No one can be traveling all the time so why not live vicariously through a great film and maybe even get inspired for your next trip? Watching a good travel movie gives you that buzz of excitement; the urge to pack your suitcase and head for the open road. So from the classics to recent blockbusters, here are 30 travel movies to help motivate you to finally take that extra time off.
Travel Movies that Inspire Travel
Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Lina’s Favorite Travel Movie!
As his company, Life Magazine closes down, Walter Mitty realizes he hasn’t been anywhere or done anything in his own life and decides to turn his “zoned out” heroic daydreams into reality as he disappears into a life of the unknown. A tale filled with adventure and romance as he takes a global trip to several exotic places. No matter your age, this movie will make you feel a childlike thirst for adventure!
Check out the links below. Watch the movie for inspiration and listen to the soundtrack while you pack!
Into the Wild – David’s Favorite Travel Movie!
That wilderness is alluring, isn’t it? This film follows a man’s journey after he feels he’s hit rock bottom and travels a rough road to and through the Alaskan wilderness. Based on a true story, Chris McCandless leaves it all behind and takes the difficult path towards his goal; hitch-hiking, camping, and rafting his way along a journey that will make you feel that it is time to diverge and discover.
If you’ve ever been to India than you’ll understand why this movie is on our list. When it comes to depicting what life is like in the slums, this movie is right on. It follows Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) as he answers questions on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” while flashbacks show how he got there. Part of a stable of young thieves after their mother dies, Jamal and his brother, Salim, survive on the streets of Mumbai. Salim finds the life of crime agreeable, but Jamal scrapes by with small jobs until landing a spot on the game show.
If you’ve ever dreamed of grabbing a backpack and heading for Southeast Asia to live the beach life, this movie is for you. It was the movie that inspired us to take our honeymoon to Thailand so we could visit the famous Maya Bay that is featured in the movie. The desire to find something real — to connect with something or someone — is what drives Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacker who arrives in Thailand with adventure on his mind.
It’s all about the South Pacific is this hilarious romantic comedy, another one of Lina’s favorite travel movies. Four couples, all friends, descend on a tropical island resort. Though one husband and wife are there to work on their marriage, the others just want to enjoy some fun in the sun. They soon find, however, that paradise comes at a price: Participation in couples therapy sessions is mandatory. What started out as a cut-rate vacation turns into an examination of the common problems many face.
If you like musicals that are set in dreamy locations, this is one that will have you wanting to head straight for Greece. Featuring the hits of ABBA, Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.
A fun one to watch with the kids, Moana gives a beautiful look into like in the South Pacific, through the eyes of the princess Moana. An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.
Reese Witherspoon takes a daring 1000 mile trek along the Pacific Coast Trail in California to re-discover herself and heal from a recent personal tragedy. It’s a journey of hardship, adventure, and challenges along incredible Californian scenery. It will inspire you to strap on that heavy pack and find your nearest hiking trail.
A classic romantic comedy from the 40s starring Humphrey Bogart who plays an American expatriate who runs a nightclub in Morocco. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”
Lord of the Rings
Set in the fictional land of Middle-Earth (AKA New Zealand!), we follow Frodo as he steps out of his comfortable life in the Shire and into an adventure that can only be described as, epic. If you haven’t seen this classic tale, make sure to cast it on the biggest screen available and watch the beautiful landscapes and adventures unfold!
Another 50’s favorite! Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is sick of her tightly scheduled life and escapes the embassy to discover Rome on her own. Joining up with an American reporter who she convinces to take a holiday, they explore all the sights as they spend a perfect day of freedom and adventure. Just remember to watch out for that fountain!
Martin Sheen is an American doctor who goes to France following the death of his son to retrieve his ashes and grieve. He ends up swept up along the traditional pilgrimage his son was taking along the Camino de Santiago. While there, he meets others from around the world who are also searching for answers and ways to make their lives better as he journeys to scatter his son’s ashes.
Encounters at the End of the World
A Discovery channel film, this movie definitely takes you to an unknown land! In a visually stunning adventure, Herzog and his cinematographer travel to a small community in Antarctica made up of zoologists, divers, biologists, and other adventurers as he starts to experience their rather absurd and breathtaking lives!
The Bucket List
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s characters find out they have terminal cancer and escape the ward to go on a final adventure around the world to check off all the things on their bucket list. They go skydiving, fly over the North Pole, visit the Taj Mahal in India, ride motorcycles atop the Great Wall of China, visit a Tanzanian Safari, stand at the base of Mt. Everest, and look out at the world from the top of the Great Pyramids. It is a story of putting everything behind you and truly living while you can.
Out of Africa
Ever wonder what Meryl Streep was like as a young Hollywood starlet? Set in early 20th century Colonial Kenya, Out of Africa follows Karen (Meryl Streep) who originally moves to Africa to start a dairy farm, and ends up going through various love trials as she explores the wonders of the African wildlife and decides to open a school to teach basic education to local African tribal children.
The Art of Travel
Leaving his fiancée at the altar, Connor turns his back on the traditional life and embarks on his honeymoon alone, traveling through central and South America, trying to find out how to make his mark.
Eat Pray Love
Sick of always either breaking up or getting together with men, Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) decides to take a year off from life to be with herself. Taking a journey through Italy, India, and Bali, she rediscovers herself on a road of introspection. Gain back your “appetite for life” with this captivating film.
Check out this film to motivate you to plan your own inner discovery adventure:
A romantic comedy about a man and woman who meet on a train from Budapest. He convinces her to skip her flight home to the US and instead explore the romantic city of Vienna.
Hector and the Search for Happiness
Hector (Simon Pegg) takes a journey across the world to figure out what makes people happy. A fantastic British comedy, this film will have you searching for those childhood moments of happiness we all used to feel so free and make you yearn to go out and explore for yourself.
The Sound of Music
Who isn’t inspired by the hills that are alive with the sound of music? Join Julie Andrews as she escapes the abbey to follow her heart to the stunning hills of Austria during the trying times of WWII. She falls in love with the Von Trapp family as she becomes governess to the 7 adorable and musically gifted Von Trapp children. She softens the hearts of the entire household with her youthful enthusiasm and imagination.
Under the Tuscan Sun
A woman gets divorced and her friends send her on a gay tour in Tuscany to gain back her freedom. She impulsively buys a rundown Tuscan villa and starts life over. Funny and charming this movie will definitely make you want to go to Italy!
Check out Under the Tuscan Sun for some Italian travel inspiration:
Maybe more terrifying than inspiring, this epic film follows a group of adventurers to the top of Mount Everest and outlines the perils and challenges of this fantastical feat.
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore star in this light-hearted family film about a couple who go on a disastrous blind date and then unknowingly buy one half of the same family vacation package to Africa, which forces them to participate in everything together.
A young woman goes on a journey that seems impossible. A 1700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with only four camels and her faithful dog.
The Bourne Series
Adventure packed for sure, Jason Bourne travels to a number of beautiful destinations over this multi-movie series, some such as Venice, Budapest, Berlin, Madrid. Just try not to jump on the locals’ roofs when you go there yourself.
Check out this ultimate collection to see all the major sites to inspire your next adventure:
Romancing the Stone
A classic 80s film starring Katherine Turner, Michael Douglas, and Danny Devito about a sheltered and proper woman’s sister getting kidnapped, forcing her to travel to Colombia to rescue her. She’s helped by a mercenary as they try to find a priceless gem before giving up her sister’s treasure map ransom.
A 60’s British film, this story is about a family who takes in three orphaned lion cubs and attempts to raise and free them into the wilderness of Kenya.
Mix it up with an animated movie! This heart-warming kids movie will inspire you for adventure as you watch Carl overcome his grief and take a journey to South America he always dreamed of. You may want to have some tissues close by though.
The Motorcycle Diaries
This movie follows the journey of two men who leave their home in Buenos Aires and travel for eight months on a rickety motorcycle across Latin America, giving them new perspectives and experiences that change their view of the world.
The Darjeeling Limited
Following the death of their father, three estranged brothers travel across India by train to try to reconnect as a family. An underrated comedy adventure, this movie has made our list!