The Best Road Trip Playlist of All Time

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This is the official playlist of the best road trip songs of all time. Are you gearing up for the first road trip of the season? Or maybe you’re in the middle of one and you can’t agree on the music with your carmates, so you’re turning to a neutral party? No matter the reason, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve got a playlist for you that includes Journey, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel—everything you need to blast from the radio while you zoom down the highway with the windows down!
One word of caution: as always, when road tripping, it’s important to remember that safety comes first. That’s what the roadside assistance program with Jerry is here for.
Jerry offers battery jumpstarts, towing, and even Uber credits if you’re really stuck out there! That way you can enjoy your road trip (and your music!) worry-free. Roadside assistance is a great way to enhance your car insurance coverage.
Now let’s rock and roll with the best road trip playlist of all time!
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1. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

  • Year: 1988
  • Singer/Group: The Proclaimers
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: The upbeat tune and enthusiastic vocals are the best way to start off any road trip! Bonus: If you coordinate well enough, you can even get different sections of the car to go DA-DA-DA-DA! (da-da-da-da!) in time with the chorus.

2. Life is a Highway

  • Year: 1991
  • Singer/Group: Tom Cochrane
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: The drums, the guitar, and the unexpected harmonica all make for the perfect road trip sing-along.

3. Sweet Caroline

  • Year: 1969
  • Singer/Group: Neil Diamond
  • Genre: Soft Rock
  • Why it’s here: Good times never seemed so good! So good! The steady beat and the simple tune hook you in and the chorus comes in strong. This is the song you want to be playing with the wind in your hair and the white lines disappearing beneath your wheels.

4. Stacy’s Mom

  • Year: 2003
  • Singer/Group: Fountains of Wayne
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: Of all the oddball early-2000s songs to become a one-hit-wonder, this one sure is a doozy—and yet, with a snazzy electric guitar intro and a chorus you can easily sing along to, it’s not hard to understand why it’s still a huge hit.

5. I Will Survive

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: Gloria Gaynor
  • Genre: Disco
  • Why it’s here: There is absolutely no song that will get everyone sitting upright as fast as I Will Survive. If you’ve been spurned by a lover, or if you just have a love of theatrics, there’s no better song for a long trip!

6. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

  • Year: 1972
  • Singer/Group: Looking Glass
  • Genre: Soft Rock
  • Why it’s here: Despite its wistful lyrics, the song is simultaneously upbeat and relaxing, and everyone will chime in for the chorus!

7. The Chain

  • Year: 1977
  • Singer/Group: Fleetwood Mac
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: With heavy beats and ephemeral vocals, this is the song that’ll make everyone sit up and listen closely. (It also builds in a nice break from singing along so that everyone has time to hydrate and grab some snacks—after all, what fun is a road trip without some self-care?)

8. Don’t Stop Me Now

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: Queen
  • Genre: Power Pop
  • Why it’s here: This song plays off of drum lines, guitar solos, and the fantastic piano stylings of Mr. Freddy Mercury to get people pumped up and ready to roll! And for a road trip, there’s nothing better to get everyone singing along again.

9. Video Killed The Radio Star

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: The Buggles
  • Genre: New Wave
  • Why it’s here: Video Killed The Radio Star is an oddball little synth song that somehow gets everyone bopping along, even if no one really knows the lyrics. It’s a quick energizing bop, and that’s one of the best kinds of road trip songs.

10. Build Me Up Buttercup

  • Year: 1968
  • Singer/Group: The Foundations
  • Genre: Soul Pop
  • Why it’s here: With powerful vocals and drum sequences right from the start, it’ll get everyone jamming right along.

11. Under Pressure

  • Year: 1981
  • Singer/Group: Queen, David Bowie
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: Name a more iconic duo, I’ll wait. This song has one of the most compelling intro riffs, and even if some of the notes get a little high for your average untrained singer, everyone in the car will come together for the last verse, guaranteed.
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12. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

  • Year: 1990
  • Singer/Group: They Might Be Giants
  • Genre: Alternative
  • Why it’s here: Originally written as a novelty song in 1953 by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon, it was recorded (and subsequently made famous) by They Might Be Giants in 1990. With a jaunty melody and funny (and surprisingly informative) lyrics, this is a must-have for road trips. Bonus points if you play this for any of your history buff friends!

13. Take on Me

  • Year: 1985
  • Singer/Group: a-ha
  • Genre: New Wave
  • Why it’s here: Do we know what it means? Do we understand the lyrics? And can anyone in the car hope to hit the high note? The answer to all of these is probably no—but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most fun songs to sing along to.

14. Only the Good Die Young

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: Billy Joel
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: With a widely-recognized piano intro and an iconic title, this is a fantastic song to just jam along to, and it’s a great song to hold the energy steady as you drive on down the road.

15. Dreams

  • Year: 1992
  • Singer/Group: The Cranberries
  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Why it’s here: Dreams carries over the solid drumbeat and ephemeral vocals of the 80s with a guitar riff that’s distinctly 90s. This is another song for everyone to take a little break and drink some water before getting back into jamming—just put on this song, hydrate, and nod along as you watch the highway go by.

16. Valerie

  • Year: 2007
  • Singer/Group: Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson
  • Genre: Indie Pop
  • Why it’s here: Originally written by the English indie band The Zutons, one of Valerie’s most famous iterations is that of Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse. The beat is quick, the vocals are rich, and the lyrics, by this point, are famous—and soon enough the entire car will be singing along, asking Valerie why on earth she doesn’t just come on over.

17. Ring of Fire

  • Year: 1963
  • Singer/Group: Johnny Cash
  • Genre: Country
  • Why it’s here: There’s nothing to keep the wheels a-rolling like the Man in Black. This is a true classic among classics, complete with trumpet bursts and a steady guitar line. It might seem a little unexpected for a road trip—but just watch and see everyone trying their hardest to hit the low notes as the car rolls along.

18. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

  • Year: 1977
  • Singer/Group: Billy Joel
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: Cold beer! Hot lights! My sweet romantic teenage nights! Once the tempo picks up, everyone will start singing along to the ballad of Brenda and Eddie—and if you’ve been driving non-stop this whole time, it’s a great song to loosen you up and to get you (safely!) dancing along.

19. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

  • Year: 1987
  • Singer/Group: R.E.M.
  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Why it’s here: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It is an upbeat tune with largely stream-of-consciousness lyrics, which somehow just about everyone can sing (or at least mumble!) along to. And if your drive has gone on for a while, it’s the perfect choice to get everyone re-energized and nodding along again.

20. September

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Genre: R&B
  • Why it’s here: Listening to this in the car will get everyone singing along to this feel-good song as best as they can, remembering a time (maybe even one in September) that felt like there never was a cloudy day.
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21. Take it Easy

  • Year: 1972
  • Singer/Group: The Eagles
  • Genre: Country Rock
  • Why it’s here: This song will get everyone humming along—and after you’ve been driving for a while, it’s also a great reminder. With a laid-back melody that still feels jaunty enough to sing along to, it’s a great pick for road trips.

22. Home

  • Year: 2010
  • Singer/Group: Edwin Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes
  • Genre: Indie Folk
  • Why it’s here: A thumping beat you can clap along to, call-and-response lyrics, and a song about going home—this is one of the newer songs on this playlist, but it has a classic feel that’s perfect for a road trip.

23. Sk8er Boi

  • Year: 2002
  • Singer/Group: Avril Lavigne
  • Genre: Pop Punk
  • Why it’s here: This is another one for the younger crowd, but what Zillennial doesn’t know the lyrics to this early-2000s bop? With an upbeat melody and lyrics everyone in the car under the age of 30 will recognize, it’s a must-have.

24. The Boys of Summer

  • Year: 1984
  • Singer/Group: Don Henley
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: There are very few songs that capture the essence of summer as well as this one—and with a solid drum line, as well as vocals by a former member of the Eagles, you know it’s going to be good.

25. Livin’ on a Prayer

  • Year: 1986
  • Singer/Group: Bon Jovi
  • Genre: Arena Rock
  • Why it’s here: Whoa, we’re halfway there—through the playlist, that is! And in the halfway mark of your road trip, there’s nothing to wake the whole car up like Jon Bon Jovi.

26. Bad Moon Rising

  • Year: 1969
  • Singer/Group: Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Genre: Country Rock
  • Why it’s here: No one does classics like Creedence, and this is one of their greatest—a song with a simple beat and lyrics that are easy to sing along to—or to listen to on their own!

27. Don’t You (Forget About Me)

  • Year: 1985
  • Singer/Group: Simple Minds
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: One of the most famous songs to come out of the 1980s. With an iconic drumbeat and lyrics just about everyone knows, it’s an all-around classic!

28. Le Freak

  • Year: 1978
  • Singer/Group: Chic
  • Genre: Disco
  • Why it’s here: Straight from the days of disco, this is a song to dance along to (as much as you can in a car, of course). When you’ve been on the road for a few hours, this song is exactly what you need to give your muscles a little room to move—or even freak, just a little!

29. Fortunate Son

  • Year: 1969
  • Singer/Group: Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: Creedence does classics like no one else, and this is a classic among classics! Much more intense than Bad Moon, this song gets straight to the mid-century antiwar sentiment with heavy drums and guitar that’ll electrify everyone in the car.
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30. Hooked on a Feeling

  • Year: 1974
  • Singer/Group: Blue Swede
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: When you’ve hit the slump of the trip—just after halfway, but still not close to the end—there is nothing that will wake up the car like hearing Swedish rock group Blue Swede going Ooga-Chaka-Ooga-Ooga-Ooga-Chaka! on the radio without preamble.

31. Born to Run

  • Year: 1975
  • Singer/Group: Bruce Springsteen
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: Now that everyone’s awake again, this is the song to rock out to! With heavy drums, guitar, and a couple of fantastic sax riffs, this song is not only a rock classic, it’s a road trip classic, too!

32. Livin’ La Vida Loca

  • Year: 1999
  • Singer/Group: Ricky Martin
  • Genre: Latin Pop
  • Why it’s here: This song cannot be beat when it comes to instrumentals—with the backing of a chorus and a distinct brass intro, it’ll get everyone jamming along.

33. Carry on Wayward Son

  • Year: 1976
  • Singer/Group: Kansas
  • Genre: Progressive Rock
  • Why it’s here: This song gained some fame from the show Supernatural, but before that, it was a rock song out of the 70s that was just about carrying on through the tough parts of life (or a road trip). With guitar, a solid drumline, and even organ music, this is the perfect song to rock out to as the car rolls along.
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34. Sympathy for the Devil

  • Year: 1968
  • Singer/Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: With an up-tempo beat, samba-like percussion, and iconic lyrics by none other than Mick Jagger, this is a must-have for any road trip.

35. Hey Ya!

  • Year: 2003
  • Singer/Group: Outkast
  • Genre: Pop
  • Why it’s here: This is a newer one, but it’s almost guaranteed to get everyone jamming along! And when asked, What’s cooler than being cool? just watch all the younger folks in the car shout enthusiastically back, ICE COLD!

36. Bohemian Rhapsody

  • Year: 1975
  • Singer/Group: Queen
  • Genre: Progressive Rock
  • Why it’s here: Bohemian Rhapsody is a mystery, primarily because everyone knows the lyrics, but no one knows how they know the lyrics. That said—the switch between styles, the wild lyrics, and the gong at the end all make for one incredible road trip song that everyone will definitely sing along to.

37. Brown Eyed Girl

  • Year: 1967
  • Singer/Group: Van Morrison
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: After Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll need to chill out the vibe a little bit, and Brown Eyed Girl is the perfect choice. With lyrics evoking memories of summers and old partners, this is a must-have!

38. Respect

  • Year: 1967
  • Singer/Group: Aretha Franklin
  • Genre: Soul
  • Why it’s here: Almost nothing beats Respect for sing-along songs. With powerful vocals and lyrics that you can’t help but sing along to, it’s perfect for a road trip.

39. Baba O’Riley

  • Year: 1971
  • Singer/Group: The Who
  • Genre: Electronic Rock
  • Why it’s here: With an iconic synth opening and lyrics telling of a long, hard journey, this song isn’t just perfect for singing along—it’s a song that gets at the heart of a road trip, too.

40. Summer of ‘69

  • Year: 1985
  • Singer/Group: Bryan Adams
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: Three other songs on this playlist did come out in the year 1969, which must make it a summer worth writing about! This song is a classic, with lyrics that bring back memories of summers that have long since passed, but with joyful up-tempo music that’ll put the whole crew squarely in the present.

41. Africa

  • Year: 1982
  • Singer/Group: Toto
  • Genre: Soft Rock
  • Why it’s here: With a distinct synth opening and lyrics that are famous around the world, Africa is a must-have for everyone to sing along to!
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42. Sweet Child O’ Mine

  • Year: 1988
  • Singer/Group: Guns N’ Roses
  • Genre: Hard Rock
  • Why it’s here: This song originated from a guitar exercise, and it’s easy to tell that the musicians were just having fun with the music. With a wild melody, a riffing bass line, and a solid beat, this is a song to remind everyone just how fun these kinds of trips can be.

43. Another One Bites The Dust

  • Year: 1980
  • Singer/Group: Queen
  • Genre: Disco
  • Why it’s here: Here’s another one that everyone knows the lyrics to (or at least part of them)! And for those who don’t, it’s easy to clap along and get into the rhythm.

44. The Boys Are Back In Town

  • Year: 1976
  • Singer/Group: Thin Lizzy
  • Genre: Hard Rock
  • Why it’s here: It won’t be long till summer comes now that the boys are here again! Whether you’re traveling in early summer, with a world of possibilities at your fingertips, or late summer, with a head full of memories and laughter, this is the perfect song to fully embrace either reality.

45. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)

  • Year: 1972
  • Singer/Group: Elton John
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: The playlist is almost over, and maybe the trip is too—so here’s one to help you breathe, reminisce, and enjoy the road, with beautiful piano melodies easing your way.

46. Don’t Stop Believin’

  • Year: 1981
  • Singer/Group: Journey
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why it’s here: It’s impossible to have a road trip playlist that doesn’t include Don’t Stop Believin’—one of the most famous songs to come out of the 80s, and one that has easily retained its fame. Just about everyone, young or old, can sing along. When your journey is nearing its end, there’s nothing to make you celebrate the drive you’ve just had like this song.

47. Tiny Dancer

  • Year: 1972
  • Singer/Group: Elton John
  • Genre: Soft Rock
  • Why it’s here: Another song on the softer side, this one brings you piano overlaying percussion and vocals asking you, while there’s still time, to count the headlights on the highway. It’s not quite enough to send people to sleep, but it’s a perfect way to wind down.

48. Dancing in the Moonlight

  • Year: 1972
  • Singer/Group: King Harvest
  • Genre: Pop Rock
  • Why it’s here: An especially good choice if your road trip has lasted into the night! This laid-back tune from 1972 will get everyone singing along and relaxing as the road rolls along.

49. American Pie

  • Year: 1971
  • Singer/Group: Don McLean
  • Genre: Folk Rock
  • Why it’s here: Fun fact: this is the longest song to reach number one on the Billboard Top 100! It’s also an upbeat song, with hotly-debated lyrics and a chorus that everyone can sing along to—and it’s perfect to get everyone through the last long stretch of the trip.

50. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

  • Year: 1997
  • Singer/Group: Green Day
  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Why it’s here: And this is the perfect song to fade out as you roll up to your destination. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong sings of moving on from memories, but keeping them in your mind—and as your journey ends, hopefully upon reflection, it’s been the time of your life.
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Stay on key with roadside assistance

Playlists are an important part of your trip, but they’re not the most important part. Remember that you always want to make sure you’re putting safety first.
Luckily, the roadside assistance program with Jerry makes that easy! From accidental lockouts to towing, to even Uber credits (and more!), we’ve got you covered.
The best part? It’s only $6.99 to cover one vehicle—for less than a monthly Spotify fee, we’ll cover you for just about any eventuality! So feel free to lean back, drive on, and sing along; from roadside assistance to reimbursements to R.E.M., we’ve got you covered on all bases.
Jerry blew my mind, honestly. From start to finish, using the app took me 10 minutes, and I ended up with $100 of savings a month. Best of all, customer service answered all my questions about rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance.” ––Savanna R.
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