KQ’s Five Favorite Road Trip Songs

By Candice Wheeler @thediceler

Ahhh the start of summertime. There’s no better feeling than jumping into your car to head out to the cabin for the weekend — especially when you can fill up the three hour trip with your favorite rockin’ jams. When you have beer, boats and bonfires on the mind, there’s something special about putting together a playlist of your favorite pump-up songs aimed to make it the best road trip ever.

Check out our summer road trip playlist below, then click here to learn how YOU can win a pair of three day music and camping passes to Moondance Jam just by submitting your own favorite road trip song!

#5 Kenny Loggins - "Danger Zone"

No road trip playlist is complete without a tune from Kenny Loggins. Hell, the entire Top Gun soundtrack would probably put you in the perfect mood for a vacation. Plus, Kenny always makes the KQ girls go CRAZY! No matter the destination, a little Danger Zone is guaranteed to set your mind right for a weekend away. Just throw on those aviators and cruise! 


#4 Rod Stewart - "Every Picture Tells a Story"

Rod Stewart is usually a guy you want to sing along with, but Every Picture Tells a Story is one of those songs that make you want to quiet down and listen. Unlike the other songs on the list, this isn’t necessarily one you belt out and sing along to. It doesn’t have the most catchy or easy lyrics to memorize, making it the perfect song to meditate to on your summer road trip. I know and enjoy many of his hits, but I’m thankful to Bill in our digital department for showing me a song I’ve never heard before. It’s fun and fast-paced, and the vibe definitely makes me want to hang out with some type of potential love interest. Let’s just hope he has a sense of style as spot on as Rod! 


#3 Van Halen - "Panama"

Though I was never cool enough to tag along with the popular kids to Panama for spring break, I definitely got my fill by blasting Panama a zillion times in my car. Turns out, they’re the losers anyway, because this song is clearly about the car not the city  — David Lee Roth’s as a matter of fact. Until I get the chance to name my own sweet ride that I’ll pick up hot guys in, this gem will be forever one of those “fake it till you make it” songs for me. Even if I’m headed to an awkward family reunion, it’s going to inspire me to make it a party somehow. 


#2 Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"

If you’ve ever seen Wayne’s World, you know what a jammer Bohemian Rhapsody can be riding down the highway at 60 mph. Not only do you know every word to this famous anthem, you know the instrumentals too, and it’s almost impossible not to theatrically act them out when this song is kicking at high volume. Just make sure not to air guitar your way into an accident at the 4:12 minute mark…


#1 Billy Idol - "Mony Mony"

Music from the 80s always seems to fill up my personal playlist when I’m on a long drive. The last thing I want to do is get sleepy when I have to drive a long way, which makes this decade perfect because I don’t think anyone slept during the 80s. Mony Mony is the quintessential driving with your windows down type of song. Christina from the station calls it the “ultimate toe-tapper” song and I couldn’t agree more. Plus, Billy Idol is HOT HOT HOT! And who doesn’t want to feel a little frisky as you head out for a weekend of sipping ice cold beers on the pontoon? YES PLEASE! 


Tell us your favorite road trip song for a chance to win a pair of music and camping passes to Moondance Jam happening July 19-21 in Walker, MN!

Honorable Mentions

The Eagles – “Peaceful Easy Feeling”

Jackson Brown – “The Pretender’

Journey – “Be Good to Yourself”

Motley Crue – “Kickstart My Heart”

Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”

Tom Cochrane – “Life is a Highway”

Simon and Garfunkel – “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”

Gregg Allman – “I’m No Angel”

REO Speedwagon – “Time for me to Fly”

Aerosmith – “Lightning Strikes”

Bob Seger – “Old Time Rock n Roll”

KQ Contributers

Andrea Erickson

Kelly Nelson

William Schmit

Christina Madson

Candice Wheeler

Jeff Berman