A lot of preparation goes into a road trip. You have to decide where you’re going to stay, where you’re going to stop, and – most importantly – what music you will be jamming out to! As we all know that can be serious business.
To make your life a little easier – and so you can focus on inevitably forgetting something important and preparing for the pre-road trip chaos that is guaranteed to ensue – we have compiled the ultimate playlist with the best road trip songs to sing your heart out to along your adventure!
29. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
I don’t think there is a single person who doesn’t drop everything they are doing to belt out the lyrics to Don’t Stop Believin’. And if you are shaking your head saying that you never do – you, my friend, are a liar. This is the perfect song for any road trip – heck, it’s perfect for any time!
28. Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles
Your journey of a thousand miles begins with Vanessa Carlton. It ends when people in the car get a little too carried away on the air-piano.
27. The Allman Brothers Band – Ramblin’ Man
A classic tune about not staying in the same place for too long, Ramblin’ Man deserves a top spot on the playlist – and is a contender for the repeat button.
26. Taylor Swift – Shake it Off
While everyone can pretend to hate T-Swift, even though they secretly want to be her, no one can deny the power Shake it Off has. It is so damn catchy and even if you have heard it three million times, you just can’t help yourself from singing along anytime it comes on. T-Swift 4 Lyfe!
25. Smash Mouth – All Star
“So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?” That’s a good question from the boys of Smash Mouth – and the perfect motto to live your road trip by.
24. Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
Major bonus points, and very little judgement, to those who can rap along to Ice Ice Baby.
23. Walk the Moon – Shut up and Dance
Though it is the newest road trip song on the playlist, Shut Up and Dance secures its spot with an upbeat sound and lyrics that are easy to learn. Besides being a great song to tear up the dance floor to, it is a great song to tear up your passenger’s ear drums with!
22. The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up
A legendary band, a legendary song… need I say more?
21. Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
There is nothing wrong with a slow jam to change things up a bit when your cruising along a highway that doesn’t seem to end. Besides making you want to watch The Wizard of Oz, this tropical version of Over the Rainbow will have you dreaming of a vacation in Hawaii!
20. White Snake – Here I Go Again
Slow is good but sometimes the only way to revive a road trip, and wake up the passengers in the back seat, is with a 80s power ballad performed by a band with more hair than a girls’ softball team.
19. Tommy Tutone – Jenny (867-5309):
While you maybe should feel bad for whoever got stuck with the phone number 867-5309, you shouldn’t feel bad for whoever is in earshot and gets to listen to everyone in the car singing/screaming some Tommy Tutone.
18. Katy Perry – Dark Horse
Almost all of Katy Perry’s songs are ideal contenders for your road trip playlist but there is something extra fun about Dark Horse… maybe it’s Juicy J.
17. Sir-Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
When it comes to playlists, Sir-Mix-A-Lot better have something to do with your selection.
16. Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville
Margaritaville is more than just a place, it is a state of mind. This jam is perfect for your drive to the Florida Keys – where lives are lived on Island Time and there is plenty of tequila.
15. The Killers – Mr. Brightside
An incredibly catchy song, Mr. Brightside’s energetic beat and truthful lyrics make it a jam everyone knows and loves. No matter how many times you hear it, screaming “cause I’m Mr. Brightside” at the tops of your lungs never gets old!
14. Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam
Its obvious why this was/is a worldwide hit. Besides being featured in Michael Jordan’s greatest career decision, SPACE JAM, it is also the epitome of the 90’s – fanny pack and spandex included.
13. Oasis – Wonderwall
Cruise into the 90s with this classic jam. Get lost in the lyrics, and memories made when the song first came out and you were combating your teenage angst with Oasis, grungy jeans and big flannel shirts.
12. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
Besides giving the world the spelling lesson it so desperately needed, Gwen Stefani has made road trips a little less boring with Hollaback Girl.
11. Foreigner – I Want to Know What Love Is
Three decades later and Foreigner’s crowning jewel is still going strong. When you want to do a little deep thinking on your back-road or mountain range drive, this is the tune to do it to.
10. Beyoncé – Single Ladies
You don’t have to be a single lady to love jamming out in the car to this song – I mean Beyoncé was, and still is, married to Jay-Z when she laid down the “if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it” law.
9. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
That summer road trip up California’s coast with four of your girlfriends just won’t be the same without Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Go ahead and make it the theme of your trip, or even the theme of your life – I mean, Cyndi Lauper clearly knows best.
8. Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried
Driving through the south isn’t complete without a little country – even if that is just because that’s the only thing on all of the radio stations. But be sure to crank up Chicken Fried and enjoy the ease of country livin’.
7. Young MC – Bust a Move
While dancing is difficult, and generally frowned upon, during your drive down the interstate – that doesn’t mean Young MC’s hit song shouldn’t be included on your playlist. Passengers will thoroughly enjoy “busting a move” as the driver raps along and enthusiastically head bops.
6. Steppenwolf – Born to Be Wild
I think the lyrics “Head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way,” sums it up for why this song needs a spot on the list.
5. Blink 182 – All the Small Things
Who knew a pop-punk band could remind us, in their own quirky way, that it is the little things that matter most in life. That includes a 36-hour cross country road trip with your family that involved getting lost, a flat tire, but plenty of memories.
4. Fl/GA Line – Cruise
The beauty of this song lies in how simple it is; just listen to the lyrics, and follow along as the guys encourage you to roll your windows down, and cruise…
3. Outkast – Hey Ya
There is never a time when shaking it like a Polaroid picture, or salt shaker if that’s more your thing, should be frowned upon – road trips included. In fact, it should be encouraged as a perfectly acceptable song and dance craze for any and every situation.
2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Give Queen a real run for their money with your group’s rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Not only is this one of THE BEST karaoke song of all time, it is also perfect for a summer road trip sing-along.
1. Frozen – Let it Go
While we may not have wanted to include anything from Frozen on this list, we knew we had to. There isn’t a single person with children under 12 on a road trip who isn’t listening to the soundtrack. All parents are probably pros in the art of tuning out Ana, Elsa and their Frozen gang by now, so just let the song ride and skip to the next track as soon as possible.
Read More: Toddler-Safe Road Trip Songs
This post was written by Kelli McDaniel.