25 Non-Cliche Travel Songs (With Videos)

by Michael Melton Nov 1, 2008
Forget the tired tracks you’re used to hearing. Here are 25 inspiring songs that will have you hitting the road.

Feature photo Sbishop

FOR THE LAST FEW years, I have been looking for a solid list of travel songs that doesn’t seem too cliche.

However, the lists always end up naming On The Road Again, and These Boot Were Made For Walking as ideal songs for the road.

Instead of sitting around and complaining about the content of internet travel song lists, I’ve decided to create my own.

I’m not sure if it is a lack of creativity, or a lack of knowledge that pushes people to recycle the same list over and over. I don’t really care anymore. Instead of sitting around and complaining about the content of internet travel song lists, I’ve decided to create my own.

I’m 100% sure that I will miss a lot of really good songs. I’m also positive that a lot of people will disagree with me, but that’s the nature of the beast.

If I missed something that you love, post it in a comment, and I’ll see about adding it to the list. I can already think of a few songs that don’t really belong, but I’ll be damned if I was going to put On The Road Again on the list.

Here they are in no particular order:

This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks

Hmm, I wonder why I put this on the list…maybe because it was on Darjeeling Limited. Okay, that might be a little cliche…but, I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite.

Aufstehn by Seeed

I couldn’t tell you if this song actually has anything to do with travel, but I fell in love with Seeed while in Germany for the World Cup. Therefore, every time I hear this song, I think “Maybe its time to travel again.”

Starlight by Muse

“Far away from the memories of the people who care if I live or die” … Need I say more.

Paper Planes by M.I.A.

I love this song. It has a sample from The Clash. Kids Singing. A Great message. And the singer is from Sri Lanka. We don’t usually get too many Sri Lankan acts here in the states…but after her, I wish we had more.

If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly

I’ve seen these guys 6 times (Going on 7 this October 19th), and they never get old. They always put on an amazing show, and leave me feeling energized and a little bit drunk. My love for the band aside, they also travel more than any band I have ever known. From Japan to Finland, from Los Angeles to Germany, these guys are perpetually on the road.

Gyasi Went Home by Bedouin Soundclash

Not only is the song very catchy, but the video will make you want to book a trip to Guyana immediately. I especially love that the video gives a little background on the song.

Wanderlust King by Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello speaks to the gypsy in all of us. I for one want to visit Kiev right now. If you like the video, check out the movie The Pied Piper of Hutzovina.

Amsterdam by Peter, Bjorn and John

Basically, this song is about Amsterdam. What better reason do I need to place this on my list.

Mama Africa by Akon

Every time I hear this song, I get an overwhelming urge to book a flight to Senegal.

Gone Till November by Wyclef Jean

Though I’m not in the drug trade, I still wouldn’t mind being gone till November…next November.

Around The World by Daft Punk

I’m pretty sure this one is obvious.

Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder

Basically, this song reminds me of Into The Wild…which makes me want to hit the road.

Tiny Dancer by Elton John

Two words…Almost Famous.

Les Champs-Elysees by Joe Dassin

If you love this song…you’ve got to hear it on vinyl, it’s tops.

Over The Hills And Far away by Led Zeppelin

Currently, I’m sitting behind my desk, wishing I was Over The Hills And Far Away…Sorry for being corny. I’m more like my dad every day.

Breakdown by Jack Johnson

Normally, I wouldn’t throw a Jack Johnson song on a list like this…but this song is just too damn good, and i love the imagery.

New Shoes by Paolo Nutini

I first heard Paolo in Thailand two years ago…there was a music video channel in one of our rooms, and they were playing his videos all night. I can’t help but love his songs, they remind me of paradise.

With My Own Two Hands by Ben Harper

Ben gives us a good reminder that we can make a difference out there in the world, all we’ve got to do is try.

Penny On The Train Track by Ben Kweller

Every time I hear this song, I want to get out there and tramp around the good old US of A. Plus, I love that he has his grandma dancing in his video…for real.

Beautiful Day by U2

This one just makes me happy, and I love Bono…The King of Ireland. Damn, Tina Fey is funny.

Blowin’ In The Wind by Sam Cooke

There are many versions of this song, but I just prefer Sam Cooke’s.

Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

Admittedly, this is a bit cliche, but I can get away with it…at least the rest of my list is original.

Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs

If you can listen to this and not want to hit the road, I’ll give you 500 bonus points.

Chicago Falcon by The Budos Band

Pop this porn groove on your iPod, stroll through a market, and feel like a bad mutha…shut your mouth…I’m just talkin bout The Budos Band.

Always Where I Need To Be by The Kooks

This was just an excuse to get The Kooks on my list…that’s the beauty of creating your own lists, you can do whatever you want.

I hope my list makes you happy. If not, you can create your own list, and we’ll have a travel song list battle!

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