Playlist for looking out airplane windows

photo of airplane window
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As we enter the second month of summer vacation, many of us have booked upcoming trips or are in the process of planning some exciting getaways. A widely overlooked part of this planning process is downloading the appropriate music for your flight. A good playlist will help you get through a flight, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. 

The type of music that I like to listen to on my flights usually depends on what kind of mood I’m in. There’s something about being on an airplane that usually makes me feel oddly reflective. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got countless hours to kill and nothing to do. Whenever I’m not in this reflective mood, I’m usually feeling excited about my destination. I’ve compiled a list of songs for both of these airplane moods. The following songs are perfect for when I’m on a flight and in the mood to reflect on everything going on in my life.

“New Slang” by the Shins 

This strummy folk tune has been one of my favorites for years. The song just feels oddly comforting, and I’m not really sure why. NPR describes the song as “ridiculously melodic and structurally flawless,” and I think that this definitely has something to do with it. On my flight back home from San Francisco, I listened to this song a couple of times while trying to process the fact that I had completed my first year of college. 

“Maybe Tomorrow” by Stereophonics

This song is about searching for a place to call home, which is a theme I’ve definitely felt this summer. Maybe you’re traveling back home after a really long time away, or maybe you’re traveling somewhere new for an exciting opportunity. If you’re nervous about going somewhere unfamiliar, this song will let you reflect on what home means to you. This song, like most of the songs on this list, just has that reflective feel that’s perfect for staring out of the airplane window. 

“Daydreaming” by Radiohead 

Radiohead’s hit is perfect for the very action it alludes to in the title: daydreaming. There’s something about being on an airplane that makes it the perfect spot for daydreaming. It could have something to do with boredom, or maybe it’s the fact that you’re staring out of the window looking thousands of miles below you. Nonetheless, the dramatic orchestra and electronic flooding of this song will definitely make your mind wander off somewhere magical.

“Superstar” by Beach House 

This song, like the others, just has that contemplative vibe that perfectly complements flights. It’s deservedly the most popular track on Beach House’s new album, Once Twice Melody. With its mesmerizing repetition, it creates a hypnotic listening experience, which is perfect for your next long flight.

If you’re not feeling the depressive vibe, here are some songs to jam to the next time your plane is landing and you want to get yourself pumped up for the holidays. 

“Clocks” by Coldplay 

When it comes to Coldplay, its fame is built on its members’ ability to spread positivity through their simple yet catchy tunes. If you’re traveling somewhere, new or old, Coldplay will definitely produce an infectious, positive vibe that will have you smiling at the thought of your nearing adventures.

“Welcome to Japan” by the Strokes

Alright, maybe you’re not actually traveling to Japan, but that doesn’t make this song any less catchy and upbeat. Plus, you can always imagine that Casablancas is welcoming you to your own destination. On your next flight, pop in your headphones and you won’t be able to control your head as it bops to the song. 

“Beautiful Day” by U2

The actual music video for this song involves the band singing in front of an airplane, which honestly could be how I made this association. The song is literally about a beautiful day and seeing the world in a positive light. Overall, it’s a nice tune to accompany your excitement about traveling. 

“Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service 

Although I’m fairly sure this song isn’t about an airplane, it sure does feel like it. In the chorus, Gibbard sings about someone seeing us at great heights and urging us to come down. However, he doesn’t want to, because “everything looks perfect from far away.” It’s a great song for when your plane lands because everything does, in fact, look perfect from far away.

Make sure to download the playlist before your flight so that you can listen without access to WiFi. That way, once you’re on the flight, you can slip on your earbuds or AirPods and escape to a different, more comfortable world.

Contact Salma Sarkis at [email protected].