The ultimate playlist for family road trips


Photo credit: mrbula via photopin cc

Following on rather neatly from our last article which contained 32 tips to help you actually enjoy a family road trip as opposed to simply survive it, in this post we’re sharing 32 of our favourite songs to listen to on the open road.

Now if you read the tips you’ll know that audiobooks are actually our favourite accompaniment but it’s not easy to find something that appeals to everyone in the car. Okay, Harry Potter is a good place to start once the kids are old enough to appreciate his wizarding ways but the toddlers aren’t going to get much out of it. And let’s face it, sometimes you just want a soundtrack to daydream to as the road winds on. While keeping your eyes on the road and your hands firmly on the wheel if you’re the driver, of course 🙂

That’s where music comes in. The easiest way these days is to build a playlist on Spotify and connect your phone to the in-car audio system – as long as you have a newish vehicle (and phone). Or you can put a CD together, or even a cassette. Hey, we actually have a MiniDisc player in one of our cars, so anything goes!

However you put it together, this road trip soundtrack has something for everyone but in true Grown-up Travel Guide style some of the entries are a little tongue-in-cheek and appeal mostly to our slightly warped sense of fun.

It’s true that many of these classics bring to mind enormous motorbikes and gas-guzzling monsters rather than today’s fuel efficient cars and electric vehicles, but driving is driving.

Before we go on, make sure your vehicle is in order or you’ll not be able to enjoy this playlist. Tyres are a common area of concern, so if yours need upgrading check out Tyre Shopper.

In any case, I’ve included enough so that you should at least be able to find enough enjoyment even if you only cherry-pick from the selection here. If not, then you have questionable taste 🙂

There’s no particular order (or logic?) to the selection and the only rule I adhered to was to have one track per artist. And I even kind of bent that one if you look closely…

Happy driving folks 🙂

  1. Just like paradise – David Lee Roth
  2. Life in the fast lane – Eagles
  3. Burn – Deep Purple
  4. Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers
  5. On the road again – Willie Nelson
  6. Sweet home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  7. No Sleep til Brooklyn – The Beastie Boys
  8. Ace of Spades – Motorhead
  9. Mama I’m coming home – Ozzy Osbourne
  10. I’m gonna be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers
  11. Free fallin’ – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  12. Panama – Van Halen
  13. Walking on sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  14. Livin’ on a prayer – Bon Jovi
  15. Here I go again (the original blues version, not the 1980s hair rock version) – Whitesnake
  16. Born to run – Bruce Springsteen
  17. Roam – The B52s
  18. Highway to hell – AC/DC
  19. Baba O’Riley – The Who
  20. Passenger – Iggy Pop
  21. Fast car – Tracy Chapman
  22. Driving south – Jimi Hendrix
  23. Helter skelter – The Beatles
  24. California dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
  25. Born to be wild – Steppenwolf
  26. Don’t stop believin’ – Journey
  27. American pie – Don McLean
  28. Rockin’ in the free world – Neil Young
  29. La Grange – ZZ Top
  30. 303 – Kula Shaker
  31. Harder than you think – Public Enemy
  32. Rocks – Primal Scream
Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

Articles: 1259

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