theme of travel movies, with characters embarking on an adventurous journey

15+ Best Travel Movies (List)

Here’s a list of 15+ of the best travel movies to inspire your wanderlust:

Into the Wild (2007)

Based on a true story, a young man leaves his life behind to seek out freedom and adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. A powerful tale of self-discovery.

Image of Into the Wild (2007) movie poster

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Follows a young Che Guevara and his friend on a life-changing motorcycle journey across South America. Beautiful cinematography and a moving exploration of social issues.
Image of Motorcycle Diaries (2004) movie poster

Wild (2014)

Reese Witherspoon stars as a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone as a way to heal and find herself after a personal tragedy.

Image of Wild (2014) movie poster

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

A daydreamer escapes his mundane life and sets off on extraordinary worldwide adventures. Visually stunning with an uplifting message.

Image of Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) movie poster

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Wes Anderson directs this quirky and visually delightful film about three estranged brothers who journey by train through India to find themselves.

Image of Darjeeling Limited (2007) movie poster

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

A recently divorced woman impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany, leading to unexpected friendships and a fresh start in life.

Image of Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) movie poster

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Julia Roberts portrays a woman who embarks on a round-the-world journey for self-discovery after a divorce, finding joy and meaning from Italy to India to Indonesia.

Image of Eat Pray Love (2010) movie poster

The Way (2010)

Martin Sheen gives a heartfelt performance as a father completing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage following the death of his son.

Image of Way (2010) movie poster

Amélie (2001)

A charming French film about a quirky young woman in Paris who sets out to anonymously improve the lives of those around her.

Image of Amélie (2001) movie poster

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Two best friends embark on a road trip that turns into a thrilling and transformative escape from their mundane lives.

Image of Thelma and Louise (1991) movie poster

Lost in Translation (2003)

This beautiful, atmospheric film follows two strangers, played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, who form an unlikely connection while exploring Tokyo.

Image of Lost in Translation (2003) movie poster

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Owen Wilson stars in a whimsical fantasy where a screenwriter gets transported back to the Paris of the 1920s each night at midnight.

Image of Midnight in Paris (2011) movie poster

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

A group of British retirees travels to India for what they believe is a luxurious hotel, only to find an unexpected and charming experience.

Image of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) movie poster

180° South (2010)

A documentary about adventurers who retrace the epic 1968 journey to Patagonia by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins.

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Samsara (2011)

A non-narrative, awe-inspiring visual journey across five continents and 25 countries, exploring the wonders of our world.

Image of Samsara (2011) movie poster

Q&A – Travel Movies

What are the best travel movies of all time?

The best travel movies often combine stunning landscapes with compelling narratives that inspire viewers to explore the world. Some widely recognized films in this category include:

  • Into the Wild (2007): Chronicles the journey of Christopher McCandless across North America and his life in the Alaskan wilderness.
  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): Depicts the early travels of Che Guevara across South America.
  • Wild (2014): Tells the story of Cheryl Strayed, who hiked over a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to recover from a personal catastrophe.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013): Follows the adventures of an office worker who embarks on a global quest to find a missing photograph.
  • Eat Pray Love (2010): Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, it narrates her journey across Italy, India, and Bali to find herself after a painful divorce.
  • Lost in Translation (2003): Explores the unlikely bond between two Americans in Tokyo.
  • A Good Year (2006): A London-based investment banker inherits a vineyard in France and discovers a new laid-back lifestyle.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): After a divorce, a woman buys a villa in Tuscany to start a new life.

Are there any inspiring movies about travel?

Yes, several movies inspire travel through their stories of transformation, adventure, and discovery. For example:

  • Wild and Into the Wild are inspiring for their themes of personal discovery and challenge in nature.
  • The Way (2010): A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “Camino de Santiago,” and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.
  • Tracks (2013): Chronicles the journey of Robyn Davidson, who traveled 1,700 miles across the Australian deserts with four camels and a dog.

What movies should I watch before a big trip?

Watching movies that highlight the beauty and culture of different destinations can be immensely inspiring before a trip. Consider these:

  • The Motorcycle Diaries for South America.
  • Eat Pray Love for Italy, India, and Bali.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun and A Room with a View (1985) for Italy.
  • In Bruges (2008) for Belgium.
  • Midnight in Paris (2011) for France.
  • Lost in Translation for Japan.

Where can I find travel movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime?

Availability can vary by region and over time, but these platforms often feature travel movies. Use the search function on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video to find specific titles or explore categories like “Travel & Adventure Documentaries” or “International Movies” for inspiration.

What movies will make me want to travel the world?

Movies that showcase the diversity and beauty of the world, such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Eat Pray Love, and Around the World in 80 Days (2004), can ignite the desire to travel. Documentaries like Baraka (1992) and Samsara (2011) are also visually stunning and portray the vastness and variety of cultures and landscapes across the globe.

Are there any underrated travel movies I should check out?

  • The Way Back (2010): Depicts the journey of escapees from a Siberian gulag during World War II as they walk 4,000 miles to freedom in India.
  • L’Auberge Espagnole (2002): A French student lives with a diverse group of international students in Barcelona, exploring the city’s culture and life lessons.
  • Departures (2008): A Japanese film about a young man who discovers the beauty and dignity of life through his work as an encoffiner.

Where did they film Into the Wild?

Into the Wild was filmed in various locations across the United States, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, South Dakota, Georgia, and Nevada, to authentically capture the journey of Christopher McCandless.

Is Into the Wild based on a true story?

Yes, Into the Wild is based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young American who gave up his savings and possessions to explore and live in the wild. His adventures and experiences were documented in Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book of the same name, which served as the basis for the film.

What was the route in the Motorcycle Diaries?

In The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado journey through South America. Their route included Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. The trip began in Buenos Aires, moved through the Andes, along the Chilean coast, through the Atacama Desert, up to the Amazon basin in Peru, through Colombia, and finally ending in Venezuela. Along the way, they witnessed the diverse cultures and peoples of South America, which profoundly impacted Guevara’s future path.

Can I retrace Che Guevara’s motorcycle trip?

Yes, it is possible to retrace Che Guevara’s route, as depicted in The Motorcycle Diaries. Many travel companies and tour guides specialize in this historical route, offering tours that follow parts or the entire journey taken by Guevara and Granado. However, it’s important to plan thoroughly, considering the vast distances and diverse conditions across South America. The trip requires significant preparation, especially if you plan to travel independently rather than with a tour.

How long is the Pacific Crest Trail?

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is approximately 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) long, stretching from the Mexican border in California to the Canadian border in Washington. It traverses through California, Oregon, and Washington, offering hikers breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Completing the entire trail can take several months and requires thorough preparation.

Is the movie Wild based on a book?

Yes, the movie Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, is based on a memoir titled “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. The book recounts Strayed’s journey of self-discovery and healing as she hikes over a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, dealing with personal loss and challenges along the way.

Where was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty filmed?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed in various locations around the world to capture the film’s adventurous spirit. Key locations included Iceland (standing in for Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas), New York City, and Greenland. Iceland’s diverse landscapes provided a stunning backdrop that significantly contributed to the film’s visual appeal.

Is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty an inspiring movie?

Yes, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is often considered an inspiring movie. It tells the story of a daydreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance, and action. When his job, along with that of his co-worker, are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world, embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. The film explores themes of bravery, self-discovery, and the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

Where in Italy did they film Eat Pray Love?

Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, filmed its Italy segments primarily in Rome and Naples. The film captures the essence of Italian culture, cuisine, and scenery, focusing on the “Eat” portion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s year-long journey of self-exploration. Key scenes feature iconic locations like the Piazza Navona and the Roman Forum, showcasing the beauty and historical depth of Italy.

What are the best places to visit in Bali?

Bali is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes. Top places to visit include:

  • Ubud: Known as the cultural heart of Bali, offering a blend of art, dance, and music. Don’t miss the Monkey Forest and the rice terraces.
  • Seminyak: Famous for its luxurious resorts, spas, and high-end shopping, along with beautiful beaches.
  • Uluwatu: Renowned for its cliffside temple and incredible surfing spots.
  • Nusa Dua: A resort area with pristine beaches, golf courses, and water sports.
  • Mount Batur: An active volcano providing opportunities for trekking and witnessing spectacular sunrises.

Is Lost in Translation a good movie?

Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, is highly regarded by both critics and audiences. The film explores themes of loneliness, alienation, and the fleeting nature of human connection against the backdrop of Tokyo’s neon-lit landscape. It has won numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and is celebrated for its subtle humor, emotional depth, and the performances of its leads.

Are there hotels in Tokyo like the one in Lost in Translation?

Yes, the Park Hyatt Tokyo, where much of Lost in Translation was filmed, is a real hotel located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It offers luxurious accommodations with stunning city views, much like those seen in the movie. The hotel’s New York Bar, where some key scenes were shot, provides a great spot to experience the Tokyo skyline, similar to the characters in the film.

Can you recommend travel movies with strong female leads?

Several travel movies feature strong female leads embarking on journeys of self-discovery and adventure:

  • Wild (2014): Reese Witherspoon portrays Cheryl Strayed, who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone.
  • Eat Pray Love (2010): Julia Roberts plays Elizabeth Gilbert, who travels to Italy, India, and Bali.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): Diane Lane stars as Frances Mayes, a woman who buys and renovates a villa in Italy.
  • Tracks (2013): Mia Wasikowska portrays Robyn Davidson, who treks across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog.
  • Queen of the Desert (2015): Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, and political officer in the Middle East.
  • Amélie (2001): Though not a travel movie in the traditional sense, Audrey Tautou’s character inspires a whimsical exploration of Paris and its quirks.

Are there any funny travel movies?

Yes, there are many funny travel movies that combine humor with the adventure of exploring new places:

  • EuroTrip (2004): A comedy about a group of teenagers traveling through Europe.
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation series: Chronicles the misadventures of the Griswold family on various trips.
  • The Darjeeling Limited (2007): Three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.
  • Due Date (2010): A road trip comedy about an unlikely pair traveling across the United States.
  • Sideways (2004): Follows two friends on a road trip through California’s wine country.

What are some good road trip movies?

Road trip movies capture the spirit of adventure on the open road, often featuring memorable landscapes and personal discovery:

  • Thelma & Louise (1991): A classic film about two friends on the run.
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006): A family takes a road trip to a beauty pageant.
  • On the Road (2012): Based on Jack Kerouac’s novel, it chronicles the travels of several friends across America.
  • Into the Wild (2007): While not solely about the road trip itself, the journey is a significant part of the protagonist’s quest for freedom and self-discovery.
  • Crossroads (2002): A story about three friends who embark on a cross-country road trip after high school.

Do you know any movies about backpacking in Europe?

  • EuroTrip (2004): A comedy that follows a group of recent high school graduates backpacking through Europe.
  • L’Auberge Espagnole (2002): A French-Spanish film about a student who studies in Barcelona and lives with an eclectic group of international students.
  • Hostel (2005): A horror film that might not inspire travel but is set against the backdrop of backpacking in Eastern Europe.

What are some good travel movies about finding yourself?

Many travel movies focus on the theme of self-discovery, showcasing how journeys can lead to personal transformation:

  • Eat Pray Love (2010): Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey of self-discovery across Italy, India, and Bali.
  • Wild (2014): Cheryl Strayed’s solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail helps her cope with personal tragedy and rediscover herself.
  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): The young Che Guevara’s journey through South America opens his eyes to the world beyond his immediate experience.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): Frances Mayes starts anew in Italy, finding joy and self-fulfillment in renovating a villa.
  • Into the Wild (2007): Christopher McCandless’s journey is a poignant exploration of seeking meaning outside societal norms.
  • The Way (2010): A father’s pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago leads to introspection and understanding of himself and his late son.

These movies, among others, capture the essence of travel as not just a physical journey but an inward quest for meaning, happiness, and self-knowledge.

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