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Road Trip Playlist: 35 Traveling Songs

Updated on January 24, 2017
Sara Krentz profile image

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

Endless Road
Endless Road | Source

Rock on Down the Highway

Have you ever set out on a long trip without a travel playlist? I forgot to bring along any CDs 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 CD 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 due 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!

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

1. Ramble On - Led Zeppelin
2. On the Road Again - Canned Heat
3. Travelin' Man - Bob Seger
4. Highway Star - Deep Purple
5. Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf

Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf

Here's the song in the opening credits of Easy Rider. Too Cool!

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

— Roger Miller

6. King of the Road - Roger Miller
7. Truckin' - Grateful Dead
8. Travelin' Band - Creedence Clearwater Revival
9. Space Truckin' - Deep Purple
10. I Got a Name - Jim Croce

I Got A Name - Jim Croce

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

11. Pink Cadillac - Bruce Springsteen
12. Highway Song - Blackfoot
13. Travelin' Man - Ricky Nelson
14. On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
15. Highway to Hell - AC/DC

Highway to Hell - AC/DC

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

16. Freeway of Love - Aretha Franklin
17. Going up the Country - Canned Heat
18. Big Log - Robert Plant
19. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
20. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

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

— John Fogerty

21. Rock and Roll Girls - John Fogerty
22. Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
23. Train, Train - Blackfoot
24. California Girls - The Beach Boys
25. City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie

City of New Orleans (Live) - Arlo Guthrie

What do you like to listen to when you are driving?

See results

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

26. Gypsy Road - Cinderella
27. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies
28. Route 66 - Chuck Berry
29. Little Deuce Coupe - The Beach Boys
30. Turn the Page - Bob Seger

Turn the Page - Bob Seger

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

31. In the City - The Eagles
32. Turbo Lover - Judas Priest
33. Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
34. Cadillac Ranch - Bruce Springsteen
35. Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane

© 2012 Sara Krentz

Here's your chance to leave a comment. If you can think of any songs that should have made this list, feel free to let me know.

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      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.

    • Sara Krentz profile image
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      Sara Krentz 5 years ago from USA

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

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      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 profile image
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      Sara Krentz 5 years ago from USA

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

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      wecomparebooks 5 years ago

      Great road trip music!

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      NC Shepherd 4 years ago

      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.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 4 years ago from USA

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

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • DIY Mary profile image

      DIY Mary 4 years ago

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

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Turn the Page Bob Seger is my favorite song.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice

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      Ladyeaglefeather 4 years ago

      Very inspiring!!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens with a good recommendation.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

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

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Great, well designed, enjoyable lens.

    • profile image

      wantlove 4 years ago

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

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