The Ultimate Travel Playlist Music Guide to Start your Trip off Right!

There’s no better way to pass time while travelling than by listening to some good music. A new study has revealed the top songs and artists people listen to while traveling and on vacation – with popular artists such as Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift making the list! What will make your cut?

Miss Tourist, the organisation that conducted the research, says that music can be a powerful tool to enhance your travel experience in several ways. Firstly, it can significantly reduce stress, making it an ideal companion for anxious travelers, especially those who find flying nerve-wracking. Listening to music can soothe the mind and ease the stress associated with travel.  

Secondly, music has the ability to make time pass more quickly. This is particularly beneficial during long journeys, as it helps to distract and entertain, making the hours seem shorter and the trip more enjoyable.  

Lastly, research suggests that music can have tangible physical benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and improving sleep quality. For those looking to rest while traveling, whether on a flight or a train, picking some of the more chilled and soothing songs from the playlist is a great way to facilitate relaxation and promote better sleep, leading to a more comfortable and restful journey.

So, what’s the most popular?

The data revealed the ultimate travel and vacation playlist, with Calvin Harris’ dance-pop anthem ‘Summer’ claiming the top spot, the perfect song to get you in the vacation mood.   

Next is the acoustic classic ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy, which brings relaxed vibes to the road trip. Following closely behind is Declan McKenna’s ‘Brazil,’ which adds a more Indie feel.  

Other notable tracks include pop icon Sabrina Carpenter’s new song, ‘Espresso,’ and folk anthems such as Noah Kahan’s ‘Stick Season.’ Vacationers clearly still love the classics, as Natasha Bedingfield’s song, ‘Unwritten,’ also features prominently in travel playlists.  

Calvin Harris makes the top ten list again with his 2011 song of the summer ‘Feel So Close,’ followed by classic rock from The Killers with ‘Mr. Brightside’. Rounding out the list, Pit Bull’s (feat. Ne-Yo) ‘Time of Our Lives’ has been named another classic vacation tune.  

 Top 10 Songs Appearing in Travel-Related Spotify Playlists: 

Rank  Song  Number of Appearances in Travel-Related Playlists  
1 Summer – Calvin Harris  600 
2 Riptide – Vance Joy  584 
3 Brazil – Declan McKenna  578 
4 Espresso – Sabrina Carpenter 506 
5 Stick Season – Noah Kahan 466 
6 Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield  460 
7 Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift 411 
8 Feel So Close (Radio Edit) – Calvin Harris 409 
9 Mr. Brightside – The Killers  408 
10 Time of Our Lives – Pitbull (feat. Ne-Yo) 380 

Top Artists

Additionally, the study revealed the top artists people choose to listen to while traveling. Taylor Swift emerged as the top artist, appearing 2,894 times across the analyzed playlists—significantly more than the second-place artist, Calvin Harris, who is also coincidentally Swift’s ex-boyfriend, and had 2,047 appearances.  

In fact, the research showed that across each keyword search, the playlists all frequently featured Taylor Swift’s hits, especially her track ‘Cruel Summer,’ which ranked as the seventh most popular song for travel and has collected over two billion Spotify streams since its release in 2019.   

Ranking as the second most-featured artist is Calvin Harris, with 2,047 appearances. His song ‘Summer’ was the top choice, taking the number one spot in travel playlists with 600 appearances. The track has garnered just under one and a half billion streams on Spotify, making it a must-have song on any travel or vacation playlist.  

Calvin Harris secures another spot in the top ten songs with his hit ‘Feel So Close – Radio Edit,’ which ranks eighth. With over 988 million Spotify streams, this feel-good anthem stands out as a popular choice for summer vacations.  

Pitbull has been named the third most featured artist in travel playlists, with 920 appearances. His track ‘Time of Our Lives’ ranked as the tenth most prevalent song overall. The track has garnered a staggering number of streams – over one billion – making Pitbull a staple for any upbeat vacation playlist.  

Coldplay and Drake follow closely behind, in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Coldplay appeared 855 times, with their uplifting and atmospheric music clearly resonating well with travelers. Drake made 688 appearances, offering a mix of relaxed and energetic tracks perfect for any journey.  

Top Ten Artists Appearing in Travel-Related Spotify Playlists: 

Rank  Artist  Number of Appearances in Travel-Related Playlists  
1 Taylor Swift 2,894 
2 Calvin Harris 2,047 
3 Pitbull 920 
4 Coldplay 855 
5 Drake 688 
6 Sabrina Carpenter 655 
7 Avicii 623 
8 Vance Joy 584 
9 Declan McKenna 578 
10 Arctic Monkeys 541 

There’s truly nothing better than a solid travel playlist to get you in the headspace for your holiday, or just to have something to listen to on a long-haul. So, who’s going to feature on your playlist?


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