How to Create a Music Playlist for a Roadtrip in Your New Car

How to Create a Music Playlist for a Roadtrip in Your New Car

Road trips are modern-day adventures and can be a fun part of a vacation, a way to amp up before a job, or a means of decompressing after a family event. It’s even more exciting when the road trip is in your new car. Every journey is unique, even if the road is familiar, and having a good playlist can make all the difference. Creating a playlist might feel a little daunting, especially if you have a car full of people to please. But answering these five questions will help you find your way.

Who Is Coming Along?


Make a list of all the people who will be enjoying the tunes and find out what they like. This might be pretty easy if you already know everyone who will be coming along. If you aren’t sure what everyone will like, reach out and ask about their preferences both for and against certain artists, genres, or types of media. You can streamline the process with an online survey if you like. You might want to include questions like:

-What song do you like sharing with others the best?

-What song belongs on every road trip playlist?

-Do you like to sing along or listen quietly?

-Do you enjoy playing air guitar or other air instruments?

-What would you do if a song played that you didn’t like?

-Do you prefer music or podcasts?

Feel free to add to the list according to what you might already know about your travel companions. Getting an understanding of preferences is a crucial first step toward success.

What Else Will We Do?


Listening to music or podcasts isn’t the only thing to do on a road trip. Your playlist might need some timing gaps for when additional sounds aren’t appropriate or have some good “background noise” tracks that fit the mood of the activity. Some people might want to play games or have discussions. This is another question you’ll need to ask your car mates about.

Where Are We Going?


Let the destination shape the mood or genre of your playlist, especially if the destination is recreational. An outdoorsy or camping trip to the mountains might inspire some folk music or a podcast featuring scary camp stories. A trip to the beach could inspire reggae or throwback soundtracks from beach movies.

When Will We Get There?


Knowing the length of the trip, both arrival and return will tell you how long to make your playlist. Be mindful of seasonal traffic affecting those times. Sitting in traffic in silence doesn’t usually make for a fun time. Plan on making separate playlists for each trip so that you and your fellow travelers don’t get bored. But putting a favorite song or two on both lists can be fun. We all have those tracks we can’t hear often enough.

Why Are We Going?


The reason for the trip can set the tone for your playlist. Going on a vacation with friends might have a party vibe, with some fun music to match. A family road trip with children might mean cartoon sing-along songs, especially if you are on your way to a theme park. Road trips for work might mean upbeat music to help keep energy high on the way there with relaxing tracks to unwind on the way home.

This might seem like a lot to consider, but putting some thought into your playlist ahead of time will pay off. When the whole trip flies by in a blink because everyone was having fun, you’ll feel like a road trip hero.

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