7 Summer Road Trip Essentials
Summer can be filled with plenty of long car rides to see family, friends, or to head to the beach or the lake. Some trust the radio for music on these trips, but if the stations continue to play Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” on repeat, you may need to take matters into your own hands. With that in mind, here’s seven great songs to add to your road trip playlist so that those car rides will fly by.
“Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Let’s begin with a classic. “Free Bird” starts off slow but if you wait out the verses and the hypnotic slide guitar riff, you’ll reach one of the most rocking guitar solos ever.
Perfect for: Driving as fast as you (legally) can on interstate highways
“Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown Band has provided many summer anthems (see “Toes,” “Knee Deep,” “Chicken Fried”), but “Homegrown” will resonate with you most as you appreciate that you have “everything you need and nothing that [you] don’t” throughout the summer.
Perfect for: Reminiscing as you drive through your hometown
“Rather Be” by Clean Bandit (ft. Jess Glynne)
“Rather Be” was one of the top hits from the summer of 2014 and it could be returning to an AUX cord near you this summer. The song is generally upbeat; it is initially chill, but its energy builds up and releases during the chorus.
Perfect for: Starting the song at normal volume and then turning the music up when the piano chords signal the start of the chorus
“Against the Wind” by Bob Seger
“Against the Wind” might not be the right song for a warm, sunny day, but in other weather it’s a perfect road for crossing the country. This suggestion is 100% inspired by a scene from the 1994 film Forrest Gump--which features plenty of other great driving playlist suggestions.
Perfect for: Road trips on a rainy day or running across the country for no particular reason
“Night Moves” by Bob Seger
Another Bob Seger classic, “Night Moves” is undoubtedly the best song for night driving.
“Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band
Similar to “Free Bird,” “Jessica” is a long southern rock anthem. However, this Allman Brothers classic is entirely instrumental. This might be a turnoff for some, but the beautiful melodies of “Jessica” keep you interested throughout the track. Just as with “Against the Wind,” this song is inspired by a movie scene (this time from Field of Dreams).
Perfect for: Cruising on the interstate highway
“Rock’n Me” by Steve Miller Band
“Rock’n Me” is a perfect road trip song, in part, because of the numerous cities and locations mentioned in the verses. The simple chorus also makes “Rock’n Me” very easy to sing along with.
Perfect for: any road trip to or through Phoenix, Arizona; Tacoma, Washington; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; and the Bay Area