Ladies)

Little Red Corvette (Prince)

King of the Road (Roger Miller)

Linger (The Cranberries)

I’ve Been Everywhere (Johnny Cash)

Little Deuce Coup (The Beach Boys)

Down on the Corner (Credence Clearwater Revival)

Juice (Lizzo)

Bailando (Enrique Iglesias)

Truckin’ (The Grateful Dead)

Me and Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin)

Flashlight (Parliament-Funkadelic)

How We Do [Party] (Rita Ora)

Cracklin’ Rosie (Neil Diamond)

She’s a Lady (Tom Jones)

One Headlight (The Wallflowers)

Blinded by the Light (Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band)

5 Things to Pack for a Road Trip

Coming soon!

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

Coming soon!

Pin these Road Trips Songs for Your Next Trip!

Best Road Trip Songs for a Road Trip Playlist

Spread the love

2 thoughts on “101 Perfect Road Trip Songs for an Epic Road Trip Playlist!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *