Along with your passport, music is probably one of the most important travel essentials of any jetsetter. And when done right, it’s kind of like having someone score your life.
Now I’m someone who’s a little obsessed with music. Borderline OCD, some may say. I used to take the bus every day to university for 4 years and in those 4 years I never forgot to bring my iPod. If I did, I’d walk back home, accept that I’d be late for class, and get my music before I could get on the bus. I also had this obsession where I had to sit next to the window but that’s for another post.
So when you’re about to head off onto another daring escapade fueled with adventure, a little danger, and a hefty dose of whiskey, make sure you’ve got the right music packed onto your phone/iPod/mp3 player/what have you. Otherwise you might find yourself listening to Justin Bieber on repeat, which some say is akin to being molested in the ear.
So without further ado, let’s cue the music.
Preparing Your Playlists
Since nobody actually makes physical mix tapes anymore, we’re going to have to be happy with our playlists. Basically, you’ll want to create a playlist for almost any situation you find yourself in. Whether you’re on a 78-foot yacht cruising through the Andaman Sea or preparing for an underground party in Berlin, you’ll want the right music to set the mood and get you into that special happy space that only good friends and music can do.
1. The Lazing On A Beach Playlist
To avoid: really intense house music, death metal, LMFAO, anything that might raise your heart rate.
To include: More laid back stuff, music you love but wouldn’t necessarily dance to, the Pixies, Cold War Kids, Florence and the Machine, Feist.
This is the playlist that may fall asleep to and wake up to while lying on a soft day bed on the beach. Unless you want to wake up to loud, fast, music, it’s best to go for something on the softer side. This is just for you. You’re not sharing this with the new friends you picked up from last night’s bar. It’s personal. So pick what relaxes you. And I guess if you’re the type that falls asleep to death metal, then sure. Go ahead.
2. The Pre-Party Prep Playlist
You’re about to head out on a night of frolic and fun. You’re decked out in glamor attire, sipping on a whiskey sour prepared by your hotel’s mixologist, and you’re just putting the finishing touches on your outfit. What’s playing in the background? Anything that’ll get you moving and feeling like you’re Jay-Z stepping off a yacht into a 5-star luxury hotel. Just don’t pour champagne over anybody. It’s a waste and it’s sticky.
To include: Hip hop, rap, anything where Lil’ Wayne is featured, DMX barking, Diplo, Santigold, Nicki Minaj, MGMT, dance music, Britney Spears, La Roux, Balkan Beat Box
To avoid: the Beatles, Radiohead (unless you’re throwing a pity party), the Cure, 1980s goth music, audio books.
3. The Long-Haul Flight Playlist
This applies to any form of transport, be it train, speedboat, bus, llama, or trishaw. If you’re the type who can read on transportation, then good on you. I can’t. So I listen to music. If you’re in for a long ride, then pack in everything that’ll keep you entertained. I also like to match my in-transport day dreaming with the right music. Keep this in mind when you’re making your playlist. If your head’s going to be riddled with fantasies of you performing your acceptance speech at the Grammies, then prep your playlist for it.
To include: David Cross, Louis CK, REM, 1980s goth music, podcasts, and everything else. Basically pack in as much as you want because you may be on a plane for 17 hours.
To avoid: This is the one playlist you can go nutso on. Or just put your music player on shuffle and listen to stuff you probably forgot you had.