Thursday, June 8, 2023


7 joyful road trip songs to start your journey

Welcome to Road Trip Playlists, my new semi-regular column here at!

I came up with the idea after having a lifetime of friends come to me for music recommendations. My business partner has even called me the “DJ of his life.”

That’s because I have a WIDE range in musical tastes that friends in the music industry nurtured and expanded in me since I was in my early 20s. In addition, with years spent traveling the globe as an entertainer, I was exposed to a lot of different styles of music and a lot of bands. Not to mention I had an ENORMOUS music collection, even in the days prior to streaming services. This was thanks in no small part to my dear friend, the late great Gary Stewart, who came into my life early when he worked for Rhino Records and remained a dear friend until his untimely death in 2019.

Likewise, I am the one frequently asked to put together playlists for various events and celebrations.

And creating playlists is lots of fun for me!

The other reason is I already have a personal road trip playlist that is more than seven hours long.

For this column, I will try to pick songs in a variety of styles/genres. I will also try to mix it up with songs you probably already know and love along with others you may have never heard of.

For this first road trip playlist I wanted to focus on joyful songs to get your trip started.

These are the songs that spark excitement and anticipation of what’s to come on your road trip. Many of them are songs the whole family will sing along to. And no matter how well the overall trip turns out, these songs will at least get it started on the right foot.

If you have other happy travel songs that fit this category, drop them in the comments below. In the meantime, turn up the volume and take a listen to the happy tunes below.

Here’s a quick peak of what’s on today’s Road Trip Playlist

  • Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham
  • On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
  • I Need to Go Somewhere by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
  • Let’s Drive Away by Eleni Mandell
  • Shot Gun by George Ezra
  • Open Road by Sicard Hollow (no relation, that I know of)
  • On the Road to Find Out by Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham

Road trip or not, Lindsey Buckingham’s Holiday Road is one of my all-time favorite happy songs. You might remember this one from the soundtrack to National Lampoon’s Vacation, in which Clark Griswold and family take a road trip to Wally World. Lindsey Buckingham’s catchy tune and joyful lyrics about what might be down the holiday road still hold up today.

On the Road Again: by Willie Nelson

One of Willie Nelson’s biggest and most enduring hits has become an American anthem. What better way to hit the road than with this song? Especially if you are heading to a music festival! May you and yours find love in making music with your friends, even if you only clap along.

I Need to Go Somewhere: by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

If you have been getting itchy feet over the winter, you will surely relate to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ joyous country song I Need to Go Somewhere. Drew and his band certainly “get it.” Their album of the same title even features an Airstream on the cover.  Let’s go!

Let’s Drive Away: by Eleni Mandell

Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell’s Let’s Drive Away shares some of the same spirit as I Need to Go Somewhere. Somehow Eleni manages to keep her song upbeat and joyous, despite encountering some serious road trip obstacles. Love prevails!

Shot Gun: by George Ezra

George Ezra has “got to hit the road” and he calls shotgun! This song perfectly personifies the sheer joy of carefree summer travels undertaken “under the hot sun.” When do we leave?

Open Road: by Sicard Hollow

The joys of an open road stretching out before you get a creative bluegrass treatment by Sicard Hollow in this little-known upbeat road trip song. This band deserves more exposure than they get. I love their progressive and innovative takes on traditional bluegrass and this song is a terrific example.

On the Road to Find Out: by Yusuf (Cat Stevens)

I will close out this joyful songs road trip playlist with Cat Stevens’ classic On the Road to Find Out. Why? Because no matter where you travel, near or far, the experiences will change you. Even the most resistant of people will learn and grow. That’s what travel does.

I chose the original version of this song for this playlist because even though the road holds some potentially scary lessons, the song keeps its tone upbeat.

For its 50th anniversary, Yusuf (formerly known as Cat Stevens) completely re-recorded his iconic Tea for Tillerman album, which this song is from. I love the new version, too, and we may feature it in an upcoming road trip playlist. This one has a decidedly darker tone than the original, which shows just how much arrangements and production can transform a song. Almost as much as travel can transform a person!

What are your favorites? What other joyful songs would you add to this journey’s start road trip playlist? Drop them in the comments below.

Coming next time to Road Trip Playlists


Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard is the author 8 published books on topics as diverse as US Citizenship to Cannabis Cooking. Cheri grew up in a circus family and has been RVing on and off her entire life.


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Calvin Wing
1 month ago

This is a great list! Keep up the great work!!
We load up the CD player (yea, we’re old and so is our truck) with John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads, Gary P Nun’s London Homesick Blues, Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr Bo Jangles, Jimmy Buffet ‘s Come Monday, Jefferson Airplane’s…….

Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  Calvin Wing

Hi, Calvin. Great song list! Speaking of John Denver, my nickname is Mountain Mama. The license plate on my ’97 T-bird is MTNMAMA, and on my ’75 Suburban is MTNMOMA. The license plate holders say, “I’d rather be in the mountains.” And I have 18+ acres of beautiful, semi-remote, undeveloped mountain property spanning Index Creek, a 45-minute drive from my home north of Seattle. Have a great day! 😀 –Diana aka Mountain Mama at

Kelley Miller
2 months ago

No RV trip is complete without Traveling Robert’s “Riding in My RV”, “Driving to the West”, “Driving to the East” and other great songs that he writes for his YouTube channel. Very catchy tunes.

Kelley Miller
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheri Sicard

I forgot to mention “I Need to Go Somewhere” by Drew Holcolmb & The Neighbors. Very cute song about travel.

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelley Miller

Hi, Kelley. I thought that sounded familiar. Emily wrote (actually, raved) about that song in Oct. 2021: Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at

Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheri Sicard

Yep. When Kelley mentioned it I just wanted to put in a plug for Emily’s post. 👍 Love these lists, BTW! Great job, Cheri! 😀 –Diane

Richard Chabrajez
2 months ago

What fun!
We’re sitting in Trailer Village at the Grand Canyon and listened to them all!
You’re our new favorite segment in the Newsletter!

T. Hudson
2 months ago

Thanks, Cheri! My musical taste is all over the place, as well. Great suggestions, can’t wait for more!

2 months ago

Thanks Cheri.
Clearly; “On The Road Again” by Willie has to be #1. and at #2 for our travels, “Tijuana Taxi” or any other of the H.A. and the “Tijuana Brass” faves.
I’m a Spotify user as well, it’s great platform.

Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thanks, Cheri! I enjoy playlists and look forward to listening to this one.

G Smith
2 months ago

We take six week road-trips in the Spring and Fall. It’s our tradition to play Holiday Road as soon as we hit the freeway.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

Not sure how this tradition got started but we ALWAYS play “A Summer Place” first thing in the morning on our first wake up on the trip. This has been going on for over 20 years.

Cheri Sicard
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

A Summer Place by the Percy Faith Orchestra — a true classic. It’s definitely on my summer playlist!

1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

“A Summer Place” always conjures up the memory of driving to work 70+ years ago in my Corvette convertible on a misty morning on a back country road. It was a magic moment never to be repeated.

Steve Comstock
2 months ago

Great idea! Making notes…

2 months ago

This is great…..I look forward to more recommendations …..thanks for sharing your favorites!

2 months ago

Good idea. Any way you can get it to come up as a playlist? Or is that something I should know how to do?

Cheri Sicard
2 months ago
Reply to  Betty

Sorry I don’t think I can share it as a playlist and have you all be able to listen to the whole song. I have Spotify, so it is easy to make playlists there and I have a LARGE road trip playlist (that I will pull from for these articles). If you have Spotify, I think I can share that or that it is public. But I am not sure how to do it either, but if anyone knows I am happy to share it.

Karen Graybill
2 months ago

Absolutely loved this! Thank you!

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