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The Ultimate Playlist for your Spring Break Road Trip this Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Some of the greatest music of all time comes from film soundtracks: tracks that attempt to cohesively tie together the highs, lows, uncertainty, hope, and mood of the story.

Arguably, the same could be said for a good playlist. Especially for a long car ride, the music can make or break the ride. If you plan to do any traveling this spring, keep in mind my cardinal rules of AUX — a recipe for the perfect road trip playlist.

For the following sections, here are 10 “starter-pack” songs to allow the vibe of each section to be understood.


Now, popular songs are popular for a reason! Don’t be ‘too cool for school’ that you can’t kick it with classic pop hits. These songs should be general crowd-pleasers. Think of this section as the Goldilocks of the playlist, not anyone’s favorite, not anyone’s least favorite, but just right.

  1. “Kill Bill” by SZA
  2. “As it Was” by Harry Styles
  3. “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy
  4. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus
  5. “New Gold” by Tame Impala and Gorillaz
  6. “Lost in the Fire” by Gaesaffelstein and The Weeknd
  7. “Alien Superstar” by Beyonce
  8. “Die For You (Remix)” by The Weeknd and Ariana Grande
  9. “Lavender Haze” by Taylor Swift 
  10.  “Woman” by Doja Cat

    In my humble opinion, every playlist needs a few good throwbacks.

    1. “All Right Now” by Free
    2. “American Girl” by Tom Petty
    3. “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen
    4. “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
    5. “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp
    6. “Cryin’” by Aerosmith
    7. “Massachusetts” by the Bee Gees
    8. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
    9. “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
    10. “Lola” by The Kinks

    Okay, definitely have a good feel for the crowd before you pull out anything written by Lin Manuel Miranda. This move is a risky one, but if it pays off, it’s well worth it. If the crowd is iffy, I suggest a test run with the following:

    1. “The Schuyler Sisters”
    2. “Satisfied”
    3. “Take a Break”

    There’s always that one genre that is underrepresented. For me, it’s country. That being said, my friends seemed to find a song to satisfy the genre requirements that still allows everyone to look wistfully out the window.

    1. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

    These songs are ones that everyone can just chill out and sing along to. This is the most integral part of the road trip playlist and should take up the biggest chunk of time on your ride.

    1. “Malibu 1992” by COIN
    2. “Over My Head” by The Fray
    3. Literally any Maroon 5 song ever
    4. “The Reason” by Hoobastank
    5. “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia
    6. “She (feat. Frank Ocean)” by Tyler the Creator
    7. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye (c’mon who doesn’t like this song!)
    8. “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls
    9. “Glue Song” by beabadoobee
    10. “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths

    Variety is the spice of life, so I think I would be remised if some slow, sad, and brooding music wasn’t included in the list. That being said, this a cautionary tale — don’t make the dark and moody category too large, or you might end up super bummed out before your super fun travel plans.

    1. “Ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine
    2. “Rockland” by Gracie Abrams 
    3. “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo
    4. “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (Ten Minute Version)” by Taylor Swift
    5. “Scott Street” by Phoebe Bridgers
    6. “What a Time (feat. Niall Horan)” by Julia Michaels
    7. “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron
    9. “The Bug Collector” by Haley Heynderickx
    10.  “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” by Taylor Swift

      Most importantly, play whatever makes you happiest while traveling this spring!

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      Samantha Baldacci

      U Mass Amherst '25

      Sam is currently a Junior at UMass Amherst studying Biology and Psychology. She enjoys reading, listening to music, aimlessly scrolling on TikTok, and hanging out with friends.