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Road Trip Playlist: The Best Traveling Songs

Sara loves making lists. She also loves listening to good music, which can often put her in a trance.


Rock on Down the Highway While Listening to the Best Road Trip Playlist

Have you ever set out on a long trip without a travel playlist? I forgot to bring along any music on our last road trip. Somewhere north of Sacramento, sitting in the cab of our rented moving truck and listening to a radio station coming in from Chico, we heard Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On." That got me thinking that it would have been appropriate to make a compilation of travel-themed songs for the trip.

The U-Haul did have a CD player that we could have made good use of, but there was no way to plug an mp3 player into it. Through most of our journey, we were able to make do with the radio, even finding outstanding stations from time to time. Inevitably, we did drive through a few areas where we were receiving only two or three stations, none of which were broadcasting anything we wanted to listen to. It was during those times that we regretted not bringing along any music of our own.

I will certainly have traveling music prepared for our next long drive. In the meantime, since I love making lists, here is what I've come up with. The songs are mostly classic rock, but there's also a little bit of country and pop. I tried to include a little something for everyone. The list is in random order, but be sure to use the comments section below to share your favorites. And, of course, if you know a song that I've left off, let me know, as well. Safe travels!

The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

  • "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin
  • "On the Road Again" by Canned Heat
  • "Travelin' Man" by Bob Seger
  • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple
  • "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf

Ramble On

Leaves have fallen all around, time I was on my way. Thanks to you I'm much obliged, such a pleasant stay. But now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.

— Jimmy Page/Robert Plant

  • "King of the Road" by Roger Miller
  • "Truckin'" by Grateful Dead
  • "Travelin' Band" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • "Space Truckin'" by Deep Purple
  • "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce

King of the Road

Third boxcar, midnight train, destination Bangor, Maine. Old worn out suit and shoes, I don't pay no union dues.

— Roger Miller

  • "Pink Cadillac" by Bruce Springsteen
  • "Highway Song" by Blackfoot
  • "Travelin' Man" by Ricky Nelson
  • "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson
  • "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC

Pink Cadillac

I love you for your pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, ridin' in the back, cruisin' down the street, wavin' to the girls, feelin' outta sight, spendin' all my money on a Saturday night.

— Bruce Springsteen

  • "Freeway of Love" by Aretha Franklin
  • "Going up the Country" by Canned Heat
  • "Big Log" by Robert Plant
  • "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
  • "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

Freeway of Love

We got some places to see, I brought all the maps with me. So jump in, it ain't no sin, take a ride in my machine.

— Jeffrey Cohen/Narada Michael Walden

  • "Rock and Roll Girls" by John Fogerty
  • "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
  • "Train, Train" by Blackfoot
  • "California Girls" by The Beach Boys
  • "City of New Orleans" by Arlo Guthrie

Rock and Roll Girls

Hey, let's go all over the world. Rock and roll girls.

— John Fogerty

  • "Gypsy Road" by Cinderella
  • "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" by The Hollies
  • "Route 66" by Chuck Berry
  • "Little Deuce Coupe" by The Beach Boys
  • "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger

Gypsy Road

My gypsy road can't take me home, I drive all night just to see the light. My gypsy road can't take me home, I keep on pushin' 'cause it feels alright.

— Tom Keifer

  • "In the City" by The Eagles
  • "Turbo Lover" by Judas Priest
  • "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett
  • "Cadillac Ranch" by Bruce Springsteen
  • "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane

In the City

Somewhere out on that horizon, out beyond the neon lights. I know there must be somethin' better, but there's nowhere else in sight.

— Barry De vorzon/Joe Walsh

© 2012 Sara Krentz


wantlove on May 30, 2013:

great post i specially like your bring your cameras method..;)

SteveKaye on May 19, 2013:

Great, well designed, enjoyable lens.

cmadden on May 12, 2013:

Peter, Paul, and Mary's "500 Miles" is another good one. Enjoyed this lens!

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on January 22, 2013:

I love your list. We take a lot of road trips, so we will have to put together a song list of our own!

Takkhis on November 07, 2012:

Wonderful lens with a good recommendation.

Ladyeaglefeather on September 20, 2012:

Very inspiring!!

anonymous on September 17, 2012:


CozyKitty on September 10, 2012:

Really fantastic collection! I'll be back later to listen to more of them ... :)

anonymous on July 27, 2012:

Turn the Page Bob Seger is my favorite song.

Mary Stuart on July 16, 2012:

I love all the songs in your playlist! Music such as in your list is especially great for long trips.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 14, 2012:

We love driving. One of our favourite songs is Irish Descendants.

CoeGurl on July 12, 2012:

Very interesting list of road trip music and I enjoyed the videos, too!

NC Shepherd on July 10, 2012:

On one road trip to Arizona, I started singing all the songs I could think of related to that state. I was surprised how many there are.

wecomparebooks on May 27, 2012:

Great road trip music!

Sara Krentz (author) from USA on March 04, 2012:

@TonyPayne: I'll have to check out Ozark Mountain Daredevils - sounds cool. Thanks for stopping by!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on March 04, 2012:

I love City Of New Orleans, enjoyed the live version. I love to listen to Classic Rock when I am on a road trip, and depending on my mood it might be something more mellow like Ozark Mountain Daredevils, or some great rock jams like Anonymous II from Focus.

Sara Krentz (author) from USA on January 23, 2012:

@grannysage: That's awesome! Thanks for sharing : )

grannysage on January 23, 2012:

It's very odd how certain things pop up at the same time. We are currently at an RV park in Louisiana and every night I hear a train going by. I started singing the City of New Orleans. The next time my husband and I were on-line were were listening to oldies music on You-tube and of course had to hear the song. And now it shows up on this page, the very same video. I am a huge Arlo fan - and as I write this, there is the train whistle.