Travel Playlist: what to listen to no matter where you are

“Gonna travel, gonna travel wild and free, I’m gonna pack my bags because this great big world is calling me”

There’s an intrinsic link between music and travel. It’s difficult to think of anything in the world that has the same power over us as music does or an environment can. Some songs and places pump you up, calm you down, some force a smile on your face, give a flash of momentary light in the lows of unhappiness. Melodies and beautiful sights are salves for life’s emotional wounds. And when a song or place lifts you up, you might not want to forget how strong its hold is. Music holds memories. Moments watching the sunrise over vast landscapes are made even more profound by the right song – you’ll re-experience that moment whenever you listen to the song in the future so that you can recapture the spirit of travel. When I was on a road trip in Australia, the last song my friends and I listened to every day was “Follow the Sun” by Xavier Rudd. Each time I’ve listened to it since I can feel the same deep calm I felt staring out the window or at the sparking firewood. I can remember the endlessly changing horizons of the Outback. The song created for me a perpetual journey, with the awe and laughs I enjoyed throughout the trip always present within the quieted chambers of my mind and heart.


Music is also a tool for connecting with strangers in a new place. It might be a mistake to go on a trip without enhancing it with music, so consider turning on these tunes when you’re on your travels. And try listening to new songs when you get to a new place because you’ll easily associate the new feelings a song incites with new experiences. Whole albums are great, too, because they can set the mood for a trip.

Getting there:

Traveling can be a hassle sometimes, but in the drudgery of it all, you can remind yourself of how much fun it will be. Ignore it with Flashed Junk Mind by Milky Chance. Remind yourself to step out of your comfort zone on this trip and get Step Out by José Gonzalez stuck in your head.6481a6d190d7591e69706198ee176017

Daydreaming: When you are feeling romantic and daydreaming about the tall, dark, and handsome stranger you will bump into, listen to All I Want by Kodaline. The Night by Honne.

In the car: turn on Mac DeMarco. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Called Out in the Dark by Snow Patrol.

On the plane: Midnight by Coldplay. Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone. It’s Alright Now by Bombay Bicycle Club.

On the train: Believe by Mumford & Sons. Vultures by Folly and the Hunter.


There, wherever you may be:

Nestled in the woods: Dauoalogn by Sigur Rós. Adventures in Your Own Backyard by Patrick Watson. Leading Me Now by The Tallest Man on Earth.

Isolated on a beachy island: Crash into Me by Dave Matthews Band. Oceans by Coasts. Sunday Morning by Tamarama. I Was Somewhere Else by Luke Morris.

In your hostel: Bob Marley. Lou Reed. Kygo. Jason Mraz. The Beatles. It’s nice to put on universal songs that everyone will know so everyone can sing along.

On top of the world: On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons. Bastille. Oblivion by M83.


Sliding down the slopes: Starlight by Muse. Touch of Grey by The Grateful Dead.

In the wild: The National. Vapour by Vancouver Sleep Clinic.

Feeling homesick: Listen to musicians from your hometown. Paolo Nutini if you’re from Glasgow.

On the road again: Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd. Open Road by Roo Panes. Flume.  I’m Into You by Chet Faker.

Around a bonfire: Promise by Ben Howard. Slow Sips by Kyle Lionhart.



In front of art: Brian Crain. Fiction by The xx. Yiruma.

Taking a break: Jack Johnson. Tom Rosenthal. The Journey by Tom Misch.

Roaming the streets: George Ezra (If you’re in Budapest or Barcelona, you’ll have to be cheesy and listen to George Ezra.) Dark Matter by Andrew Belle. Man on Fire by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Skimming Stones by Seafret.

Stomping on leaves: Bullets by Tunng. Dead Sea by The Lumineers. Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men.

Returning home: For a bittersweet moment, Welcome Home by Radical Face.


If these don’t suit, here are other general suggestions in this playlist below:

But when you’re traveling to a new place, the sounds around you can be music too, and can be a sensational way to absorb the culture surrounding you – listen to the bagpipes in Edinburgh, the water splashing against the rocks in Santorini, the grinding of fresh coffee beans in Copenhagen, the gongs chiming in Shanghai, the jazz on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the snake charmers in Marrakech, the honking horns in New York. Even just the rhythm of your feet and heartbeat no matter where in the world you are.