The future of music

50 Best Road Trip Songs (Ultimate Road Trip Playlist)

September 28, 2023
best road trip songs

Finding the best road trip songs can elevate your journey from mundane to memorable.

We all crave that perfect soundtrack, one that mirrors the landscapes whizzing by and enhances the thrill of the open road.

Dive in, and discover the ultimate tunes to accompany every mile of your adventure.

1. “Road Trippin'” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

There’s something about the Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe that makes for excellent road trip music (that West Coast chilled vibe.)

There are many songs to pick from, but this one, which is named “Road Trippin,” is simply too good not to mention.

2. “L.A. Woman” by The Doors

One of the all-time great road trip songs by the Doors is “L.A. Woman.”

The organ solo, the bass line, the build-up, and the breakdown

It seems like it was designed to be driven in a laboratory.

It has repeated references to driving, including the closing phrase “driving down your freeway.”

3. “Waterfalls” by TLC

The song “Waterfalls” is recorded by the American hip-hop group TLC.

“Waterfalls,” which is frequently regarded as the group’s signature song, was a worldwide hit that topped the charts in numerous nations.

The song gave the trio their second US No. 1 after spending seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

This music demands to be sung along with its catchy chorus and funk backbeat.

It is one of the trio’s best songs and the ideal song for a road trip.

4. “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman

“She’s So High,” Tal Bachman‘s breakthrough hit, continues to be a classic ballad.

We must all sing that enormous falsetto note with him throughout the chorus’s build-up.

Any road trip playlist should have this song.

5. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American southern rock band.

Their second album, Second Helping, features the song “Sweet Home Alabama” (1974).

Since it has been in so many media, including TV commercials and movies, this has perhaps been overused.

Since it’s a very fantastic road trip song, it’s worth disregarding all that.

It is a must if you are driving through Alabama.

6. “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers

Even when you’re trapped in traffic, pomp, bombast, and amazing riffs and melodies can set you free.

The KillersHot Fuss debut album contains a song called “Mr. Brightside,” a rare road trip song that can lift you out of the daily grind’s metaphorical “cage” and the traffic blues.

7. “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show

Bob Dylan was contacted by the Old Crow Medicine Show and asked if they could finish writing a demo he had recorded decades earlier.

We should all be grateful that it gave us “Wagon Wheel,” one of the best party songs.

8. “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray

The main single from Sugar Ray‘s third studio album, 14:59, is “Every Morning,” a song that was written by the American rock group.

Sugar Ray’s Every Morning is a four-minute shot of dopamine with a calm guitar lick.

It’s the ideal song to put on while driving and sing along with friends.

9. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

Nobody, at least that I know of, doesn’t stop what they’re doing to belt out the lyrics of “Don’t Stop Believin’.

And you, my friend, are a liar if you shake your head and claim that you never do.

This song is ideal for any type of road trip. It’s ideal at any time.

10. “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

“Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf must be included on any list of classic road trip songs.

The song, which was used in the 1960 cult movie Easy Rider, immediately went viral.

It is the ideal song since it glorifies the need for freedom and adventure and makes explicit references to engines and automobiles (“get your motor running”).

11. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

The soundtrack to the 2002 film “8 Miles” includes the American rapper Eminem‘s song “Lose Yourself.”

The song was written and produced by Eminem, Jeff Bass, a member of the Bass Brothers production team, and Luis Resto.

Eminem was the writer of the lyrics.

One of the best tracks to rap along to in hip hop is Eminem’s famous hit “Lose Yourself.”

The guitar introduces the song, which is a famous hit from his movie 8 Mile and is about having the courage to reach your full potential.

12. “White Flag” by Dido

The anthem “White Flag” by Dido is a song for women worldwide.

Here, the emphasis is on remaining steadfast, remaining true to oneself, and never giving up on your convictions.

While driving along a highway after dusk, this song is ideal for belting out loud.

13. “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop recorded and released “The Passenger,” a song written by Ricky Gardiner and Iggy Pop, on the Lust for Life album in 1977.

This Iggy Pop hit makes people think of nighttime highways and road cruising (“down the city’s backsides”) in search of fun.

Pop and co-writer/producer David Bowie were living a crazy lifestyle that included drugs, alcohol, and late nights at the time this was being written.

14. “Hotel California” by Eagles

You’ll probably end up staying at one or more hotels if you’re taking a road trip.

You’d best hope that you don’t stumble onto “Hotel California,” where “you can check out but never leave.

It’s very difficult to dislike this song, which ranks among the most well-known American rock tunes ever.

15. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

This iconic breakup song is about No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani and the band’s guitarist.

For anybody with a broken heart, this is one of the best sing-along songs.

It’s also an excellent song to put on your next driving playlist, especially if you’re trying to get away from a failed relationship.

16. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

The Plain White T’s “Hey There, Delilah” is the ideal song for you if you’re attempting to get into your feelings throughout your lengthy drive.

It is all about the difficulties of pursuing your goals while being in a committed relationship.

The lovely song is ideal for a rainy stretch of highway.

17. “Truckin'” by Grateful Dead

One of the best songs for road trips is “Truckin’.”

First off, the sound quality through a vehicle speaker system is incredible.

“You’ve got to play your hand; sometimes your cards aren’t worth a dime if you don’t lay ’em down,” the song’s lyrics state. (Pretty profound, right?)

Another phrase that can be relevant depends on how the road trip is going: “Lately, it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

18. “Graceland” by Paul Simon

The seventh studio album released by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon is titled “Graceland.

It was released in 1986 by Warner Bros. Records and was produced by Simon with engineering assistance from Roy Halee.

Paul Simon must be included if we’re talking about musicians that sound amazing on the road.

His slightly melancholy voice fits wonderfully when you cast your gaze across the landscape and consider what could have been.

19. “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

This lustful pop song is all about the singer’s excessive obsession with the fiancée of one of his friends.

If there is someone you can’t have on your mind, the buildup to the chorus is the ideal song to sing along to on your next road trip.

20. “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes

The second single from American rock band 4 Non-Blondes‘ 1992 first album, Bigger, Better, Faster, More!, is the song “What’s Up?

Several European nations, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as the United States, have all seen an increase in popularity for the song.

It peaked at number one in those countries.

The classic song “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes is the ideal soundtrack for solo drives through country places.

The song is ideal for yelling at the top of your lungs because it has an epic chorus.

21. “American Pie” by Don McLean

The epic song “American Pie” has several references to current events in pop culture.

The 1959 aircraft disaster that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper is said to be the inspiration for the phrase “day the music died.”

It’s also believed that Bob Dylan is the “jester” who “sang for the king and queen, in a coat he borrowed from James Dean.”

22. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver

Here’s another foot-tapper that is a great going-home song.

I realize that getting home isn’t the objective of road trips; the opposite is usually the case, but you have to return home eventually.

It’s also wonderful if you’re travelling on country roads, provided you aren’t stuck behind a tractor.

23. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

In one of the most popular love songs of the 2000s, Jason Mraz provided us with a tongue-twister-filled song to sing along to.

Singing along to “I’m Yours” in the car for four minutes is the ideal way to pass the time.

24. “I Try” by Macy Gray

American artist Macy Gray co-wrote and sang the song “I Try.”

The song was released in 1999 as the second single from her debut album, How Life Is.

With her breakout hit, “I Try,” Macy Gray created a masterpiece with her smoky voice.

The song is a therapeutic track to play in the car and portrays how all of us uncomfortable people feel when we are around the person we have a crush on.

25. “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads

This song’s first line, “Well, we know where we’re going, but we don’t know where we’ve been,” makes it clear that the following three minutes are going to be entertaining.

This is one of the best songs for a road trip. 

Just ensure not to be travelling on a road that leads nowhere.

26. “Route 66” by Chuck Berry

Possibly the most well-known road in the country is Route 66.

It served as the main path for migrants moving west as well (especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s).

Along with several other covers, including a very fine one by the Rolling Stones, this Chuck Berry song helped put it on the musical map.

27. “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains Of Wayne

In this society, there are only two types of people: those who want to date Stacy’s mother and those who want to be Stacy’s mother.

Whichever group you belong to, you should play “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne loudly on your next road trip.

28. “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback

The song “How You Remind Me” is by Nickelback, a Canadian rock group.

The band’s third studio album, Silver Side Up, featured the song as the lead single, which was written by lead singer Chad Kroeger.

Before being the subject of a picture meme, Nickelback was a hitmaker.

How You Remind Me is among the best road trip music to play while driving since it captures the post-grunge energy of the 2000s.

29. “Going up the Country” by Canned Heat

It’s a great choice and makes this the ideal road trip playlist with its upbeat pace, the flute, and the lyrics about leaving the city (“I’m gonna leave the city, gotta go away”).

This song was notably performed by Canned Heat at Woodstock in 1969, but the band’s career was tragically terminated when lead singer Alan Wilson killed himself in 1970, followed shortly after by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. That’s too awful.

30. “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson

One of the best road trip songs is “On the Road Again.”

While most songs are about returning home, this one is the exact opposite.

It’s all about seeking adventure, exploring the unknown, and travelling “like a band of gypsies.”

“The life I love is making music with my friends,” he confesses.

Your desire for your road trip to never end will be fueled by this.

31. “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys, an American boy band, does have a song called “I Want It That Way.”

Their third studio album, Millennium, featured it as the lead single, which was released in 1999.

“I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys should be at the top of your road trip playlist if you’re ready for our favorite boy bands to make a comeback.

There aren’t many songs that are more enjoyable to sing along to.

32. “F*Ck You” by Cee Lo Green

The song by Cee Lo Green, “F*ck You,” is the ideal sing-along song for everyone who has been hurt, dumped, or dissed.

There aren’t many songs that are more therapeutic to sing, and given the vulgarity, the car is the ideal setting to let it blast.

33. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

You’ve probably already figured out that songs with a strong bassline work well as driving songs.

This song’s bass begins unexpectedly and grooves along brilliantly while Stevie Nicks bemoans her relationship with Lindsay Buckingham (usually Faire for Fleetwood Mac).

33. “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi

“Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi is the epitome of 80s rock ‘n’ roll.

The story of the unfortunate pair, Tommy and Gina, serves as a reminder that anything is possible when love and a dream are present.

The huge song is ideal for belting out when driving along a highway or city street.

34. “Drive My Car” by The Beatles

The Beatles should be on every self-respecting driving playlist.

You truly have a lot of options, but since we’re talking about cars, “Drive My Car” is as excellent as any.

With his bass playing in The Beatles, McCartney was always a cut above the rest, and this is a perfect illustration.

“The Long and Winding Road” and “Two of Us” are two more you can add.

35. “More Than A Feeling” by Boston

There aren’t many legendary rock bands that can match Boston‘s massive sound.

With its epic guitar solos and powerful vocals that you can try your best to match, its hit song “More Than A Feeling” will have you rolling down the highway.

36. “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure

“Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure perfectly captures the spirit and style of every John Hughes movie.

Put this song on and belt it out while you drive down the highway to get the feeling that you are the lead character in everyone’s new favorite coming-of-age movie.

37. “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae

One of the greatest jazz-pop songs to ever be played on the radio is Corinne Bailey Rae‘s “Put Your Records On,”  which begins with that funk guitar.

When the chorus comes on, it’s best to turn up the radio, roll down the windows, let go of all your worries, and sing as loudly as you can.

38. “Your Song” by Elton John

English singer Elton John and American songwriter Bernie Taupin collaborated on the song “Your Song,” which John performed.

It was John’s debut Top 10 single internationally.

Elton John is the king of radio ballads, and every road trip requires a song.

His hit song, “Your Song,” which stands for the gift of his love, is maybe the most romantic or recognized.

39. “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

Phil Collins, an English drummer and singer-songwriter, released his first solo single titled “In the Air Tonight.”

Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” is one of the greatest radio singles of all time and is credited with popularizing air-drumming.

The song begs to be sung as it builds on a soft synth.

Just be sure to keep your hands on the wheel when the loud drum solo begins.

Following the 1980 divorce of his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, Collins penned the song while grieving.

40. “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer

Weezer, an American rock band, is the author of the song “Say It Ain’t So.”

Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer, wrote it.

Cuomo feared the marriage between his mother and stepfather would also break apart due to his father’s alcoholism since he thought his mother and father’s marriage failed because of this.

This song, which is one of Weezer’s most famous, has a vibe throughout.

This four-minute song, which perfectly captures the anxiety and rage of adolescence, will have you switching between being calm and yelling.

It is ideal for singing along when driving with friends.

41. “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

One of Led Zeppelin’s best-known songs, “Stairway to Heaven,” is regarded by many as the greatest rock song of all time.

It is regarded as one of the best road trip songs to blast at full volume.

It portrays the tale of a greedy lady who is overly optimistic about her gloomy future.

The song’s charm and mystery are enhanced by its vague lyrics, which also let listeners interpret it in their own way.

Heads will be thumping in the car thanks to an engaging plot and a tune that builds to an enormous solo and chorus.

42. “Crazy” by Patsy Cline

Crazy by Patsy Cline is one of the songs you need to know if you’ve ever wanted to be a country diva.

The country song, which has her distinctive high voice, is ideal for singing along in the car, especially if your love life is currently in ruins.

43 “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

“Since U Been Gone” is a powerful and emotional song, and it was one of Kelly Clarkson‘s first major hits.

The experience of leaving a toxic relationship is well encapsulated in this song.

We’ve all been in relationships where we weren’t treated as we should have been.

44. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne

“Complicated” is the first song on Avril‘s first album, Let Go, and thus her entire musical career.

It’s about the issues that arise when you try to be someone you’re not when all you need to do is chill out, relax, and enjoy life.

One of the finest songs in the pop-punk ballad genre, particularly for anybody who grew up in the early 2000s, is Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.”

The song is one of the greatest sing-along songs ever since it combines country and punk aesthetics.

45. “Love On Top” by Beyoncé

For her fourth studio album, 4, American singer Beyoncé recorded the song “Love on Top.”

Even though Queen B has many fantastic songs for a road trip, “Love on Top” is perfect for everyone with a heart full of love.

This song is ideal for expressing all the love in your heart since it is catchy and has a lot of 80s nostalgia vibes.

46. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

Not singing along to “All-Star,” Smash Mouth‘s biggest song, is nearly impossible.

The song, which tells the tale of a potentially deluded wannabe rock star, has awesome wordplay and a catchy melody that demands to be sung even after we’ve heard it way too many times.

47. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

One of the best songs ever recorded is “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a monumental work of art by Queen.

Their record label objected to the notion of a song that was almost six minutes long.

Fortunately for all of us, including Wayne and Garth, the band persisted and gave us one of the best driving songs ever.

48. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers

One of the greatest declarations of love ever to be recorded is “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”.

The biggest hit by The Proclaimers is ideal for singing along to while driving, especially if you’re returning home to a special person.

49. “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra

It’s tough to resist singing along to Mr. Blue Sky, the upbeat song that became Electric Light Orchestra‘s most recognized hit.

Even though the song’s true meaning is debatable, your road trip playlist should include it because of the upbeat melody and entertaining lyrics.

50. “Hit The Road Jack” by Ray Charles

Ray Charles released a song in 1961 that would go on to be used as the theme music for countless TV shows, motion pictures, and commercials for decades to come.

Every woman’s “I’m fed up with my man” anthem is “Hit the Road Jack,” and its appealing simplicity makes it the perfect road trip song.

Just be careful not to put it at the end of your playlist, or it might become stuck in your head forever.

Wrapping Up Our List of the Best Road Trip Songs

So, that wraps up our post on the best road trip songs.

We’ve included a mix of old and new, as well as fast and slow songs with each one having a special meaning.

Regardless of how long your journey is, these songs will make the trip infinitely more enjoyable. 

So turn up the volume and enjoy the ride.

Similar Playlists:

Songs About Traveling

Songs About Vacation

Best Campfire Songs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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