Skip the commercials and white noise of poor reception on the radio when you’re behind the steering wheel, the music you’re listening to will set the tone for your journey! Whether you’re on the way to work, out for a night on the town, taking a scenic drive, or preparing for an epic road trip, music is a defining factor in how we interact with the world around us, influencing our moods and our movements wherever we are. If I hear Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat playing, it’s guaranteed you’ll see a driver’s seat dance party. Ray Charles singing Let the Good Times Roll, or Chuck Berry’s No Particular Place to Go, means that I’m leaning the seat back to cruise, and nodding along with the bass. Don’t wait until the last minute to stock up on something as essential as your driving tunes for your next road trip. Here’s a few of my favorites to get you started!
Willie Nelson, Dire Straits, and Tom Petty, for me at least, are classic examples of musicians that provide the perfect soundtrack to the beginning of an extended car ride. Sliding on a pair of sunglasses on a bright day, with all the windows rolled down, letting the breezes circulate the rush of air, as the car shifts into first gear, you ease your feet off the clutch and break before hitting the gas. Imagine driving through Switzerland’s Furka Pass, or along the Great Ocean road in Australia in a high-performance vehicle, hugging the corners of hairpin turns with the music blasting, just Running Down a Dream. Perfection.
Travel Playlist: The Best Rainy Day Driving Music
While I wish you all the sunshine in the world on your vacation, there are going to be those occasions Mother Nature’s will is to rain on your parade. On a positive note, rainy days can make excellent travel days if you have a fair distance to go, and they decrease the guilt you’d feel at not being able to luxuriate in the outdoors on a brighter day while traveling. The United Kingdom is one destination that is notorious for intermittent showers that will have you running for cover at a moment’s notice. When it’s drizzling, a little Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr. and Billie Holiday are a soulful compliment to the weather, and encourage you to keep your eyes out for the Sunny Side of the Street as you tour this beautiful country, rain or shine.
Update Your Travel Playlist Locally
Another factor to consider is that you can increase your musical education while traveling by checking out live shows and pouring through the shelves and bins of record stores to freshen up your playlist of driving tunes with some local flavor. If you have some friends and family at home who have appreciative ears when it comes to trying new music, don’t forget about bringing some goodies back to them!
Being together in a vehicle for any duration can go one of two ways; It can take your relationship/friendship to a whole new level, cementing you as eternal travel buddies, and it can also take its toll if your travel ways do not gel well. We’ve all stepped into a vehicle for the first time to hitch a ride with someone and as the engine roared to life, suddenly felt that our ears were under assault. If you plan on having travel companions for an extended period of time, be as considerate of others as you’d like them to be to you. Consult with each other in advance regarding your auditory expectations. If you find that some of your musical tastes do not seem to be overlapping there’s always a middle ground. It’s the rare occasion that you won’t be able to find an equitable solution, so that all parties can create car-aoke memories together to last a lifetime.
Music is the tap on the shoulder that says, “You were here at this time, at this place. This is what you saw, and how you felt.” Sometimes you’ll choose to relive those moments on your own, and others will come unexpectedly, so remember, when you’re choosing the tunes to take along, that it’s the soundtrack to your next adventure!
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