WARNING: This is not a list of Christmas carols and Mariah Carey throwbacks.
Every good trip needs a bag of jerky, a shotgun rider, and the soundtrack of the season. And traveling for the holidays can be one of the most stressful, anxiety-inducing, exciting, or peaceful trips of them all! Whether it’s a plane to San Francisco or a pickup truck to Providence, these are the top 18 perfect additions to your mile long or mile high trip.
“American Pie” BY DON MCLEAN
The perfect place to start your trip: a little pie! Starting with dessert is always better, right? Don McLean has given us so many words to live by, and this song is 8 minutes of pure food for thought…and lyrics to scream your heart out to.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “Oh, and there we were all in one place, a generation lost in space.” Oh Donny, it’s like you could see our future all the from 1971.
“Punches” BY NOAH CYRUS
Of course baby Cyrus has killer pipes and the writing chops to match. She’s a Cyrus, duh! If this song doesn’t make you feel like you should own a car where the top comes off, then I don’t know what will.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “Like a map faded in time, like an old forgotten tomb. I know love has been unkind for the two of us.”
“11 Blocks” BY WRABEL
If you’re thinking about a casual drop in at your ex’s this holiday season, you’re not alone. Wrabel is a pop artist who was recently featured on “One’s to Watch” so, put this on the aux so you can say you liked him before it was cool.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “My mind won’t stop it’s just eleven blocks, I know that you’re home.”
“When The Stars Go Blue” COVER BY TYLER HILTON AND BETHANY JOY LENZ
So this song is originally done by Ryan Adams, but being from the era of One Tree Hill, I’m a sucker for this cover by the stars of the show. This song is the perfect mix of romance and heartbreak to fuel your trip.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “Where do you go when you’re lonely? Where do you go when you’re blue? Where do you go when you’re lonely, I’ll follow you when the stars go blue.”
“How” BY LISA LOEB
This bad boy just so happens to be featured on the greatest holiday film ever made, that’s right, Jack Frost with Michael Keaton himself. So if the road trip vibe doesn’t quite hit you, let the holidays get your soul on this one.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “I didn’t come this far for you to make this hard for me.” (could also apply to that one aunt who wont stop asking you about your nonexistent S/O, plans after college, and recent weight gain.)
“Landslide” BY FLEETWOOD MAC
Do I even have to explain myself on this one?
Iconic holiday road trip line: “Time makes you bolder even children get older, and I’m gettin’ older too.”
“Never Had” BY OSCAR ISAAC
Sometimes all we need is a little glimpse of the past to remind us what we want out of the future. And almost every time, that involves a person. Oscar Isaac is out here bringing us to our knees with this 2012 classic that totally deserves a hand out the window.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “I’ve been gone for so long now chasing everything that’s new. I’ve forgotten how I got here but I have not forgotten you.”
“Charli” BY EZRA SALMINE
This one is a brand new baby song by an up and comer and guys, click play. This Nashville artist is in the process of releasing his FIRST album and this single just dropped late September. It’s a serious windows down/heat up jam.
Iconic holiday road trip lines: “I wasn’t made for this town, I was made to drive” and “Every time I go back home I want a ghost that I can use.”
“All Too Well” BY TAYLOR SWIFT
I think we all know by now that there is a Taylor Swift song for every moment of life, and the song All Too Well pretty much covers all the emotions. Here’s a tune for the moment you find the one you wanna bring home to meet the family, and then when you get back into town and see your high school boyfriend at the local quick stop.
Iconic holiday road trip lines: “We’re singin’ in the car gettin’ lost upstate, autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place” and “There we are again on that little town street, you almost ran the red cause you were lookin’ over at me.”
“Never on the Day You Leave” BY JOHN MAYER
Mr. Mayer is also guilty of having a song lyric for life’s biggest moments, he and Swift even wrote a few about each other. But this sentimental tribute to a love lost will have you all in your feels before you even start the engine.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “No it’s never on the day you leave that you remember Christmas eve, and all the things you miss about her crazy family.”
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” BY THE PROCLAIMERS
Ok, it’s not a road trip unless you’re screaming “BA DA DA DA, BA DA DA DA” all the way to your destination like its 1988 and Ted Mosby is in your front seat. This is a must have no matter the weather, occasion, or means of transportation.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “When I come home, yes I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who comes back home with you, I’m gonna be the man who’s coming home with you.”
“She Used To Be Mine” BY SARA BAREILLES
As if Sara Bareilles wasn’t already a triple threat, she wrote a musical you guys! And the songs are obviously hits, both on and off broadway. This charming, empowering track is my personal favorite from the playwright’s collection. Oh, and she slips in a line about pie which is fitting being that the play is “Waitress,” but even better for our holiday playlist!
Iconic holiday road trip line: “It’s not what I asked for, sometimes life just slips in through a back door and carves out a person, and makes you believe it’s all true.”
“Planez” BY KATELYN TARVER
You may know Tarver better for her recurring role in the hit Nickelodeon series “Big Time Rush,” but that is all about to change. Her lyrics are fun, flirty, and totally worthy of a road trip singalong with 6 vinas piled into a 5 seater.
Iconic holiday road trip: “I could put you in the mile high club, what’s up let’s take a trip. Have you ever read the world is yours on a blimp?”
“Somewhere In My Car” BY KEITH URBAN
Oh, Keith. You had us at car. While I have often referred to this as “the song of the summer,” don’t be mistaken, this one will make you believe you’re a Grammy nominated rock star somewhere in your car, winter, spring, summer, or fall.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “In my mind we’re somewhere in my car and it’s rainin’ hard on the streetlight glow.”
“Nashville” BY DAVID MEAD
Whether you’re goin’ back to Nashville for a plate of turkey, or heading north for some holiday snow, this will bring all the scenery from your childhood to life as you pass those old road signs and traffic lights.
Iconic holiday road trip lines: “On a childhood highway through a night alone, I was barely breathing, I was crawling home” and “You’re a distant memory, you’re an exit sign, I was talking crazy on the driver’s side.”
“Hard Feelings/Loveless” BY LORDE
One of the hardest things to do is let go, especially of summer and all the memories you made during the most iconic season. But, there’s no better way to grieve than to crank up some Lorde and let your heart be free as it’s whisked away into the magic of Autumn.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “It’s time to let go of this endless summer afternoon.”
“Mistake Of My Life” BY CAEDMON’S CALL
We’ve all made a mistake or two in our lives, and sometimes those mistakes make us wanna turn around and crawl right back into our childhood beds and call it a day. This song will make you feel a little less alone in the biggest of your life’s mistakes, even the nostalgic meltdowns and not-quite-mid-life crises.
Iconic holiday road trip line: “I’ll leave the car running and I’ll leave half the boxes packed, for the slim chance I’ll go right back.”
“Always Remember Us This Way” BY LADY GAGA
Last, but MOST certainly not least, one of the many hits heard on the latest version of the film “A Star Is Born.” If you have yet to hear this song on the big screen, do yourself a favor and get to the theater. Lady G and Bradley Cooper have broken the cinema with the most gut wrenching, revolutionary performances. A must see, and a must hear.
Iconic holiday road trip lines: “So when I’m all choked up but I can’t find the words, every time we say goodbye baby it hurts” and “All I really know, you’re where I wanna go. The part of me that’s you will never die.”
Try adding some of these songs to your playlist to have new music to listen to, and download Hey! VINA to find new friends to share it with!