22 Songs For Your Travel Playlist

I Lived by OneRepublic

This song is not only my favorite travel song, but my travel creed. It inspires me to push myself, to go further, and to truly live life to its fullest extent. At the end of my days, I want to be able to look back and say “I Lived.”

“I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”


Sound of Change by Dirty Heads

Traveling brings a sense of change to my life. I am never the same having returned from abroad. I think this song, focusing on the inevitable change in our lives is a perfect way to get pumped up about how a trip will change us for the better.

“Here and now, the horns are playing. The victory sound, I live in the now. The sky is my home, and I live in the clouds. Now or never, bound forever. Making the change, making it better. I live for this shit, I love the pain. It’s part if the journey, it’s part of the game. I’ve been alone in the dark and the rain. I’ve seen the end and I wasn’t afraid. I’ve been in tears and I wasn’t ashamed. I hear a sound and the sound that I’m hearing is change.”


Cecelia And The Satellite by Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

To be honest, I’m not sure I have a great reason to say this is a travel song. Sure, it mentions a few cities, but to me, it just has a “flying through the air” sound to it. It’s relaxing, soothing, and is in a prime spot on my playlist when I’ve reached cruising altitude somewhere over the Atlantic.

“I’ve café crawled through Amsterdam. I’ve been around the world with a punk rock band. And I’ve seen London, and I’ve played Japan. I’ve been knocked down, I got up again. For all the places I have been. I’m no place without you.”


Manzanitas by Trevor Borden

This is another song that just has a travel feel to me. Listening to Manzanitas, I feel a sense of adventure and wanderlust. Similar to I Lived, it gives me a push to go out and explore while I still have the chance.

“Where are we going? When will we get there? Is there an age to call complete?”


Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez

This is one of those songs that I’d start listening to right as I begin final approach to an European airport after a sleepy transatlantic flight. It’s got a nice slow tempo for waking up and inspires a sense of wonder or curiosity about my approaching destination. Plus, it was featured in the wanderlust inducing movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

“But there is a truth and it’s on our side. Dawn is coming open your eyes. Look into the sun as a new days rise.”


Mr. Rager by Kid Cudi

This one stands out on this list and is a preferred song for take off. While I’m 99% sure I’m misinterpreting the meaning of the lyrics, I interpret the song as a story about a traveler who doesn’t like staying in one place for very long. Or, me. “Birds sing, flying around. You never see them too long on the ground.” I like to think of this as a reference to airplanes (“birds”), which are at home only in the sky, not on the ground. The same goes for me. I’m not one to stay too long on the ground.

“Tell me where you’re going, tell us where you’re headed. I’m off on the adventure, Mr. Rager. Tell me some of your stories, tell us of your travels.”


Outro by M83

This song somehow perfectly captures the spirit and essence of flying. So much so, it was selected as the theme for National Geographic’s Living in the Age of Airplanes. This song features no lyrics, but still says volumes and ignites my fascination with airplanes and air travel.


Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone

As you’ve probably noticed, any song resembling an aviation theme is a big hit with me. This song, again, is one of my favorite songs for take off and the initial climb. The background beat reminds me of a (big jet) plane rolling down a long runway and the upswing is reminiscent of the rotation and climb into the sky. Nothing says “miracle of flight” better than a song named Big Jet Plane.

“Tell me where you’re going, tell us where you’re headed. I’m off on the adventure, Mr. Rager. Tell me some of your stories, tell us of your travels.”


Not every song has a story behind why they make my travel playlist, but these songs still inspire my sense of wanderlust:

Back Home by Andy Grammer

Only The Young by Brandon Flowers

Outside by Calvin Harris

Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons

The World At Large by Modest Mouse

Float On by Modest Mouse

All Of The Stars by Ed Sheeran

Lake Michigan by Rogue Wave (Up In The Air, anyone?)

Wake Me Up by Avicii

Au Revoir by OneRepublic

Fix You by Coldplay

Tokyo by Imagine Dragons

San Francisco by The Mowgli’s

Plane by Jason Miraz




Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.