10 Road Trip Songs That You Need to Add to Your Summer Playlist

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Like every summer teen movie has taught us, road trips plus great music equals a good summer and a great road trip. How can you cruise without the best tunes accompanying you? Some of you may need to update your Spotify or Apple Music playlists before you hit the road.

Check out this list of must-listen-to road trip songs in the car on your way to summer vacation.

1. “On My Way” by Phil Collins

This song (yes, it is from the Brother Bear soundtrack) remains the perfect summer song. The song, describing a journey (a long one at that) operates as the most legit road trip song to date. When asked about her favorite road trip song UC Berkeley sophomore Hailie O’Bryan said, “Literally anything by Phil Collins.” But let’s be honest, anything written or performed by Phil Collins is nothing less than extraordinary.

2. “Island In The Sun” by Weezer

“Island In The Sun” remains one of my favorite summer songs. Who doesn’t dream of laying on a beach on an island in the sun? Sadly, you cannot drive to an island, but you can drive to the beach and enjoy the sun all the same. Or better yet, take a road trip to the airport and then hop on a plane to an island. Perfect solution.

3. “Gypsy” by Lady Gaga

With Lady Gaga, you can expect punchy, strong vocals. With this song, you can sing at the top of your lungs in the car. And yes, everyone driving past you will wonder what you are doing and who you listen to and jam out to that makes you so happy. And yes, they will get jealous. Like Gaga sings in the song, pack up your baggage, say goodbye to family and friends and take a road to nowhere on your own.

4. “Till We Run Out of Road” by Jewel

This song by Jewel hits the heart of what it feels like to drive until you can no longer drive anymore. In the song, she hits these amazing notes that sound like pure gold. This song will take you to the heart and soul of country music. Picture yourself driving through the back-roads of Tennessee and as you go you see the green trees, the hills and the sun shining down on you.

5. “Stereo” by Pavement

This song acts as the perfect tune that you would want coming out of your stereo. UC Berkeley junior Connor Carroll said this, “I love ‘Stereo’ because it uses dynamic weirdness and improvised lyrics that make no sense unless you play it on repeat. It reminds me of when I was in high school fooling around with indie rock. The bass line is groovy but intentionally imperfect, and the guitar is unintuitive but works with the bizarre vibe of the song, not to mention the eerie tone of the vocals. All around, it’s a song that you can think about in more ways than one and, once you know the words, you can scream along to it.” Throw this song in your road trip playlist to create some variety in your drive. And if you happen to be falling asleep in the car, this song will definitely wake you up with the drums, the cool bass line, special effects and raspy and excited vocals.

6. “Changed” by Tory Ruperto

“I can hear the roar of rushing water”… the impact of this song has the ability to immediately overtake the listener. With Ruperto’s strong pop vocals, she has tremendous control over the song and the message of the song. When you listen closely, it feels like the lyrics serenade you and then the music sweeps you away into the ocean. You can just drown in all the wonder of this song. “I love this song. It is so pure and real. It is my new summer jam,” said Marian Hamm from Vanguard University. After listening to this song, you will definitely come out of it changed.

7. “King City” by Swim Deep

“The song ‘King City’ and ‘Honey’ by Swim Deep are my summer jams,” said UC Berkeley junior Kelsey Ferrell. The dance beat in the back will make you want to bob your head along as you cruise on the freeway with your shades on and your windows down. As you listen, the line “With the sun on my back it’s a nice day,” will transport you to the perfect summer moment. With the line, “I would never choose any other way,” you will want to run out into the streets, get wild and make sweet summer memories with your friends.

8. “Backyard Haze” by Academy

The line “I got the sun in my eyes” with faded vocals and acoustic guitar as the forefront makes “Backyard Haze” a great summer song. I remember a few years ago, my roommate queued this song on my Spotify and I fell in love with the simple summer vibes. As we drove, my eyes were drawn to the sun and the summer breeze running across my face as we drove created the perfect atmosphere for this song.

9. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

With this classic, you can never go wrong. This song remains a favorite for a lot of listeners and we are not surprised that it ended up on our list. “I have a lot. But “Bohemian Rhapsody”, faithfully,” UC Berkeley senior Karis Tanksley said of her favorite road trip songs. Use the many harmonies to get everyone in your car involved in the singalong.

10. “Road Trippin’” by Dan and Shay

What better way to end your road trip than listening to a song about an actual road trip. The country duo, Dan and Shay, climbed the country charts with their latest self-titled album. But don’t worry music lovers, it’s not too late to get on board with them. “I love Dan and Shay. I think they are the only band that I have seen more than once,” said Grand Valley State Senior Nikki Anderson.



Morgan is a senior English Major at UC Berkeley. She has stacks and stacks of writing that hopefully will be seen one day. She loves singing and is currently a thriving YouTube ukulele student.

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