Monday, 20 June 2016

Surviving Road Trips: Music

It's summer time which means long drives to the beach, cottage, camping or maybe even cross country! Either way there is always a common factor when driving anywhere with multiple people and that is trying to please each passengers musical taste(s).

Conventional rules say that the front seat passenger is the one who controls the musical flow, but how fair is that when the passenger is the drivers significant other? So to avoid ruining a beautiful drive and possibly some friendships here are some quick tips to please everyone musically.

1. Find a generic station on the radio

Seems easy enough, just work the radio dial and scope out a station that is playing top hits of decades, genres or whatever your group is mostly into. The major drawbacks of this are that stations come and go as you drive, you will need to find a new station once every few hours as you exit cities, towns and cross borders. Oh, and you will have to listen to non-stop commercials! While not ideal, using the radio is still a valid option for some background music.

Radio Dial
Sometimes you gotta go old school and just listen to the radio.

2. Share music time

Everyone has music on their devices, why not come up with a schedule so that everyone gets a turn listening to their own? Dedicate an hour or two to each passenger and pony up the auxiliary cord, Bluetooth signal, USB cable, or if you still have it (which is bad ass if you do) the cassette to 3.5mm adapter. The downside here is that you as a single person will have to listen to up to four other passengers musical preferences. And that can go either way depending on your friend’s taste in music. Again this isn’t ideal, but a better option than the radio.

3. Existing Playlists 

As an avid user of Spotify, I have to say that playlists are life savers when you don’t want to over think what to listen to. Simply pick a loose genre (example 80’s-90’s-00’s hits, Nu-Metal, Pop Punk, Country Hits) and search it up on Spotify. Magically, about 30 playlists pop up that you can now enjoy singing all the hits of. This works with many other genres, bands etc and is a pretty good road trip music solution. However you still have to swap playlists to cater to each passengers tastes. But at least it keeps the obscure tracks that no one has heard away. Downsides are streaming services use data, and we all know data is like gold right now! Tip: Consult with your buds beforehand and download a few Spotify playlists for offline play if you are a premium user. 

4. Creating Playlists

You can take this one step further and actually create your own playlist. You can do this on your computer, phone or through apps like Spotify. If you have extended time before your trip you could email all the other passengers and get them to send you the titles of 30 songs they’d love to hear. Compile them all up into a nice playlist, hit shuffle and enjoy musical freedom. This should cover everyone’s tastes and keep the music balanced (unless your shuffle is as stupid as mine and plays the same band 3 times in a row…c’mon shuffle get it together).

Spotify Logo
Spotify Logo, great streaming service for music.

5. Battle Royale Solution

Lastly you could of course have an epic road trip battle for dominance of the radio. The winner of whatever challenge you create takes full command of the tunes. Last one to need a bathroom break, rock paper scissors, elimination license plate games or pre-drive feats of strength? A true champion of the road deserves the glory of broadcasting the songs of their people, no? This solution isn't for the faint of heart (or ears) but still pretty awesome... if you win.

Regardless of which musical option you choose for your next road trip, just have fun and make the best of whatever may be playing. Remember that the drive and the music is just a means to get to your end destination!

Drive safe folks!


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