Whether you’re going off to the mountains, traveling back to university, or visiting another city, the fall is the perfect time to center yourself and enjoy some good music for your getaway. Making the perfect playlist isn’t easy, and chances are, you’re gonna need more than 10 songs or I’m not entirely sure you’re actually on a road trip so much as making a slightly obnoxious commute. That being said, these ten travel-themed songs should definitely help get you started.
1. Sleep on the Floor-The Lumineers
“And by the time she wakes/We’ll have driven through the state. / We’ll have driven through the night/Baby, come on.”
The first song on The Lumineers’ album Cleopatra, “Sleep On The Floor” embodies the vibe of starting out a journey. It’s the right we’re-running-away-from-home-and-nothing-can-stop-us vibes that can get you goin’ and is sure to send you on your way. (They’re also just a really chill band, and really incredible live, too, give ’em a listen!)
2. Send Me On My Way-Rusted Root
“Send me on my way… (On my way) / Send me on my way… (On my way)”
(See what I did there?) If you’ve seen the movie Ice Age, chances are you’re familiar with this tune. “Send Me On My Way” is to Ice Age as “Allstar” is to Shrek. It’s the catalyst for adventure, the call to get on the road, and really, still a bop (nay, a banger) after all these years. Don’t be afraid to mix in music with a little penny whistle in it, I always say. (I don’t always say that, but isn’t it true?)
3. 500 Miles-The Proclaimers
“But I would walk 500 miles/And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles/To fall down at your door…”
Speaking of songs that’ll really get you amped for your journey… If you’re familiar with one of the softer covers of this song, that’s all well and good, but in order to get the full Scottish experience, you have to hear The Proclaimers’ sing it for themselves. “500 Miles” is a romantic anthem, and an all-around good time that should be added to any road trip playlist.
4. Getaway Car-Taylor Swift
“You were drivin’/The getaway car
We were flyin’/But we’d never get far…”
And where would we be if we didn’t mention the queen of romantic anthems… Taylor Swift brings us a Bonnie-and-Clyde runaway song of our dreams, and yes, we were robbed that there wasn’t a music video, #GetawayCarMusicVideo2k19 Nothing like singing along with a song that makes you feel like you’ve got the world at your back and adventure ahead, and “Getaway Car” does just that.
5.Run For Cover-The Killers
“Run while you can, baby, don’t look back/ You gotta run for cover…”
“Don’t fight it, don’t fight it/Open your eyelids…”
“And ride it, just ride it/Get off your island…”
Coming back on the upside we’ve got “Islands” by courtship. This song is about getting out of your own personal space, getting out of your ‘island’, whatever that may look like to you. Your comfort zone, your home town… just getting away. One of my favorite lyrics says, “You are invited to be undecided’…you don’t have to know your final destination, on this trip or this life. It’s about the journey and not the destination, baby.
“But honey I’ll be seein’ you, ever, I go/But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it…”
Lorde’s “Greenlight” is sure to get anyone amped as you chant, “I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it”…it’s the lyrical embodiment of “if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” It may inspire you to go and confess your love to someone cities away or at least do your makeup in somebody else’s car, but I can’t make any promises!
8.Home-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
“Ah, home, let me go home…
Home is wherever I’m with you”
No matter how long you’re on the road, reader, this is a heart-warming tune that’s perfect for you and your fall road trip pal(s). I gotta say, I love me a duet, and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes delivers. Sometimes, especially in college and right after, it can feel like you don’t have a definite home, and you’re moving in and out of dorms, apartments, sublets, and flatshares… but it’s the people we share these years with more than the spaces we live in that become home.
9. We Don’t Deserve Love-Arcade Fire
“Keep both eyes on the road tonight/‘Cause I’m driving home to you
Terrible song on the radio/Baby, what else is new?”
Arcade Fire’s final track on their Everything Now album embodies what it feels like to be coming to the end of a long day, a relationship, (or a fall road trip). It’s for that midnight hour when you’ve been driving for so long that the humor has begun to fade and you and your buddies have grown quiet and contemplative as you try your best to stay awake. It’s haunting and lovely and should absolutely be on any fall road trip playlist (along with their entire discography, let’s get real).
10. When We Drive-Death Cab For Cutie
We always keep the windows open wide/When we drive…”
When Death Cab came back they came back in a big way with this album, and indie kids and art students whispered their thanks everywhere. “When We Drive” is a fairly obvious-sounding end to your trip, a wonderful conclusion that romanticizes the simple act of driving with someone, a love song and thanks to your travel buddies that’ll end your trip on a sweet note. Even if you traveled by yourself, it’s a nice ending to a time you spent with Me, Myself and I.