Looking for the best travel movies to inspire your next trip? Or are you looking for the perfect travel movie to help you escape your everyday life and feel as though you have traveled around the world for a few hours? Either way, this post has you covered.
Here is an extensive list of the best travel movies that you can watch to meet your wanderlust needs. They are all very different in the storyline, but the common theme of travel and exploration is prevalent throughout. Use this list as some inspiration for finding your next travel-related flick. And be prepared to be transported around the world on an adventure!
In This Post
16 Best Travel Movies
Up in the Air
Contributed by Jeremy from the C Boarding Group
Frequent Business Travelers consider Up in the Air not only one of the best travel movies of all time but also essential viewing for anyone traveling for work. This highly regarded travel movie highlights both the grind and benefits of traveling for work on a regular basis. From picking the best security line to optimizing your points and miles and even strong opinions on never checking a bag. This movie is full of helpful tips and tricks for smoother travel.
George Clooney delivers a compelling and heartfelt performance that effectively captures the often lonely life of the business traveler. His character’s pursuit of frequent flyer points and miles along with elite traveler status highlights a key part of the work travel life and resonates with business travelers. The movie manages to walk the line between being somewhat sad and depressing and inspirational at the same time. Anyone considering a job on the road or who has one will enjoy this top travel movie.
The Motorcycle Diaries
Contributed by Diana from Travels In Poland
The story of Che Guevara prior to his days as a revolutionary is laid out in this beautiful movie. This movie follows him and a friend across the countryside of South America. With beautiful scenery depicting the landscapes of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile among others, it is a traveler’s dream to see the beauty of the countries through the movie.
There aren’t enough movies that traverse the many countries of South America, particularly as the two main stars do so on a motorcycle. It enables the viewer to believe they are actually riding along with the pair, creating a truly unique traveling experience.
Lost In Translation
Contributed by Joel Marrinan from In My Korea
Lost in Translation whisks you away to the glitzy, neon-lit streets of central Tokyo. It throws you into a story of two strangers who share their insomniac nights and lazy days wandering through Tokyo’s many attractions. This romantic-comedy jumps through scenes of trendy jazz bars, screaming pachinko halls, and an obligatory karaoke bar, where we find Bill Murray in a bright pink wig singing his sorrows away.
However, the real star of the movie is Tokyo itself. Travelers who have visited this bustling metropolis will recognize the famous locales, the picture menus, the kanji signs, and the ant colony-like actions of all its citizens rushing around in the background. Those not yet lucky enough to travel to Japan’s astounding capital can marvel at the many mysteries and wonder that are on offer in one of the most incredible cities to visit in the world.
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest
Contributed by Camppbell & Alya Louw from Stingy Nomads
The movie is based on John Krakauer’s novel Into Thin Air, a personal account of the tragic events that happened in 1996 on Everest. Eight climbers were killed and several trapped during a terrible storm on Everest. The movie starts with the climbers going up Everest, everything looks perfect in the beginning but somewhere halfway to the top they start facing unexpected difficulties. The movie reveals how different people react to the same situation, some are totally selfish and reaching their goals is the only thing they worry about. Some are ready to sacrifice their interests and even lives to save others.
The horrific events followed by the death of several climbers is the main but not the only one plot. The incredible scenery of the Himalayas is a very important part of the movie. Many people were inspired by the movie for climbing Mt.Everest. The climb is not for everybody, but the trek to Everest Base Camp, the place where climbers start conquering the mountain is a more realistic goal for your average adventurer. Into Thin Air definitely is one of the best travel movies. It is an inspiring movie for adventure and hiking lovers that shows the beauty of the mountains.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Contributed by Laura Otero from Laura No Esta
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is not a simple movie about traveling and wanting to see the world. Is a lot more. This movie tells the story of Walter Mitty, a normal man who works for a magazine that is about to submit its last edition. He doesn’t feel happy with his life. He never travels, he feels like he doesn’t do anything important in his everyday life, like his life (and he himself) is irrelevant. And he has moments when he zooms out and imagines the endless possibilities he could have if he dared to do so.
During this best travel movie, you would probably relate to Mitty at some point and zoom out with him to incredible new adventures. You’ll discover a story that talks about the different choices you can make in life and how this could change you and improve you.
Contributed by Emily from Wander-Lush
This 2013 biopic recalls one young woman’s epic adventure walking across the Australian Outback.
A true story based on a memoir of the same name, the film follows Robyn Davidson (played by Mia Wasikowska) as she attempts to conquer one of the planet’s most unforgiving landscapes by foot, walking some 2,700km from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.
Accompanied by a troupe of camels and her loyal dog, Diggity, Robyn faces countless challenges along the way but is also met with dozens of small acts of kindness from strangers. This is a film about independence, solitude, and the benefits of pushing oneself to the absolute limit. The dramatic desert backdrop is alluring in its vastness and will inspire you to get out and explore. Robyn’s fortitude and persistence to reach her goal is a motif for all good journeys.
Contributed by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
The Way is a touching movie about a father and son, played by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, two actors who are also father and son in real life. Thomas Avery, played by Martin Sheen, receives news that his son has died mysteriously while walking the Camino de Santiago — a medieval pilgrimage trail that runs for 800 kilometers across northern Spain.
In an effort to honor his son’s memory and also to better understand his son and perhaps himself, Thomas decides to walk in his son’s footsteps and finish the pilgrimage for him. This film has inspired many people to walk the Camino de Santiago, and the trail has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Those who embark on the journey often find it to be an eye-opening and even life-changing experience.
Contributed by Sean from Living Out Lau
Roma is a multiple-award-winning 2018 drama film about Mexico. Set in the year 1970 and 1971, the story follows the life of a house-keeper in a middle-class family living in the Colonial Roma part of Mexico City. Unlike most travel movies that involve a dramatic plot and action-packed sequences, Roma is a lot more subtle. The black-and-white movie showcases the daily lives of a normal family with a normal life.
It features family hardships such as a cheating husband and unplanned pregnancy. In many ways watching the film is putting yourself in the shoes of the characters, and there is nothing more wonderful than the ability to do that from a travel film!
Into The Wild
Contributed by Seanna Fallon from Seannas World
This true story, based on John Krakauer’s book, follows the life of Chris McCandless. McCandless graduates college, and gives up all his material belongings, donating his $24,000 inheritance to charity and burning his ID. He heads off on an adventure, hitchhiking his way to Alaska where he has the goal of living off the land.
Into the Wild is a film with a magnetism about it. While the notion of shunning society and hitting the road is pretty relatable, McCandless takes it to the extreme, and the story that unfolds is moving and tragic.
Despite the air of sadness, Into The Wild will remind you of the sheer joy in travel. The deep, intense connections you form with the people you meet, the feeling of finding beauty and pleasure in tiny things. Above all, the cinematography and striking shots of rugged Alaskan landscapes will leave you dreaming of your own adventure.
Letters To Juliet
Contributed by Soujanya from The Spicy Journey
Letters to Juliet is an American rom-com set in Italy. Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie, a fact-checker and aspiring writer, who is in Verona with her fiance for a pre-honeymoon. She comes across Juliet’s courtyard where women write letters about problems or asking for advice regarding their love lives. These letters are then collected and answered by the secretaries of Juliet. It is here that Sophie discovers an old letter that was never answered by the secretaries. She answers the letter herself and helps Claire, the woman who wrote the letter many years ago during her youth, find her long lost lover.
Clair’s grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) and Sohpie get off on the wrong foot initially but a road trip through Verona and Siena to the ever mesmerizing Tuscany, it’s rolling hills and vineyards pave the way to an epic love story set in one of the most beautiful locations in the world that would make anyone want to pack their bags and visit Italy right away.
Midnight in Paris
Contributed by Or from My Path in the World
Written and directed by Woody Allen, this sweet romantic comedy will surely make you want to hop on a plane to the city of lights. The film follows Gil, a screenwriter who wants to pursue his dream of becoming an author, as he’s visiting Paris with his fiance, Inez. While strolling through the city in the nights, wondering what was Paris like in the 20′, he magically travels back in time. Here he meets some of his most beloved cultural icons like Hemingway and Picasso.
Alongside Woody Allen’s colorful characters and quirky glance at the 1920′ in Paris, you’ll see the beautiful views of the city’s streets and landmarks, which make the movie extremely wanderlust-fueling.
The Bucket List
Contributed by Arrianne Guzman from Travel Habeat
What does a bucket list mean to you? For most people, it’s a simple checklist like some travel goals. More often than not, these objectives are put in a deep backlog. But what if you only have months to live? This is what billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) had to face when both of them were diagnosed as terminally ill.
The Bucket List will give you the eagerness to pack your bags and hit the road. With extreme opposite backgrounds and personalities, Edward and Carter climbed the Pyramids, explored a lion safari in Africa, and jumped-off a plane for skydiving. Indeed, at the last moments of their lives, they chose to act on their fate rather than letting time wither them away. The movie is hilarious and touching at the same time. Have they completed their bucket list? That you have to find out.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Contributed by Jackie Gately from Enjoy Travel Life
Under the Tuscan Sun is the story of a middle-aged, divorced woman who starts life anew in the Tuscan hill town of Cortona, Italy. Based on a memoir by Frances Mayes, the movie shares Frances’ transformation from a bleak, lackluster existence to a life filled with endearing people and meaningful moments. She finds hope, a new purpose, and a place to call home.
The movie showcases the rich culture of Italy and humorous moments while Mayes renovates an aging villa. Italophiles will savor the movie’s scenery, including the lush Tuscan countryside and stunning Amalfi Coast.
Not only is Under the Tuscan Sun reassuring to anyone amid life changes. But add the scenery, drool-worthy food, and a handsome Italian man, and it might just inspire you to plan your (next) trip to Italy.
Contributed by Annalisa Franceschini from Travel Connect Experience
The documentary film Baraka has influenced a generation of travelers and travel videographers. Baraka was released in 1993. Director Ron Fricke takes you on a 14-month journey across 24 countries capturing your imagination with evocative photography end an inspired editing job.
You wouldn’t guess that the making of Baraka happened almost 30 years ago. The meaning of this travel documentary is more relevant today than ever. Even if Baraka hasn’t got any dialogues or narration, its message screams out loud. The movie shows a round-up of the most stunning natural landscapes our planet has to offer. Along with thousand-year-old monuments juxtaposed by the frenetic human escalation to development and deep unhappiness.
From the ceremonies of the tribes living in the rainforest to the automated working rhythms of a cigarette factory in Southeast Asia, Baraka will paste you to the screen and will push you to add dozens of places to your travel bucket list. Every feature is spectacular: the close-ups, the aerial views, the time-lapses, the original soundtrack. What’s even more valuable, this documentary will make you reflect on how the planet and its inhabitants are suffering to sustain the absurd modern-day lifestyle.
Contributed by Alexander from Gourmand Trotter
Wild is one of the most classic travel movies out there, and it’s based on a true story, which makes it even better. It follows the chronicle of a woman who has promised herself to venture on a one thousand one hundred mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The main character Cheryl, is played by Reese Witherspoon who masters this roll in a perfect way.
Both Reese and Laura Dern received Oscar nominations for their performances in Wild. It’s truly an iconic movie that every traveler should watch, especially if you enjoy hiking. While the main character is female, the movie has a powerful message that speaks to all genders. It is a great source of inspiration and motivation to fulfill goals and get going.
Wild certainly spreads a feeling of wanderlust and even if you have never been on a longer hike, it will make you want to venture out in the wild and discover the raw nature. It’s based on the New York Times Best Seller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
Crazy Rich Asians
Contributed by Disha Smith from Disha Discovers
Crazy Rich Asians is one of many travel movies that inspire wanderlust. This movie will make viewers want to pack their bags and head to Singapore.
Rachel accompanies her boyfriend, Nick, to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. She then finds out that Nick’s family is incredibly wealthy and that he’s actually one of Singapore’s hottest bachelors. Rachel goes head on to battle with Nick’s mother who is unapproving of their relationship. Because she doesn’t come from the same wealthy background as them.
Some of the incredible bucket list-worthy Singapore locations that are featured in this movie are Singapore Changi Airport, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Newton Food Center.
Contributed by Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel
Narrated by David Attenborough and Sigourney Weaver, Planet Earth takes viewers around the world to discover some of the planets most awe-inspiring natural settings and animal behaviours. The series has won a number of awards for its celebration of our epic natural planet.
The episodes take viewers through the desert, ocean, mountains, jungles and more. It has two seasons and the third is scheduled to air in 2022. It never fails to remind us of all the beautiful places yet to explore and how important it is to protect our natural world and to travel sustainably!
This list of the best travel movies is surely what you need to fuel your wanderlust. After watching some of these iconic and thrilling films you will be on your laptop booking your next trip! While your there you might take some photos so be sure to caption them with the best travel captions!
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Katie Goes says
I’m sure I’ll have all of these ticked off once Rona calms down – haha!
Katie Diederichs says
I’ve been making a list of all the movies I want to watch and books I want to read while at home to keep my wanderlust fueled! And many of my favorites are on this list 🙂 At least we all have easy access to books and movies to get us through all this time at home!
In times like these when no one can travel, this is the best way to pass time when you’ve got nothing else to do! Have written down the ones I haven’t seen and will work my way through the list shortly, haha! Thank you so much for this, a perfect post for us travelers who’s currently only able to travel through movies and written words!
Wow what an amazing list! There are so many movies in there I haven’t seen, time to catch up! Thanks for sharing 🙂