Keep reading to hear my choices for the best driving songs to blast as you’re traveling around the country on a road trip.
Since I’m obsessed with music, I decided I need to start working more music articles into my travel blog. I’ve already written a Guide to the Bonnaroo Music Festival and a review of the Beale Street Music Festival. Now, it’s time to get serious about road trip music.
I take road trip songs very seriously. Now that everyone has a phone with Spotify and Youtube, that means mixtapes and mix CDs are becoming less common. But when I set out on my 46-state road trip a few years back, I needed the ultimate road trip mix.
The Golden Rule: Driving songs must be about road trips and travel
If you Google “road trip songs,” you’ll get a bunch of lists containing random songs like “Back in Black” and “Bat Out of Hell.” While these are fun songs to blast from your stereo, they have nothing whatsoever to do with traveling. I only want songs that actually deal with having crazy travel adventures or being behind the wheel!
I also intentionally left out songs that focus on specific locations. “Sweet Home Alabama” is cool, but what if you’re driving through Oregon? Then it becomes completely pointless. The more universal the song, the better!
With those rules in mind, here’s my playlist of the best driving songs for road trips:
1 Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
2 Roam – B-52’s
3 Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
4 Driving My Life Away – Eddie Rabbitt
5 Moab – Conor Oberst
6 On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
7 Life in the Fast Lane – Eagles
8 No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry
9 Adventure – Be Your Own Pet
10 Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
11 Route 66 – Depeche Mode
12 Stickshifts and Safetybelts – Cake
13 I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
14 I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
15 Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
16 Roadworn & Weary – Supersuckers
17 Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers
18 Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me? – Keith Urban
Some of these are iconic travel songs, like “Life is a Highway” and “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Others are by bands that you may never have heard of, like Be Your Own Pet. And you have to love the cheesy nostalgia of “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt!
Since this post was originally published, I’ve been reminded of a few other great road trip songs that I would consider adding to this list. Such as “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, “Drive My Car” by the Beatles, and “No Particular Place to Go” by Chuck Berry.
Which ones did I miss? What are your favorite driving songs and road trip songs? Leave a comment and let me know!