Andrew Johnsen runs the rule over what you need in possibly the most important and disputed part of the summer - the road trip playlist.

What's the most important component of any road trip over the summer?

It's not making sure you've packed everything, though you don't want to forget the key to the beach house. It's not having a good supply of snacks and fluids. It isn't even having a spare tyre in the boot for those unwanted bumps in the road.

Nothing usurps the music playlist in terms of vitality. The right driving anthems set the tone for an unforgettable summer and you can't really go wrong. You could drive in silence but that seems about as fun as your car overheating.


Whether you want a chill vibe with the sounds of Jack Johnson, a rock concert with AC/DC or Bruce Springsteen, a rap masterclass with Chance the Rapper or the pop summer bangers of Calvin Harris, nothing brings the car together more (except maybe for punch buggy or car cricket).

If you want to start your trip with a laid back song, you can't go wrong with Six60's Finest Wine. There's nothing quite like a bit of Kiwi music to kick-start your roadie to Raglan (or wherever you're setting up shop).

An acoustic song detailing some of the best parts of summer: a few drinks, good food and not worrying about the clock while you're with someone special. Give it a little time and you'll be harmonising a la James Corden in Carpool Karaoke.

Sometimes a soothing voice is just what you need to end any backseat scuffles or quell any arguments about that missed exit – and that's what Teeks brings to the table with his poignant rendition of If Only.

Soul and passion well beyond his 23 years, Teeks is the next big thing in New Zealand music and If Only equals both the complexity and simplicity of a roadie. Could start some conversations about unrequited loves from high school, but hey, what else are you going to spend those six hours in the car doing? I spy?

If you want to go a different route, one more of the "sing loud, proud and out of tune" variety, The Proclaimers' I Would Walk (500 Miles) is a great starting point.

Yes, the "da da da" song. The one that everyone sings "da da da" at the wrong time. This ludicrously catchy song is a hit for a reason and can bring together a group of people like almost nothing else. It doesn't take much to pick up the lyrics and trying to imitate the Proclaimer's Scottish accents will bring fits of laughter on those hot summer afternoons.

Or how about the Eagles? Sure they had their issues along the way (synonymous with a lot of family road trips) but Take It Easy quells that nonsense. A quick but mellow ode to romance of the road, where a world of troubles - romantic or otherwise - can be thrown away at the sight of a girl in a flatbed Ford. The line "don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy" adds to the tension breaker feel to this classic.

The ultimate loud and proud song, however, has to be Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. Not even Glee or thousands upon thousands of tone deaf drunkards at a karaoke bar can ruin this belter. The car may fill up with initial groans and heavy-handed requests to change it but once the chorus hits, you'll want to hold onto that feeling.

If you're more of the hip-hop/rap persuasion, there's plenty of quality bars on offer.

The likes of Childish Gambino with the uplifting chorus of 3005, Chance the Rapper's joy, hope and psychedelic wonder-filled Good Ass Intro or the 2Pac and Dr. Dre collaboration California Love will lift the mood of any dreary motorway logjam. You could even attempt to perfectly nail the Busta Rhymes verse in Chris Brown's Look At Me Now (have the lyrics handy though, it's a tongue-twiser!).

Even modern pop music has its place on the windy roads – take Lorde's sophomore hit Green Light for example. Lorde somehow finds an interesting middle ground in pop that's not quite obnoxiously bubbly or depressingly sombre. Calvin Harris' Summer, Young, Dumb and Broke by Khalid and Bad Liar from Selena Gomez also satisfy any top 40 cravings.

But what is the best road trip song? The quintessential, must-have loaded into your Spotify playlist, let your hair down holiday starter?

Born to Run - the definitive road trip song.

No summer roadie would be complete without the throaty passion that is Bruce Springsteen's voice. Born to Run is one to blast heading down State Highway 1. A story of escaping is perfectly suited as you head to your holiday spot, an anthem of driving for the hills if there was ever one.

Whatever your musical taste, there's an abundance of tunes to carry you safely to your holiday destination. It may take forever to get to there, but life is all about the journey isn't it?

In the immortal words of The Boss:

"Someday girl I don't know when, We're gonna get to that place, Where we really wanna go. And we'll walk in the sun, But till then tramps like us, Baby we were born to run."