For me, music is an integral part of any cruise or trip. Nothing brings you back to a time and a place like a song, and I am always in search of new and interesting music to take with me on each trip. After all, having something good to listen to really speeds up those long-haul flights.

This is an article I’ve probably tried to write about a hundred times in the past year, each time with limited success – mainly because I hate similar articles I’ve seen. The subject, of course, is about cool music to travel with – or, perhaps, a look at “What’s on Aaron’s iPod Right Now.”

My flight to Siem Reap waiting at Gate 18 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Long journey ahead? Make sure you have some good music to go along with it! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Here’s my disclaimer to this article: I have a natural resistance to travel music that makes a big stink about being travel music. So you won’t find songs like Celebration, Holiday, or Guantanamara here. But maybe you’ll discover some new favorites for your next trip.

Closed Hand, Full of FriendsFoy Vance

Could be the best toe-tapping song I’ve heard all year. Think I had this on repeat on my iPod most of the flight home from London last week. One of the very best songs for travel of any kind. Matter of fact, you should just run out (well, to iTunes) and buy the album right now.

I’m Not Talking – A.C. Newman

This one works well with long flights, train journeys, motorcoach rides…you name it. Very mellow and relaxing.

Keep On Walking – Gabrielle Aplin

I heard this song on my Lufthansa flight coming home from Frankfurt in August as part of the airline’s in-flight CD selection. I had no idea who Gabrielle Aplin was, but I found myself listening to the album on repeat for most of the flight. I think this is my favorite track, though.

Dream is Collapsing – Hans Zimmer

The third track from composer Hans Zimmer’s score to the 2010 movie Inception, Dream is Collapsing is almost perfectly-timed to a large aircraft (like A340’s and Boeing 747’s) taking off. I know you’re not supposed to listen to music on take-off, but this track’s worth sneaking an earbud in for as your jet roars down the runway (but seriously – don’t do it if the flight crew tells you not to.)

CopperlineJames Taylor

Creeping up on 23 years old, Copperline is one of my favorite songs to listen to on long motorcoach journeys.

BallantinesAimee Mann

Although it was released (on the album, Smilers), nearly four years ago, this song always makes me envision London at the turn of the last century. And pubs. Who’s thirsty? Just don’t drink as much as the character in the song, okay?

Shot at the Night – The Killers

So deliciously 1980s! And very European-sounding, to boot. Oddly, none of the hotel maids I’ve ever seen look quite like the girl in the music video. Hmmm…

Indian SummerStereophonics

I heard this back in March on the internet radio in my hotel in Amsterdam. I was writing that evening’s Live Report and sitting at the desk in the room, when I found myself tapping my foot on the hardwood floor to the infectious beat. I went out the next day, found a CD shop, and paid (slightly over-the-odds) for a copy. As it turns out, it was a good decision: the album wasn’t released in North America on iTunes until this past September. Great for any long overland journey!

Only If for a Night – Florence + The Machine

This was on my playlist for most of my expedition voyage last year aboard Silversea’s Silver Explorer. But it reminds me most of my day on the deserted island of Staffa and in the small village of Iona on Scotland’s west coast.

Joy of NothingFoy Vance

One last Foy Vance number. It initially sounds like a sad song, but give it a few listens: it’s actually quite positive and uplifting.

Think of Me Jo Hamilton

There’s good reason for mentioning this song last: I’ve simply never heard a more beautiful tune. If it doesn’t get you thinking about journeys past, nothing will.

From the Deck Chair will return tomorrow.


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