Favorite Travel Songs

There’s something so calming and peaceful about being able to put in your headphones and get lost in your own private world that your personal musical playlist gives you.

We all have our favorite playlists to listen to depending on what we’re currently dealing with; whether it’s dealing with heartache/a break up, a playlist for working out, a playlist to motivate and inspire yourself, or a nostalgic playlist filled with old, cheesy songs from your youth (you know, before your music tastes had a real chance to evolve).

When I’m traveling, I’ve got a handy selection of go-to songs I like to listen to. The combination of listening to familiar songs coupled with being in a strange, new place is very comforting to me. I found that listening to my music in certain situations really helped ease me and enjoy my travels so much more, especially during uneasy or restless moments that everyone is bound to experience when traveling. During long stretches riding on the bus, sitting in crowded and hot subways, or times when I was in a crowded hostel room and I just needed “alone” time. Listening to music helped me relax and instead of me thinking, “Are we there yet??” or “Get me OFF this fucking subway”, I would think, “Hey, I’m en route to Italy right now…I can’t believe I can actually say that.” or, “I’m in London riding the tube…this is AWESOME.”

Below is a list I’ve compiled of my favorite travel songs. Some are songs very specific to my most recent trip to Europe, but some are songs that I will always love to listen to, no matter where I’m traveling.

This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks

Well this one is a bit obvious, isn’t it? The song is about traveling on a plane and wondering what will come tomorrow, after he arrives to his destination. The song even includes sound effects of a plane engine! How could you not enjoy this right before you’re about to embark on an adventure?

Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire

The opening verse is my favorite of the entire song:


They heard me singing and they told me to stop,
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock,
These days, my life, I feel it has no purpose,
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface.
‘Cause on the surface the city lights shine,
They’re calling at me, “come and find your kind.”

Sometimes I wonder if the world’s so small,
That we can never get away from the sprawl.

The lyrics reminds me of someone who is a bit of a wandering soul, someone who doesn’t want to be tied down to the typical, corporate 9-5 lifestyle that we are often fed into believing is the only way to thrive… I think the lyrics are about someone looking for something more out of life, although they aren’t totally sure where or exactly what that is. Reminds me of…me.


We Own The Sky by M83

The title says it all. This song is about freedom and independence, things I’ve found the most in myself when traveling.


LDN by Lily Allen

This song falls into the category of songs specific to my last trip. Lily has been one of my favorite singers since her debut, and I still listen to her music pretty much every day. I got unbelievably giddy on the bus ride from Wales to London, and as soon as we were within city limits of London, I could barely sit still in my seat. I was so excited to be seeing all of London’s famous sites in person, and listening to Lily, a Londoner, while looking out the window and taking in London for the very first time was spectacular.


I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li

Another song that speaks to my wanderlust. The song is about following someone who is wild and unpredictable, like a river. Whomever, or whatever, you may be pursuing might be impossible, but there’s still the journey, right?


Going to California by Led Zeppelin

Probably my favorite song of all-time. I’ve never been to California, but the message still remains the same. Going somewhere that you’ve romanticized and idealized about, even if your fantasies about the destination aren’t always realistic or what they turn out to be. Took my chances on a big jet plane…

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel

Another beautiful song about a lost and wandering soul drifting about…


Time To Pretend by MGMT

I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling raw in the prime of my life. A coming of age song reminiscing about simpler times in childhood, and the uncertainty of growing up and making your way in the “real world”.


Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Yeah, yeah…say what you want. But it’s a great song, and remember this was probably your favorite song at some point in your life.

In My Life by The Beatles

Pretty self explanatory, just listen to the lyrics. Gotta love The Beatles and their beautiful and simple music.


Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus by Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg

This one is most definitely specific to my time in Paris… I was laying in bed sleeping one night with the balcony door open to get a nice breeze, when someone driving was stopped at a light and this song was BLARING from the car. It woke me up instantly, and I laid there in dark, in my little apartment in Paris, listening to Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg serenade each other in French. C’├ętait magnifique!