We hope you enjoy our list of the best songs about traveling.
1.“Vienna” by Billy Joel
“Vienna” is one of Joel’s most streamed songs, gaining popularity in the decades long after its release.
The piano melody feels nostalgic and comforting, which is in line with the lyrical message.
The lyrics tell the listener to ‘slow down’ and stop worrying about the future, because ‘Vienna’ waits for them.
2. “Africa” by Toto
“Africa” is an appreciation of African culture and the writer’s love for the continent, with the music video depicting the band in a library, showcasing various African artifacts.
The song has been certified gold by the RIAA and is Toto’s signature song.
“Africa” has remained prevalent in pop culture since, appearing on hit shows like Stranger Things, Family Guy and South Park
3. “Around the World” by Daft Punk
“Around the World” comes from French electronic duo Daft Punk.
The song became a hit dance track across the globe.
The song’s only lyrics are ‘around the world’, which is repeated 144 times.
NME placed the track at number 21 on its list of the 150 Best Tracks of the Last 15 Years in 2011.
4. “Road Trippin’” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Red Hot Chilli Peppers are an American rock band that formed in the 1980s.
The song was released as a single for their well-known album Californication, however was only released as a single in Australia and Europe.
The song’s lyrics are about going on a road trip across the USA, loaded with snacks, with their eyes acting as ‘mirrors for the sun’.
5. “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root
“Send Me On My Way” was originally released for the band’s debut album, Cruel Sun, but was re-recorded for their second album, When I Woke.
The song was not an immediate success, but was popularized for its use in the soundtracks of Matilda and Ice Age.
It has more recently been used in the soundtrack for 2021 miniseries, Maid.
6. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
John Denver’s signature song is about his appreciation for his home state of West Virginia, with its Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenadoah River.
The song was successful from its release, having now sold over 1.6 million digital copies.
The lyrics can be interpreted as being about Denver’s time away and his desire to ultimately travel back to his home.
7. “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra
“Come Fly With Me” was written for Sinatra for his fifteenth album.
Known for his remarkable dancing ability and considered the most popular performer of the 40s, 50s and 60s, Sinatra was greatly influenced by Bing Crosby.
The song became part of Sinatra’s concert repertoire, and remains one of his most well-known tunes.
The lyrics are about the joy of flying in a plane and discovering new destinations.
8. “Big Jet Plane” by Angus & Julia Stone
Angus and Julia Stone are an Australian folk and pop brother-and-sister musical duo.
Like “Come Fly With Me”, the lyrics are about taking a lover on a plane journey.
The song peaked at No 21 in the Australian charts and has since been certified platinum.
9. “Havana” Camila Cabello
“Havana” is a pop song from Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, featuring Young Thug.
Cabello found fame as a member of girl group Fifth Harmony, before starting her career as a solo artist.
The song’s lyrics are about leaving a lover behind in Havana, the capital of Cuba, which is also Cabello’s birthplace.
The song can also be read as a yearning for a homeland, as Cabello now lives in the US.
10. “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & the Papas
“California Dreamin’” was originally recorded by Barry McGuire.
Michelle and John Phillips, who went on to form The Mamas & The Papas, acted as the backing vocals on the original recording.
They released their own version of the song, which is now one of their signature songs.
The lyrics are about dreaming of California, while being stuck in a colder place and seeing the leaves brown and the season change to winter.
11. “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads
“Road to Nowhere” was released as a single by American rock band Talking Heads in 1985, for their album Little Creatures.
The lyrics talk about traveling a ‘road to nowhere’, as an allegory for the inevitable journey to doom, death and apocalypse.
It is considered a more hopeful look at death, about enjoying the journey rather than worrying about the final destination.
12. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
“Born to Run” was Springsteen’s first worldwide single release, although only achieved initial chart success in the US.
The song acts as a love letter to a girl called Wendy, but also has a simpler meaning of ‘getting out of Freehold US Route 9’.
The lyrics speak about getting out of the ‘trap’ of your small town and seeing the world.
13. “Budapest” by George Ezra
Ezra’s breakout song “Budapest” comes from his debut album, Wanted on Voyage.
The whole album was inspired by a trip that Ezra took around Europe.
Ezra traveled across the continent and wrote about everything he saw and did, claiming that the trip was necessary for him to produce his first album
The song reached No 3 on the UK charts, and has a folky and upbeat feel.
14. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver
Denver wrote and recorded “Leaving on a Jet Plane” in 1966.
He made several copies and gave them out as Christmas presents, as the lyrics are about the pain of leaving a loved one.
Aged just 23, Denver apparently wrote the song while waiting at Washington Airport during a layover.
15. “Traveling Alone” by Passenger
Michael David Rosenburg, known by his stage name Passenger, is an English singer-songwriter and musician.
The lyrics are about seeing an Australian man that has been traveling alone in Scandinavian, lamenting on the fact that he is a long way from home.
The song is heartfelt and emotional, conjuring up the feelings of loneliness that can often be felt when traveling away from family and loved ones.
16. “Catch & Release” by Matt Simons
‘Catch and Release” is a song from American singer-songwriter Matt Simons that became a hit across many countries in Europe.
The lyrics are about wanting to disappear to somewhere else, away from daily life.
The song was remixed by Dutch house DJ duo Deepend and had better chart success across Europe.
17. “This Town” by Kygo
Kygo is a Norwegian DJ and producer.
He has worked on huge singles like “I See Fire”, “Higher Love” and “It Ain’t Me”.
“This Town” is about wanting to escape your hometown, where all your friends are settling down, and going off to explore the world instead.
18. “What We Live For” by American Authors
“What We Live For” is a track from American Authors’ 2016 album of the same name.
The song is upbeat and feel-good, about escaping on a road trip with someone and enjoying the journey.
The album debuted at No 60 on the Billboard 200.
The music video shows clips of people having fun at the pool, attending concerts and skateboarding down an open road, capturing the beauty and fun of traveling and seeing the world.
19. “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons
“On Top Of The World” from Imagine Dragons is an upbeat song that captures the thrill and excitement of traveling.
The song is about traveling the world, either metaphorically or in reality – climbing ‘the highest mountains’ and seeing the ‘deepest rivers’ – but ultimately finding their way back to the one they love.
The music video shows members of a band pretending to be astronauts and faking the moon landing, playing on the conspiracy theory that the moon landing never really happened.
20. “Sydney from a 747” by Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly is an Australian singer-songwriter that has delved into lots of different genres over his career, including folk, bluegrass and dub reggae.
His music tends to be about his home country, capturing the beauty, essence and culture of Australia.
“Sydney from a 727” is no exception, with lyrics about the magical experience of seeing the city of Sydney from a plane, flying over Bondi beach, seeing the beautiful light and the ‘red roofs’ of the houses.
21. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
This song comes from Scottish duo The Proclaimers, from their album Sunshine On Leith.
It is now their signature song, garnering worldwide recognition and reaching No 3 in the US Billboard chart.
The lyrics are about being willing to travel 500 miles just to see the person you love.
22. “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Homeward Bound” comes from American music duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
The song was supposedly written by Simon during his time in England, while waiting for a train at Widnes Railway station near Liverpool.
The lyrics are about homesickness, the pain of being on the road and everything looking the same, wishing instead that you were ‘homeward bound’.
23. “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash
“I’ve Been Everywhere” was written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, popularized by Lucky Starr and Hank Snow in 1962.
The original song listed Australian towns, a later version by Rolf Harris listed British towns and Cash’s version lists places in the US.
The lyrics are about having traveled ‘everywhere’, having ‘crossed the deserts bare’ and ‘breathed the mountain air’.
24. “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna
“Shut Up and Drive” was released as the second single for Barbadian singer Rihanna’s third album, Good Girl Gone Bad.
The song is considered ‘new wave’ and incorporates elements of 70s and 80s music.
The lyrics are about a driver and passenger taking a car ride, with the singer telling the driver to ‘shut up and drive’.
It can perhaps be read as a metaphor for starting a relationship, embarking on a journey together and wanting to start it at full speed.
25. “Shotgun” by George Ezra
Another song about being in the passenger seat, this song is about taking a road trip ‘across the equator’ and enjoying everything there is to see on the way.
This song captures the joy and fun of traveling and seeing the world.
The song reached No 1 on the UK singles chart, making it Ezra’s first number one hit.
26. “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors
“Riders on the Storm” was released as a single in 1971.
The Doors were one of the most influential and controversial bands of the 70s, widely regarded as a symbol of the era’s counterculture.
“Riders on the Storm” has elements of jazz, psychedelic rock and art rock.
It is frequently listed among the band’s greatest songs.
27. “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell
Another song from the 1970s, “Big Yellow Taxi” was written, composed and performed by Joni Mitchell.
Mitchell wrote the song while on a trip to Hawaii, having taken a taxi, slept in the hotel and opened up her windows to see beautiful green mountains in the distance.
She looked down to see a parking lot, and lamented on the fact that such a blight had been left on the beautiful scenery.
28. “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel
Although “New York State of Mind” wasn’t released as a single, it soon became a fan favorite.
The lyrics are about how some people want to get away to exotic and sunny places, like Miama and Hollywood, but the singer is in a ‘New York state of mind’ and wants to absorb the beauty of the city.
Joel famously played the song at The Concert for New York City, the benefit concert for the New York City Police and Fire Departments for those that lost their lives on 9/11.
29. “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC
“Highway to Hell” is the opening track to AC/DC’s album of the same name.
The song is known as a rock classic, with an iconic guitar riff that makes it instantly recognisable.
The lyrics are about seeing life as one long car journey to ‘hell’.
30. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin
“Beyond the Sea’ was popularized by Bobby Darin in 1959, an English-language version of ‘La Mer’ by Charles Trenet.
It was originally written as an ode to the sea, but was re-imagined as a love song.
It has been covered by many artists, including Robbie Williams, but Darin’s version remains the most well-known.
31. “Is This The Way to Amarillo” by Tony Christie
This song is about a man traveling to Amarillo, Texas, to meet his girlfriend, Marie.
The lyrics are about traveling across many cities, but none being quite as special as Amarillo, for the fact that his lover is there.
Tony Christie’s version had great success across Europe but only modest success in his home country of the UK, becoming more popular after its re-release in the 2000s.
A video featuring Peter Kay and some other celebrities was created for Comic Relief in 2005 to raise money for charity.
32. “From Paris to Berlin” by Infernal
“From Paris to Berlin” is a song from Danish dance-pop group Infernal.
It is their signature song and was their first to chart across countries in Europe.
It was the UK’s sixth biggest selling single of 2006.
Ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the song was re-recorded for England fans, changing the title to ‘From London to Berlin’, to support the English Football team.
33. “Brazil” by Declan McKenna
“Brazil” comes from English singer-songwriter Declan McKenna for his debut album and remains his most streamed song to date.
The song was written about the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the poverty in Brazil and the corruption surrounding Sepp Blatter and FIFA.
Despite being released in 2015, the song has experienced a recent revival after becoming a trending sound on TikTok in 2022.
34. “These Streets” by Paolo Nutini
“These Streets” is from Paolo Nutini’s debut album of the same name, which peaked at No 3 on the UK album charts.
Most of the songs on the album are inspired by Nutini’s girlfriend, Teri Brogan.
The album was praised for its honesty, lyrics and catchy melodies.
The album and its follow-up, Sunny Side Up, have both been certified quintuple platinum.
35. “On My Way” by Phil Collins
No songs quite capture the essence of going on a journey like those on Disney soundtracks, and this one from Genesis frontman Phil Collins is no exception.
The lyrics are about traveling to somewhere new, ‘with blue skies ahead’ and ‘loving every step’ they are taking, feeling ready to meet new friends.
The song features on the soundtrack to Brother Bear, and Collins was also involved in the production of the soundtrack of Tarzan.
36. “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash
This song was written and recorded by American country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.
Much of Cash’s music is melancholy, focusing on themes of misery, struggle and pain.
“I Walk the Line” remained on the record charts for over 43 weeks, and sold over two million copies.
37. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” was written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by American singer Nancy Sinatra, daughter of world-famous performer Frank Sinatra.
The song reached the No 1 spot in the UK and US, and has been covered since by numerous artists.
It has been described as ‘folk-rock’ in genre.
38. “Sail Away” by David Gray
“Sail Away” was the fourth single from Gray’s fourth album, White Ladder.
The lyrics ask their lover to sail away with them, to escape from reality.
As is common in songs about travel, the ‘journey’ alluded to in the lyrics can be read metaphorically, an analogy for the journey of a relationship, as well as literally.
39. “Keep Driving” by Harry Styles
Harry Styles is one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now, having found success as part of One Direction, one of the biggest boy bands in history.
“Keep Driving” comes from Styles’ most recent album, Harry’s House, which was released in 2022.
The album received the best first week of sales in Styles’ career, reflecting his consistent upward trajectory as a solo artist.
The lyrics seem random and non-sensical at points, but the general theme is about wanting to ‘keep driving’ with someone and get away from reality.
40. “All Around the World” by Justin Bieber, Ludacris
“All Around The World” comes from another of the biggest male pop artists of this generation, Justin Bieber.
The song can be classed as a Eurodance track, and features similar instrumentation to tracks by Usher, Britney Spears and Chris Brown.
The lyrics are about the universality of love, how ‘people all around the world’ are wanting to be loved.
41. “Maps” by Maroon 5
In “Maps”, Maroon 5 describe a relationship using travel as a metaphor, describing a ‘map’ that always leads back to their lover.
It was the lead single for their fifth album, V, released in 2014.
Some criticized the song for being too similar to their previous lead single, Payphone.
The song reached No 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
42. “American Boy” by Estelle, Kanye West
“American Boy” was written by Estelle, West, will.i.am, Estelle’s mentor John Legend and some other collaborators.
John Legend provides additional vocals.
Legend had suggested the idea of creating a song about an American man to Estelle, and the song describes wanting to go on a trip, wanting to see New York and LA.
43. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman
“Fast Car” comes from Chapman’s self-titled debut album.
Chapman is instantly recognisable from her deep-toned voice.
“Fast Car” is about saving up money and driving away in a ‘fast car’ to ‘finally see what it means to be living’ outside of their town.
The song plays on classic themes of being in a relationship and wanting to escape a small town to explore the world, believing they are destined for better things.
44. “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys, Jay-Z
“Empire State of Mind” can be read as a love letter to New York, describing various neighborhoods in the city.
The song features a music sample of “Love on a Two-Way Street” by the Moments.
The title, “Empire State of Mind”, can be read as a reference to Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”, as well as a wordplay on the iconic Empire State building, a landmark in the city.
45. “International Love” by Pitbull, Chris Brown
Pitbull calls himself “Mr Worldwide”, so it’s fitting that he would write a song about traveling internationally and meeting women.
The song was released as a single for Pitbull’s sixth album, Planet Pit, in 2011.
The lyrics list various locations across the world and describe the excitement of meeting beautiful women, but determining that there is ultimately ‘nothing like Miami’s heat’.
46. “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane
“Somewhere Only We Know” comes from British alternative rock band Keane, as a single from their debut album Hopes and Fears.
The song remains their most well-known song, and was covered by Lily Allen for the 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert.
It was inspired by David Bowie’s “Heroes”.
The song’s lyrics are about the narrator wanting to take his lover and go ‘somewhere only [they] know’.
47. “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
“Chasing Cars” was written and recorded by Northern Irish-Scottish alt-rock band Snow Patrol in 2006.
The song gained popularity after being used in the second season finale of Grey’s Anatomy.
It remains their biggest-selling single to date.
The lyrics are about ‘chasing cars’ but only ‘around [their] heads’.
48. “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
Despite being an iconic Miley song, “Party in the USA” was actually written by another well-known pop musician, Jessie J, alongside Claud Kelly and Dr. Luke.
The song was originally set for Jessie, but they decided it wasn’t edgy enough for her.
The lyrics were reinterpreted to be about Cyrus’s move from Nashville to Hollywood.
Despite only being included to make up tracks on the album, the song was a hit for Cyrus and it reached the No 2 spot in the Billboard Hot 100.
The lyrics are about the nerves and excitement of getting off the plane in Hollywood, seeing the famous sights and going out to party.
50. “Lost in Japan” by Shawn Mendes, Zedd
“Lost in Japan” was written for Mendes’ self-titled third album, and was later remixed by Zedd.
The song has funk, pop and R&B elements, resembling the works of Justin Timberlake.
The lyrics are about the singer asking a romantic interest if they have plans that night, because he is only a couple of hundred miles from Japan and can travel there by plane.
51. “Holiday” by Confidence Man
“Confidence Man” are an indie electronic pop band from Australia, and released this song “Holiday” for their album Tilt in 2021.
The song is upbeat and energetic, with the lyrics being about going on ‘holiday’ and ‘getting paid’.
This single summarizes the excitement ahead of going away on holiday, and now has over 2 million streams on Spotify.
52. “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is known for the story-telling, visual element of his songwriting, and this track is no exception.
“Barcelona” is about imagining he is away in Barcelona with a lover, ‘dancing in the streets’ and ‘drinking Sangria’.
The song includes a lot of Spanish words, which apparently ‘don’t make a lot of sense’ but are more just random Spanish words that Sheeran knew and wanted to throw into the song.
53. “Hotel Room Service” by Pitbull
Another Pitbull song, “Hotel Room Service” is about encouraging someone to ‘forget about’ their boyfriend and meet them in the hotel room.
The song samples “Push the Feeling On” by Nightcrawlers and lyrics from Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U”.
An official remix was released, including vocals from ex-Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger.
54. “Club Tropicana” by Wham!
“Club Tropicana” was written by Wham! Duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.
The song was inspired by the duo’s excitement for the burgeoning New Romantics club scene.
“Club Tropicana” imagines a magical paradise of a club scene, where ‘drinks are free’ and the whole night is a ‘holiday’.
The song is heavily associated with going on holiday, emulating the mood and heat of the tropics.
55. “Summer Holiday” by Cliff Richard
“Summer Holiday” was written for the soundtrack of a film of the same name, which was released in 1963.
The album topped the UK charts for 14 weeks.
The lyrics summarize the excitement of going on a holiday in summertime, a chance to get away and ‘do the things they always wanted to’.
Songs About Traveling – Final Thoughts
Some of the songs on this list describe and reference specific places, where some simply capture the excitement and freedom of going out and seeing the world.
Even if you have done little traveling, you will surely find something to relate to, or perhaps inspire you, amongst this list.
Many artists use the concept of travel as a metaphor for love, about finding a loved one as their ‘ultimate destination’.
Other artists are less concerned with the joys and excitement of traveling, and are more focused on the idea of coming home to see loved ones.
Regardless of whether their depiction is positive or negative, it is safe to say that there is something for everyone in this list of songs about traveling, which includes some of the best songs of all time.