Road Trip Tips: The Playlist

When it comes to summer, there are a few things that come to mind: days at the beach, barbeques in the backyard, and fireworks on the Fourth or July. Another summer standard is the road trip, and in all these things including a journey on the highways and byways there’s one consistent ingredient: music. Although we obviously listen to music all year long, in the summer the car widows go down and the volume goes up. Even if you don’t know much about music, there hardly seems to be a person out there that doesn’t like some kind or another.

So herein lies the challenge with creating the summer road trip playlist: everyone likes some kind of music, but most people don’t like every kind of music. How do you work around this fact? Lots of planning, that’s how. There’s no reason to get into fights over the radio dial when with a little bit of thought you can create a playlist, or playlists that fit the bill for everyone. The goal is to play music that will enhance everyone’s trip, not ruin it.

If you’re really lucky, you and your traveling companions all agree on the same types or genres of music. If you’re even luckier, you’ll automatically know every song that your friends and family members can’t stand. However, if you’re unsure on either point, it’s a good idea to start out your trip by taking requests. If it’s your iPod (or CD player, or mixtape), begin by asking what songs on your device your friends love, and which ones they hate. Then avoid the songs that someone can’t stand.

If you’re not quite so lucky, your traveling companions will be split down the middle. Fortunately, there is a solution: throwback songs. If possible, pick out five or ten songs that first got popular several years ago, like the hits that still get played at every wedding and whose words are still so well-known that you and your friends could sing them with no prompting. Then, once you’ve satisfied everyone with nostalgia hits, pick out an equal amount of songs that are currently popular.

Most importantly, make sure everyone is represented equally, and don’t use shuffle because the six songs in your playlist that someone likes the least are going to play back to back to back, guaranteed.

Still unsure? Here’s a great example of a playlist to get you started.

1. Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows

2. Ain’t No Mountain High – Marvin Gaye

3. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

4. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show

5. Back in Black – ACDC

6. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

7. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars

8. Blank Space – Taylor Swift

9. Brighter Than the Sun – Colbie Callait

10. California Girls – The Beach Boys

11. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line

12. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

13. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

14. Counting Stars – OneRepublic

15. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira

16. Fight Song – Rachel Platten

17. Want to Want You – Jason DeRulo

18. Best Day of My Life – American Authors

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