travel playlist music for traveling

Bloggers’ Top 3: Travel Playlist

Hi, guys! Welcome to my new series: Bloggers’ Top 3. I will be featuring different travel bloggers and will be asking them about their top 3 picks for different topics under the sun.

First up, is Top 3 Travel Playlist!

Music. One of the oldest forms of art and still vital to our everyday lives, especially for music lovers. They say that music is what feelings sound like and that it heals our soul. It speaks the words we cannot express. It makes us remember moments or forget everything. It can change our mood. It connects people. And it’s even considered as both a therapy and a drug.

For those of us who like to travel, music plays different roles too. It can fill the downtime and in-between. It drives and inspires. It lifts or tune in our moods. It makes us think of home or faraway places. And even help us get through a sleepless night. You can even get to know a country’s culture or history through music.

Nowadays, we are quite lucky that we don’t need to have an extra gadget just to listen to music. Technology definitely made it easy for us especially with apps like Spotify, Deezer, and Soundcloud. These apps can play us a plethora of music right from our smartphones. Do you still remember the times when we had to save up just to buy the cassette tapes and CDs of our favorite artists? Good times!

For the first installment of the Bloggers’ Top 3 Series, I asked six of my fellow awesome travel bloggers what are the top three songs on their travel playlist. And why they love listening to these songs when they are traveling, or why these songs have become memorable because of their travels.

Here are their top three songs on their travel playlist:


1) Marge Gavan of

She says she listens to many songs when traveling but her favorites are:

  • Good Mistake by Mr. Little Jeans
  • Into Black by Blouse
  • It Gets Better by Dotan

Aside from the fact that these are excellent songs, I listen to them because they help me calm my nerves especially when I’m on a plane. You see, I have a flying anxiety and listening to feel good, soothing music helps me manage it.


2) Shayan and Kanika of

“Songs are a huge part of our travels, whether during a journey or at the final destination. Here are 3 songs that we absolutely love and always end up hearing everywhere we go.”

  • Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
    “The wifey’s favorite and starting to be the husband’s go-to song too. This song is perfect for the road trips because it is all about living ‘wild and free’. It just sparks the wanderlust in us… not to mention, gets us singing along the entire journey.”
  • Cheerleader – Omi
    “We first heard this song when we were in Seychelles at the hotel bar during our honeymoon and we fell in love with it ever since. Now whenever we are at the beach, we crank this tune-up.”
  • Cool for the Summer – Demi Lovato
    “Another song we kept hearing in our hotel room when we stayed in Koh Tao and obviously it became synonymous with being at the beach.”

Obviously, we have a lot more songs that are from a mixed genre – hip-hop, rock, EDM but those are just the 3 that sticks out lately.


3) Erwin Manalad of

Here are Erwin’s top 3 songs:

  • Vivrant Thing by Q-Tip
    “I’m a big fan of Hip Hop Music, and one of my favorite hip-hop artists is Q-Tip. I play some of his songs anywhere I go, it just never gets too old, always sets a good mood and pumps up a good day!”
  • X.O. by John Mayer
    “Who doesn’t love John Mayer? He is talented and he has one of the most remarkable voices out there. Play his music and you’ll feel sublime. I play some of his songs to relax on a long trip and put up a good mood.”
  • See No Other Way by Slightly Stoopid
    “I’m in El Nido that time, playing some of this band’s awesome tracks, me and my new found friends, Tom and Craig, were sitting on the beach, staring at the sunset, looking at some fine women and just chillin’ …What a fine day it was.”


4. Celina Durante of

The top 3 songs on Celina’s playlist are:

  • Autobahn by Anberlin
  • Lisztomania by Phoenix
  • Young Blood by The Naked and Famous

The first two songs are upbeat, and I need the energy they give off so I can last the whole trip. They also match the enthusiasm and excitement I feel when I travel, and that extra rush can really make a difference. The third song is more of my mood song when traveling. I just think that the song, with its lyrics and tune, is just so apt. I would like to think the song is a reflection of my experiences, especially when I travel. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that song.

5. Penny Frederiksen of

The top 3 songs on Penny’s playlist are:

  • “Om Mani Padme Hum,” by Tibetan Monks

“Traveling can sometimes be very stressful with delayed flights, sleeping in airports, sickness or just coping with being out of my comfort zone. I first heard this version of  Om Mani Padme Hum in Nepal- where it is continually played by loudspeakers on the streets of Kathmandu. Since then, I have always made sure it is on the top of my playlist. I play it when I need to settle and breathe and take time out to collect myself.”

  • Annie’s Song by John Denver

 “This song probably shows my age! I was 17 and had a huge crush on John Denver and his music. So many years later and it is still my favorite song. Annie’s Song has the ability to  make me cry; a lost love and someone I cared for deeply.”

  • I Still Call Australia Home – Qantas Ad (original by Peter Allen)

” “I Still Call Australia Home” has the ability to make any homesick Aussie pick up the phone and call home. I play it when I need to remind myself why it is important to be proud of my country and to be thankful for what it has given me… the freedom to travel and but to still remember my roots.”


6) Jayson Concepcion of The Travel Debugger

Here are Jayson’s top 3:

  • Badfish by Sublime

“One of my favorite songs of all time. Every time I listen to this song it instantly caresses my soul like it’s telling me that whatever problems I have in life right now will pass so just enjoy the moment and chill. I always request this song for the band to play (or from my friends) especially when I’m on the beach.”

  • Don’t stay home by 311

“This is definitely my ‘flip-the-table-and-just-travel’ song. The title says it all. Don’t stay home! If you’re just going to spend your life in isolation or in a cubicle then you’re not living it. Enjoy and live life to the fullest!
I have a band back in High School and 311 is collectively our favorite band. We’re still good friends up to now so every time one of us is spending his birthday or traveling, we always tell each other to ‘Don’t stay home, man!’”

  • Better together by Jack Johnson

“I love this song. I first heard this with my friends on a surfing trip in La Union back when I was fairly new to traveling and I got instantly hooked, both to traveling and to Johnson’s music.
The lyrics of the song is like my wife and I’s love for each other because we’re really better when we’re together and that’s why we always travel together.”

7) Kenny of KnycxI think these three songs are the most memorable songs on my travel playlist:

  • Des’ree – You Gotta Be

“July 2011, New York City. I was strolling down the Madison Avenue in Manhattan when the heat wave came. The temperature hit over 100 F and the avenues and alleys were deserted. The Statue of Liberty had to be closed as the interior was too hot. This song helped me to cool myself down from the unbearable heat, walking my way to the Guggenheim when Desiree sang “You gotta be Cool~” ”

  • Jessie J – Price Tag

“Dec 2015, Utah. Road Trip from Las Vegas to Zion National Park in the morning. I guess we were looking for something upbeat so we (especially the driver) won’t fall asleep on the road. Lastly, it became Carpool Karaoke.”

  • American Authors – Best Day of My Life

“Apr 2015, Kota Kinabalu. Beaches,  resorts, drinks. We were at the resort villa with access to the beach on an island. I still remember who we got stuck in the hammock one by one – you got in and seemed impossible to get out. We had our ukulele to practice the tricky first part of the song. It was one of the best days of my life.”

travel playlist pointandshootwanderlust

As for me, music is part of my daily ritual. It’s part of my daily commute to and from work. That’s why it’s also a big part of my travels. When I’m traveling, I either sleep, read or listen to music on the road as part of my downtime. Otherwise, I’m chatting up my travel buddies or strangers I meet along the way. My choice in music has always been broad. From classical to indie and of course mainstream. Sometimes I listen for the music, sometimes for the lyrics, and other times for both.

Here are the top 3 songs on my travel playlist:

  • Underneath This Sky by Cameron Ernst

Such a feel-good song that’s perfect for travel days and days when I need travel inspiration.

  • Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae

Another feel good song. I usually play this at the start of my playlist.

  • Do or Die by Thirty Seconds to Mars

Got to be my favorite song from the band until now. I’m a big fan of the Leto brothers and their music is a constant in my travel playlist. I just love the lyrics to this song. Loved the Afrojack remix too. It’s a good motivation song. I run to this song as well.

For more of my travel playlist, check it out on Spotify:

How about you? I would love to hear the top 3 songs on your travel playlist too!


Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.

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