Every summer needs a road trip. I know, I know – I’m only just back from an intercontinental trip! But summer just lends itself to kinetics and adventures. The world is big and bright and warm, and you can just spin around and pick a direction and go and find something amazing.
The best-case scenario is obviously to check something new off your list on your trip. But taking time to visit old beloved haunts is refreshing too. So I’m taking a trip with a few friends to Jes’s Gatsby-esque digs on Long Island. Hopefully I’ll be able to pester some of our friends there for their bucket lists!
To get the whole summer road trip experience, you need a good playlist. It has to be the right mix of upbeat, airy, and energy, with some sprinkles of nostalgia thrown in.
Usually I’ve been using the website 8tracks to discover new music. 8tracks lets you pick a couple of moods or keywords, and then shows you user-created playlists. Pandora and Spotify are also good, though I like finding new songs and bands on 8tracks. If you road-tripping with friends, it’s fun to have everyone create their own mix of ten or so songs to play.
And if everyone starts singing along, well, that’s just magic.
Because, there’s more to this whole thing that just crossing lines off a bucket list. It’s just as much as about making memories and even if you don’t remember every spoken word or tear-worthy joke, you’ll remember the feelings.
For me, while my road trip playlist will vary with the years and seasons, there are few standards I’m sure to include on this trip!
– Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride from Lilo and Stitch
You always need Disney, and this movie OOZES summer. That said, you can’t have Disney sing-alongs without “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan either.
– American Pie by Don McLean
Because, it’s a classic and fun to sing. For that matter, Hotel California too.
– I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys
As a 90s child, what better way to get in the fun mood of your road trip than by blasting the bands of your youth? Spice Girls, Aqua, and Smashmouth will be making appearances as well.
– Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
Or something equally catchy like “California Girls” or shudder, “Friday” by Rebecca Black. “Gangham Style” if you want to dance along and not sing… unless you incidentally know Korean.
– Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
This really doesn’t need an explanation.