Each year my friend Menos Hiras and I go on an annual road trip, a tradition that started when we were both in our early 20s and has been going on now for almost 2 decades. Throughout the years other people have come on the trip with us too and these trips have really helped Menos and I to create some great memories. We have discovered over the years that the key to a great road trip is not necessarily the destination or the journey itself, but rather the music that you play as you are on the road. Music has the power to completely change your mood, it can enhance certain experiences and it is absolutely essential for any road trip. Menos and I usually take turns being DJ, and I love to put together playlists for the trip ahead of time. If you are taking a road trip and want to plan an awesome playlist, here is how to do it.
Playing For The People
Remember that any music which is played in the car should be for everyone to enjoy, there is nothing worse than someone playing music you don’t like over and over, when there is nowhere to go. With this in mind think of what your friends and family like, this doesn’t have to be music that they know, just music which they are going to really enjoy hearing. On that point don’t be afraid to play new music, this can help create memories attached to songs that people haven’t previously heard.
Stick to a Theme
I generally like to plan out 4 or 5 playlists a I use a different theme for each, an important aspect of any playlist. If the playlist is just a collection of random songs then you aren’t going to be able to create a mood in the car, which is why music is so important on road trips. No matter if it is sad music, country music, upbeat songs, hip hop or any other theme that you can think of, be sure that you keep that theme throughout the entire playlist.
Think about where you are going is also a great way to put your playlists together and it can also give people in the car a better sense of their journey. For example Menos and I went down to California last year and I put together 2 playlists of pure Californian music from the Beach Boys and surfer rock to some smooth West Coast rap. If you are heading somewhere which has a musical identity then you can tap into this to make a greta playlist for your trip.
For me a playlists shouldn’t be any longer than 20 songs, any more than this and people may get bored with it, or bored with the style of the music. Keep the playlists short but make multiple lists for the best experience when you are on the journey.