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How to Create the Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

by Sydney Bear, The Sebel Host | July 18, 2018

From weekend getaways to epic interstate adventures, every kind of road trip needs a good playlist.

No matter how many kilometres you plan to cover, playing your favourite songs can make every moment of your journey more enjoyable. Whether you plan to shuffle through your iTunes library, stream Spotify or dust off your old CDs, choosing the right tracks is crucial. Here are some tips on how to create the ultimate road trip playlist.

Play Some Crowd Pleasers

Are you travelling with family? Or maybe you’re hitting the road with a group of friends? Unless you’re flying solo, take a moment to consider your travel companions’ taste in music. While it can be tempting to cater your entire playlist to your own musical preferences, try to include a broad range of songs.

Your spouse may not share your appreciation for country rock and the kids probably won’t want to listen to hours of classical symphonies. The trick is to mix things up a little. While you’re compiling your playlist, be sure to ask your fellow travellers what type of music they enjoy. By incorporating diverse genres in your playlist, you can avoid any arguments about song choices.

Don’t be afraid to throw in the occasional unexpected track to keep things interesting. If you’re mainly listening to chilled out lounge music, lift the mood every now and then with something fun like The Spice Girls.

Be Inspired by Your Destination

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to creating a road trip playlist, try using your surrounds as inspiration. For instance, the dusty highways found throughout central Australia provide the perfect setting for country songs. Travelling a little closer to the coast? Play some acoustic guitar to complement the seaside locale.

If you really want to get specific with your song choices, you can even break your playlist down by city.


Melbourne is renowned for its live music scene, so why not get in the mood by listening to some local artists while you’re on the road? Some of Australia’s most successful bands (like Crowded House and The Living End) are from this city, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty creating a Melbournian-based playlist.

It doesn’t matter whether you actually want to include a live music show on your list of fun things to do in Melbourne – just listening to some of the local artists can give you a feel for the city’s famously creative culture.


Nothing can enhance the excitement of Sydney quite like some upbeat tunes. Whether you want to bop along to a mood-boosting playlist for your entire trip or save the bubbliest tracks for your arrival, a road trip to this vibrant city is perfectly suited to catchy songs.


Driving through rural Queensland calls for a playlist filled with classic Aussie music. Before the bright lights of Brisbane appear on the horizon, make the most of your rural backdrop by playing some true blue ballads.


Driving to Pert h means passing some of the harshest landscapes in Australia. Perched on the coast of Western Australia, the city is bordered by the ocean on one side and barren desert on the other. Given its isolated location, road trips to Perth can last several days. To pass the time, why not listen to some of Perth’s best bands? Tame Impala, Birds of Tokyo and Troye Sivan all hail from Perth.


Venturing to Auckland is the perfect excuse to get to know New Zealand’s music scene a little better. From indie musicians like Ladyhawke and iconic kiwi bands like The Naked and Famous, be sure to add some local musicians to your playlist.


Golden Oldies

From Elvis to the Eagles, who doesn’t love music from bygone eras? The best thing about these songs is how well-known their lyrics are, so you can have singalongs to pass the time.

The Latest Hits

No road trip playlist would be complete without at least a few of the latest pop tracks. As fun as it can be to indulge your nostalgia by listening to old-school music, modern songs can be just as entertaining.

Classical Music

The perfect remedy to road rage, the soothing sounds of classical music can keep you calm while you’re on the road.

And the Road Trip Classics

Think you’re ready to make your own playlist? We can help get you started. The following tracks are always popular on road trips:

  • Big Jet Plane – Angus and Julia Stone
  • Take It Easy – The Eagles
  • Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  • Someone Like You – Adele (perfect for car karaoke)
  • On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
  • Literally anything by Beyoncé



For expert advice on booking a hotel for your road trip, get in touch with The Sebel Hotels & Apartments today. From Melbourne apartments to accommodation in more rural areas, we can help you find the perfect place to stay.



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