101 Travel Songs to Inspire You (Add to Your Playlist ASAP!)

written by local expert Jane Elmets

Jane always knew she wasn't destined for a desk job... She has travelled all over the world and is passionate about noodles, sloths and her hiking boots! When she isn't busy adventuring around the world, you can find her reviewing travel gear and dishing out travel tips to all the places she's visited.

There’s nothing like good ol’ travel songs to get you in the mood to hit the road. Whether it’s by plane, train, car, or wandering on your own two feet, you can bet that there’s a travel song about it.

Traveling the globe and taking much-needed vacations has been the subject of songs for decades, and artists often sing about their favorite destinations in their best songs. 

If you listen closely enough, you’ll find that travel songs exist in every genre and every language music is sung in. Travel is even intertwined in songs with no lyrics, as music has the ability to transport you to another place entirely. 

I’ve put together this collection of 101 travel songs to set the mood for your next adventure. No matter if it’s near or far, by road or air, with friends or solo, you’ll find travel songs on this list that hit just the right spot. 

Travel Songs About Road Trips

There’s no place that singers and songwriters know like the road. Most musicians spend years touring on a big bus, traveling from city to city, seeing countries in a blur outside a window. It’s no wonder there are so many songs about driving around on the freeway.

These songs make a great background to any road trip and will make any highway seem open and endless. 

Woman hanging out the window of a driving car

On the Road Again – Willie Nelson

“On the road again / Goin’ places that I’ve never been / Seein’ things that I may never see again / And I can’t wait to get on the road again”

Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies / fully loaded we got snacks and supplies / It’s time to leave this town it’s time to steal away / Let’s go get lost anywhere in the U.S.A.”

Truckin’ – The Grateful Dead

“Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street / Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street… / Just keep truckin’ on” 

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

“The highway’s jammed with broken heroes / On a last chance power drive / Everybody’s out on the run tonight / But there’s no place left to hide”

Life is a Highway – John Cochrane / Rascal Flatts

Life is like a highway / I wanna ride it all night long / If you’re going my way / I wanna drive it all night long / Through all these cities and all these towns / It’s in my blood, and it’s all around”

Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show

“Heading down south to the land of the pines / I’m thumbing my way into North Caroline / Staring up the road and pray to God I see headlights / I made it down the coast in seventeen hours / Picking me a bouquet of dogwood flowers”

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

“So I remember we were driving, driving in your car / Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk / City lights lay out before us / And your arm felt nice wrapped ‘round my shoulder” 

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

“I’m on the highway to hell / No stop signs, speed limit / Nobody’s gonna slow me down”

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Travel Songs to Sing Along To

Speaking of driving on the highway, there’s nothing like cranking the music loud and belting songs out of the open windows while you’re on your way to somewhere new.  

These travel songs make the perfect playlist to sing along to as you’ll find you probably already know all the lyrics (and if you don’t, they’re right below). Now excuse me while I plug in the aux cord and have my own private concert (featuring me). 

Girlfriends enjoys life

A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton

“If I could fall into the sky / Do you think time would pass us by? / ‘Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles / If I could just see you … tonight”

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

“But I would walk 500 miles / And I would walk 500 more / Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door”

Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

“Country roads, take me home / To the place I belong / West Virginia, mountain mama / Take me home, country roads” 

Africa – Toto

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / I bless the rains down in Africa / Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”

Around the World – Daft Punk

“Around the world, around the world / Around the world, around the world / Around the world, around the world / Around the world, around the world”

American Boy – Estelle ft. Kayne West

“Take me on a trip I’d like to go some day / Take me to New York, I’d love to see LA / I really want to come kick it with you / You’ll be my American boy”

Paradise – Coldplay

“When she was just a girl, she expected the world / But it flew away from her reach / So she ran away in her sleep and dreamed of / Para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise / Every time she closed her eyes”

Ride Wit Me – Nelly

“If you want to go and take a ride with me / We 3-wheeling in the fo’ with the gold D’s / Oh why do I live this way? (Hey, must be the money!)”

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

“If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name”

Glamorous – Fergie

“We flying the first class / Up in the sky / Poppin’ champagne / Livin’ my life / In the fast lane / And I won’t change / For the glamorous, oh the flossy flossy”

Day Tripper – The Beatles

“She was a day tripper / One way ticket, yeah”

Travel Songs About Vacation

The power of music is truly amazing because these travel songs about vacation have the ability to transport you somewhere warm and tropical, so long as you close your eyes. 

All of the songs in this section either talk about taking a vacation or give off serious vacation vibes. Throw these travel songs on and you’ll be feeling the sunshine on your face before you know it. 

cocktails by the beach

Island in the Sun – Weezer

“When you’re on a golden sea / You don’t need no memory / Just a place to call your own / As we drift into the zone / On an island in the sun / We’ll be playin’ and havin’ fun”

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

“Yes, I like piña coladas / And getting caught in the rain / I’m not much into health food / I am into champagne / I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon / And cut through all this red tape / At a bar called O’Malley’s / Where we’ll plan our escape”

Holiday – Green Day

“I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies / This is the dawning of the rest of our lives / On holiday” 

Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith

“I got a letter from a friend the other morning / He says it’s hot down by Montego Bay / I got the point and now I think it’s finally dawning / Yeah, yeah, I got to get away”

Two Tickets to Paradise – Eddie Money

“I’m gonna take you on a trip so far from here, / I’ve got two tickets in my pocket, now baby, we’re gonna disappear”

Holiday – Madonna 

“If we took a holiday / Took some time to celebrate / Just one day out of life / It would be, it would be so nice”

Kokomo – The Beach Boys

“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to / Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama / Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go”

Soak Up the Sun – Sheryl Crow

“I’m gonna soak up the sun / I’m gonna tell everyone / To lighten up”

Vacation – The Dirty Heads

“If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it / A-a-aye, I’m on vacation”

Toes – Zack Brown Band

“Well, the plane touched down just about three o’clock / And the city’s still on my mind / Bikinis and palm trees danced in my head / I was still in the baggage line / Concrete and cars are there own prison bars like this sh*t I’m living in / But the plane brought me farther / I’m surrounded by water / And I’m not going back again”

Holiday – Vampire Weekend

“Holiday, still so far away / A republic on the beach / I can’t forget just how bad it gets / When I’m counting on my teeth / But if I wait for a holiday / Could it stop my fears? / To go away on a summer’s day / Never seemed so clear”

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Feel-Good Travel Songs

There’s something about traveling that activates a huge range of emotions, like happiness, excitement, and the warm and fuzzies. These feel-good travel songs capture that essence perfectly. 

This section of travel songs is a steady mix of classics and modern music that will get you in your feels. They’re ideal to listen to as you set out on a new journey and will have you bobbing your head the entire time. 

Happy couples playing under sunset

Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

“Moats and boats and waterfalls / Alleyways and pay phone calls / I’ve been everywhere with you / That’s true, laugh until we think we’ll die / Barefoot on a summer night / Never could be sweeter than with you / And in the streets you run a-free like it’s only you and me / Geez, you’re something to see”

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

“Send me on my way / I would like to reach out my hand / I may see you, I may tell you to run”

Mountain Sound – Of Monsters and Men

“I heard them calling in the distance / So i packed my things and ran / Far away from all the trouble / I had caused with my two hands / Alone we traveled on with nothing but a shadow / We fled far away”

Around the World – Kings of Leon 

“Been around the world, been around the world / The stormy gates and the maiden Pearl / All around the world all around the world / I lost myself and found a girl” 

Step Out – Jose Gonzalez

“House on fire, leave it all behind you / Dark as night, let the lightning guide you / Step outside, time to step outside, time to step outside” 

Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford & Sons

“But hold me fast, hold me fast / ‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer”

Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay

“And this adventure, oh then I / Wanna share it with you”

Good Life – OneRepublic

“To my friends in New York, I say hello / My friends in L.A. they don’t know / Where I’ve been for the past few years or so / From Paris to China to Colorado / Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out / Sometimes there’s bulls*** that don’t work now / We all got out stories but please tell me / What there is to complain about”

Another Traveling Song – Bright Eyes

“Well I’m changin’ all my strings / I’m gonna write another travelin’ song / About all the billion highways / And the cities at the break of dawn”

Le Temps et Bon – Bon Entendeur

“Le temps est bon, le ciel est bleu / J’ai deux amis qui sont aussi mes amoureux”

Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun

“We are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it / Always pushing up the hill searching for the thrill of it / On and on and on we are calling out and out again / Never looking down I’m just in awe of what’s in front of me”

Surfin’ Safari – The Beach Boys

“At Huntington and Malibu / They’re shooting the pier / At rincon they’re walking the nose / We’re going on safari to the islands this year / So if you’re coming get ready to go”

Gotta Travel On – Bob Dylan

“Summer’s almost gone, winter’s coming on / Done laid around, done stayed around this old town too long ‘ And it seems like I’ve got to travel on”

Travelin’ Man – Ricky Nelson

“I’m a travelin’ man and I’ve made a lot of stops / All over the world / And in every part I own the heart / Of at least one lovely girl”

Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra

“Come fly with me, let’s float down to Peru / In llama-land there’s a one-man band / And he’ll toot his flute for you”

Travel Songs About Following Your Dreams

If I could describe travel in one word, it would be: liberating. Travel is about setting out and experiencing something new, soaking in new cultures (aka eating all the foods), and learning about yourself along the way. 

But more than anything, it’s about breaking away from the norm and looking for something more. These travel songs are about leaving where you are and following your dreams. When embarking on a new experience or getting out of your comfort zone, you may find these travel songs especially relevant.

Follow your dream

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

“If I could / Maybe I’d give you my world / How can I / When you won’t take it from me / You can go your own way”

Miles Away – The Maine

“I took a trip up the west coast / LAX to SFO / Was searching for a temp so low / And a summer high / The sun swayed and set slow / Made waves with some friends I know / Got lost in the ebb and flow / Of the drifting tide”

Traveling On – KONGOS

“So long my flame, my warmth, my fear, my fight / The road’s calling again tonight / Dreaming under street lights / Maybe I”ll catch a train to Rome / ee the world until I can’t go on / Then maybe I’ll come traveling home”

See the World – The Kooks

“Do you want to see the world / In a different way / Yeah!”

Free – Trevor Hall

“We’ve got to be free, free”

The Stars Keep Calling My Name – Mac Demarco

“Honey, the stars keep on calling my name / But don’t worry, I’ve told you again and again / When I’m down, you’re always the first one to know / Skipping town, I’ll take you wherever I go / And I just wanna go”

St. Elsewhere – Gnarls Barkley

“I packed a few of my belongings / Left the life that I was living / Just some memories of it / Mostly the ones I can’t forget”

Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

“Want to feel the warm breeze / Sleep under a palm tree / Feel the rush of the ocean / Get on board a fast train / Travel on a jet plane / Faraway / And breakaway”

No Roots – Alice Merton

“I like standing still, but that’s just a wishful plan / Ask me where I come from, I’ll say a different land / But I’ve got memories and travel like gypsies in the night”

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

“I’m burnin’ through the sky, yeah / Two hundred degrees / That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit / I’m traveling at the speed of light”

Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf

“Get your motor runnin’ / Head out on the highway / Lookin’ for adventure / And whatever comes our way / Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen / Take the world in a love embrace / Fire all your guns at once / And explore into space”

It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

“It’s my life / It’s now or never / I ain’t gonna live forever / I just want to live while I’m alive / It’s my life”

Roam – B52s

 “Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness / Around the world the trip begins with a kiss / Roam if you want to / Roam the world / Roam if you want to / Without wings, without wheels”

Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band

“Goodbye to all my friends at home / Goodbye to people I’ve trusted / I’ve got to go out and make my way / I might get rich you know I might get busted”

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

“Just a small-town girl / Livin’ in a lonely world / She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere”

Travel Songs About a Specific Destination

Magnificent destinations around the world have been enchanting singers since the dawn of time and have been a great source of inspiration for their music. Some artists have even managed to capture the essence of a certain place in a single song which is a pretty amazing feat, if you ask me.

Each of these travel songs is about a specific destination (or two) and will have you searching up flights while you listen. 


Havana – Camila Cabello

“Havana, ooh na-na / Half of my heart is in Havana ooh-na-na”

Mexico – James Taylor

“Oh Mexico / It sounds so simple I just got to go / The sun’s so hot I forgot to go home / Guess I’ll have to go now”

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) – They Might Be Giants

“Istanbul was Constantinople / Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople / Been a long time gone, Constantinople / Now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night”

Magic in the Hamptons – Social House 

“You know where I go when we’re dancing / Handshakes in The Hamptons and gettin’ drunk in the mansions with you’

Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

“One hand in the air for the big city / Street lights, big dreams, all looking pretty / No place in the world that can compare / Put your lighters in the air, everybody say / Yeah! / In New York”

Vienna – Billy Joel

“Slow down, you crazy child / And take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile / It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two / When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?”

California Dreaming – Mamas and Papas

“I’d be safe and warm / If I was in L.A. / California dreamin’ / On such a winter’s day”

Barcelona – George Ezra

“A native man sang in a foreign tongue / I still ache to know the song that he sun / Barcelona”

Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips

“And I’m gonna be with him (I know you will) / On that midnight train to Georgia / I’d rather live in his world (live in his world) / Than live without him in mind / (Her world is his, his and hers alone)”

Manhattan – Ella Fitzgerald

“We’ll have Manhattan / The Bronx and Staten Island too”

April in Paris – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

“April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom / Holiday tables under the trees / April in Paris, this is a feeling / No one can ever reprise” 

Paris – The Chainsmokers

“We were staying in Paris /To get away from your parents / You look so proud / Standing there with a frown and a cigarette / Posting pictures of yourself on the internet”

Les Champs-Elysees – Joe Dassin

“Aux Champs-Elysées, aux Champs-Elysées / Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit / Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées”

Miami – Will Smith

“Here I am in the place where I come let go / Miami the bass and the sunset low / Everyday like a mardi gras, everybody party all day / No work all play, okay”

Budapest – George Ezra

My house in Budapest / My hidden treasure chest”

On An Evening in Roma – Dean Martin

“Do they take ’em for espresso / Yeah, I guess so / On each lover’s arm a girl I wish I knew / On an evening in Roma”

Tokyo – The Wombats

“If you love me, let me go back to that bar in Tokyo / Where the demons from my past leave me in peace”

Paris, Tokyo – Lupe Fiasco

“Let’s go to sleep in Paris / And wake up in Tokyo / Have a dream in New Orleans / Fall in love in Chicago, Mayne”

Montego Bay – Amazulu 

“Adjust to the driving ‘n’ I’m on my way / It’s all on the right side in Montego Bay”

Graceland – Paul Simon

“I’m going to Graceland, Graceland / Memphis, Tennessee”

Chilled Out Travel Songs

This is a selection of songs about travel that are a bit more chilled out than the rest. They make good airplane listening or a nice soundtrack to play before bed when you’re dreaming of somewhere far away. 

These songs cover different time periods and genres, but stay true to the travel theme and are some sweet easy listening to get lost in. 


Traveling Alone – Passenger

“Australian man, Scandinavian town / Kicking stones around the square / He sat for a while, forced out a smile / As if someone would care / Said I’m a long way from the gold coast / Furthest I’ve ever known / This just ain’t my home / It was my wife’s idea but she’s no longer here / She left me traveling alone”

Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

“Come away with me and we’ll kiss / On a mountaintop”

The World II – Shigeo Sekito

This chill travel song doesn’t actually have lyrics but it will transport you around the world and back! 

The World Ain’t Slowing Down – Ellis Paul

“You gotta get gone, you gotta get going / Hey, the world ain’t slowing down for no one”

Across the Universe – The Beatles

“Limitless, undying love / Which shines around me like a million suns / It calls me on and on across the universe”

Train Song – Tom Waits

“And I’ve come ten thousand miles away, not one thing to show / It was a train that took me away from here / But a train can’t bring me home”

Careful What You Pack – They Might Be Giants

“It’s a new year / Careful what you pack / There’s no going back”

Seaside – The Kooks

“Do you want to go to the seaside? / I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go / But I fell in love on the seaside”

Bali Eyes – Porno for Pyros

“Took a trip to Bali / Their eyes are god / In a glass full of jelly”

I Know Places – Lykke Li

“Don’t ask me when but ask me why / Don’t ask me how but ask me where / There is a road, there is a way / There is a place, there is a place / I know places we can go babe”

Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart

“Rivers and roads / Rivers ’til I reach you”

The World at Large – Modest Mouse

“Ice age, heatwave, can’t complain / If the world’s at large, why should I remain? / Walked away to another planet / Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand”

Leaving on a Jet Plane – Peter Paul and Mary

“So kiss me and smile for me / Tell me that you’ll wait for me / Hold me like you’ll never let me go / I’m leavin’ on a jet plane / I don’t know when I’ll be back again”

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

“I see trees of green / Red roses too / I see them bloom / For me and you / And I think to myself / What a wonderful world”

Country Travel Songs

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a fan of country music, but I figured I’d include this section because you have to hand it to these artists… they do know how to write about the finer things in life, especially if it involves a warm destination and an ice-cold beer. 

There are actually tons of country songs about travel, but here are some top picks for your travel playlist (the first one is my personal favorite). 

Brown guitar beside the boots and a hat

Drunk on a Plane – Dierks Bentley

“I’ll try anything to drown out the pain / They all know why I’m getting drunk on a plane”

I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash

“I’ve been everywhere, man / Crossed the desert’s bare, man / I’ve breathed the mountain air, man / Of travel I’ve ‘had my share, man / I’ve been everywhere”

Somewhere on a Beach – Dierks Bentley

“Bet you think I’m sitting at home, no / Bet you think that I’m all alone, no / Bet you think I’m missing you and wishing you would call my phone / Hell, no / I went wheels up on a runway / And that ticket was a long way / I’m somewhere on a beach / Sipping something strong”

Knee Deep – Zack Brown Band

“Wrote a note, said ‘Be back in a minute’ / Bought a boat and I sailed off in it / Don’t think anybody’s gonna miss me anyway / Mind on a permanent vacation / The ocean is my only medication / Wishin’ my condition ain’t ever gonna go away”

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett

“Nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake / All of those tourists covered with oil / Strumming my six-string, on my front porch swing / Smell those shrimp, they’re beginning to boil  / Wasting away again in Margaritaville

The Traveling Song – The Avett Brothers

“I’ve got the wheels to ride and the wheels to run, / Some say I got ramblin’ in my blood / No pretty girl can slow me down / I’ll travel ’till my country home is found”

Live Like You Were Dying – Tim McGraw

“I went skydiving / I went Rocky Mountain climbing / I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu / And I loved deeper / And I spoke sweeter / And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying / And he said / ‘Someday I hope you get the chance / To live like you were dying / Like tomorrow was a gift / And you’ve got eternity / To think about / What you’d do with it / What could you do with it / What did I do with it? / What would I do with it?”

After making your way through all the travel songs on this list, can’t you see how diverse this category is? 

Travel touches people so deeply and in so many different ways. Most everyone has a moving story related to travel, so it’s no wonder there’s an abundance of music showcasing all different sorts of journeys!

Now that you have these top 101 travel songs, throw them on a playlist and whip it out whenever you’re hit with a wave of wanderlust. These jams should keep you jamming at home until your next trip rolls around. 

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