Travel Music

We all know that travel is life, but there is something that I consider to be just as important when I’m getting ready for a trip. Almost as soon as I’ve booked my ticket, I’m popping in the headphones and starting a new playlist. I don’t mean finding a new playlist – I’m talking about setting one up, from scratch and searching out the best music for my trip, because for me, music is also life.

I use music before a trip to set the scene, build a picture of the place I’m visiting and generate excitement. Whilst I’m there, I use music to help me to link memories and create an atmosphere of the trip. Those of you who are into your music will be nodding your head at this point – you get it. For those of you who are wondering why I’d dive into a playlist rather than shopping for holiday bits and bobs – I’m sorry, this post is probably not going to make much sense to you!

I’m talking to those travellers who need music to create the heartbeat of their trip. Who plan 3 hours of driving tunes to perfection to meet the tastes of all of the travellers on the road (I’ve absolutely done this!) and who download playlists to their phone ‘just in case’ it doesn’t work online (I’ve done this too – this can wreck the pre-night out preparation time). I wanted to share with you some of my song choices for road trips we’ve taken – it would be great to know if we have any choices in common!

New York Tunes

  • No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
  • Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keys & Jay Z
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  • New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
  • NY State of Mind – Nas

Vegas Party

  • Can’t Tell Me Nothing – Kanye West
  • All I do Is Win – DJ Khaled
  • The Joker And The Thief – Wolfmother
  • Dynamite – Taipei Cruz
  • Viva Las Vegas – The Blues Brothers
  • Right around – Flo Rider

California Road Tripping

  • Good Vibrations – Beach Boys
  • California Dreaming – Beach Boys
  • California – Phantom Planet
  • Surfin’ USA – Beach Boys
  • California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
  • I Get Around – Beach Boys
  • All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  • Hotel California – The Eagles
  • Beverly Hills – Weezer
  • Yosemite
    • Society – Eddie Vedder
      Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder
      In fact, anything off the ‘In to the Wild ‘ soundtrack – nothing can beat this when you are surrounded by trees and campfires. Nothing!

    The Best Free Show In Vegas

    Experiencing the Bellagio Fountains from the sidewalk and from above – the best free experience in Vegas

    One of the most iconic features of Vegas (other than the Vegas sign or the casinos) are the Bellagio Fountains. If you are spending any time on the strip (see some of Wandering Beeb’s pictures of the Strip here), you won’t be able to miss the spectacular show that they perform.

    The first time I went to Vegas, I was astounded by the sheer size of the fountains – they aren’t really comparable to anything I’d seen before.

    Set on an expanse of around twenty-two million gallons of water, an underwater, crocodile-like track of jets lies in wait.

    The view from the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas

    Every fifteen to thirty minutes (depending on the time of day and holiday periods) this snaking underwater spine comes to life, heralded by a booming rendition of whatever song is selected for the performance. You can see the range of music used in the performances here.

    In time with the music, spiralling columns of water are boosted four-hundred and sixty foot in the air, illuminated by piercing spotlights.

    Bellagio Fountains in Vegas

    The first time I went to Vegas, we’d caught a performance of Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye) on our last night. The combination of the music and graceful movement of the water had brought tears to my eyes, knowing that we were coming to the end of this particular adventure.

    There are very few free things in Vegas and to have something so beautiful available to watch for free feels like a luxury you can’t afford to miss. Watching the fountains from pavement level gives you a great view, no matter where you choose to stand, but be warned, pick-pockets do operate in the area, often in co-ordinated groups, striking whilst unsuspecting travellers are gazing up in awe as the lights and water dance along with the music.

    Night time view of the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas

    Last time I went to Vegas, we upgraded our room at the Cosmopolitan to include a fountain view. This cost around $80 extra on our room price and was worth every penny. The rooms in the Cosmopolitan are amazingly well soundproofed, however stepping on to the balcony, we had a great view of the fountains and could still hear the music clearly. Even from a distance, the unmistakable rumble of the water, crashing down from dizzying heights was just as powerful as at ground level.

    Bellagio Fountains mid performance in Vegas

    Watching the fountains at night, surrounded by the Vegas lights was incredibly beautiful and because we were up higher than the busy strip below, it felt as though the fountains were marking out their performance just for the two of us. If you have an opportunity to view the fountains from above – take it, it’s worth every second.

    What other ‘can’t miss’ freebies are there in Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments.