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What could be better than blasting down the open road, with the wind in your hair (literally or metaphorically), some friends beside you, and a vision of adventures and excitement stretched out ahead?

A road trip can easily be one of the most fun and interesting ways of spending a vacation. Many people seem to have a natural, innate love and fascination with travelling and seeing new things, and having people with you to share the experience only makes it all the richer.

Of course, for a road trip to meet it’s full and glorious potential, you’ve got to do a bit of preparation. Maybe you need to renew your van insurance, stock up on snacks, or pack a first aid kit. One thing you definitely need to do, at any rate, is to choose the soundtrack for the journey.

Here are some wise tips for creating the perfect soundtrack for your road trip.

Keep it energetic and upbeat

There’s a reason why you probably don’t put on your pyjamas, crank the heating up to full, and drink a warm glass of milk before you embark on a long drive.

While playing mellow music isn’t exactly the same as doing all of the above, the consequences can be identical — as in, you might get a bit too comfy and doze off on the road, which by all accounts is a deeply unfortunate and undesirable thing to do.

Keep your road trip music energetic and upbeat. Make it the kind of stuff that gets the blood pumping, the adrenaline racing, and gets you feeling like the kind of queen of the world.

Be sure the music isn’t too melancholy or outright depressive, either. Even if it’s fast and loud enough to keep you awake, the mood in the car might drop after one heartbreak ballad too many.

Try to include tracks that appeal to everyone in the car

Doing a road trip with friends or other loved ones is, to a large degree, about creating a shared feel-good vibe that everyone can participate in fully.

You want to be feeding off of each other’s energy, sharing jokes and stories, and just generally having the best possible time.

One step for helping this process along is to include tracks in your playlist that appeal to everyone in the car. If half the car hates a certain type of music, and you play it aggressively for the entire trip, don’t be surprised when things get a bit awkward.

Go for songs that bring up good associations for you

A lot of the power of good music is in its ability to transform us back to the time or place when we first heard it, or when it resonated with us most strongly.

To get the most out of your playlist, throw in some songs that already bring up good associations for you. Tracks that were playing during some of the high moments of your life to date, or which remind you of them.

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