The Greatest Road Trip Songs, Ever

Time in the car can fly by when you have the right road trip songs; cue these up and sing along, or take a bit of inspiration and make your own playlist!

Best Family Road Trip Songs
Taking a beach road trip? Beach Boys tunes will get you in the mood. Photo: Jill Robbins

50 road trip songs to make the miles fly by.

Finding the right song in the car can be as frustrating as trying to find the right movie on Netflix on a Friday night. As we head out on a weekend trip or a bucket list vacation, we find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through radio stations or hitting ‘pass’ on “Suggested For You” playlists. You need the right soundtrack for your time in the car.

This story contains affiliate links; A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from sales generated by links in this story.

To help you navigate this slight roadblock, these are some of the best tunes to listen to when it’s just you, your family, and the open road. Let’s just start here:

The Mcintosh Premium Sound System Speakers Frame The Dash Of The Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The McIntosh premium sound system speakers in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L might be the ultimate for listening to a great playlist. Photo: Scotty Reiss

1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

During long road trips, one can never go wrong when listening to songs by Queen. Freddie Mercury, the true lyrical genius he was, wrote this nearly six-minute track for the release of Queen’s album A Night at the Opera which took the music industry by storm in 1975. Arguably the most well-known song from the band, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is perfect for jamming out in the car because of its energetic tempo and stimulating verse. 

Best car for singing to Queen: Range Rover

2. Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow

Looking for a light-hearted and upbeat melody befitting a summer song? Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun” has got you covered. It’s the type of tune that one would listen to when they want to drive with the windows down in a cool breeze and bathe in the warmth of the sun. It came out in 2002 alongside Crow’s other single “Steve McQueen.” “Soak Up The Sun” is proof that the early 2000s knew how to make music that will last forever. 

Best car for singing along with Cheryl: Toyota Sequoia

3. Ophelia – The Lumineers

In 2016, The Lumineers became even more popular after their release of “Ophelia,” inspired by William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Through it, the alternative band demonstrated their ability to produce yet another hit song (the former being “Ho Hey” in 2012). In the two minutes and forty seconds that “Ophelia” has been recorded, its lyrics will no doubt be stuck in your head for the rest of your drive. 

Best car for singing along with The Lumineers: Rivian R1S

Lincoln Aviator Speakers For Road Trip Songs

Lincoln’s Revel sound system has 28 speakers, all displayed here; this is the perfect sound system for a road trip. Photo: Scotty Reiss

4. Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Yet another throwback to the early 2000s, The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” is a song to scream to in the car when the road dwindles down to nothing but desert or treelines. If you thought that you heard it everywhere you went in the United States ten years ago then you might be shocked to learn just how much more traction it gained in the United Kingdom. Not only has it gone down in music history as one of the most streamed songs there, it was also selected as the “Song of the Decade” by several U.K. radio stations. 

Best car for singing along with The Killers: Dodge Durango SRT

5. Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift

This one is for all of the Swifties out there (especially since her recent embark through the U.S. on her Eras Tour). Based on the brilliance of her lyrics, Taylor has proven herself to be the mastermind of the current music industry. “Cruel Summer” was originally released in her 2019 album, Lover, but is set to be re-released on June 20th as a single. Its exuberant energy is sure to set you basking in the afterglow of the summer sun when cruising down the highway in the fast lane. 

Best car for singing along with Taylor Swift: Infiniti QX60

Best Cars For Road Trip Songs

We love this details: The Fiat has Beats by Dre speakers! Photo: A Girls Guide to Cars

6. Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus

This one makes everyone sing along, and makes everyone feel like a teenager (again). Party in the U.S.A. shares emotions we can all identify with – the nerves of being somewhere new, among people we don’t know, looking different, feeling homesick. And then, it gives us the confidence we can find our way, make new friends, find ourselves in this new place. This song is fun and contagious, and none more perfect for a road trip and the destination at the end of the ride.

Best car for singing along with Miley Cyrus: Cadillac Escalade 

7. Daylight – David Kushner

Perhaps a lesser-known song than the others, David Kushner’s “Daylight” has also dominated the internet with its calming ambiance and powerful vocals. The most recent release on this list (as it came out in April), it has secured Kushner his position in becoming a rising star, one that you should look out for as he grows even more prominent in the industry. Behind the lyrics, Kushner has stated that “Daylight” was inspired by the Bible, specifically that of Paul’s Epistles in the New Testament. 

Best car for singing along with David Kushner: Acura MDX

8. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon

Although “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” was made public in 1981, there is a 2010 remastered version available across streaming platforms (like Spotify and Apple Music). With such a mesmerizing and soothing melody, it’s not a surprise that John Lennon wrote it as a sort of lullaby for his son, Sean. The boy is even named at the end of the recording as Lennon bids him good night. As a member of The Beatles, Lennon continued to prove his ability to stand alone as an influential and compelling lyricist through “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).”

Best car for singing along with John Lennon: VW ID Buzz

9. Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men released their song, “Little Talks,” in 2011 and received a generous reaction from both its American and European audiences. While the track already provides us with something worth listening to, its lyrics go deeper than you might think. Switching between two perspectives, “Little Talks” portrays two lovers being trapped in the same house they lived in after one of them has passed away. The feminine voice is talking to either her deceased soulmate or herself as she slowly loses her sanity (this is up to the listener’s interpretation). In contrast, the masculine voice responds to her from the other side of the afterlife or, perhaps, it’s not really there at all. Telling a tragic story, the song is beautifully and yet hauntingly written. 

Best car for singing along with Of Monsters and Men: Kia Telluride

2021 Acura Tlx

Bring your music on a USB drive, which will make it sound even better, as this selection from ELS Studio premium sound system showed us. Photo: Scotty Reiss

10. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

Although “Life is a Highway” was originally recorded by Tom Cochrane in 1991, the Rascal Flatts made a cover of the song fifteen years later in 2006. As an exhilarating country rock track, this version is definitely worth the listen. Unfortunately, the group itself is no longer in production as it officially disbanded in 2021 but after nearly twenty years together, they made enough music for you to sing along to in the car for the rest of your drive. 

Best car for listening to Rascal Flats: Ford F-150

Inspired? Make Your Own Playlist of Road Trip Songs

Ten songs are not enough for a playlist for the road, so I added forty more for your entertainment. You can build on this playlist, or make custom playlists with these songs as inspiration. We like Amazon Music’s unlimited to 100 million songs… you’ll never run out of something great to listen to! 

Our Favorite Top 40 Songs For a Road Trip Playlist

  1. As It Was – Harry Styles
  2. Golden – Harry Styles
  3. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  4. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  5. American Pie – Don McLean
  6. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves
  7. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
  8. Tongue Tied – GROUPLOVE
  9. Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
  10. Malibu – Miley Cyrus
  11. Flowers – Miley Cyrus
  12. California Gurls – Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg
  13. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry
  14. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
  15. Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey
  16. All The Stars (with SZA) – Kendrick Lamar, SZA
  17. Electric Love – BØRNS
  18. Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo) – Wallows, Clairo
  19. Can I Call You Tonight? – Dayglow
  20. Steal My Girl – One Direction
  21. Perfect – One Direction
  22. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  23. 22 (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift
  24. Blank Space – Taylor Swift
  25. Style – Taylor Swift
  26. Someone To You – BANNERS
  27. broken – lovelytheband
  28. Midnight City – M83
  29. Wonder – Shawn Mendes
  30. Yellow – Coldplay
  31. Heat Waves – Glass Animals
  32. Cloud 9 – Beach Bunny
  33. Thunder – Imagine Dragons
  34. Maniac – Conan Gray
  35. Sunroof – Nicky You’re, dazy
  36. I Ain’t Worried – OneRepublic
  37. Coastline – Hollow Coves
  38. Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
  39. Daddy Issues – The Neighbourhood
  40. The Night We Met – Lord Huron

Have a thought or comment? Share it with us on social media! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And be sure to sign up for our email newsletter!


Car Shopping

Need a new car? Whether shopping for a new car or a used car we recommend using our car shopping service

Tire Shopping

Need new tires? We recommend Tire Rack

Car Repair

Need to get your car repaired? We recommend Repair Pal. Exclusively just for Girls Guide to Cars readers, call (877) 323-1708 to speak to RepairPal Car Genius for FREE automotive repair advice and if needed to find the right shop for you!

Ava Chovanetz attends Baylor University and will graduate with her Bachelor’s degree in December, 2023. She plans to pursue... More about Ava Chavonetz