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Adventure Soundtrack: The Ultimate Happier Road Trip Songs Playlist

Highway Alaska Kenai Peninsula forest mountains

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”.

Happier Road Trip! (The Ultimate Happier Place Road Trip Playlist on Spotify)

This view only shows the first 100 songs of the Happier Road Trip Playlist
(To see and listen to the entire playlist, click through to the Happier Place Road Trip List on Spotify.)

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.

Alaska Highway 1 Kenai Peninsula Homer up the hill with bay
Alaska Highway 1 approaching Homer from Anchorage

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.

New Mexico road through colorful rocks from Abiquiu to Ghost Ranch
The New Mexico road from Abiquiu to Ghost Ranch – made famous by Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe.

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.

Blue Ridge Parkway winds through springtime forest
The Blue Ridge Parkway near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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.

Ultimate Road Trips Songs Playlist of travel classics and new discoveries over curvy road through forest Happier Place
Road Trips Songs Playlist and views of highway in Alaska and New Mexico

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.

7 thoughts on “Adventure Soundtrack: The Ultimate Happier Road Trip Songs Playlist

  1. I love road trips. Looking forward to going on our road trips later this month. Need to check out the songs on your playlist.

  2. This is such a wonderful playlist! I’m so happy to see one that has some of the oldies on there. Living with a teenager most of what I hear in the car is now unintelligible mumble rap.

  3. Lovely playlist you’ve got there. The fact that the songs are about driving, leaving, escaping and so on gives a lot to think about during road trips…plus it’s 12hours long— even better.

  4. I love taking road trips and I completely agree with you, music makes them so much better! I love turning the radio on and hearing a song I listened to whilst on the road, it takes me back and lets me experience the journey all over again! Music can really act like a bit of magic sometimes! Love the post and the sound track sounds so diverse! A gre at way to liven up the trip!

  5. road trips are special joy to me! I love it, it never fails. Your playlist is nice too, I think music is a nice add always.

  6. I scrolled through the list and it sure is an awesome playlist! I will have to check this out on Spotify. It is a great list of songs to listen to, whether you’re traveling or just dreaming of traveling (that’s me!). I wish you’d include the song Ventura Highway by America.

    1. Hey Kristine! That’s super you like the playlist. And I’m happy to report that “Ventura Highway” by America is on the list. Awesome recommendation! It’s closer towards the end if you play the songs in order. Happy travel-dreaming!

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