This ultimate road trip songs playlist has all the songs you need for your next adventure soundtrack. Across genres and time, it will fuel you to drive across continents – singing all the way!
We love road trips! What makes them so great is that you can stop wherever, whenever or get completely lost and discover something totally unexpected. You also get to see so much country and sky to inspire further exploration or let your thoughts wander.
You could definitely say that road trips are a Happier Place of ours. What turns road trips from a Happy Place into a Happier Place? Blasting music for singing along, daydreaming, staying awake and adding that extra dash of joy.
Whatever music you play on a road trip will become your very own adventure soundtrack. It’ll set the mood for the moment. And in the future, those songs will trigger memories of all the experiences you had on your trips.
To make your next road trip even better, we put together an epic playlist of classic travel songs, sing-along-anthems and surely lots of new discoveries for you. Achtung: not all lyrics are “family-friendly”.
Initially, we put the playlist together on Spotify. You don’t have to have a paid Spotify account to listen to all the songs. But if you want to download the songs, listen to the playlist in order, and avoid ads, you’d have to pay Spotify. So we’re also working on exporting the list to other streaming services to give you more options.
The Happier Road Trip! playlist features songs about driving, traveling, leaving, escaping, dreaming, yearning… There are songs dedicated to the journey, the destination, and the adventures along the road.
Some lyrics focus on personal stories about leaving someone behind – about the person waiting at the end of this drive – and even a few about heading home. Occasionally, a guy will just sing about a car. Some of the music simply captures the energy of driving forward; vibes that will make you feel good while you’re covering the miles.
Last but not least, you’ll discover melodies that simply invite you to stare out of the window and let your mind travel freely while you take in the scenery.
The Happier Place Ultimate Road Trip Songs Collection includes music from the last nine decades: from the 1930s (e.g., Robert Johnson “Sweet Home Chicago” and Bing Crosby’s “Don’t Fence Me In”) to recent 2019 releases (e.g., “Go” By The Black Keys, “Sunday Driver” by The Raconteurs.)
The road trip soundtrack also spans many genres: classic rock, R&B, hip hop, Americana, folk, country, indie rock, indie pop, indie… you get the idea. Sing along to songs like “Route 66” performed by Chuck Berry, “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, “Two Dope Boyz (in a Cadillac)” by Outkast, “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, “Keep on Truckin'” by Grateful Dead, “Coast To Coast” by Jesus and Mary Chain, “High Horse” by Kacey Musgraves, “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter, “Traveling Alone” by Jason Isbell, “When We Drive” by Death Cab for Cutie, “M.E.X.I.C.O.” by The Kills, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake and Majid Jordan, “Drive” by Fu Manchu, “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Heading South” by The Stone Roses, “Go!” by Santigold and Karen O, “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley and so much more. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include some songs like “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre because it’s not available on Spotify.
It’s probably only natural that a majority of the music comes from the USA and quite a lot even puts the spotlight on America specifically. This may be because we’re in America and are influenced by the local culture. But it’s probably also because America seems to be the birth place of the automobile road trip – with its vast distances, long roads, cheap gasoline and all the amazing American Road Side Attractions along the way.
Currently, the Happier Road Trip Playlist is about 12 hours long. That’s enough music for a drive from Brooklyn to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from Denver to the Grand Canyon, from Los Angeles to Arches National Park, from Seattle to Yellowstone, or from Berlin to the Swiss Alps.
Let’s Inspire Each Other
We’re very open to keep changing this road trip playlist – so it may keep getting longer. So please let us know in the comments, which songs you think we should add! Or just list your favorite road trip or travel-themed songs.
We’re also thinking of making shorter road trip and travel playlists that focus on just one music genre or other specific theme. What do you think – should we?
And if you’ve just returned from a road trip and listened to our playlist, please tell us all about it!
Want to save the playlist for a future road trip? Then pin one of these images to Pinterest.
All photos in this post were taken by Luci. Click on an image to see it larger. All photos are available for purchase. The featured photo at the top of the post shows Alaska Highway 1 – somewhere between Homer and Anchorage.