It’s been said over and over again, but music is KEY to any road trip experience.  In my research I found countless blogs, websites and columns citing their own opinion on the best music to drive to – and not all by hip aficionados.  It’s one type of music that everyone has an opinion on (as evidenced by the variety of music you’ll see in the posts this week) – which I think is pretty neat.

I myself have been on several road trips over the last decade – Chicago to Los Angeles (and back), Chicago to Vermont (then Connecticut), and the doozy – Connecticut to Los Angeles.  I could wax poetic about my travels (gorgeous Colorado mountains!) or regale you with ridiculous stories (Julian’s Pizza & Karaoke in Gatlinburg, TN), but instead I’ll just impart you with a few music-related tips that I learned along the way…

The Grand Canyon

1.  Ask your friends to make you mix CDs.  Takes some of the weight off your shoulders, and you get to be continually surprised by the next song (predictability is death when you’re driving 300 miles straight through farmland).

2.  Songs that feel like a slow stretch at dawn are not actually great morning tunes – especially your 4th day on the road.

3.  If you have a 15+ hour drive to do in one day – no Disney music is allowed after hour 10 or after sunset – whichever comes first.

4.  You should be able to either sing along or dance to every track.  Preferably both.  These are the songs that will wake you up and keep you up (exception: see above rule regarding Disney)

Graceland

5.  Listen to what you love (not like) – songs you love now, songs you forgot you loved.  Really, you’ll probably be okay if you just stick to that.

And so with the above in mind, I present to you the least hip (but possibly the best ever) mix I have done thus far.

Road Trippin: Sing Your Heart Out (Just Keep Your Eyes on the Road) by tadpoles shouldn’t drive

Other suggestions from the interwebs:

The Doors “Roadhouse Blues”
Supertramp “Take The Long Way Home”
Roger Miller “King Of The Road”
Joe Ely “The Road Goes On Forever”
Barenaked Ladies “Alcohol”
Mika “Lollipop”
The National “Bloodbuzz, Ohio”
Camper Van Beethoven “Borderline”
Crash Test Dummies “Our Driver Gestures”
Journey “Oh, Sherrie”

Looking for more?  Well, you can pretty much just type any variation of “road trip music” into your search browser.  Or head to here to check out a cool series NPR did a couple years ago.

And I’m sorry about the captions on the video – but this is a great montage from a great (and unique) road movie.  The song is Gogol Bordello “Through The Roof ‘N’ Undergound” – it fits the tone of the movie perfectly.