Best Travel Songs Ever: For Planes, Trains & Automobiles
If you’re doing some road trip planning you don’t want to forget the music and that means you'll need the best travel songs ever. Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives and every road trip needs a soundtrack. You might want to start with the top five best travel songs ever and choose some great tunes new and classic pop rock.
I think of one of my trips to Seattle every time I hear a Phil Collins song from “No Jacket Required” because that was the primary music I was listening to on that trip. I think of the Bahamas Harbor Island and the amazing walks on the Pink Sands Beach every time I hear Wilson Phillips music. It’s sort of like having a theme song for every vacation but hearing the music even today will evoke fun memories of wonderful trips.
After I chose the top five best travel songs ever, I wanted to make a list of great travel songs involving planes, trains and automobiles. These are travel songs that didn’t make my top five, but have a definite contribution for the best travel songs ever category. Now hopefully you won’t take this too seriously, because my travel song lists are really more about fun than anything else. Not only can you listen to these songs when you roll down the highway while getting your kicks on Route 66, but for many of you, you can also stroll down memory lane as well.
Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver. This has got to be one of the best travel songs ever. I have always loved the music of John Denver and saw him in concert at the height of his career. The irony of this song is that his life was cut short while piloting a small experimental plane. Leaving on a Jet Plane is one of the quintessential travel songs of a road warrior and/or avid solo traveler. I like this YouTube clip since John gives an introduction before he sings. Another musical artist gone too soon but who has left a memorable legacy of tunes.
[Video: John Denver, Leaving on a Jet Plane]
Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees. I think that Last Train to Clarksville could almost be the train version of Leaving on a Jet Plane. When I was a little girl, I loved the Monkees way more than the Beatles, but hey, I did grow up in the Midwest. This was the first show I remember loving as a very young child.
[Video: The Monkees, Last Train to Clarksville]
Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips. Reunited love: “I’d rather live with him in his world than live without him in mine,” is the essence of Midnight Train to Georgia. I love the lyrics, imagery and or course, “the Pips.”
[Video: Gladys Knight & The Pips, Midnight Train To Georgia]
On the Road Again – Willie Nelson. I just love the lyrics of On the Road Again: “Goin' places that I've never been… Seein' things that I may never see again… And I can't wait to get on the road again.” Reminds me of every road trip I take and driving the open spaces of the open road.
[Video: Willie Nelson, On the Road Again]
Get Your Kicks on Route 66 – Nat King Cole. Since hearing this song so many decades ago, it’s a classic road trip dream to Get Your Kicks on Route 66. Of course it’s sung by a musical icon, Nat King Cole.
[Video: Nat King Cole, Get Your Kicks on Route 66]
Take Me Home Country Roads – John Denver. In one of the last TV interviews I remember watching of John Denver, he talked about all the fuss the media made about his “makeover.” I remember him saying, “I got contacts. How is that a makeover?” Very funny. I remembered that when I saw this clip of Take Me Home Country Roads with the new and improved John Denver (aka no glasses). This is one song that has always painted beautiful pictures of a road trip. “Almost Heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.” I lived in that area of the country when I attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (Now Shenandoah University) my freshman year in college.
[Video: John Denver, Take Me Home Country Roads]
I also love the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (aka IZ) version of this song with a Hawaiian Spin. Reminds me of my travels to Hawaii with my sister playing this CD in our car as we toured Kuaui and Oahu. That’s what travel songs are all about, right?
[Video: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Take Me Home Country Roads]
Now I’m sure you have your picks too of your own best travel songs ever. I’d love to hear about songs you think are the best travel songs ever too so tell me about them! Don’t just list the title of the song though, tell me why you think it's the best travel song ever and your criteria for it making your list. Also, if the song brings back memories of a great vacation, attach a photo of your vacation, too.
What Are Your Favorite Travel Songs?
Now I’m sure you have your picks too for your favorite travel songs. I’d love for you to tell me about them! Don’t just list the title(s) though, tell me why it’s your favorite song(s), if it brings back memories of a great vacation, and attach a photo of the vacation too. Share it!
I hope you loved these tunes as much as I enjoyed putting this list together!
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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more