Australia is a country made for roadtripping. We have clean, decent roads with few tolls (we also have rugged four-wheel driving experiences), magnificent and diverse environments, and interesting characters of the human and animal variety. Seriously, watch out for drop bears 🙂
One of my earliest memories was taking a roadtrip from Sydney, New South Wales to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland during the summer holidays. I was 5. My parents, younger brother, uncle and his wife and I packed up the car and spent a few weeks travelling north staying at caravan parks along the way. It was the first time I held a koala, and first time (and not the last!) my brother and I donned matching t-shirts.
I was 8 when we’d roadtripped around Tasmania, Australia. We’d hired a car, and went from town to town eating delicious local produce and playing on the beach. This was also the first time I discovered motion sickness. To ease the suffering, my brother and I would sing along to music by Michael Jackson and The Beatles (a negotiated decision between parents and children); loudly and proudly to distract the thoughts and feelings of queasiness. And it worked!
Still a regular roadtripper, we’ve been fortunate enough to go cross-country in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and the United States, as well as across state/province and national borders in Europe and North America. This week, we’re making a 1600km (995 miles) journey from Perth, Western Australia to the Pilbara region in the state’s north. My preparation includes making sure we have enough music as well as cash, water, food and fuel. Of course, music is the most fun part. Here’s some of our favourite roadtrip songs:
SONGS FOR ROADTRIPS:
A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
Across the Universe -The Beatles
Another Travelin’ Song – Bright Eyes
Around the World – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Bangarang – Skrillex
Big Jet Plane – Angus and Julia Stone
Black Betty – Spiderbait
Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft Pharrell and T.I.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Bonfire Heart – James Blunt
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
Bright Side of the Road – Van Morrison
California (Tchad Blake Mix) – Phantom Planet
California Love – Tupac
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Chasing the Sun – Xaiver Rudd
City of Blinding Lights – U2
Crazy in Love – Beyonce (Original version)
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz
Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
Happy – Pharrell
Highway to Hell – ACDC
Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles
Hitchin’ a Ride – Green Day
Holiday – Madonna
Home – Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros
Hotel California – The Eagles
I Could Be the One – Avicii v Nicky Romero
I Feel Good – James Brown
I’m Gonna Be [500 Miles] – The Proclaimers
In the Summertime – Thirsty Merc
Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots
It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
Let’s Take A Ride – Justin Timberlake
Life in the Fast Lane – The Eagles
Life is a Highway – Rascall Flatts
Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars
Love Shack – The B52s
Movin’ Right Along – The Muppets
Mustang Sally – The Commitments
My Sharona – The Knack
Nowhere I’d Rather Be – Clean Bandit
Nut Bush City – Tina Turner
On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
Paradise City – Guns’n’Roses
Passenger – Iggy Pop
Riding Solo – Jason Derulo
Roadtrippin’ – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Runaway – Janet Jackson
Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna
Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones
Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo ft 2 Chainz
The Long and Winding Road – The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
These Books are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Ticket to Ride – The Beatles
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Waking Up in Vegas – Katy Perry
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
War – Tom Jones
We Built This City – Starship
Weekend – Black Eyed Peas
What I Like About You – The Romantics
Where the Streets have No Name – U2
Young Girls – Bruno Mars
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR DRIVING AND MUSIC SELECTION:
Don’t pick too many sad, romantic ballads – if you are the driver, at no point, do you want to be singing so passionately that you close your eyes like a true performer. These may include songs by Mariah, Celine, Whitney… (You get the picture). Crying whilst driving is also not recommended.
Same goes for songs that are too soothing or relaxing – Sleeping whilst driving is also not recommended. These may include Sade, Dido, Enya…
CDs? Make sure you have enough for the drive. Unless you’re happy to listen to one CD the entire way. At least, you’re guaranteed to learn all the words 🙂
Digital music? Ensure you have all your various USB/AUX/cigarette lighter cables, etc. Plug things in and make sure it all works before you start your journey. Also make sure you’re using a format that is suitable for your car such mp3.
Local radio stations – Google their frequencies. Or note the signage on the roadside. It’s usually sign-posted when you drive into town.
Stream music? You could stream using your phone. However, consider phone battery, data usage, and if you’re going remote, you might not have any cellular reception.
Have you got a travel companion – Do not get distracted with changing songs or radio stations, let the passenger do it. Also negotiate the music preferences (perhaps, you already know you like the same artists). Otherwise, you could be straying into the ways to annoy your travel companion. Click here for our tips to avoid blow outs.
Play games – If you get sick of your music, silence is ok. You can also play a variety of games, like ‘I Spy’ or alphabet games such as “I went to a picnic and I brought an ‘apple'”, ‘banana’ ‘chair’, etc… with the next person having to recite all the predecessors in the correct order before adding their own answer.
Take breaks. No matter if you have a deadline to get to your destination. Don’t forget to take breaks. Stop to change drivers, stretch, get fresh air, bathroom breaks, take photos, check out the scenery, eat.
Sing-a-long – Disney and musicals are the best! My favourites are Aladdin, Frozen, The Jungle Book, Rent: The Musical, and Jesus Christ Superstar. The kiddies will love this!
User friendly – If you’re travelling with others, pick music that is language and age-appropriate. You might want to leave behind your Death Metal or angry girl favourites when there are young’ns and grannies in the car 🙂
Was any of your favourites in our list? We’d love to hear what your favourite roadtrip songs are. Tell us here!
Bag Most Travelled