The Ultimate Travel Songs Playlist to Inspire Wanderlust

Written By: The Planet D

The best travel songs playlist had an outstanding turn out by The Planet D fans.

We wanted to hear, what songs inspire travel, make you think of a destination, or simply make you want to hit the road, so we asked our readers to share their favorite songs about travel.

We had such an awesome response that now have a huge list of the best travel songs as chosen by you! There were a lot of duplicate votes for but after adding up the choices, these are the top songs.

The Best Travel Songs Playlist

We took some of our favorite quotes from people when they chose their favorite songs about travel and you can read what they below.

If you have a song to add to our playlist leave a comment below. We update this list regularly

1. Africa by Toto

best travel songs of all time | africa by toto

Nothing makes me want to go to Africa more than this song by Toto.

They capture it beautifully with their lyrics and each time I listen to it, I am brought back to camping in the desert listening to the dog crying out in the night.

Or it makes me think of climbing Kilimanjaro towering over the Serengeti. And it has had a renaissance getting a lot of air time.

“The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become”

Dina Rosita Koudys says “Not exactly about traveling, but it does mention Africa, Kilimanjaro, and Serengeti. And I love the song!

We replied to Dina saying,  “We think Africa is exactly a travel song. It is our favorite song about travel and makes us want to see the Serengeti again and again.”

2. Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran

best songs about travel | galway girl

Ireland is one of our favorite country’s to visit and when Ed Sheeran wrote about Galway it brought us right back to being in the pubs there.

A lot of playlists omit the modern travel songs, but musicians these days have explored more of the world than anyone. And Ed Sheeran is a huge traveler.

We saw Ed Sheeran on Graham Norton talking about his travels and we love his free spirit and down to earth attitude.

“I meet her on Grafton street right outside of the bar
She shared a cigarette with me while her brother played the guitar
She asked me what does it mean, the Gaelic ink on your arm?
Said it was one of my friend’s songs, do you want to drink on?”

3. One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head

best travel songs | one night in Bangkok

From the Musical Chess, this hit by Murray Head made me want to visit Bangkok in the 1990s.

Whenever I’m in the city, I can’t stop singing it!

“I said, “do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said

I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder”

4. Land Down Under by Men at Work

travel songs | land down under

When thinking about travel music, this song is at the top for and Australian theme.

Men at work reference the Hippy Trail, muscles in Brussels and a den in Bombay.

All while bonding with people from the Land Down Under. Men at work are from Melbourne, Australia

“Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner”

5. Havana by Camila Cabello

traveling songs playlist

This song takes me to Havana. The groove makes me feel that I am at a lounge in Cuba and I love it.

Even if Camila Cabello is taken to East Atlanta, her heart is always in Havana. Just like so many people feel when they visit Havana too!

Havana, ooh na-na
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh na-na
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana
Havana, ooh na-na

6.  Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

best songs about travel | sweet home alabama

This song makes me want to go to the American South.

My favorite lyric is when they mention the recording studio Muscle Shoals.

“Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they’ve been known to pick a song or two (yes they do)
Lord they get me off so much
They pick me up when I’m feeling blue, now how bout you?”

After watching the documentary about Muscle Shoals, I now understand what that lyric is all about.

It was the place for rock musicians to record in the 1960s. Rent Muscle Shoals on Amazon

Kathy Bovair  says “Dave will have my back on this one “SWEET HOME ALABAMA” is the best travel song and an old high school classic from our past” 

7. I’ve Been Everywhere Man by Johnny Cash

best travel songs | I've been everywhere

Carmen Davis-Harcum said. “It’s My favourite travel song.” And we agree. I’ve been everywhere is the ultimate travel song!

If you want to add a song to your travel playlist that captures what it’s like to travel around.

I always envisioned this song being about Johnny Cash writing about his life on the road as a traveling musician.

“I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breatherd the mountain air, man
Travel, I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere”

He may not have been everywhere int he world, but he has definitely crossed all of the United States and Canada.

I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash does the trick.

 8. Route 66 by Nat King Cole

traveling songs | route 66

Route 66 certainly captures the heyday of America’s famous highway running across the country.

It makes me think of simpler (and tougher) times of people hitting the open road with nothing but dreams in their heads.

This song makes me want to get in the car and drive.

“Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way it’s the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66″

Trisha Miller is inspired by Route 66, a trip I have dreamed of for a long time, and someday I will do the entire length in one long, leisurely road trip”

9. Desert Rose – Sting

sting | songs about travel desert rose

This song is apparently about when Adam was banished from the garden of Eden.

But when I listen to it, I think of travel and it transports me straight to the Middle East.

“I dream of rain, I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain, I dream of love as time runs through my hand
Sweet desert rose Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this…”

10. Where the Streets Have No Name by U2

songs about traveling | Streets have no name

The song is inspired by the streets of Ethiopia where there aren’t (or weren’t) any street names.

I remember cycling through Africa and we barely saw a road sign.

At the time, Ireland was still under a lot of civil unrest and Bono wrote about a place where class, religion and income are not indicitve of the street they live on.

“I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see that dust cloud disappear without a trace
I wanna take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name.”

11. Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones

traveling songs | rolling stones

Daniel Stein Says “Sympathy For the Devil makes you want to drive. Who wouldn’t include this in their best travel songs playlist?”

This travel song had the most votes in our survey.

So it had to be on our playlist even though it isn’t really about travel. It does talk about historical events around the world though. 

“I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain” 

12. On the Road Again by Willy Nelson

travel songs | willie nelson

Diane Grady .”We were camping year’s ago on Vancouver Island and a big motorhome pulled out playing”On the Road Again” through the loudspeakers. It was hilarious.

But you know what, On the Road Again is one of the most popular songs played when hitting the road.

The words alone. I’m on the road again!

13. I Left My Heart In San Francisco by Tony Bennet

songs that inspire travel | San francisco

Suggested by Katherine Hill who said, “I left my Heart in San Francisco, of course! This song is the epitome of San Francisco.

Travel Songs don’t have to be about going everywhere. They can be about one place and this is the ultimate love story dedicated to San Francisco.

Add it to your playlist on Amazon

14. Montego Bay by Amazulu

inspiring travel songs | montego bay

Whenever we go to Jamaica we sing this song. It is perfect for travel.

It not only captures the spirit and energy of Jamaica, it explains a lot about the island.

They drive on the island, they drink rum from a silver tray and greet you like a brother would.

“Vernon’ll meet me when the BOAC lands
Keys to th M. G. will be in his hands
Adjust to the driving ‘n’ I’m on my way
It’s all on the right side in Montego Bay

BOAC is a British airplane and I love how they say, “it’s all on the right side, because when you are in Jamaica, you drive British style.

15. Midnight Train To Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips

travel songs about a destination | midnight train to georgia

Lauren Mcleod made this addition to our playlist.

She says “Even though it’s about heading home instead of away, it sure gets me groovin’ along like I want to leave.”

“The world is his, his and ‘ers alone
Oh he’s leavin’
On that midnight train to Georgia (leavin’ on the midnight train)
Said he’s goin’ back to find (goin’ back to find)
Oh a simpler place in time”

You can also download on Amazon

16. Roam by the B52s

traveling music | roam b52s

Genelle Gregorio “Roam by the B-52s is a fantastic song for slideshows of your travels and to get you all pumped up about traveling and seeing the world.

“Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without wings, without wheels
Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel”

In our hearts, aren’t we all roamers at heart?

17. Leaving on a Jet Plane by Chantal Kreviazuk

travel songs | leaving on a jet plane

Jenny Leach “We love this track when we are traveling. Leaving on a Jet Plane just screams travel song! Famous recordings are from Peter Paul and Mary, and John Denver.

“All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye”

While the song is more about leaving for work (most likely the life of a rock n roll band, it still makes us think about traveling.

This song has been re-done a lot over the years, our favorite version is from the movie Armageddon by Chantal Kreviazuk.

18. Kokomo by The Beach Boys

songs to inspire people to travel | kokomo

Keith Jenkins of Velvet Escape chose Kokomo. This makes me think of the beach for sure.

What we love about Kokomo is that it is a made up place by the Beach Boys, but it sure makes you want to go there. And it captures the spirit of the islands.

19. Graceland by Paul Simon

great travel songs | graceland

Sheri Anderson Wallace said. “I love that travel song because it captures all the pieces of a road trip. What could be more of a travel song than a song about road tripping?

We say, it also inspired us to get ourselves to Graceland and see Elvis’ home in Memphis Tennessee.

We’ll never forget visiting Kenya and seeing photographs of Paul Simon at a lodge we stayed at in the Masai Mara. He stayed here with Carry Fisher and it was this place that inspired his music for the album Graceland. I think that was one of the coolest things to see that we stayed at the same lodge.

20. Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf

travel songs for travelers

Bonnie Paridaen says “By Steppenwolf Baby!” Need we say more?

“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 of your guns at once
And explode into space.”

Born to Be Wild is all about taking a motorcycle trip across the country. The movie isn’t bad either.

21. New York State of Mind by Billie Joel

best travel songs | New York State of mind

Merav Benaia told us that it’s the travel song that makes me want to pack my bag and hop on a flight. (event though it’s about taking the bus)

Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood
But I’m takin’ a Greyhound on the Hudson River line
I’m in a New York state of mind

I love New York and this is a love song dedicated to the beautiful State. 

Get New York State of Mind on Amazon

22. Sailing, Christopher Cross

best songs for travelers | sailing

Stephanie Broschart stated. “The lyrics from Sailing totally make for a great travel song.”

It’s not far to never-never land,
no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles,
just you wait and see.
Believe me.

23. Proud Mary – Tina Turner

best songs for travellers | proud mary

Whenever we’re in New Orleans, this is the song that comes to mind. It has amazing energy and gets you in the mood to hop on a riverboat and explore!

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

It wasn’t until we took a riverboat tour in New Orleans that we even understood what big wheel keeps on turnin’ meant. It’s the big wheel that propels these riverboats. Cool eh?

24. American Woman by The Guess Who

songs for travel

Lorna Hazen-Francavilla said.  “It is one of those “roll down the windows and makes crank the tunes kind of songs!”

Even though it is a song about dissing America, a lot of people look at it as a tribute to America. Regardless, it is a song that has a lot of energy.

Check it out on Amazon.

25. Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson

music to inspire travel | man in the mirror

Claire AlgarmeI like the beat and the message of the song. It also reminds me to be open to everything I see & meet in my travels and how to be a better person at the end of my journeys.

We love the words of The Man in the Mirror.

Travel creates compassion. It brings people together and it is the best education.

This song empowers that feeling. Through travel we have often been compelled to make a difference.

If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

26. Kathmandu

kathmandu bob seger

When we were in Kathmandu before climbing to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

This song captures the wanderlust of travel.

“I figure baby I’ve got nothing to lose,
I’m tired of being blue,
That’s why I’m going to Kathmandu
Up to the mountains where I’m going to.”

It’s such a fun song.

Check it out on Amazon

27. London Calling by the Clash

london calling the clash

Okay, so it might be an anti travel song, but if you just listen to the chorus, London is calling!

so even though the lyrics are pretty angry and depressing, I always sing it when I go to London.

“The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning
I live by the river”

28. Coming to America by Neil Diamond

coming to america neil diamond

I said this in our best road trip songs post, and I’ll say it again, I loved listening to this song while cycling down the continent of Africa.

Coming to America captures the hope and freedom of what was America.

We’ve been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

The world looked America for so much when he sang this. Hopefully, it will get it’s welcoming status back again in our life.

But in the meantime, we love listening to Neil Diamond, he is the coolest cat in town.

Buy it now

29. Rambling Man by The Allman Brothers

songs for travel

Voted by – Rasheed Hooda – It’s a classic

“I’m on my way to New Orleans this mornin’
I’m leavin’ out of Nashville, Tennessee
They’re always having a good time down on the bayou
Lord, them Delta women think the world of me”

30. Laredo by Band of Horses

songs for traveling

Catherine Reyes  says.”It has been my favourite of song to inspire travel for the past three months. It’s pretty recent and has that good on the road again feel.

“Gonna take a trip to Laredo
Gonna take a dip in the lake
Oh, I’m at a crossroads with myself
I don’t got no one else”

31. Istanbul not Constantinople by They Might Be Giants

istanbul not sonstantinople | they might be giants

I had never heard this song before watching the Umbrella Academy on Netflix. When I heard it, it was my new favourite travel song.

We’ve been to Istanbul many times and we did know that it was once called Constantinople.

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

So now whenever we go back, you know we are going to be singing this song. It is so much fun.

Seriously, give it a listen!

And add it to your playlist through Amazon $1.29

32. Carolina on my Mind by James Taylor

songs about travel | carolina on my mind by james taylor

I just love James Taylor’s calm and soothing voice. And that is exactly what travel is meant to do – calm and sooth.

A lot of can’t travel right now, but we do go to places in our mind, and this captures that daydreaming part of our lives where we imagine being somewhere else.

“In my mind I’m gone to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine?
Can’t you just feel the moonshine?
Ain’t it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind?
Yes, I’m gone to Carolina in my mind.”

33. California Dreaming – Mamas and the Papas

travel songs | california dreaming mamas and papas

I think we all feel this way about California on a winter’s day:

I’d be safe and warm,
If I was in L.A.
California Dreaming,
On such a winter’s day?

And who doesn’t love the vocal harmonies of the Mamas and the Papas?

Start dreaming and get it now.

33. Bali Eyes – Porno for Pyros

songs to inspire travelers | bali eyes

When traveling through South East Asia, we discovered this song and became huge fans of the unplugged version by Porno for Pyros.

Ate a mushroom turned into Bali
Didn’t look it just jumped down my throat
I was starting to die until I
Took a trip to Bali
Their eyes are god
In a glass full of jelly
Bali in my eyes

Once we reached Bali, we couldn’t stop playing this one. I think you’ll like it!

34. Sand in My Shoes – Dido

songs to inspire travellers | sand in my shoes

This song captures how amazing travel can be, but how much of a let down it is when you get home.

“Two weeks away feels like the whole world should have changed,
But I’m home now, and things still look the same
I think I’ll leave it ’til tomorrow to unpack,
Try to forget for one night that I’m back in my flat
On the road where the cars never stop going through the night,
To a life where I can’t watch the sun set”

35. New York by Alicia Keys

inspiring songs for travel | New York

There are so many songs about New York City, we could have created a travel song playlist all about New York alone! (Hey that’s a great idea! )

But we could only choose one and while Frank Sinatra, Beastie Boys, and even New York New York from Guys and Dolls springs to mind, I’m going with Alicia Keys beautiful song about New York.

In New York!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York!

These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Now you’re in New York

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Best Travel Songs Playlist. I found a lot of songs I’d never heard of, some old classics and some fun ones too!

Save this list to Pinterest to share these songs about travel.

ultimate travel songs playlist

Do you have a favourite travel song? Share it with us and see if it makes the list!

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

25 thoughts on “The Ultimate Travel Songs Playlist to Inspire Wanderlust”

  1. Ah these are some great songs! Some old school, some new, it’s perfect! Its pretty much my karaoke list too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Africa by Toto is classic. Its my favourite one :)))
    Does anyone use a travel itinerary on the worldee? For inspiration?

  3. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. This is the first time i am reading your post and admire that you posted article which gives users lot of information regarding particular topic thanks for this share.

  4. This list is as bad as you could do without trying to be the worst… One Jason Mraz is bad enough, but two? And no Canned Heat “Going Up The Country”.

  5. Great list, I’m glad I contributed to the list 😀 I like Midnight train to Georgia. I don’t know bunch of the song, but now I need to have this playlist, I want to hear what others suggested!
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..Top 8 Animal Street Signs from Australia and New Zealand =-.

    • We are putting a playlist together on when we have the final list compiled we will be putting up the playlist as well so everyone can hear. We didn’t know a few of the songs either, they are awesome. Can’t wait until monday when the new post goes out.

  6. Hey, hows about something a BIT less cheesy though guys n gals. I give you M.Ward’s Paul’s Song, beautifully mournful and full of bittersweet lonesomeness.

    ‘How does it feel to be travelling, to live your life on the train oand the aeroplane. Well I ain’t gonna lie to you. Well every town is just the same, when you’ve left your heart in the Portland rain.’ Check it out!
    .-= Jools Stone´s last blog ..Edinburgh TweetUp Hatches =-.

    • Thanks Jools, Put it on our facebook fan page and we can include it in our list. Sounds like beautiful lyrics, I would love to include it:)

  7. Whoever submitted “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver must be unaware that he perished in an experimental aircraft.

  8. Great idea guys! I found myself spending too much time on YouTube 😉 and realised I have so many favourite travel songs I can hardly choose. I chose New York State of Mind; I think it is obvious it’s been a while since I last visited my one and only NYC.
    .-= Merav | AllWays Rental´s last blog ..Take the Tranz Alpine Train and Dream a Little =-.

  9. #40 is my favourite on the list… I remember listening to this song watching the sun going down on Caye Caulker in Belize… amazing!
    .-= Brendan van Son´s last blog ..Fun Fotography on the Salt Flats =-.

  10. I’d love to make a second vote for Weather with You — such a great suggestion by Career Break HQ! (Especially because you two are such fundamentally happy people, and it’s a fundamentally happy song. :))
    .-= Melanie@TravelsWithTwo´s last blog ..Strolling Through Hacienda Baru =-.

  11. My vote is for the Grateful Dead, the most comforting travel music I can think of. Trucking up to Buffalo is the best album for travel.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..FeedBurner’s Delusional Subscription Statistics =-.

    • Thanks Shawn. I don’t know if you want to enter your song. You still have a week. We need a specific song, sorry not an album and we have to have it on our facebook page to be included in the final list. Sorry, but we have to follow the rules:)

    • Thanks Trisha, I have to say we are blown away with the song choices. They are so clever, heartfelt and interesting. It puts my post to shame about favorite travel songs. People are coming up with better choices than I ever could have thought of. It really is the ultimate playlist!