On one of my favorite road trips of all time, I made an awesome playlist that spanned the duration of the drive. To this day, whenever I hear a certain song, it takes me back to the moment it was playing through the car speakers and my friends and I were belting out off-key lyrics. Was it the playlist that made the trip so awesome? I like to think so, but I’m probably not right. Still, it certainly didn’t hurt. Actually, a good friend just found out that she was awarded the Hope Scholarship on the day of our trip, so that definitely lightened the mood.
So, if you’re planning a road trip soon, consider donning your maestro hat (do maestros wear hats?) and putting together an awesome playlist of your own. Here are a few ideas:
Arrange by year – Start with the 50s (great time in music) and create a different CD (or groupings of songs on an mp3 player) for each decade. You can either mix it up or play them as they were introduced from the 50s all the way until today.
Songs about travel – There are tons of great travel-worthy songs. Life is a Highway and Leaving on a Jet Plane are just two examples of an almost endless supply. Be creative and fill your playlist with songs to celebrate the journey.
Destination songs – This one might be the most challenging, but it’s the most fun (in my opinion). If you’re going to a popular place, like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, you should be able to fill a few hours with songs about your destination to get you excited to get there.
Songs about going home – Your road trip isn’t final just because you checked out of the hotel. You’ve still got to get back, right? Fill your return trip playlist with songs about going home and missing home. It’ll help shift the mood from being sad about the end of your vacation and happy about seeing friends and family again.
Road trips can be so much fun, but they can also be the downfall of a vacation that would have otherwise been good. A bad time in the car can spiral into arguments that last the entire trip. So, the bottom line is that you should really be on your best behavior.
Here are some things you should avoid at all costs. When you’re on a road trip, you definitely don’t want to:
Give someone a stupid nickname. You might think it’s funny, but it could create tension in the car. Is it really that important to make fun of your friend? Come on, now.
Ask probing questions about how your friends feel towards you. Maybe one of your girls has been distant lately and you want to find out why. Just stick that one in your back pocket for now. A road trip isn’t a time to have deep personal conversations.
Force people to do things they aren’t comfortable doing. Maybe you want to stop for Thai food and your pal is a boring and picky eater. Don’t just drive to the restaurant and force him to deal with it. Sure, he might end up liking the food, but he also might end up with a stomach ache that will haunt all of you for the rest of the ride. You know the kind.
Talk about religion or politics. The only exception to this rule is if you are one thousand percent sure that you all share the same views. Nothing can ruin a good time more than a heated discussion about one of those topics. People can get a little nutty while defending their views. For that matter, don’t bring up any topics that might hit close to home with any of your passengers. Keep the mood light; talk about the weather if you must.