Create the Perfect Road Trip Playlist With Spotify’s Newest Feature

Spotify released its new “Soundtrack Your Ride” tool just in time for Thanksgiving travel.

Create the Perfect Road Trip Playlist With Spotify’s Newest Feature

Good music is a key component to any road trip, even if you’re only driving to grandma’s house this Thanksgiving.

Photo by Shutterstock

2024 update: this feature is no longer available.

Thanksgiving can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a good time to get away; for others, it’s a time to gather with family; but for nearly everyone, it involves some amount of travel and traffic (Thanksgiving is perennially one of the busiest travel times of the year when tens of millions of people hit the road). To get through it all, you’ll need a really good playlist.

Thankfully, Spotify just launched a feature called Soundtrack Your Ride, which generates a fully customized playlist based on your upcoming road trip route, your Spotify history, and your answers to a few questions.

How Spotify’s Soundtrack Your Ride works

To find out how long your trip—and playlist—will be, you’ll need to plug in your road trip’s start and endpoint. (The feature works in tandem with Google Maps, which the music-playing app has been integrated with for more than a year now.) Traveling from the Boston suburbs to the airport? You’ll get a 45-minute-ish playlist. Cruising the California coastline? You could have hours of music coming your way.

Next, you answer a few questions like whether you’re traveling solo, with kids, or with pets (dogs like music, too); what your favorite genre of music is (country); what your “drive vibe” is (mellow or high-energy, for example); what your ultimate “driving song” is (options include tracks by Vanessa Carlton and Queen); and what type of a car you’re driving. You can also skip any questions along the way and choose whether or not to include songs with explicit lyrics (because, kids). Spotify then uses an algorithm to spit out a playlist based on your answers to the quiz and listening history with the app, leaving one less thing for you to worry about while you drive.

Before you hit the road

It’s possible to make your playlist on the go because the feature is available on Spotify’s desktop and mobile versions. But try setting things up before you head out the door so you can access the playlist on the app once you’re on your way. Since you’re already preparing ahead of time, check out these tools for an easier road trip, while you’re at it.

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