Creating A Road Trip Playlist

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#ad If you're heading on a road trip, be sure to check out these tips for creating a road trip playlist from

A few Thanksgivings ago, I drove from New York to North Carolina by myself. I don’t remember why, to be honest. There was a reason Pete wasn’t able to take the trip with me, and something that compelled me to have the need to go. I can’t recall any of the details. I can recall that Pitbull and Kesha’s Timber and Blake Shelton’s Mine Would Be You were the most popular songs because I heard them over and over as I changed the radio station.

This is why it’s way more fun if you create a road trip playlist. When I was planning a trip to California, that’s exactly what I did. I found as many songs related to California as I could (LL Cool J’s Going Back To Cali, Spitalfield’s I Love The Way She Said LA, etc.) and put them on a CD. Because yes, I went at a time when burning your own CD was still a thing.

I’m old.

Now, it’s so much fun for Pete to download music onto his phone and play it during our road trips. When we drove to Fayetteville, he downloaded a bunch of my favorite albums and played them the entire time I was driving. That made the drive fly by because I was able to sing along as I drove. When we went to Myrtle Beach last year, he downloaded my favorite album from one of my favorite bands, and played it the whole way down.

Creating A Road Trip Playlist

Figure out how long you’ll be driving.
The biggest plus for making a playlist versus relying on the radio is the lack of repeats. Top 40 stations basically play the … well, I suppose they’re supposed to play the same 40 songs over and over, but it seems like the same 15 on are replay. And that’s cool if you really like Demi Lovato’s new song, but I’m over it.

So, when you’re making your own playlist, be sure to figure out how long your drive is and then create a playlist that long — plus an extra 30 minutes or so in case of traffic — and then double it. You’ll want new tunes for the drive home.

Start with fast songs.
If you’re driving, you want some great driving music on your road trip playlist. You don’t want a string of slow songs to put you to sleep. I use a really similar method for the Spotify playlist I have to psyche me up while I’m working. I have a handful of really fun, fast paced songs that I know all the words to, so I can sing along and get hyped up.

Some of my faves on my playlist: Inspection 12’s cover of You Can Call Me Al, Fall Out Boy’s Hum Hallelujah, and The Who’s Baba O’Riley. When I can sing along in the car, it really makes the drive go faster. It’s a little distracting while I’m working, though. Like I really want to sing along, but I also need to concentrate or my posts will just turn into song lyrics.

Add a few new faves.
Maybe you’re not convinced the latest Macklemore song is your new favorite (it is), add it to your playlist. You’ll hear it and it will really stand out. From then on, it will remind you about driving to your destination and how fun your trip was. It’s a great way to make future you smile.

Be diplomatic.
If you’re driving by yourself, you can play all your own music. But if you’re driving with someone else, make sure you add some of their favorite songs to the playlist too — even if they’re only riding shotgun. You want everyone in the car to be happy because that will make for a much happier car ride.

Include your own songs.
Pete actually records his own songs. He has this very cool professional mixer and he can record every instrument for every track. It’s so much fun to be driving and one of his songs starts playing on our playlist. So if you write your own songs, definitely add them to your playlists.

Speaking of, do you create your own music? If so, check out the John Jesensky Scholarship, created by composer and screenwriter John Ross Jesensky. You have until March 2018 to enter. One student will be selected for a $1,000 scholarship. Get more details via the first link.

What other tips do you have for creating a road trip playlist? Be sure to leave them in the comments.