The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist. Hit the Road, Coogs!

Written by on March 30, 2015

Last weekend I went on a short day long road trip to San Antonio with the boyfriend, and we had the age old argument that people have when they’re stuck in the car for an extended period of time. The one where you both have different opinions on what the theme music to your epic car ride should be. The day started with out with a little Andy Grammer, proceeded to Foo Fighters, and landed on The Ataris. There were some songs we both enjoyed and others that had us questioning our relationship. But like relationships, road trips come with the occasional compromises and yelling. So to help you make the most educated decisions about what to add to your playlist, here are my music recommendations for all your future road trips for wherever you’re heading and whoever you’re with!

  • You know those trips where you plan to head out super early? The ones where you promised to leave the house no later than 8 a.m., but coffee isn’t doing a good enough job of getting you pumped up? Let’s Get it Started with the Black Eyed Peas? Or if you’d rather ease into the ride, I suggest Coldplay’s Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. The build up in wonderful, and 2 minutes into your road trip you’re singing along with Chris Martin. Even OneRepublic’s I Lived will do the trick!
  • Riding out with your significant other for the first time? The two of you definitely need some tunes that will make it a an even better memory. Nothing beats your boyfriend seranading you along with Florida Georgia Line.

If you’re not a country fan however, you can’t go wrong with Gavin Degraw. Turn your special someone into a puddle in the passenger seat by singing that he’s the “Best [you] Ever Had.” If either one of you are into air-guitar–or  even the real kind– Jet’s “Are you Gonna Be My Girl” is my top recommendation. It doesn’t really matter if the two of you are on a road trip or driving to the mall, as long as you’re both having an amazing ride!


  • Maybe you’re heading out on your own for this trip. No worries! You’re never truly alone as long as you’ve got the radio/AUX cable/headphones/cell phone/what-have-you. Cruise down to i10 listening to Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo.”

If you are by yourself and the drive is a long one, there is that danger of falling asleep at the wheel. If you do find yourself feeling drowsy, I strongly recommend that you pull over to the nearest gas station and get yourself some of that stale but effective coffee. If, however, you do plan to tough it out, and drive the last few miles, you need music that wakes you up and makes you sing along. Linkin Park is my go-to for long drives when I’m not at a 100%. Yelling along with Chester Bennington to “New Divide” always kicks the adrenaline into overdrive.

  • There is always that one road trip that you take with the family. The one where your parents rent a minivan, your dad won’t let anyone else drive, your mom is trying to give him directions, and your little brother will not stop talking. The one where you break out your old faithful mp3 player and your headphones are your savior. I have been on this road trip. More than a few times. The struggle is real. For trips like these, I like to really commit to the brooding teenager role by listening to Simple Plan’s “Welcome to My Life.” But as a 22 year-old  I can only take so much self-pity, so I switch to things a little more upbeat while keeping it old-school:


  • I feel some of the best road trips are the ones you take with your group of friends; when there’s a little getting lost, a whole lot of junk food, and even more music (and that one friend that needs to stop for bathroom breaks way too often). Definitely take the time to play the road trip classic: Life is a Highway (I prefer the Rascal Flatts version). One of my other favorites is The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls.

  • However, if you happen to  be driving with just your girls, you know there’s just “One Direction” you’re going in. Shameless pun. No judgement. My personal favorite is “Kiss You.” Drive safe, Ladies!


  • So you had an amazing trip. Nothing left but the drive home. I’ve got you covered. I drove back from San Antonio last weekend to Foo Fighters’ “Home” and it just felt right. But even Michael Bublé’s song of the same name would be perfect for that drive home.

If you think I was going to let you go without mentioning the ultimate road trip anthem, think again, Coogs.

Did I miss any of your favorite car ride sound tracks? Comment and let me know what you think!


By: Charlene Irani

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