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Strange, Upbeat, and Inspirational Songs to Add to Your Pre-Travel Playlist
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Strange, Upbeat, and Inspirational Songs to Add to Your Pre-Travel Playlist

As we get closer to summer, it may be time to dice up your playlist to get ready to hit the road. There are thousands of possibilities, so maybe a bit of variety is in order – from old school to K-Pop to parody songs. Here are some suggestions for music that’ll make you celebrate all the world has to offer.

List Songs That’ll Improve Your Geography – Maybe

To start off, you can relive your childhood days when you enjoyed animated creatures sharing cartoony songs and watch Yakko Warner’s Nations of the World video. Then you’ll have lots of options on TikTok and YouTube to see parodies and all the versions that point out the errors.

There have been several attempts to update the song for modern times. Here is one from 2020 that is a little closer to the mark.

Another option that makes an attempt to teach geography and use pop-style music is Tour of the World by Renald Francoeur from 2012. See if you can find any errors.

If those songs aren’t enough, you can listen to Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere, which also turns a geography-laundry list into lyrics.


Upbeat and Inspirational Songs to Celebrate the Return to Travel

The song What We Live For by the American Authors like many other songs combines a little romance with a love for travel. The lyrics speak to anyone who loves to journey to places far and wide:

“You can take me anywhere the wind blows
Right into the great unknown
We can throw our hands up out the window
This is what we live for”

An older song that resonates right now is Beautiful Day by U2. Lead singer Bono has said the song speaks about someone who has lost everything but still finds joy in what remains. This may particularly remind Rustic alum of their travels to places where people find happiness in the little they have. After talking about being stuck in town, the lyrics include lines like this:

“See the world in green and blue. See China right in front of you. See the canyons broken by cloud. See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out. See the Bedouin fires at night. See the oil fields at first light. And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth. After the flood all the colors came out.”

A great indie rock option is Travelling by Paper Lions – “Please don’t be a stranger in my place.”

If you want more indie tunes, there also is an entire hour-plus playlist of travel songs by lesser-known artists on YouTube.

K-Pop fans also have options and can listen to BTS talk about their travels in the catchy song Airplane Part 2. There are various versions including the viral Japanese one. “We’re goin’ from New York to Cali, London to Paris, wherever we go, party, El Mariachi”

If you are headed to an island, the rock song by Weezer Island in the Sun is a fun choice – Hip, Hip.

If a bit of country is preferred, turn up the Rascal Flatts’ version of Tom Cochrane’s song that was featured in the movie CarsLife Is a Highway.

A more mellow current country song that speaks to people who love the countryside is Thomas Rhett’s Country Again.

Oldies But Goodies – Songs That Have Stood the Test of Time

Going farther back in time, there are a number of tunes that you may still hear when heading out the door for a trip. For an airplane journey, the 1960’s brought us John Denver’s time-proven song Leaving on a Jet Plane.

Many years later a classic road trip song that was released in 1980 was Willie Nelson’s song On the Road Again. Today the lyrics may be more true than ever – “Just can’t wait to get on the road again.”

Other travel songs from the 1980s transported us to certain regions of the world, including Kokomo by the Beach boys and Africa by Toto, which was remade in 2018.

Songs of World – Getting in the Mood to Travel

If you are headed to a particular nation or region, you may search for traditional music to get ready – a little merengue for the Dominican Republic or Amazigh folk music for Morocco. You also could try these options.

For Costa Rica, listeners can soak in the joy they can expect while visiting the nation by listening to the blissful song Pura Vida by Don Omar.

For the Dominican Republic Bachata En Fukuoka is a fun number or you can watch a video featured in the Huffington Post that shows the five songs you are likely to hear at any Dominican party.

If you’re heading to a country in the vast continent of Africa you can harken back to the 2010 World Cup and dance to Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which has a staggering 2.8 billion views on YouTube.

For a look at modern Moroccan music superstar Saad Lamjarred has a bunch of options. One fun piece is Ghaltana, which isn’t particularly about travel but has won a number of awards, including Best Moroccan Song.

There are also plenty of songs about travel and love, like Havana by Camila Cabello and tunes about going home like Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran.

Something a Little Weird

If you’re in a strange mood, you can always find a parody song to prepare for your trip. Songs like Eat It by Weird Al will get you in the mood to try some new cuisine.

Or if you live in the United States and forget all the reasons why you want to travel, try listening to some songs by the Holderness family, like Bored in the USA that was made in the summer of 2020.

What are your favorite travel songs? Share them in the comments.

About the Author

Mary Rogelstad

Content Writer