August 27, 2018 / 4 Comments
No matter if you’re traveling on a road trip, flying somewhere on a plane, or simply taking a bus, listening to great songs about traveling will make your adventure more memorable, and will always take you back to that moment. Music is built on time, and it marks time, which is why songs about travel seem to have a way to captivate us.
Certain songs always take us back, as we’re sure it does for you, to moments where either we heard that song about a road trip, or something that brought out a feeling of freedom. It always leans us forward – as an inspiration to trips not yet taken or things not done. This is why music and travel go hand in hand, and having the right songs that are about traveling often make the journey – if not the destination.
Songs about traveling the world move our wanderlust toward new destinations and experiences, so find your favorite, or find a few, and hit the road!
Vienna – Billy Joel
“When will you realize, Vienna waits for you…”
Just try listening to this song in Vienna and not crying. Seriously.
Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra
“Just say the word and we’ll beat the birds down to Acapulco Bay…”
A classic from the legend, and a song that speaks to the carefree nature that the Rat Pack sang about… and lived with!
Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band
“When it’s time for leavin’, I hope you’ll understand…”
The Allman Brothers had a way to take you back to a time where selling booze out of your trunk and playing poker in someone’s basement seemed like perfectly honest trades.
Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“There’s something good waitin’ down this road…”
Get in any car on a clear day, find a long, straight road, roll the windows down, blast this song, and gun it! It’s some of the greatest music for a travel video that’s ever been written, with the low thud of the guitar string and the visions of the open road
Where the Streets Have No Name – U2
“I want to feel the sunlight on my face…”
Serious, heartfelt, and meditative, this song does what U2 always does to you – makes you want to picket something. It’s such a great, motivational song.
Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
“Ah, keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel…”
All the swagger of Jim Morrison and The Doors set in the mode of a rolling and rambling blues classic.
Volare – Dean Martin
“Let us leave the confusion and all disillusion behind…”
If the King of Cool doesn’t make you want to travel, nothing does. Another song about flying, and another song about traveling.
I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
“And I said, “Listen! I’ve traveled every road in this here land!…”
He went everywhere, and even listed them in the song! Perhaps no one paints the picture of dusty boots and a traveling soul better than the legend, Johnny Cash.
Highway Chile – Jimi Hendrix
“He left home when he was seventeen, the rest of the world he had longed to see…”
From the moment the guitar strikes its first chord, this song grabs you, throws you in a car, and says “just drive”. Jimi Hendrix was always an artist that made me curious about the world, and Highway Chile is a great song about traveling.
Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn
“Put on my blue suede shoes, and I boarded a plane…”
Cohn’s biggest hit makes you long for the days of walking the streets of Memphis in the days before Graceland.
Hotel California – The Eagles
“Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light. My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim. I had to stop for the night…”
One of the greatest songs ever, it’s utterly mesmerizing and enchants the vagrant heart to find somewhere else – somewhere new.
Going to California – Led Zeppelin
“Took my chances on a big jet plane, ever let them tell you that they’re all the same.”
If you’re broken hearted and thinking about California, this Zeppelin hit will seal the deal.
Drive – Incubus
“But lately I am beginning to find, that I should be the one behind the wheel…”
A classic that is introspective and expansive – exactly the right ingredients for a traveler.
New York State of Mind – Billy Joel
“I know what I’m needin’, and I don’t want to waste more time…”
You just can’t listen to this song without thinking of the grandeur of the Big Apple.
Sailing – Christopher Cross
“Just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free…”
Something about this song just makes you feel like you’re on a sailboat with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and jorts.
Kokomo – The Beach Boys
“Now if you want to go and get away from it all, go down to Kokomo…”
One of the most enjoyable and hip songs from a band that is timeless.
Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver
“Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…”
John Denver never wrote a bad song. This one is no different – just a dreamy, gorgeous masterpiece and a great song for traveling.
Big Old Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band
“I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on, you know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around…”
A big, tough, 70s rock song that makes it impossible to sit still.
Roam – B52s
“Roam if you want to, roam around the world…”
A fun, bouncy classic that just begs to be listened to on plane – just not while you’re trying to nap!
Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight
“Yeah, said he’s goin’ back to find, ooh a simpler place in time…”
A classic that seeps of southern dust and old school hip – performed by a soul legend.
Desert Rose – Sting
“I dream of rain, I dream of gardens in the desert sand…”
You can’t stop Sting, you can only hope to contain him.
Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran
“You know, she played fiddle in an Irish band, but she fell in love with an English man…”
A living legend that happens to still be ridiculously young and one of the most talented songwriters of the last 20 years. Make your way towards the beauty and frivolity of Ireland with this song.
Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots
“Leavin’ on a southern train, only yesterday you lied…”
A personal favorite and victim to a lot of karaoke in our day, nothing makes you want to hop on a train and go off somewhere with a broken heart like Interstate Love Song.
Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison
“I’m going back some day, come what may to blue bayou…”
One of the most enchanting male vocalists ever, Roy Orbison’s voice was tears personified. This song of heartbreak and loss in the bayou makes you dream of escaping to better times, if you need it.
Africa – Todo
“The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation…”
The classic Todo hit is adventurous and serious, and makes you dream of time on a safari.
California Dreaming – Mamas and Papas
“California dreaming, on such a winter’s day…”
This is what you want to listen to after the snow begins to melt and Southwest is running dirt cheap deals to San Diego. Your wallet won’t like it, but you will.
Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
“If you’re going my way, I wanna drive it all night long…”
Amazing song, covered endlessly by countless acts, and never done with the zeal and sense of rugged wanderlust that Cochrane accomplished.
Route 66 – King Cole Trio
“Get your kicks on Route 66…”
A classic song about a classic road, it’s the ultimate American Road Trip tune.
On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
“Just can’t wait to get on the road again…”
One of the greatest and most accomplished songwriters of all time, no one has written more hits than Willie Nelson. This one might be the greatest of them all.
Mambo Italiano – Dean Martin
“A girl went back to Napoli, because she missed the scenery…”
Confession: We love Italy. Listening to this song makes us long for it when we aren’t there, and cry when we are.
Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
“Lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way…”
A raucous hit by a cool 70s band, its a must for any road trip!
Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
“These are the days when anything goes…”
A pensive, thoughtful classic that makes any 90s kid ready to take the first bus going… anywhere.
Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson
“You’re gonna fly away, glad you’re goin’ my way…”
A beautiful classic by an amazing performer and songwriter that’ll make you want to hit the open road with someone you love. Such a smooth, relaxing song that really requires a personal driver and some champagne.
The Way – Fastball
“They wanted the highway, they’re happier there today…”
Another great road trip song – maybe in a convertible Mustang with a box set of Friends in the back seat. 90s kids get it.
You Belong to Me – Dean Martin
“Fly the ocean in a silver plane, see the jungle when it’s wet with rain…”
It’s Dean Martin. Self-explanatory.
Dancing in the Streets – Martha & The Vandellas
“Way down in L.A. ev’ry day, they’re dancing in the street…”
Though it’s been redone (thanks a lot, Mick Jagger and David Bowie – what the hell was that?) it’s still a classic dance song that fuels your wanderlust.
Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
“Well, I guess if you say so, I’ll have to pack my things and go…”
If someone told you to go, and you deserve it, you should have this on 8-track in your GTO.
Are You Gonna Go My Way? – Lenny Kravitz
“But, what I really want to know is – are you gonna go my way…”
Funky, flashy, and full of flair… this Kravitz classic put him on the map, and made you look for yours.
Best Day of My Life – American Authors
“All the possibilities, no limits just epiphanies…”
This is just a fun song by a great newer artist, and one that’ll help you reflect in any moment that you’re having one hell of a time – no matter where you are.
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
“We’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go…”
Disclaimer: Does not come with Pick-Up Truck, case of Budweiser, and American Flag. But, probably should.
Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
“To be on your own, with no direction home. A complete unknown, like a rolling stone…”
We had to save this for last – the song of the wanderer, the lost, the misunderstood, and the roamer that’s trying to find their place. We don’t even care for Bob Dylan, really, but this song is incredible.
No matter where you roam, great songs about traveling on the road should follow. Find your favorites, and find your travel inspiration!