Tuning up: The Airplane Travel Playlist

Thirty seconds after arriving at the McCarran International Airport, this realization I keep compartmentalizing hit me again. It burned its way into my consciousness like the jet fuel smell was doing to my nostrils. I couldn’t push it away anymore and this annoyed me, but there it was: I hated flying.

It’s not that I’m afraid of flying, it’s just that the whole process kind of makes me uncomfortable. Between the security check point strip down, the looming armrest battles, and funny airplane smell, it’s hard to find your zen. But quite possibly the worst flying battle to try and overcome is a bad luck of the draw with seat assignments. Every time you buckle up for your next destination, you’re playing a risky game of social roulette. If you’re lucky, you get the cute newlywed couple or the mom and pop type who think you are, “A very well behaved young woman.” But I’m from Vegas. I know the odds of winning. The statistics were not in my favor.

I approached the gate with thousands of worst case scenarios running through my head. What uncomfortable conversations awaited me? Would I get another middle-aged business man seated next to me who drinks gin and tonics for six hours, only to spill them on my skirt and pass out with his head on my shoulder? Or would this be a repeat London trip, where I am seated next to the creeper who stares at my boobs for fourteen hours? Or what about that flight from Boston with the six screaming babies?

I looked at my ticket. This flight was going to be fifteen hours long? I was feeling nauseous.

I sat down at the gate and pulled out my iPod. I let out a big sigh as I turned on one of my travel playlists. As uncomfortable and stir-crazy as this process made me feel, getting lost in the music was the one way I knew how to cope. I mentally laughed at the concept: it really was just a matter of changing the song to change my tune.

As I started to feel better, my thoughts hearkened me back to my knowledge of psychology research on music. Listening to music has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase positivity. This is great news for travelers because music can then be an effective tool to reduce stress. Creating a playlist to pump you up and get you into an adventurous state of mind is simple and economical (and definitely cheaper than paying for a therapy session)!

But finding the right music to jam out to can be a hassle in itself. Certain music jives better for certain occasions. And because I’m all about improving travel experiences for the masses, I’ve decided to compile a series of blogs sharing some of my favorite travel tunes for each location I go to. And since this idea occurred to me while waiting for the A380 to arrive, I’m going to start with airplane travel. I’ve painstakingly scrolled through my music selection, written out, revised, and then re-revised my list of necessary tunes to get you from the gate to baggage claim anxiety free.

This one I’m calling…

Tuning Up: The Top Ten Songs for Airplane Travel

1. Sweet DreamsEurythmics. I feel like this song validates my feelings on flying. Sometimes things suck but I just have to keep moving forward. And after all, traveling the world is my sweet dream. Time to get over the airplane pity party and buckle up for the adventure ahead!

2. Stuck in the Middle With YouStealers Wheel. Even though this song was written about the band members having a meal with some sleazy record executives, I find it has many applications. I never know who I’m going to get stuck talking to and sometimes I need a song to validate my uncomfortable feelings. The great thing is that it helps me to laugh at my situation. I can bop out to my own inside joke and by the end of it, feel confident that this is just one part of the journey. I can make it through, even if I’m surrounded by clowns.

3. Fly Like An EagleSteve Miller Band. While I’m partial to Seal’s version, either will do. By now I’m over the shock of my cabin-fever and ready to embrace this phase of my adventure. I chew on the fact that my butt is sitting 30,000 feet above the ground right now. Even without super powers, I start to feel like a bad-ass.

4. Go Your Own WayFleetwood Mac. Okay, while I know this is supposed to be a break-up song, it’s just so damn catchy. Plus, I’m a fan of going my own way and encouraging others to do the same. Now that I’ve established I’m kind of cool for even being on a plane, I can revel in how independent and awesome I am for choosing my own adventure.

5. CrushDave Matthews Band. Who doesn’t love Dave? The groovy bass and violin solos immediately put me in an altered state of peace, allowing me to enjoy the ride of the tail wind. Plus with lyrics like, “Just knowing that the world is round… Am I I right side up or upside down,” I have something to think about while in transit to my destination. The idea of standing on the opposite side of the world and still being grounded baffles me every time. Thanks for the mind bend, gravity.

6. Big Jet Plane– Angus and Julia Stone. This is one of my favorite songs to come out of pop culture recently. The string quartet and raspy vocals keep me floating on the Dave Matthew’s high while giving me another group to love. This song gets me pumped to fly, but does so in a mellow way. It’s a nice subtle reminder to embrace the trip, and that maybe somewhere out there someone is thinking of me.

7. Gypsy– Shakira. Now that I’m comfortable in the moment, I’m ready to pump myself up for the next phase of my trip. And while you may laugh at this top ten choice, I identify strongly with this snappy tune. The simple beat and familiar lyrics about nomadic life put me in the mindset for an awesome adventure. It reminds me that I am not the norm, but I am going to experience so many wonderful things because of it.

8. Where You Lead, I Will Follow– Carole King. Normally when I start thinking about all the upcoming adventures I’m going to have, I get a little nervous. Carole knows how to sing to my soul and remind me that even though I’m traveling alone, I’m not alone. Listening to Carole’s mother-daughter duet reassures me that I have a team of family and friends behind me in my pursuit of adventure. I know that regardless of where I go, I have friends and loved ones following my journey, wishing me the best. This song pushes me a little farther outside of my comfort zone with the knowledge I always have love and acceptance waiting for me when I come back.

9. Many the Miles– Sara Bareilles. I am a huge Sara B fan. If I could sing and play piano, I would hope to one day bring life and magic to songs like she does. Many the Miles is an anthem for adventurers, travelers, lovers, and life enthusiasts everywhere. She wrote it during a challenging time in her life as a pick-me-up. She preaches about enjoying life to its fullest, loving unconditionally, and traveling the distance to get to the ones you love. When the flight starts getting bumpy or the kid behind me starts kicking my seat, I throw this on for a foot-tapping ‘tude turn-around. I find this song especially helpful during that home stretch to your destination. It gives me a second wind of enthusiasm.

10. Across the Universe– The Beatles. My love for this song and The Beatles goes far beyond the scope that any paragraph could explain. I grew up on their music and Across the Universe was the first song I learned how to play on my guitar. When I’m traveling across the world, I love to get lost in the nostalgia and comfort provided by this song. I am immediately reminded how lucky I am to live the life I lead and to always be wary of what I’m putting out into the universe. Plus, the strong verbal imagery always pushes me to articulate my adventures in the best way possible.

So there you have it: My top ten picks for plane travel. I hope you enjoy them! Take the ones that move you and ditch the ones that don’t. This is all about creating a playlist you can jam out to while on your journey to your dream destination.

Didn’t see your favorite air travel tune on here? Leave me a comment with your favorites. I’m always looking to expand my music collection and would love your insight. =)

Happy adventuring! See you on the other side!


231 thoughts on “Tuning up: The Airplane Travel Playlist

  1. I love Big Jet Plane!
    Now that I’ve listened to all of the song (I only knew Sweet Dreams and the Beatles) I can see you like the chill kind of music πŸ˜› Then I really think you’ll like Asteroids Galaxy Tours’ chill numbers, which I already recommended.

    Perhaps the song Wheels by Cake.

    Do you listen to the Gorillaz?

    • You are too cool. I love that you’ve taken the time to check them out! Big Jet Plane is a GREAT travel song. =) They’ve got another one called “Paper Aeroplane” that’s kind of relevant as well.

      And thank you for the recommendations! I’ll have to check them out!

      I’ve listened to some of their older stuff, like Sunshine in a Bag and what not. But not anything recently.

  2. I love to listen to The Asteroids Galaxy Tour when traveling since it’s so chill πŸ˜€ Try listening to Crazy or Major.

  3. Love this, I reblogged it and totally get where you are coming from. I have flown across the country countless times and back in the late 80s and early 90s we didnt have ipods, so it was miserable!! Just listening to the engines and looking out the window. Fun, but not ideal. Oh not to mention the neighbor next to you wanting to tell you their entire life story.

    • Thank you so much for reblogging! I really appreciate you sharing!

      I was pretty young in the 90’s, so I was preoccupied with toys while on airplanes, but I can only imagine. I had to make myself mix tapes for every road trip. iPods are so much more efficient than waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio so you can record it! And yes, I talk all the time about how there seems to be no ‘airplane ettiquette’. Maybe it’s time to blog about it. =)

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  5. Music definitely helps the traveler get through those horrible flights. I was recently on a flight where literally I couldn’t move. The man next to me had bathed in cologne and was using part of my leg room as his own. His arms were clear across into my seat on the armrest. And then the man in front of me decided to put his seat all the way back and thus gave me no room to type on my computer. I immediately just put on Florence and the Machine and suddenly I wasn’t so aware of just how horrible my situation was. Great playlist. I’m going to add a few of these to my travel list now.

    • Oh man, I’ve been there. Except instead of cologne it was vodka. I felt like I was drunk just off the fumes. That was not a fun flight. But I’m so happy to hear you were able to get lost in the music! What are some of your favorite travel tunes?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Suzy! So glad I found your blog =). Looking forward to swapping more stories!

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    • Hurray for endorsements! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      And that shocks me… I had no idea they were so unknown in the UK. I must return to London immediately and preach the word of Dave Matthews. =)

      Hope all is well in your world! Happy adventuring!

  7. Great mix of newer and classic tunes. Love it!
    Made a spotify mixtape with Discoish tunes by bands you dont normaly find in that genre, feel free to have a listen!

      • Sorry for really late reply!
        Spotify is a streaming musicservice, where one can stream music for free (with limitations) or pay a monthly fee (for about the price of a single CD) where the whole music database of millions of songs can be listened too. The paid subscribtion also lets you save the music in Spotify on your smartphone.
        I recommend you to read more on http://spotify.com

        Have a super week!

  8. Nice Blog… I’m just starting myself to blog (www.http://ethanthemarketingpro.com).
    It’s been a fun journey so far… Please check out my blog when you have a chance and let me know what you think. I love constructive feedback. And if I can be of any help to you as well, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Ethan

    • I love that! Sometimes I’ll put that on when I’m driving around my home town and pretend that my Ford is something a lot cooler. =) Wearing the shades definitely helps!

      Thanks for sharing. Happy Adventuring!

  9. I love your music pics, how creative! I’m not crazy about flying, myself, however it’s the actual “flying” part that I dread. I really enjoyed your post, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Thank you so much! I am thrilled to hear you appreciated my choices. What do you find helps you get through those moments of dread while flying?

      And thanks for the congratulations. I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to share with all of you wonderful WordPress users! Much love to you!

  10. Hello again πŸ™‚ ,
    I like that you mixed so many decades and styles together (and dared to put Shakira in the same playlist as Beatles). Where You Lead always will remind me of Gilmore Girls. Angus and Julia Stone make a delightful pair and I Adore the voices.

    I know it’s too sentimental (or sad) but why is it that no one (I think no one) mentioned John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane yet? That is the first song that hits my mind when I think about travel.

    One I recently found on a lately pressed blog was So Close Now by Eli Young — lyrics couldn’t be more true.

    A very unknown pre-travel song is What Did I Forget by Susannah McCorkle. Funny; can definitely play it 6 hours before you leave home.

    Make It Mine – Jason Mraz πŸ™‚

    New Days – Asher Lane. I save it for special times.

    I think 5 songs are enough for today.

    • =) Thank you so much for sharing and taking the time to comment!

      I am so happy to hear that you appreciated the mixing of the decades. I thought it was risky but I do have such an eclectic taste in music. And yes, John Denver’s hit is a great travel song!

      I will have to check out the others as I am unfamiliar. But I greatly appreciate your recommendations! Happy adventuring!

  11. I really can appreciate your reasoning for all these songs. I try to find a meaning or something that ‘attaches’ me to a certain song. Whether it speaks to me, or the beat gets me ‘feeling’ the song. I’m flying to Munich tomorrow and will ‘steal’ some of your picks. I’m adding a few, but you’ve given me ideas.Thank you!

    • You’re very welcome! I tend to over analyze everything, so I’m glad someone else appreciates the dissection.

      I’m so excited for you! What takes you to Munich? Enjoy your journey! And let me know if you come across any other awesome travel songs. =)

      Happy adventuring!

      • Finally getting back to wordpress. My boyfriend is working there for almost 2 years and I was fortunate enough to go spend time with him in July. We took train to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and a few spots in between. Amazing experience and enjoyed music on the way to those places, along with his company. I continue to find new tunes that speak to me. Have found some good ones since the summer. How about you? Any new tunes that strike a chord?

        • Sounds like you’ve been on a wonderful adventure! While I’m so excited you had the opportunity to go experience such amazing places, I am happy to have you back. =)

          Yes! It seems like everyday I find new music that speaks to my mood, location, or motivation. Recently I’ve been inspired by a myriad of tunes from Philip Phillips. =)

          Happy you’re back in the blogosphere. Can’t wait to see photos from your adventures! Did you have a fav spot?

          • Having watched the movie, ‘In Bruge’, Greg and I made it one of our destinations. It was as lovely as I imagined. A very peaceful place. I’d go back there, if I could. You did a great job with that Philip Phillips tune on your video, by the way. I have one I made and shall post. Nowhere as mystical as Fiji, but I will download in a bit. What future travel plans do you have?

            • Oh wow! I’m so glad that you guys enjoyed it! I’ve never seen that movie, but if it inspired you enough to go there, I think I should!

              And thanks. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video. I can’t wait to see yours! I’m sure it’s great =)

  12. Great playlist! I have many of these same songs on mine. Unfortunately, on my recent trans-Atlantic flight, my earphone jack didn’t work. I was stuck without movies or music to get me through the 8-hour flight. And, to make matters worse, I finished the book I’d brought in the first hour of the trip.

    • Gah! That sounds awful! I had one flight like that from Heathrow to LAX. Luckily (or not so luckily), I was sick so all I wanted to do was sleep. Though it’s amazing how slow fourteen hours can drag when you feel confined.

      Do you know where you’re going next? Did you enjoy your journey? Hope you have many more flights (with entertainment) ahead of you! Happy adventuring!

  13. I really can appreciate your reasoning for all these songs. I try to find a meaning or something that ‘attaches’ me to a certain song. Whether it speaks to me, or the beat gets me feeling the song. I’m flying to Munich tomorrow and will ‘steal’ some of your picks. I’m adding a few, but you’ve given me ideas.Thank you!

    • I’m so glad that you appreciate my desire to elucidate my picks!

      Oooh, Munich! What takes you there? Any songs that you love to travel to?

      All the best! Safe travels! Please stay in touch!

  14. There is something about Paul Simon when I travel…..I always have to have him on my playlist on an airplane. Then after him comes Edie Brickel, yes I smell the irony, then Sarah MacLachlan and John Lennon. I also really like Michael Penn and Eva Cassidy when I’m on the move…and I’ve done the flight from Chicago to Melbourne several times, it does help to have some good music plans in place, you are so right! The only other thing I must have is an amazing, thick book….unless the kids are with me.

    • Haha! I love your choices! What a great team of singers for your long flights! And yes… books are a must. What takes you between Chicago and Melbourne so often?

      Thanks for commenting! And happy adventuring!

      • I married an Aussie….will be flying back and forth forever…for better or worse πŸ™‚ Keep the good flying tips and songs coming, I’ll need them! Great post!

  15. Nice post, and thanks for reintroducing me to Stuck in the Middle with You – new appreciation for that song. The rest are familiar and loved, except Shakira – Gypsy and Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone. The other songs are so spot on, I’ll give these two a try. So thanks for inspiring me to try something new too.

    • Hey Eric! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      I feel Stealer’s Wheel is a greatly under-appreciated band. I’m so glad I could encourage you to try something new! I hope you enjoy them. Shakira isn’t for everyone… but that song of hers inspired the title of my blog and followed me to many a location. So I am grateful for it.

      Please let me know what you think! Happy adventuring! And cheers to new things!

  16. Great post and great songs – congrats on being ‘freshly pressed’! For what it’s worth, my two cents are:
    ‘Learn to Fly’ by Foo Fighters
    ‘Pyro’ by Kings of Leon (I had this on repeat flying to NYC last year)
    ‘Rocket Man’ by My Morning Jacket (fantastic cover version)
    ‘Uberlin’ by R.E.M
    ‘Night Flight’ by Led Zeppelin
    ‘Something in the Air’ by Thunderclap Newman
    ‘Northern Skies’ by I am Kloot
    ‘The Mermaid Parade’ by Phosphorescent

  17. I don’t think I could listen to a song called “Crush” when I’m miles in the air trapped in a giant tin can. But I would listen to “Airplane” by the Indigo Girls. Just because.

  18. great playlist.. I am studying in Malaysia and i am from Botswana, every year i travel back home and the journey takes about 18 hours and im always soo bored.. i will try these.. πŸ™‚

    • Wow, sounds like you are on quite an epic adventure! What are you studying in Malaysia?

      Do you have some favorite tunes of your own? Let me know your thoughts when you take the trip!

  19. for Dave i prefer “so much to say” feels so energetic yet so happy a good way to start traveling, mood booster or soever. if the flight took hours, across the universe is soothing kind of music that loose my nerves a bit. good selections anyway πŸ™‚

  20. Ha! This is such fun and eclectic playlist, I love that you put “Crush” in between there. I always listen to it on long bus/plane/whatever-shady-transportation-mode-I-choose rides!

    • Oh cool, I’m so glad someone else understands my love of this song!

      Do you have a favorite travel song? Or a favorite song of a memory? Where are you off to next?

      Happy adventuring!

        • Ahahahaha. I could not stop laughing when I read this! And I hadn’t thought of it before, but I think I may be a little too superstitious for something like that, haha!

          Thanks for commenting! Happy adventuring!

      • I can’t think of one particular, though “Dog days are over” by Florence and the Machine appears on my playlist very often. How about you? Any recommendations?
        I’m in Guatemala right now, going to travel in the States in 2 weeks! Thanks and happy adventuring to you too πŸ™‚

  21. I absolutely loved this post!

    It was hard for me to recently admit that I think I no longer like to fly too. On a very quick trip from Baltimore to Atlanta I just kept thinking of looking at the faces on the plane almost as you see played out in some grim movie scene (The Grey- btw never watch this just before you’re about to go on a flight). It was at the moment where we are about be airborne that my sweaty palms made me finally say out loud hey I think I hate flying, but since I love to travel and meet people, I have to just grin and bear it. The process however has been made modifying not to mention if it’s summer time and you forget to wear socks with your flip flops (who does that right?) you may find yourself at risk for developing athletes foot from having to stand where 1 million other barefoot passengers have had to stand with sweaty icky summer time feet, while being body scanned. Yummmy ;(

    I have to say though on the way out there I did hit that magical moment in travel where 3 rows in front and in back were filled with the hottest Airforce young hotties that I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around at one time, not to mention that I had the attention of one in particular the entire flight πŸ˜‰ On the way back of course I zoned out to Adele, Florence and the Machine and LaRoux to drown out the screamy baby that missed me the first flight ;( !

    • Wow, I love your honesty! And what a cool experience! I haven’t had a plane full of hotties yet, but you never know. I see many flights in my future.

      So glad that Adele and Florence could help you get through the screaming baby moment.

      Where are you off to next? Happy adventuring!

  22. This is very relevant to me. I was flying, once, over Northern California, in a DH$00 or some small sized passenger plane, when a storm struck and we started bobbling about and dropping altitude. And all that I could think of was that, on my ipod, I was listening to Tom Petty. And I realized, I didn’t want to die listening to Tom Petty. He’s ok and all, but he isn’t what you want to be listening to when you *die*. So promptly made up a “dying on airplanes” playlist, just for emergencies.

  23. Not exactly “cool” or “with-it,” but there’s few nicer flying experiences than flying eastward into evening while listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Oy, gorgeous with grey and orange clouds scooting by …

  24. Great post! I can’t help but agree with almost every song you mentioned. I haven’t heard a few of them yet, but I will seek them out. And “Across the Universe” is an incredibly good song with lots of great imagery. Nicely done!

    • Thank you so much! I would love to hear your thoughts once you have a chance to listen to them! I greatly appreciate your support and you taking the time to comment. =)

      Happy adventuring!

  25. I agree with you that music can make what ever it is we are about to embarque much more pleasant! I love making mixes for traveling, my fiance is a truck driver and we all know he can pull long shifts so i enjoy making him playlist that will remind him of me or some fun times we have had! So here is one i had made on a wnkd trip we had together and he now has it in his truck too!
    **The bands that are there more then once I really like, some are for the lyrics and some are for the beat and feel of the music.
    1-Red morning light-Kings of Leon
    2-Wraith pinned to the mist of Montreal- Of Montreal
    3-You can bring me flowers – Ray Lamontagne
    4-The Middle- Jimmy Eat World
    5-Take a walk on the wild side – Lou Reed
    6-Bring the funk- Ben Harper
    7-How Come – Ray Lamontagne
    8- McFearless- Kings of Leon
    9-Kiss and Tell- G. Love Special Sauce
    10-Gypsy Eyes- Jimmy Hendrix
    11-When its Good- Ben Harper
    12-And be loved- Damian Marley
    13-Genius- Kings of Leon
    14-So long away – Ray Lamontagne

    So there you go check some of these out let me know if you like it! Thank you for Sara Bareilles i am going to take a listen right now!

  26. Wow Dave Matthews band dude! Any Pearl Jam or Hootie and the Blowfish? Oh well I’m going back to the frat house doing a keg stand and telling everyone how awesome it is for the rest of my life.

  27. FANTASTIC playlist and congrats on being Freshly Pressed. A few I would add: “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel; “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds; “Phantom Limb” by The Shins.

    • Thanks so much! I am so excited to have been Pressed again! It’s unreal.

      And what great choices! Simon and Garfunkel are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing! =)

      Happy adventuring!

          • I am working and doing my master’s degree here. It’s an amazing experience but I am so busy that it’s being difficult to travel as much as I planned to, and that makes me angry!

            What do you do other than traveling a lot? πŸ™‚

            • Wow, that sounds like such a unique experience! What are you getting your degree in? And I can imagine that must be frustrating. How much longer do you have before you finish?

              Right now travel, everyday adventure, blogging, and writing is my life. When I go back to Vegas I work on productions and moonlight as a lion tamer (true but totally random story). Looking forward to sharing more adventures with you! Travel safe! Please stay in touch!

              • My degree is an MBA on International Business and Foreign Trade. It’s really interesting! But as I told you I also work and teach language classes, so no traveling for me at the moment. It’s not as bad as it sounds though cause I’m still living an everyday adventure in this country, I’m loving it in Brazil! I have another year and a half before I am all done here.

                Your life right now sounds really exciting, and I definitely want to read more about the lion tamer experience! I will come back to your blog, I am subscribing now! πŸ™‚ Take care and happy traveling!

  28. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. “Crush” by Dave Matthews Band is a great choice. I think it is one of the sexiest songs I have heard. I also love hearing “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen on overnight flights. When the plane is 30,000 ft high, and you open the blinds, you can see a zillion stars outside. Secret Garden just provides a great background score for that moment.
    If you want to perk your mood up during a flight, I also recommend “Fireflies” by Owl, and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” by Coldplay. I, in fact, wrote a piece on listening to the later while driving along the Cote d’Azur here:

    • Hey there!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share! I’m so glad you agree with my Dave Matthew’s choice. Their music is super sexy!

      And I can’t wait to check this out! Thanks so much for the link!

      Happy adventuring!

  29. Nice playlist!
    Yup Carol King’s “Where You Lead” is a great flight tune/
    I would have added “I Feel The Earth Move” (under my feet) but being 30,000 ft up in the sky just didn’t make it seem right! πŸ™‚

    • Haha, I totally understand. She’s got a lot of great songs. I was going to add, “So Far Away” but it’s a little depressing and kind of a mood killer for an adventure. That’s more of a song to go home to. =)

      Thanks so much for commenting! Happy adventuring!

    • Thank you so much! I cannot believe I got Pressed again… I am certainly feeling the WordPress love. And more articles like this to come! Thanks so much for commenting.

      Happy adventuring!

  30. I’ve just heard Big Jet Plane. I wish you had posted this 2 months ago when I had been to Singapore!! Would listen to your list soon !

    • Did you like it? I’m sorry it came a little late but there will be more to come! Any songs that you like that remind you of your time in Singapore? What brought you there? Where in the world are you now?

      Thanks so much for commenting! Happy adventuring!

  31. I travel on airplanes more often for work than for pleasure, so sitting next to the obnoxious or creepy seems par for the course – even at 35,000 feet. Whenever possible, I fly Virgin America, and the Virgin playlist is commendable. I keep my personal tunes with me so that I can listen to Philip Glass when I’ve run out of Virgin-acceptables. I love “Islands” and pretty much all of the “Glassworks” pieces. Thanks for sharing your top-10! Those are many of my favorites, as well, especially Carole King and the Beatles. Lovely blog, Hilary.

    • Virgin DOES have an awesome selection! It’s always nice when you have that option. And what great choices! Thanks so much for sharing your favorites.

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the blog. I hope you’ll keep checking back! More to come in this arena. =)

      Happy adventuring!

  32. loved this! I hate sitting next to strangers and making small talk! And I love the playlist, especially Carole King’s…makes me think of gilmore girls!

  33. Sara B! Many the miles is one of my favorites by her. And Let the Rain. Some days I’ll wake up and just know it’s a Sara B kind of day. I don’t know if you’re still in Australia but if you are I hope it’s treating you well! That is definitely a country on my ‘to visit’ list. I’ve met some fantastic people from there and would love to go down and go exploring.
    Thanks for stopping by my teeny tiny blog. I appreciate it!
    Have an awesome day-

    • Hey Christine!

      I think the best thing about reading your comment is that Sara B just came on my Pandora station with Many the Miles. How funny. Let the Rain is also one of my favorites. Fairytale’s another good one. I could talk to you about her music all day!

      Australia was very kind to me. Currently in Fiji at the moment, but I will be posting about Oz shortly! My internet has been limited here, so I’m taking FOREVER to get posts up. I hope you’ll come back to read more about it later.

      And you’re very welcome! I’m all about supporting other writers and think you’re going to do very well. Take care and keep writing!

  34. Hello Hilary! how’s Oz treating you so far? yet in Fiji? thanks for the playlist! that was an awesome idea to blog about! I love travelling with Morcheeba (the “Dive deep” album especially : “Enjoy the ride”!) and can’t stop listening to Adele “21” album. there would be too many to bore you with right now, but the mp3 player is that one other thing that you CAN’T forget when you go traveling, right? πŸ˜‰
    Have fun!

    • Hey girly!

      Oz was wonderful. In Fiji at the moment. So many wonderful things to share… so little time on the internet, haha.

      I’m so glad that you liked the concept! Can’t wait to share more. Adele is one my favorites as well. She’s just got so much soul!

      How are things on your end? Looking forward to catching up soon!

      • Enjoy Fiji then! Internet and your followers will wait, life is out there! fill me up on diving options if you ever get to that πŸ˜‰ it’s one of my gigs.
        Back to Mexico, a new life begins there for me with love, spicy food and heeeeaaaaatttttttt !!! As well as new subjects for blogging, hopefully πŸ˜€
        Be well and happy!

      • Music choice depends on my mood and where I am going, but I tend to go for whatever I can find that is catchy in my ipod, something I can get into. Of course I tend to stray towards the 60’s as growing up that is all I ever heard from my parents as we were on road trips. Popular music know is great too but I will also go for songs by the Beatles (anything by them), or songs like Under the Boardwalk, The Wanderer, Over and Over, The Loco-Motion, You Can’t Hurry Love, or Proud Mary. All these songs are upbeat and get you singing which is a relief for when you are stuck in a confined place for several hours.

        • Ah yes, Tina Turner!! Awesome. I love the 60’s and also grew up on that music. And I absolutely agree; you need something to keep you upbeat!

          Thanks so much for sharing =).

  35. The airplane smell!!! Why has nobody commented on that in my life before? It’s awful. I think Fleetwood Mac is appropriate for any and all occasions, and Go Your Own Way is a perfect plane tune! It’s funny to me that so many people are telling you to go to Bondi Beach. It’s gorgeous to be certain, but my experience of it was very different. I went on Christmas Day, so it was pretty much a huge party of drunk British tourists in Santa hats. Apparently Oz is a popular brit holiday destination since the weather is so nice that time of year! I think I got sunburnt too. πŸ™‚

    • Oh wow, what an experience! I’ve heard a lot of mixed revues about Bondi… I think it’s just one of those things you have to experience, you know?

      And I’m glad someone else agrees that Fleetwood Mac is great for any occasion! Such good music =).

      Did you go this past Christmas to Oz? Did you get to any other parts of the country?

      • I went 5 years ago to Oz. We just hit a few spots in New South Wales: Sydney of course, a few tiny towns in the Blue Mountains, and Hunter Valley for the wine tasting πŸ™‚ I loved every minute of it and would love to go back someday to check out the other regions!

          • It was a two week trip with my family. Somehow, my mom won a week’s stay in Sydney through her Visa card (the details on how this was won have always been hazy) and we tacked on the rest of the trip.

            I have always wanted to go back! I’ve since met a lot of incredible people from Melbourne and would love to go there sometime. Hope your Oz adventures are going well!! πŸ™‚

  36. Seems like if you’re gonna go Steve Miller, it should be “Jet Airliner”, but I can dig Fly as well. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear “Stuck” without thinking of the ear-cutoff scene from Reservoir Dogs, so that’s not gonna relieve any anxiety. The last two are new to me, so thanks!

  37. Ok, some great tunes, and nothing I think is awful, but 10 songs for 15 hours would probably have me killing myself with the dull dinner knife.
    What else ya got?
    And hope you beat the odds on seat mates!

    • Haha, well first of all, glad you liked them. But yes, I did have plenty more. I listened to a lot of Beatles, more Dave Matthews and Fleetwood Mac, more Sara B, and I have an assortment of meditation and yoga music that I listen to help relax me.

      That post would have been a novel though πŸ˜‰

      What are some of your favs?

  38. ” middle-aged business man seated next to me who drinks gin and tonics for six hours, only to spill them on my skirt and pass out with his head on my shoulder”…what a small world! I didn’t even realize we had met before =)

  39. How’s OZ so far?

    I usually go with the ultimate sloth move- just passing out.
    I do like to have a couple songs on repeat to put me to sleep and drown out the noise around me.

    I’ve accumulated enough miles that I’m usually put into economy plus, which is great; not for the extra 5″, but because no one really ever pays for the “upgrade” so it’s usually full of seasoned travelers who exchange hellos right as you sit down and then quietly read or play on their iPads the rest of the time. I didn’t think there was much difference until my 14 hr flight to London on economy with 20 students in tow with a talker next to me. My students could not stop laughing at my misery.

    • Lucky you to be able to pass out! I’ve gotten better at it, but I still get a little antsy on the longer flights.

      I hope to one day have enough miles to get bumped! The problem is I tend to fly a bunch of different airlines, so I don’t always accrue miles quickly.

      And how funny about your students! I’m sure it made you appreciate the quite and alone time =).

      • I am my father’s daughter, unfortunately, and obsessively collect miles. I almost cried when the travel agent the school was using put us on virgin because my miles are star alliance and that trip would have bumped my status. It’s pathetic, I know.

        My students are all kinds of ridiculous, but that’s what they think about me so it works out!

  40. My peace in flying comes from digging out my notebook and writing, drawing, contemplating, or just staring at the notebook with a pen in my hand. It’s quite relaxing for me, and it helps focus my mind on something besides the vacuum-sealed tube ripping through the sky at a million miles an hour. Unlike music, however, it doesn’t drown out the rest of the world, so I can still be alert to whatever is going on.

    Oddly enough, I’m very lucky with the social roulette. I always seem to get nice and talkative people next to me. ^^

    • That’s another great outlet for traveling! I tend to get motion sickness if I’m staring at something for too long so I tend to just zen out. But I can absolutely see how that would be a great outlet!

      And lucky you for having great flights. I’ll keep my fingers crossed your streak continues!

  41. I’m going to have to take your recommendations! I’m going to be on a 13-hour nonstop flight soon for Japan, and I just KNOW it’s going to be horrendous. I still can’t get over that one overnight flight I went on, with the snoring guy on my left and a screaming baby on my right…
    As for my pick, I’d just like a whole playlist of Jason Mraz. My music tastes have changed over the years, but he’s one guy who never fails to send me to a good place. πŸ˜€

    • I love Jason Mraz! He’s awesome. Good choice.

      And oh man! What a trip! I know you will be able to make it through. Bring a good playlist, a good pillow and some lavender oil to get lost in. When do you leave again?

      • I’m departing May 10th at midnight for Boston, and my flight takes off May 11th. It’s going to be a lot of traveling, but it’s definitely worth it! πŸ˜€

          • I am SO excited! And a little nervous, too. The sensei leading our trip has packed the schedule every day! We’re going to spend 10 days in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto, and 23 days in Sapporo. Most of the time, my group will be staying in youth hostels, although for two nights or so we will be with a host family. I still can’t believe that I’m going!!

            • WOW! What an amazing experience! How cool to be going with a group (that’ll definitely help with the stress and anxiety =).

              I am so excited for you. I can’t wait to see what you think! Please take lots of pictures and enjoy!!

  42. If you’re into underground hip hop and beats try this song “We Can Fly” by Nicolay just all beats but this song always motivates but have you also heard of Samantha James?! I think this song fits you the most “Find a Way” by Samantha James because you always seem to find a way out of every pickle situation hehe πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Brittany!

      Thanks so much for commenting! I’ll have to check them both out. No, I haven’t heard of Samantha James, but I saw that you sent me the link. I can’t wait to check it out! Thanks so much for supporting me =).

  43. How about “I believe I can fly” by R Kelly? Too cheesy? Miss ya and hope you’re having a fab time wherever you are in the world πŸ™‚
    – Jo

  44. I feel with you! Once I had to sit next to a man for 12 hours who had just flewn from Berlin to Bangkok only to find out that his passport had gone lost somewhere during the journey and who now had to take the next plane back to Berlin. How that happened? I don’t know, but he sure did tell me everything about his life that I did Not want to know.

    By the way, add Florence and the Machine’s Cosmic Love to your playlist. All of her songs are great, but Cosmic Love is perfect for travelling! x

    • Oh man. That sounds like quite the experience, Shirley! Good on you for getting through it!

      And I LOVE Florence and the Machines! Dog days are over and Cosmic Love are two of my favorites. =)

      • Great to find people who also appreciate songs other than You’ve Got the Love and Shake it Out (What is it about singles, seriously? Although they’re also great). Cosmic Love and Drumming Song are the top of my Florence list πŸ™‚

  45. Oh the Beatles. I would pretty much pull up their discography and press Repeat. And maybe toss in some Chopin in there too.
    I can’t believe the flight is 15 hours. I can barely stand 9 across the Atlantic

  46. I loved this. I am a music girl and in order for me to make it through the day, I have to have a playlist for every mood. People who say they do not need music in their lives are individuals I will never be able to understand. The picks were awesome and very well thought out for your list (the explanations made it even better). Loving the series and I hope you do one for England (I am planning to go there in October, so I’m anxious to see what your list will include!) My favorites: All Around the World by Theophilus London is a catching tune and Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is pretty good (but I guess you can use that one for when you’re coming back home). You are a Tourist by Death Cab for Cutie is also a favorite of mine. Ok – let me stop because this comment will become a novel if I keep going! Safe travels!! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ruby! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the post! And I absolutely agree; music is essential to my life and happiness!

      Thanks so much for sharing, and I actually do have a playlist for England. I’ll be sure to share soon, so I hope you’ll check back!

      What is taking you to the UK?

      Looking forward to staying in touch! Happy adventuring!

      • Have you ever had a feeling about something, but no matter how much you tried, you just could not describe it in words? Well, that is how I feel about England. There is something about England that calls out to me and I have the hardest time explaining it. First of all, learning about different cultures has been a favorite activity for me since college (Sociology major, Psychology minor. Yeah, I’m the girl who tries to analyze and dissect EVERYTHING I see, be it behavioral or societal. I always have the question in my mind “are they like that because of their environment or is it innate? Sorry – it’s in my blood).

        I think one of the reasons I want to go is to observe just how different they are from us. Many times I have heard that England is more free and open minded than America, but I know that is not all true. The fact that this country still has a queen shows that they are still stuck in some of their societal customs from centuries ago (but I LOVE that!). The history of England was one of my favorite subjects in school to learn about (along with the history of Rome, but that is another subject). Also, seeing the architecture and the country side is something that fascinates me too (along with their libraries and pubs. Plus, you can never go wrong with tea time!)

        Also, this is sort of a present to myself. I promised myself shortly after my kidney transplant that I was not going to let my life pass me by without doing the things I have always wanted to do. Well, this year will be my six year anniversary of my transplant and I am also turning 30 – so I think now is the time to start treating myself to the greater things in life. Travel was one of those things on my list (when I first attended college, my goal was to become a photojournalist), and now I able do it.

        Oh boy – I think I have overdone it in this comment box. I could probably go on and on, but I may bore you to death πŸ™‚ I can get a little nerdy sometimes – sorry!

        • Hey Ruby,

          I completely understand! There are certain places that just call to you. I can absolutely relate. And as a psych major myself, I don’t think you’re crazy. I think the most insightful people are ones that are constantly questioning EVERYTHING. Never lose that.

          And I am so in awe and inspired by your story. Such an incredible life you have. And I am very excited for you to go on this journey and enjoy your good health. I hope you fulfill those feelings of wanting and love every minute of it! I will have to compose some special blogs about traveling to England before you go so you can make sure to hit all the best places.

          Please stay in touch! I can’t wait to follow you on this journey.

  47. My music preference is different. I think these days the iPad is a must for the flight. Then you can choose between music, video, or games, and it’s 10hr battery life really helps πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much for the tip! I’ve heard nothing but great things about the iPad. I’ve been hesitant to get one, but maybe I should start looking around.

      What kind of music do you like to listen to?

      Happy adventuring!

  48. Good picks. I think my flight was like 17 hours. Then again, I left from Houston and went through LAX. Oh, by the way, visit Bondi Beach in Sydney. It’s beautiful and has a lot of places for good pictures with it’s cliff-side pathway. Plus there are a bunch of really fit guys running up and down the beach all the time, which didn’t interest me but my wife sure seemed to notice. πŸ™‚

    • Oh man! What a flight! Did you have some favorite tunes to get you through?

      And thanks so much for the suggestion! I unfortunately didn’t get out to Bondi in my time in Sydney, but I did make it out to Manly which was adorable.

      And who doesn’t love a little eye candy? =)

      • Hey – so I’m totally sorry if I am commenting in the wrong place but a great song for traveling – I usually listen to it as I’m walking to the gate after I’ve been checked through security – “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals
        This song you won’t regret having on your playlist XD

    • Sorry, I’m randomly butting into your convo, but I just had to agree that the walk from Bondi to Clovelly was amazing! I could have sat on one of the boardwalks for hours just taking in the view (of the ocean/cliffs). πŸ™‚

      • Butt in as much as you like! Definitely another trip is in order.

        And forgot to answer your previous question. I’m loving Oz! Having some ups and downs, but I’m planning on blogging extensively about it, so I’ll share more later =)

        • Awesome! Can’t wait to read about it!
          ps- watch out for urchins. My friend got stung by one with a rare bacteria and had to go to the hospital.

          • Oh wow! I’ve been seeing a lot of them up here at the reef and was wondering why the scuba instructor wouldn’t let me pick one up. I guess now I know! Thanks for the tip!!

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