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The Perfect Playlist for Holiday Trips

Travel correspondent SuChin Pak shares the songs that make her on-the-go lifestyle a lot more enjoyable

“Music and travel go hand-in-hand,” says former MTV correspondent and current Priceline.com lifestyle and travel correspondent SuChin Pak. “Travel is so much about inspiration and playlists have to set the internal mood.” For Pak, it’s often the moody tunes that help her escape and reboot creatively. “I find that my playlists are often introspective—it’s just as much of a head trip as it is a physical trip,” says Pak, who will be jetting to Palm Springs this holiday season. “A great travel playlist takes you out of the mundane details of your ordinary routine. It should transport you somewhere.”

So whether you’re road-tripping for a short weekend—Pak prefers to use the Priceline.com Fun Rides, a program that allows you to rent luxury cars—or headed off to a faraway destination, kick back with a few of these addictive songs.

Arcade Fire “Brazil”  
“I started this playlist with this song because it’s expansive, it’s colorful and it feels adventurous.” 

Beruit “Postcards from Italy”
“I listened to this record non-stop for weeks on a trip to Greece one summer. The song is about Italy, but it reminds me so much of Greece. Whenever I hear this music, I’m floating in the Mediterranean sea, bobbing in the sun.”

The Beatles “Back in The U.S.S.R”
“I had to limit my Beatles picks. This song has such movement—the airplane noises in the background, the feeling that you can leave home and be far, but it’s always on your mind.” 

Ryan Adams “Goodnight Hollywood Blvd”
“This song captures what it means to live in Los Angeles. It’s that feeling when it’s dark and you’re driving around town with no traffic and there’s a bit of loneliness and longing, but it’s also beautiful. I think that sums up a lot of the L.A. experience.” 

Cat Power “Kingsport Town”
“This song reminds me of all the trips I took to forget someone. The only way to get over heartbreak—get on a plane.” 

The Beach Boys “California Girls”
“I’m ultimately a California girl and this is an iconic anthem.  It’s not exactly my California, but it captures the carefree vibe of Cali.”        

Bill Withers “Harlem”
“This song takes you through the week—the ups and downs of living in such a vibrant community with so much history. It just makes you feel like you’ve lived.” 

Billy Holiday “April in Paris”
“I can only imagine how beautiful April is in Paris, but regardless of the time of year, this song is an ode to the city of love. It makes you understand how a city can be the central love character in your life.”

Bob Marley “Trench Town Rock”
“If I’m not on a beach, I’m not really on vacation.” 

Cat Stevens “Wild World”
“This is my eat, pray, love trip song. It goes hand in hand with the track above. It’s about love, redemption and hope.” 

Destroyer “Canadian Lover”
“I’m not sure what this has to do about Canada, but I know that I listened to this a lot when I had some free time in London once, walking around in the gray weather. I felt like such a badass.”

Ella Fitzgerald “Georgia On My Mind”
“For summer nights anywhere.”

Jonathan Richman “Springtime in New York”
“You can put this on, get on a bike and see the best city in the world during the finest season. You can’t be in a bad mood after this one.” 

LCD Soundsystem “New York, I love You”          
“Of course my favorite ode to New York has to be funny, ironic and kind of a middle finger to it all. It captures the essence of being a New Yorker, complaining every minute about the city that you love.” 

The Ramones “Rockaway Beach”
“Will there be any other band that gives New York more feeling?” 

Arcade Fire “Keep The Car Running”
“Seeing this band live, you can’t help but feel like you have to move and get somewhere fast!”

The Beatles “Drive My Car”
“I love how subversively seductive this song is.”

 Black Box Recorder “Art of Driving”
“This is the sexiest road trip song I could come up with. It’s like a French nouveau film whispering in your ear. I’ll let your imagination do the driving.”

Bob Dylan “Highway 51”
“You’ll need to rent a convertible for this one.” 

Bonnie Prince Billy “Ease Down the Road”
“I think most of this playlist seems perfect for the night drive, but this song is definitely out in the sunshine and terribly romantic.”         

The Breeders “Drivin’ on 9”
“This is often in rotation when I do the drive along the coast in California, driving from L.A. to San Francisco. Something about the sweetness of it reminds me of the California coast.” 

The Cramps “Bend Over, I’ll Drive”
“This is one of those songs you put on during every road trip when you just need to stay awake!” 

The Magnetic Fields “Drive on, Driver”
“This is an epic track for a road trip. The sunset in the desert, the sunrise on the coast and twilight in the mountains…”

Wilco “Passenger Side”
“I feel like this would be my Thelma and Louise song, perfect for a girls’ road trip where you kind of get into all sorts of laughable trouble.”

Talking Heads “Road to Nowhere”
“A pretty fitting end to the playlist.”