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A wonderful vacation can make a world of difference in your happiness, well-being, and longevity.
However, the US Travel Association revealed that 52% of employed Americans refused to take time off from work to go on vacation in 2017. They accumulated 705 million unused vacation days and $62.2 billion in lost benefits.
This prompted the US Travel Association to create Project: Time Off to encourage Americans to go on vacation so they could spend time with family, have fun, and come back to work rejuvenated and happier.
Fortunately, the project seems to be working. More people are now taking periodic time off from work to catch up on quality family time and take care of themselves.
To inspire you to get packing and head somewhere awesome, we’re sharing this collection of fun songs about vacation.
Keep reading to check out songs you can add to your vacation playlist.
1. I'm on Vacation, Rhett and Link
“But it's still okay, 'cause I'm on vacation. Everything is great, 'cause I'm on vacation.”
Let’s start with this hilarious song about a couple of guys who are determined to have a good time during their vacation, despite going through several unfortunate situations, such as being in the midst of a zombie outbreak.
“Want a towel or a chair, in the sand by the sea. Wanna look through my shades and see you there with me. Wanna soak up life for a while and lay back low. No boss, no clock, no stress, no dress code. No shoes, no shirt, no problems.”
When you’ve been working so hard for so long, a vacation to a place where you can let your hair down and just be yourself is a welcome relief. In this song, Kenny Chesney has a specific place in mind: Mexico.
“The night seems to fade but the moonlight lingers on. There are wonders for everyone. The stars shine so bright but they're fading after dawn. There is magic in Kingston Town.”
First released by Lord Creator in 1970, this song was covered by UB40 a couple of decades later. It evokes an atmosphere of mystery and excitement, as well as a longing to spend time in a tropical paradise.
“I said, “Hey, that's the way we do it. New friends and blue skies that never end. Hey that's the way we like it. Good times, sunshine, and summertime.””
For students, summer vacation is a wonderful opportunity to hang out, have fun, and make awesome memories with friends. These things are highlighted in Faith Hill’s fourth single from her album Fireflies.
“On an island in the sun, we'll be playin' and havin' fun. And it makes me feel so fine, I can't control my brain.”
This song is about going on vacation to temporarily escape the pressures and stresses of the daily grind. A vacation is made more wonderful if it’s spent with a loved one.
“Some beach, somewhere. There's a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair. Palm trees are growing and warm breezes blowing. I picture myself right there. On some beach, somewhere.”
Is life getting you down? You might want to take a break by heading to the beach. As this song tells us, you could be sitting under the shade of an umbrella, enjoying the cool breeze with a drink in hand, far away from anything that gives you stress.
“I was a free man in Paris. I felt unfettered and alive. Nobody was calling me up for favors, no one's future to decide. You know I'd go back there tomorrow, but for the work I've taken on. Stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song.”
In this song, listeners are introduced to a man who is burdened by the pressures of his job as a music industry mogul. He wistfully reminisces about when he was in Paris and felt free and alive.
“And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again. Goin' places that I've never been. Seein' things that I may never see again. And I can't wait to get on the road again.”
This Oscar-nominated song is about the life of an entertainer on the road. For those who love to travel, being on tour is like a permanent vacation—meeting new friends, seeing new places, and experiencing new things along the way.
“If we took a holiday, took some time to celebrate, just one day out of life, it would be… so nice.”
This exuberant song is about taking time off just to celebrate. It has a catchy hook that will convince you to start looking up places where you can spend a holiday off.
“Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away. Vacation, meant to be spent alone.”
A vacation can be a form of self-care that rejuvenates us and restores our well-being. In this song, a woman tries to heal her heartbreak from a failed relationship by going alone on a vacation.
In addition to going on a vacation, here are more self-care ideas for women to avoid burnout.
“Travelling the road, last known is where I want to be. My compass directing, electing, an open road with golden trees. But there's an old man in need on the ground. I try not to make a sound. He holds out his hand as I walk away. I hear him say, “Please don't be a stranger in my place.””
During vacations, we sometimes meet people who have an impact in our lives. In this song, it’s an old man who catches the narrator’s attention. He sees the old man in several different locations, providing a reminder of how small the world can be.
12. The Girl from Ipanema, Frank Sinatra
“Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking. And when she passes he smiles. But she doesn't see.”
Speaking of meeting interesting people during vacation, this song describes how a girl, described as being from Ipanema, made a lasting impression on somebody with her beauty.
This song was composed by Antonio Carlos, with English lyrics written by Norman Gimbel. There have been numerous recordings of this song from different artists, with Frank Sinatra’s cover being one of the most popular.
“Looking back at the photographs, those summer days spent outside corner cafes. Oh, I could write you paragraphs about my old Parisienne days.”
Paris has been a popular vacation destination for Americans since the 1830s. It is one of the best places to go when one is interested in history, culture, fashion, and good food.
In this song, Gary Moore reminisces about his wonderful memories spent on vacation in Paris. Have you ever considered going there yourself?
14. California Dreamin’, The Mamas & The Papas
“All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray. I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day. I’d be safe and warm, if I was in L.A. California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.”
Ever experienced being in such dreary weather that you long to be someplace sunny and warm? That’s what’s happening in this song by The Mamas & The Papas, who wrote the song out of homesickness and nostalgia for the Golden State.
“Over the hills and far away, a million miles from L. A. Just anywhere away with you. I know we’ve got to get away someplace where no one knows our name. We’ll find the start of something new. Just take me anywhere, anywhere, anywhere away with you… ”
This song is about getting away from it all and just spending time traveling. Any place becomes paradise when you’re traveling with friends or a special someone.
“Flocking to the sea, crowds of people wait for me. Seagulls scavenge, steal ice cream. Worries vanish within my dream. I left my soul there. Down by the sea, I lost control here. Livin’ free.”
While we’re on the topic of getting away from it all, here’s a song where someone longs for a certain place where they’ve found freedom. In this song, that special place is the sea.
“We’re going on a summer holiday. No more working for a week or two. Fun and laughter on our summer holiday. No more worries for me or you for a week or two.”
You can’t help but feel excited about taking a summer vacation away from work when you listen to this song. It’s that time of the year when you can allow yourself to temporarily forget about work and the stress that often comes with it.
“We’re going on vacation. So where you wanna go? It’s a celebration, don’t need no invitation. Going on vacation. So where you wanna go? Love is our destination. (Follow me now.)”
If life has been a bit stressful lately, it’s probably time to go on vacation. As this song says, no invitation is necessary. What’s important is to just go.
“School’s out for summer. School’s out forever. School’s been blown to pieces.”
Alice Cooper sings about one of the greatest moments in a student’s life: the moment when school is finally over for the year. For many, that moment symbolizes total freedom.
“On the pontoon. Making waves and catching rays up on the roof. Jumping out the back, don’t act like you don’t want to. Party in slow motion out here in the open. Mmmmmm, motorboating.”
This song perfectly describes the bliss associated with spending lazy summer days by the water during summer vacation. It evokes visions of barbecues, swimming in cool water, and the cozy feeling you get when you’re spending time with good friends.
“Tropical the island breeze. This is where I long to be, La Isla Bonita. And when the samba played, the sun would set so high. Ring through my ears and sting my eyes, your Spanish lullaby.”
This song is about a girl reminiscing about a vacation she had in a place called San Pedro. Her overall experience at that place (especially the music) captured her heart, making her want to stay there as long as possible.
22. 13 Beaches, Lana del Rey
“It took 13 beaches to find one empty. But finally, it’s mine. With drippin’ peaches, I’m camera-ready almost all the time.”
People usually go on vacation to get away from it all. You look forward to total freedom and even isolation from the rest of the world.
However, other people often have the same idea. Escaping a crowd of vacationers can be hard when you’re at a popular vacation spot. In this song, it takes Lana del Rey 13 beaches to find one that is secluded enough to be alone with her thoughts.
“Life is a highway. I wanna ride it all night long. If you’re goin’ my way, I wanna drive it all night long.”
If you’re going on a road trip for your vacation, we highly recommend this song as part of your playlist.
In this song, life is compared to a highway that we all journey along. It is about living life to the fullest and facing the challenges that come your way.
Final Thoughts on Songs About Vacations
There you have it—fun songs about vacation that will hopefully convince you to plan your itinerary and book a flight.
We all need to take a break from our daily grind from time to time. A vacation can help relieve the stress of daily life. It can also be our ticket to reconnecting with family and ourselves.
If you enjoyed this compilation, you might want to check out other song collections for specific topics:
Finally, if you want to use these songs to make a lasting change to your life, then check out these 100 LIFE GOALS that can help you wake up each morning with a sense of enthusiasm about making progress toward what's important..