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family road trip playlist

The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Playlist for Families

By Wendi Aarons

If you’re hitting the road this summer for a family car trip, you’ll no doubt prepare by packing a lot of snacks, games, activities, video games and maps. And that’s great, but don’t forget the most essential thing to arm yourself within the car—a road trip playlist! We all know that nothing makes the miles go by faster than soul-lifting music, and from my experience, it’s something to plan in advance of pulling out of the driveway. On our recent foure]-day-long road trip, we drove through many areas where there weren’t any good radio stations and/or no cell service, so we couldn’t rely on our recent go-tos of Pandora Radio or I Heart Radio to entertain us.

So here’s the AlphaMom Summer Road Trip Playlist. These are upbeat, retro, songs that the whole family can enjoy (meaning no boy bands, jazz or Anthrax) and they’re all tunes that everybody sorta/kinda knows. And after a couple of hours of singing along to our selections, we guarantee that you’ll be happy, relaxed and full of joy. Or at least a little less upset about that can of Pringles that just exploded in the back seat.

Happy trails!

(find our Summer Road Trip Playlist available on Amazon; Prime members stream for free)

1. Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers – Shake Your Tailfeather

2. Sammy Hagar – I Can’t Drive 55

3. Van Halen – Jump

4. Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’

5. Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire

6. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

7. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

8. Wooly Bully – Sam Sham and The Pharaohs

9. Dancing Queen – ABBA

10. Shout – The Isley Brothers

11. Route 66 – John Mayer

12. ABC – The Jacksons

13. Rockin’ Robin – Bobby Day

14. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

15. 867-5309/ Jenny – Tommy Tutone

16. I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

17. Feeling Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter

18. Copacabana – Barry Manilow

19. Atomic Dog – George Clinton

20. Lovely Day – Bill Withers

21. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

22. Born to Hand Jive – Grease

23. Centerfield – John Fogerty

24. Delirious – Prince

25. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

26. Faith – George Michael

27. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

28. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis

29. I Turn My Camera On- Spoon

30. I Wish – Stevie Wonder

31. Let’s Groove – Earth Wind and Fire

32. And, of course, the ultimate summer vacation road song, Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” from National Lampoon’s Vacation:

What could be better than singing “Arf, arf, arf, arf” while the family truckster zooms down the road? Safe travels!

Our Summer Road Trip Playlist is easily available on Amazon; Prime members stream for free

What are your favorite family road trip songs?

Photo source: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

More Advice for Traveling with the Family:

About the Author

Wendi Aarons

Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer and blogger who lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons. You can usually find her at

Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer and blogger who lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons. You can usually find her at Wendi Aarons, The Mouthy Housewives or starting fistfights near the 70% off rack at Target.

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We love Eddie Rabbitt’s “Driving My Life Away”….. need to keep rolling, listening to the songs on the radio……looking for a sunny day!

Enjoyed reading your list.
Alyzabeth’s Mommy

jessica carhire
jessica carhire

love this playlist! it would be cool if you make a track list on soundcloud or somewhere so we can listen online

Guest Contributor
Alpha Mom (TM)

Thanks, Jessica. I’ll look into putting it on Soundcloud. Thanks for the idea; unfortunately it may take some time since we’re a small operation. In the meantime, it’s currently available on Amazon streaming. If you’re a Prime member (hope you are!) you can listen to it online for free.