The Ultimate Travel Playlist

There’s no better feeling than walking through an airport, ready to embark on a new journey with your favorite tunes playing through your headphones. I always feel like I’m in a movie, and my travel playlist is the soundtrack.

I’ve compiled a long list of songs over the years that I feel fit perfectly with that wanderlust-y feeling of each trip, but here are my top faves (please forgive my very eclectic taste):

  1. Step Out – José González
    • “Time to step outside, time to step outside you. House on fire, leave it all behind you. Dark as night, let the lightning guide you.”
    • My favorite movie of all time is the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It combines my two favorite things – unexpected adventures and photography. This is one of the many songs from the movie’s soundtrack that I have in my playlist. It’s the perfect background track when embarking on a new journey.
  2. Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
    • “I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields…but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
    • No matter how many trips I go on or countries I visit, it never feels like enough. I just want to see everything, and I think this song captures that feeling.
  3. I Lived – One Republic
    • “With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”
    • Whether you’re traveling across the state or across the world, traveling requires some degree of risk. I love this song because it embraces the adventurous side of life. I may have gotten a headache bungee jumping, sore muscles from kayaking rough waters, a touch of nausea from skydiving, but I can look back on my life with no regrets.
  4. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox 20
    • “But I believe the world is coming to an end. Oh well, I guess we’re gonna pretend. Let’s see how far we’ve come.”
    • This upbeat song is perfect for running through airports to catch the flight. Even if the world is ending, I’m going to see as much of it as I can before it all goes dark, and this song is fun and motivating.
  5. 1,000 Miles Away – Hoodoo Gurus
    • “Yesterday’s a thousand miles away.”
    • I added this song to my playlist when I moved to New Zealand in 2015. When I arrived in Auckland, I was a day ahead and really far from home, so yesterday literally was 1,000 miles away, such an excitingly terrifying feeling.
  6. Time to Move On – Tom Petty
    • “It’s time to move on, time to get going. What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing.”
    • Whenever I get nervous about a new adventure, this song is my go to. I may not know what lies ahead or what’s going to happen, but Tom reassures me that I just have to go and keep moving towards something even better than whatever I’m leaving behind.
  7. The World At Large – Modest Mouse
    • “Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand. I move on to another day, a whole town with a whole new way.”
    • Sometimes when I’m in one place for too long, my wanderlust kicks in and I get what I call “itchy.” All I want to do is get out, find somewhere new, experience a new culture, and that’s what this song encompasses for me.
  8. Halfway Gone – Lifehouse
    • “I’m halfway gone, and I’ll find my way.”
    • Another great song about leaving, getting out of a life you’re stuck in and moving on to something new. I love this song while I’m packing and heading for the airport. I’m ready to go and almost gone.
  9. Days Go By – Keith Urban
    • “Days go by, I can feel them flying like a hand out the window in the wind. The cars go by, it’s all we’ve been given, so you better start livin’ right now.”
    • This fun song from one of my favorite country artists is all about embracing life and how fast it flies, so we better take advantage of every moment we have. How do I do that? Through traveling and exploring, of course!
  10. Make Up Kisses – John Powell
    • This song is actually from the score of the movie P.S. I Love You. My sister, Sara, snuck the whole score onto my iPod (yes, those were still a thing) when she took me on my first trip to Europe — to Ireland, just like in the movie. The music is just beautiful and listening to it while traveling really makes me feel like I’m in my own movie.
  11. Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms
    • “Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down.”
    • Okay, I stole this from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days – who doesn’t love the scene that Ben chases Andie on his motorcycle when she tries to leave for Washington?!
  12. U.F.O. – Coldplay
    • “Lord I don’t know which way I am going…still got such a long way to go.”
    • Getting lost often leads to the best discoveries. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going, but I keep moving forward until I find the place where streets are made of gold.

I love my playlist because I add a couple songs to it with each trip I take, so when I go back and listen each song brings me back to a place I visited.

I’m constantly looking for music to add, so comment below your favorite music to listen to when you travel!

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