Components For a Good Road Trip Playlist

By Katie Phillips

As students begin returning home for the summer, a new need arises; there is perhaps nothing more essential to a college homecoming trip than a well-curated road trip playlist. My eight-hour drive from NC State to Georgia has made me something of a veteran of this process over the past months, and so I hope to impart my best advice for drafting the soundtrack to returning home, visiting newfound college friends or just a day trip out to the beach. 

The first key step is having a good flow between the energy of your song choices. Everyone starts their drive with excitement about getting on the road to somewhere new, but if you’re playing your recently liked songs on constant repeat, you’ll be burnt out before you’re halfway to your destination. To prevent this, make sure to plan accordingly. Start with those high-energy songs but leave room in the middle for slower songs to prevent exhausting yourself. I personally love saving up new music for these kinds of trips because it adds an extra layer of excitement to the trip.

Next, be sure to mix up your genres. Hours and hours of mid-2000’s midwest emo is fun in theory, but once the fifteenth Slaughter, Beach Dog song comes on I guarantee you’ll regret your choices. Long drives are a good time to focus on nothing but what you’re listening to, so use all that car time as an excuse to explore genres you haven’t had time to check out recently. Who knows, maybe you’ll come back with a new favorite band?

Perhaps the most important part of a playlist like this is to name it accordingly. Your trip is going to be filled with memories and you’ll want to remember the songs that played during those golden hour moments. Nothing is quite as painful as losing the song that was your anthem for whatever journey you went on. Enjoy the ride and if your playlist runs out early, hop onto WKNC to hear some tracks that will assuredly fit whatever adventure you’re setting out on.