Best Travel Songs and Music in One Downloadable Playlist

I travel to a soundtrack. It’s a pretty normal thing these days as we all have our favorite travel songs, music, and playlists. A great playlist is an essential for a long haul flight or bus ride.

Even the image of a traveler with a pair of headphones is iconic. Maybe it started with those catchy iPod commercials, or it was just a natural progression. Now we could all use a little “travel music” in our lives, and I wanted to share my favorite songs on my playlist with you.

What Makes Great A Great Travel Playlist?

Music has the power to make us happy, share ideas, preserve culture, and inspire others. A great travel song should do something along those lines and it doesn’t necessarily have to be about traveling itself. I’ve added salsa greats like Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, and Buena Vista Social Club in the past who is a must listen for any traveler in Central America.

Some of these talk of exploration and travel, but other’s simply convey a mood. Songs like Tennessee Whisky or Makeba may not have direct ties to travel, but they are like a snapshot of culture and transports you to another place. The songs on this list range from rap to rock, pop, salsa and even some country.

Driving on the NC500

A playlist about traveling should be just as varied as our planet.

There is no reason to discriminate, good music is good music. Languages range from Xhosa, French, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, and Spanish so we get a nice round up various songs from around the world. Some could be classics while others are modern day hits. I hope this travel playlist makes you smile, brings back memories, and provides you with some new tunes to jam to.

Go on and tackle the world with this great collection of travel music! This playlist is perfect for a road trip to Iceland, Scotland, or Africa

The Ultimate Travel Music Playlist

Whatever music platform you use I’ve got the playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

What better way to kick off this playlist than a song to send us on our way, even if it’s a bit hard to understand the lead singer at times.

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Because every great collection of songs includes a song from Queen.

I’m Gonna Be – The Proclaimers

This Scottish rock band is a classic for road trips and travel songs. It’s perfect for driving 500 miles, for example, the NC500 in Scotland for instance.

Ramble On – Led Zeppelin

You can’t go wrong with Led Zeppelin and “Ramble On” is just too fitting a title.

Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka

The newest song on this list is gorgeous and haunting. It’s perfect for reflection.

Society – Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam’s lead man stepped away to record the soundtrack to “Into the Wild” and gave us a stunning album. Society speaks of checking out of the “need” and “want” in society to be “free.”

Harvest Moon – Neil Young

The melody of this song is beautiful. Exploration and travel can have many moods and feelings. This song is perfect for a long walk down the beach.

The World At Large – Modest Mouse

This song is all about escaping. It could be to “another planet,” or just another city.

Aeroplane – Red Hot Chili Peppers

What could be more fitting for a playlist of travel songs? Anthony Kleidis explains it all with “music is my aeroplane.”

California Love – 2Pac

“California knows how to party”

Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone

It’s hard to escape the chorus of this song, even if it’s on about traveling.

Little Talks – Of Monsters & Men

“Though the truth may vary. This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore”

The Funeral – Band of Horses

Africa -Toto

It’s catchy. It’s awesome. It’s Epic. It’s Africa. Deal with it.

Shakira – Waka Waka

The 2010 World Cup song. Nothing unites the world like football and Shakira. It’s one of the biggest songs of all time and just about everyone in the world has heard it.

Pata Pata – Miriam Makeba

This song is undeniably catchy even if you can’t understand all of the Xhosa lyrics. Makeba was a vocal activist against apartheid in South Africa and was even exiled. After the release and election of Nelson Mandela, he himself personally convinced her to return where she continued to produce music and fight for civil rights in Africa.

Makeba – Jain

It’s catchy, draws heavily on modern afro beats, and it’s a tribute to Makeba. Pretty cool with me.

Gangnam Style – PSY

I’ll never forget the moment I came across this video on Reddit. It left me speechless. The music video was simultaneously hilarious and amazing. It had all of 4 Million views which was massive at the time, fast forward to 2017 and the music video has nearly 3 billion views. PSY has become a cross cultural phenomenon touring all over the world and is a perfect example of the increasingly global world and music scene.

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Sri Lankan M.I.A. is a polarizing figure and Paper Planes is a politically charged song filled with drug references. It shouldn’t be any this song is considered one of the best of its decade.

Soy Yo -Bomba Estereo

Bomba Estereo has been making waves for nearly a decade now bringing Colombia and Modern South American music to the masses. There electro jungle beats and entrancing lyrics are sure to hook you. Get ready for some fire in Latin America.

Aguanile – Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe

Sticking with Espanol and heading up to central America it’s time for some salsa. This is a classic song by two of the genre’s greats.

Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club

This album sparked an interest internationally in Central American music. The talent of the ensemble group is everywhere in the album.

All Izz Well – Kej

Bollywood is a cultural juggernaut and right behind Hollywood. This is from “3 Idiots” starring Aamir Khan one of the celebrated modern day Indian films.

Chaiya Chaiya – Sukhwinder Singh

This song is from the Hindi film Dil Se, but what’s most incredible is the music video shot entirely on a train… You have to watch it. Oh, and the song is great.

Lamallem – Saad Lamjarred

Moroccan culture and music was well known for its influence in music laying claim influencing greats like Jimi Hendrix. However, it’s been largely quiet in recent years until pop sensation Saad Lamjarred came along.

Indian Summer – Jai Wolf

Something about this makes you want to explore the world.

Around The World – Daft Punk

The French duo known as Daft Punk are juggernauts in the music industry and the world is still waiting for the day they tour “around the world,” again.

Night Call – Kavinsky

Produced by one-half of Daft Punk the opening song to the movie Drive makes me want to put the pedal to the metal and drive.

The Passenger – Iggy Pop

I love this song.

Anderson .Paak – Come Down

Have you heard of Anderson .Paak yet? Expect to see a lot more of this guy if you didn’t catch his incendiary Grammy performance. The song is upbeat and blends jazz, hip hop, rock, and soul successfully.

Call Me – St Paul & The Broken Bones

This white guy from Alabama has got the soul!

Tennessee Whisky – Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton is one of the most prolific song writers with being credited for dozens of modern country hits and even Adele. However, it’s his cover of Tennessee Whisky I can’t seem to get out of my head.

Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf

If there is one Iconic travel song it has to be Born To Be Wild. “Head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure”

King Of The Road – Roger Miller

He may have nothing, but the “King of the Road” has all the freedom of a vagabond.

Jackson – Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash

“When I breeze into that city, people gonna stoop and bow.” It’s about setting the night on the fire in a new city song by a country great.

Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when listening to this song. It’s a love song about being at “home” with your friend or someone special no matter where you are in the world.

Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen

Let’s all follow Bruce’s advice and escape the modern day “death trap…suicide rap” and hit the open road because we were “born to run.”

Space Oddity – David Bowie

Who’s going to be the first tourist in space?

Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – Paul Simon

It’s a blend of Americana and South African Lady Blacksmith Mambazo that’s undeniably catchy. It’s hard not to love Paul Simon.

Coming Home – Leon Bridges

What decade is Leon Bridges from? Because he certainly doesn’t sound like a modern day artist despite being only 28. I just hope my travels home go as smooth as his voice and this song.

Theme from New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

What more can be said about the legendary Frank Sinatra. It’s the perfect song to sip martinis in the greatest city on earth. (New York).

Je T’aime moi mon Plus – Serge Gainsbourg

Serge is more or less the French version of Frank Sinatra and one of the most Iconic French pop artists. His musical style varies greatly and you can find his influence across a wide range of music and pop culture.

Zina – Babylone

Algerian rock band Bablyone made this beautiful love song that has an ability to transcend language.

Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan

One of the greatest songs of all time.

Carolina In My Mind – James Taylor

Not only is it a destination song, but it’s from my home state. Every time I hear this song it brings me right back home. I couldn’t think of a better song to finish with.

[Get the playlist on Apple Music][Get the playlist on Amazon Music][Get the playlist on Spotify]

Check Out Some of our Favorite Road Trips!

Namibia road trip

It’s tough to beat an iconic road trip. With so much to see it’s hard to narrow down the best road trips in the world, but we gave it a try. There’s no formal ranking system here, these road trips are just from our personal experience and opinions.

After all our travels, it’s safe to say we’ve done our fair share of epic road trips. Not because we love sitting in the car, but because we love the freedom. A tank full of gas and a car to carry us along the way is the quintessential travel experience.

Looking for a Good Road Trip Packing List?

In our road trip packing list, we share all of our road trip essentials for the perfect trip. So, grab your keys and load up the car for your next road trip. Let’s break down the road trip essentials we’re always sure to carry in our vehicle. We’ve listed some of our favorite products along with stuff we love to carry in our car for the right occasion.

Don’t Forget to Look a Few Road Trip Quotes for Inspo

“Look at life through the windshield, not the rearview mirror.

— Byrd Baggett

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.”

– Jon Bon Jovi

About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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