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45+ BEST Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust [2024 Edition]

When you’re stuck at home let the Best Travel Movies transport you from the couch to another time and place. You just have to decide where you want to go!

Not all of us can jet off to exotic destinations at the drop of a hat. Or even afford an international trip every few years. But that’s where the best travel movies come in. The rise in armchair travel has meant many are on the lookout for the best travel books, Netflix series and travel films to inspire wanderlust, to live and vicariously and immerse ourselves in a faraway land we can’t actually venture to right now.

So we’ve done some of that leg work for you and have put together a great list of our movie hit-list of some of the best travel movies of all time for whenever you are stuck at home and can’t travel!

Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust
 Disclaimer: Almost all posts on this site contain Affiliate links, and this one about Best Travel Films of all time is no different. This means that if you click on any of the links in this post (and make a purchase) I may receive a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. Each post is carefully crafted to (hopefully!) answer all your questions and recommendations are made where we believe they will improve your trip and help with your planning. As such we thank you in advance should you decide to click & buy. Read my full Disclosure here.

In This Post

Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Eat Pray Love Movie Cover

One of the all-time favorite movies that inspire travel, starring Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert, who’s recent divorce triggers a journey of self-discovery in the form of a round the world trip visiting Italy, India, and Bali. We challenge anyone not to feel the wanderlust while watching this one. Or to come away and not want to go to any of the featured destinations!

Eat Pray Love is one of the best travel movies of all time and a great way to fire up your wanderlust for both travel and self-discovery.

The Way (2010)

The Way Movie Cover
Documenting the journey of a grieving father, this sweet Spanish film sees Martin Sheen as Dr. Tom Avery who walks the renowned pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago, an 800km hike from the French/Spanish border to Santiago in northwest Spain.

Out of Africa (1985)

Out of Africa Movie Cover
Starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, this epic romance, this movie set in Kenya in colonial times tells the story of a passionate love affair between a plantation owner and a big game hunter. When Sydney Pollack brought Karen Blixen’s autobiographical book of the same name to life, he clearly pulled out the ‘best’ bits to create this cinematic masterpiece.

But whilst the book itself is considered a modern classic (IMO) it is as dull as dishwater. It baffles me that a woman can lead such an unusual and eventful life, yet write a book so dry and boring. Stick with the film version – click here to rent it on Amazon.

RELATED – If Out of Africa piqued your interest in this incredible continent – our Top 30 Movies About Africa will keep you occupied for days!

The Terminal (2004)

The Terminal Movie Cover
An American comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, who comes from the fictional nation of Krakozhia and becomes stranded in New York’s JFK airport.

Denied entry into the USA, he also cannot return to his home country due to an outbreak of civil war. This one is reportedly based on the true story of ‘The Terminal Man’, an Iranian refugee who was forced to live in terminal 1 of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for 18 years.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemem Movie Cover
Starring Ewan McGregor as fisheries scientist Dr Alfred Jones and Emily Blunt as Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen follows the journey of Alfred to Yemen. Recruited by Harriet to help bring the sport of fly fishing to the Yemen desert, Alfred’s shy nature means that the two form a slow, but inevitable bond.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me if You Can Movie Cover
Steven Speilberg’s Catch Me if You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken tells the story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline – all before his 18th birthday. Bouncing between locations and careers, it is easy to see why it has been included in this great list of travel movies that inspire escapism. (Even if we don’t recommend you trying to recreate any of it!)

Surprisingly, it is based on a true story – and loosely follows the life of the real Frank Abagnale who became known as one of the best con men in modern history.

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn Movie Cover
Brooklyn is a romantic historical drama that follows the life and tribulations of a young Irish woman torn between two places and two great loves.

Set in the early 50s, the film follows Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) as she is forced to emigrate, moving to Brooklyn to find employment. Eilis finds herself being forced to choose between an old love and the love of her homeland of Ireland or new pastures and the progressive opportunities of life and a new love in New York.

Lion (2016)

Lion Movie Cover
Starring Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame, this heart-wrenching biographical drama depicts the life of a young Indian boy, separated from his family at a young age.

Growing up in poverty and without family, the film unveils the trials and tribulations of the young boy, Saroo who is later adopted by a family in Australia and lives a life consumed by the dream of finding his native home. Disclaimer: this one is a serious tear-jerker. Be sure to have tissues to hand.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Cover
A British Comedy Drama with a sweet message, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel portrays a group of retirees who choose to spend their autumn years of life in a retirement hotel in India. With a star-studded cast including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, this one is vibrant and heartening- an ideal feel-good option for a day on the sofa.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine Move Cover
A charming independent American comedy, Little Miss Sunshine portrays the road trip journey of the Hoover family who travel 800 miles from New Mexico in a vintage yellow VW Campervan for their daughter to enter a beauty pageant in California. Enchantingly uplifting, we defy anyone who doesn’t start searching for VW campers on eBay after watching this one.

Wild (2014)

Wild - One of the best travel movies
Based on the memoir of the same name written by American journalist Cheryl Strayed, the film follows the journey of Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) who embarks on the epic 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Journeying through flashbacks of her tumultuous past and recent divorce, this is a powerful and emotional story of reconciliation and forgiveness and the therapeutic powers of long-distance hiking. It is critically acclaimed, considered one of the best travel movies on the planet and thought of as one of Reese Witherspoon’s best movies.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) & Midnight in Paris (2011)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a sophisticated romantic comedy from Woody Allen that explores the mysteries of love, from the perspective of both men and women. With an all-star cast featuring Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz, it is a smart and witty examination of love, lust, and marriage played by a flawless cast & set in a beautiful city – and was made and released before renewed allegations of sexual abuse were levied at Woody Allen (they had originally been made in 1992 but Allen was never charged).

Midnight in Paris tells the story of Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a screenwriter and aspiring novelist. Vacationing in Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams), he has taken to touring the city alone. On one such late-night excursion, Gil encounters a group of strange – yet familiar – revelers, who sweep him along, apparently back in time, for a night with some of the Jazz Age’s icons of art and literature. The more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present; and we get a glimpse of life in Paris throughout the film.

Both Midnight in Paris and Vicky Christina Barcelona are on this list because Google (and popular culture) deems them to be movies to watch as two of the top travel movies of all time, and also because they are highly rated by critics. I suppose the decision to watch them will depend on whether you can separate the alleged actions of Woody Allen and the scandal around him, from the art he has created. I’ll leave the decision up to you.

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

The Motorcycle Diaries Movie Cover
Following the travels of medical student Ernesto Guevara (Gael García Bernal), the story recounts the memoir of the man who will become the internationally renowned Marxist (Che Guevara) in years to come.

Traveling through Latin America and South America in 1952 with his friend Alberto Granado, the Motorcycle Diaries voyage starts out as a hedonistic adventure and soon becomes a political discovery that evokes the political values he becomes known for in later years. It’s a fascinating dramatization of a true story of one of the most famous political people in history.

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under The Tuscan Sun Movie Cover
Be warned, Under the Tuscan Sun is cheesier than a ‘quattro formaggio’ but a great choice if you simply want to indulge in a real guilty pleasure on a rainy afternoon. Recently divorced from her adulterous partner, American writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) buys a villa on a whim whilst on holiday in Italy in the hope that she will turn her life around and find love.

Set in the beautiful undulating hills and cobbled streets of Tuscany, and with glimpses of the Amalfi coast, Under the Tuscan Sun is one of the best travel films for anyone planning a trip to Italy.

Seven Years In Tibet (1997)

Seven Years in Tibet move cover
Seven Years in Tibet is a biographical war drama film based on the 1952 book of the same name written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer.

A blonde blue-eyed Brad Pitt plays the intrepid hiker who set out in 1939 to climb the killer Nanga Parbat, in the Himalayas, but ends up in a British POW camp which he escapes after several years to find solace in the forbidden (to foreigners) Tibetan city of Lhasa. There, in the Potala Palace, the young Dalai Lama is being trained by monks to take his place as the voice of Tibetan Buddhism.

The stirring tale of the bond that grows between Harrer and the Dalai Lama, known as Kundun (His Holiness) is beautifully played by 14-year-old Jamyang Wangchuk – and is enough to gloss over the fact shortly after filming, Herrer was discovered to be a Nazi.  (From 1933 on he was a member of Hitler’s SA (storm troopers) and from 1938 on, was in the SS (the elite guard)) which the movie briefly acknowledges.

Into The Wild (2007)

Into the Wild Movie Cover
Based on a true story, Into the Wild is a poignant and powerful account of the adventures of Christopher McCandless, a young graduate who donates his money to charity and embarks on an epic journey across Northern America and Alaska.

Hitch-hiking along the way, Christopher runs with wild horses, kayaks in the Colorado River and camps out in extreme weather. An epic adventure with a dark twist at the end, if Alaska is on the bucket list- this one is a must-watch.

RELATED – Alaska is one of the 30 Best Places to Visit in the United States – click the link to find out where the others are!


Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Sunrise Movie Cover
This classic romance drama has been dubbed as a modern-day ‘brief encounter’. Set in the beautiful streets of Vienna, the love story depicts the bond between two travelers played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and the romance that ignites between them.

Directed by Richard Linklater, it’s a classic one to watch for romance fans, the story evokes the feeling of how sacred the connections are between fellow travelers and the beauty of their brevity.

The Bucket List (2007)

Jack Nicholsons Billionaire Edward Cole and Morgan Freemans car mechanic Carter Chambers are complete strangers until they find themselves in the same hospital room. With seemingly nothing in common, at first, the men discover they are the same in two ways: a need to come to terms with what they have done in life and who they are, and a desire to each complete their own bucket list of things they want to see and do before they die.

Against their doctor’s advice, the men leave the hospital and set out on the adventure of a lifetime visiting places like the Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Giza (Eygpt), walking along the Great Wall of China and going on Safari in Tanzania. This light hearted caper is one of my favorite travel movies, simply because if it doesn’t inspire you to travel when you can and do the best you can with the time you have, nothing will.

ps. I love a movie with Jack Nicholson and/or Morgan Freeman – especially one that makes you want to visit so many incredible places around the globe!

The English Patient (1996)

Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje, the story follows 4 people brought together at an Italian villa during the Italian Campaign of World War II.

The title character, a man burned beyond recognition who speaks with an English accent (Ralph Fiennes), tells his story to Hana, a young Canadian nurse (Juliette Binoche) caring for him in a series of flashbacks, revealing his true identity and the love affair he was involved in before the war.

The past and present are continually intertwined as the story unfolds and two more characters arrive at the villa: a Indian-Sikh sapper (bomb disposal expert), and a Canadian thief, each with their own connection to Hana.

Tracks (2013)

Budding solo travelers will enjoy the story of Robyn Davidson, who leaves behind her urban lifestyle to embark on a 2,000-mile journey through the vast Australian desert.

Yearning for solitude, she is accompanied by her dog Diggity and four camels for an epic journey from Alice Springs to the shores of the Indian Ocean.

It’s a glimpse into travel in the Australian outback, in a manner that many will never experience, and is based on a true story.

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Hector and The Search for Happiness (2014)

Disillusioned with the tedium of his existence, psychiatrist Hector (Simon Pegg) confesses to his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) that he feels he is a fraud for dispensing recommendations to patients who never seem to improve or get any happier.

Summoning up the courage to break out of his boring routine, Hector gives his starved curiosity free rein and embarks on an international quest to find the right formula to bring him joy and vitality. Hector and the Search for Happiness will make you smile and maybe even encourage you to find your own happiness.

Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Cover
How could there be a best travel movies list without featuring one of the original silver screen explorers?! Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones has inspired the adventures of many an intrepid explorer – even if they never made it to Egypt!

But in watching one of the greatest adventure movies you’ll be transported to the hustle and bustle of the streets of Cairo, where you can eat dates and sip tea to your heart’s content!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The Secret Lift of Walter Mitty Movie Cover
In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, avid daydreamer Walter (Ben Stiller) fantasizes about adventure whilst working as a negative assets manager for a magazine. A fortunate turn of events breaks his life of monotony and he is sent on an important quest, triggered by a photojournalist colleague, to source a missing negative.

The treasure-hunt style adventures see Walter Mitty visiting Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas – and will make you want to too as you’re watching the movie! And it is this showcase of varied destinations is what makes The Secret Life of Walter Mitty one of my favorite travel movies.

The Trip (2010)

The Trip Movie Cover
This British sitcom turned film franchise features fictionalized versions of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (as themselves) as they embark on a restaurant tour of the North of England. Coogan is miserable both professionally and personally, and his sort-of friend Brydon seems to be there simply to antagonize him.

There are moments of sheer comedy genius and some uncomfortable conversations, as both ‘characters’ emphasize certain personality traits. Take a little tour around the North of the UK with them; you won’t regret it!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Neal (Steve Martin) a control freak who needs to reach home for Thanksgiving, goes through a series of misadventures when his flight gets canceled and he ends up meeting Del (John Candy), a talkative goofy salesman in a remote city in Kansas.

It’s holiday travel at its finest with a great connection and chemistry between the two lead actors. So much so, that Steve Martin still gets emotional about one particular line John Candy ad-libbed at the time.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

The Darjeeling Limited Movie Cover
Wes Andersons story examines the relationship between three estranged brothers (played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman), that each have their own problems.

Together they set out on a train journey across India, in an attempt to rediscover their lost bond after the death of their father – and unbeknown to two of the brothers, are headed towards a reunion with their absentee mother in a Himalayan Ashram.

One of the best travel films, The Darjeeling Limited is heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure as the brothers argue, sulk and cajole their way across India.

Patagonia (2010)

The enriching nature of travel is the running theme of this charming drama which explores the historical connections between Argentina and Wales. Following the travels of Gwen and Rhys, a couple from Cardiff who venture to Argentina when Rhys (a photographer) is commissioned to document the historic Welsh chapels of Patagonia. As Rhys and Gwen hope to rekindle their relationship, an elderly Welsh-Argentine lady travels back to Wales to rediscover her Welsh roots.

Map for Saturday

A map for Saturday movie cover
A Map for Saturday is a docu-film created over one year of travel through 26 countries. It reveals a world of long-term, solo travel through the stories of trekkers on four continents. Created by Emmy winning producer Brook Silva-Braga, who left his comfortable HBO job to travel,  intersects with two dozen solo travelers along the way who help tell the stories of the destinations he visits.

There are backpackers helping neglected Thai tsunami victims and travelers who explain why Nepal’s guesthouses are empty and why Brazil’s stoplights are ignored. But despite the interesting tales, A Map for Saturday ultimately tracks the emotional arc of extreme longterm travelers; teenagers and senior citizens who wondered, “What would it be like to travel the world?” Then did it.

It’s a travel movie that shows a little bit more of what it is actually like on the road (rather than just a road trip), on a long term backpacking adventure, and the highs and lows such a journey encompasses.

RELATED  – If watching these epic travel movies gets you all inspired, be sure to check out our travel gear posts including backpacking essentials, travel gadgets, backpacks for women and passport holders to get you all set for your adventures!

The Art of Travel (2008)

The Art of Travel Movie Cover
The Art of Travel movie follows Conner Layne as he discovers his finace chating on him with his best friend. Calling off his wedding he decides to go on his planned adventurous honeymoon to Central America alone, finding adventure with a ragtag group of foreigners who attempt to cross the dangerous Darien Gap in record time.

This indie travel film that explores the very nature of wanderlust, and how it has the potential to expand character and transform life.

The Best Travel Movies with Locations You Can Actually Visit

Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Movie Cover
If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like to stay in a grand hotel of a bygone era, look no further than the quirky Grand Budapest Hotel.

Set in the imaginary Republic of Zubrowka, West Anderson’s 2014 outing was filmed largely in Görlitz, the easternmost town in Germany. The art nouveau interiors of the abandoned Görlitzer Warenhaus department store doubled as the hotel lobby, and Anderson also used other parts of the pretty town to set the scene, such as an old storefront, which was transformed into Mendl’s bakery.

It’s one of the most iconic travel films and it’s easy to see why it’s considered one of the best travel movies.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Lord of the Rings & Hobbit Trilogies DVD cover
Every Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan knows that New Zealand provided the background to the franchise. Matamata, on North Island, doubles as the Shire, and the Hobbiton set, with its 44 hobbit holes, is open for tours.

In Tongariro National Park, Mount Ngauruhoe doubled as Mount Doom, while Mangawhero Falls was where scenes of the Ithilien Camp were filmed. And if that wasn’t enough Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Arrowtown serve as Middle-earth. New Zealand is undoubtedly LOTR territory and I dare anyone to say otherwise!

Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989)

The third and final installment of the original Indiana Jones film series takes our beloved explorer to a bucket list destination of mine that I was able to visit in 2017 – the once lost city of Petra in Jordan. 

As we follow Indy in his quest for the Holy Grail we are taken to Al Khazneh (The Treasury) which was carved into the sandstone rock face in the magical pink city of Petra in the first century A.D. It looks epic on the screen, and even more incredible in real life. Please try and get there at least once in your life.

Amelie (2001)

Amelie Movie Cover
A much-loved travel movie classic, Amelie follows the life of a lonely, but quirky and lovable introvert who finds interesting ways to spread joy, helping people to find happiness, doing secret good deeds and changing the lives of others from afar. Oozing whimsical Parisian charm, this enchantingly eccentric story will leave you feeling inspired, uplifted and most likely yearning for a French adventure. Add it to your watch list if you haven’t already!

And if you want to grab a coffee in the cafe where Amelie (Audrey Tautou) worked – you can! The Cafe des 2 Moulins in Paris is adored by locals and tourists alike so be sure to stop by for a coffee fix during your trip to Paris.

Lost In Translation

Lost in Translation Movie Cover
Lost in Translation tells the story of an American actor Bob (Bill Murray) who lands in Tokyo for an ad-film and ends up meeting college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), who’s been left behind by her photographer husband. Gradually, the two discover a friend within each other and you can retrace their steps!

Visit the Park Hyatt in Tokyo where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson meet in the top floor bar; walk the famous crossing at Shibuya and you can ever sing karaoke in the same place as Bob and Charlotte at Karaoke Kan, Shibuya-ku. Queue up ‘What’s so funny ’bout Peace, Love & Understanding’ by Elvis Costello if you really want to recreate that moment from Lost in Translation!

Australia (2008)

Australia Movie Cover
Australia is a historical romantic drama starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and set in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) travels from England to Australia at the start of WWII to inspect a cattle ranch she had inherited. Reluctantly she joins forces with a local known as the Drover (Jackman) to drive the cattle across hundreds of miles across the Australian outback to save the ranch.

For a touch of nostalgia with old-world charm, a tale of the outback in a bygone era of Australia is just what you need.

The Beach (2000)

The Beach Movie Cover
Flying the flag for Thailand, The Beach is an adventure drama directed by Danny Boyle and based on the book of the same name by Alex Garland. Recounting the tale of a young and adventurous American traveler, Richard (a young Leonardo DiCaprio), who befriends two fellow backpackers and travels with them to the island of Koh Samui where they unveil another beguiling island and its community.

Ko Phi Phi Leh, off Thailand’s west coast provided a beautiful setting for the big-screen adaptation of Alex Garland’s novel, although it is not quite as hidden as it appears on film. It can be easily reached by boat from Krabi and Phi Phi Don – and is today, swarming with tourists practically all the time.

A Good Year (2006)

Widely regarded as one of Ridley Scott’s worst films (it’s certainly no Gladiator!), A Good Year could be considered so bad that it’s good! Well, it’s certainly a feel-good movie anyway.

When failed London banker Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) inherits his uncle’s (Albert Finney) vineyard in Provence, where he spent many childhood holidays, he travels to France to sell off the property. Predictable and pleasant, it will transport you to France for a couple of fuss-free hours.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Movie Cover
A must-watch for fans of New Zealand, this quirky but uplifting film follows the adventures of Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) and ‘Uncle Hector’ (Sam Neill) as adoptive ‘father and son’ pair who camp out in the NZ wilderness to escape the authorities who are trying to reinstate Ricky back into the childcare system after the death of his foster mum.

If NZ wasn’t on the bucket list, it will be after watching this one – and if you want to see these beautiful landscapes for yourself (without getting lost) head to the North Island Volcanic Plateau and the Waitakere Ranges.

James Bond (various)

James Bond has been traveling around the world on our screens (in various guises) since 1962, and with 24 films under his belt, he is one of the most well-traveled characters to ever hit our screens. Although we will admit he generally isn’t traveling for pleasure – the places he visits have some of the most beautiful scenery – and in one of the most recent installments (Spectre) the clinic high in the snow-covered mountains appears to be on top of the world. If scenes like these don’t inspire the travel lover in you, I don’t know what will.

Now, you may be wondering why out of all the James Bond films I chose Skyfall for the image and it’s a combination of a few factors. First, Javier Bardem plays an incredible villain and his lair on the abandoned Hashima Island had me reaching for Google the minute I saw it. It’s real, it is abandoned, and its history is fascinating.

Second, the views of Glencoe in Scotland are incredible and both are sites that you can visit and see with your own eyes (although Hashima Island is a bit more difficult to get to than Glencoe!)

I also think Skyfall leads perfectly into Spectre (with another incredible villain in Christoph Waltz) and revitalizes the franchise a little bit after less than stellar reviews for their prequel, Quantum of Solace (but that’s just me).

Either way, if you want to start a James Bond marathon whilst you are stuck at home, there are hours of entertainment there just begging to be watched during a movie night (or movie marathon!) which is why the James Bond franchise are some of my favorite movies about travel.

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994)

This flamboyant cult favorite (and one of my favorite travel movies of all time), Priscilla Queen of the Desert follows two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transsexual (Terence Stamp) woman as they travel across the Aussie Outback.

Several locations were used in filming which can all be visited and include the South Australia mining town of Coober Pedy and the Northern Territory’s dramatic Kings Canyon.

One Week (2008)

After receiving a dire medical diagnosis, Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson) is prompted to search for meaning in his life via a cross-country road trip across Canada on a vintage motorcycle.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Later becoming known as a statement feminist film, Thelma & Louise portrays the adventures and misadventures of the meek and mild Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) as they begin a road trip style journey on an innocent fishing trip before fleeing to Mexico after unforeseen circumstances arise along the way.

To hit the road and visit the filming locations yourself head to the Cowboy Country Bar in Long Beach; or the motel where the friends meet up with J.D. (Brad Pitt) is the Vagabond Inn in downtown Los Angeles. The desert scenes, meanwhile, were around Moab, Utah – including those supposedly featuring the Grand Canyon.


Old Travel Movies from the Original Adventurers!

Movie making has come a long way over the years, but that doesn’t mean the classics don’t have a place on our best travel movies list. They may be showing their age now (most are over 50 years old so we shouldn’t judge!) but these classic films were the pioneers, the original wanderlust inspiring films of lands far away, and these movies helped shape the travel films of today.

Easy Rider (1969)

Easy Rider Movie Cover
A tale of two bikers hitting the road to fuel their American dream, Easy Rider encompasses money, drugs, sex and violence.
Written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, it was produced by Fonda, directed by Hopper and starred both of them alongside Jack Nicholson.

Roman Holiday (1953)

Starring Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess wanting to see Rome on her own and subsequently falls in love with a reporter called Joe (Gregory Peck). A true classic, wholesome comedy and love story that introduced Hepburn to the masses and made half the world want to run out and buy a Vespa!

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Cover
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito star in this jungle caper which is the first movie in the trilogy. A fun romance/adventure film sees Turner make her way to Columbia to rescue her kidnapped sister, but soon realizes she is in over her head, when the kidnappers demand the treasure map she received from her murdered brother in law as ransom.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Lawrence of Arabia movie cover
The only way to round out our Best Travel Movies list would be with the classic, Lawrence of Arabia.

Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. And with most of the desert scenes filmed in Jordan, you can visit those otherworldly landscapes – which look much the same now as they did 60 years ago – at Wadi Rum in the Southern part of Jordan.


So, there you have it, your ultimate travel movie viewing list. (And if you like watching movies like we do, you’ve got plenty to go at now!) With stunning cinematography covering dream destinations from Paris to Alaska, South America, India, and New Zealand, we reckon there should be something here for everyone to indulge in a little travel daydreaming. Sit back, grab the popcorn, and embrace a binge of the Best Travel Movies.

40+ Incredible Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust 40+ Epic Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust

And if you liked this movie list & armchair travel guide to a great list of the best travel movies to inspire wanderlust around the globe, take a look at the other armchair travel guides, recent posts, packing tips, travel accessories, travel resources, travel guides, travel tips, ultimate guides and packing lists in this series:

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Thursday 24th of February 2022

Great article! Thanks for sharing, this is very helpful. Here’s a handpicked list of movies that make you want to travel and fuel your wanderlust, in case you or any of your readers find it interesting. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see something new from you! Cheers!

Anand Balaji

Monday 28th of June 2021

Great choices of movies. My all-time favorites are Into the wild and Secret life of Walter mitty as both movies talk about how a person should see the importance of travel to experiences the real quintessence of life.

Jenny Le

Sunday 21st of February 2021

This is a great list of travel movies (and perfect for lockdown!) - but I think you have missed one. Up In the Air with George Clooney - where he travels all across the United States as part of his job.

Vicki Garside

Sunday 21st of February 2021

Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't include it as from memory it's just George Clooney spending a lot of time in airports rather than showing off the US. But I do like George Clooney so I may include it in a future update!

Comments are closed.