60 Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust

Written By: The Planet D

What makes for great travel movies? We feel it is when the destination becomes the star. A movie that showcases beautiful cities, landscapes, and culture is a movie that inspires us to visit a destination or relive our time there when we get home. Dave and I love movies. We worked in the film business in our previous careers and lived for the cinema. So when we chose our list of the best travel movies, we took it seriously. 

Table of Contents

The Best Travel Movies

Our choices for the best travel movies are probably very different than yours, so leave a comment and let us know what you think the best travel movies are. We are always looking for new travel films to ignite our wanderlust. To rent or buy one of these travel films to inspire wanderlust right now, check out Amazon Instant Video

The Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust

1. In Bruges

best travel movies in bruges

This is by far the best travel movie. One of the characters actually carries around a guidebook! If you love a good caper set in an exotic location, you’ll love In Bruges. Collin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson star as two hit men who are sent to Bruges, Belgium to hide out after a job goes bad.

The more Colin Farrell’s character complained of hating Bruges (in Belgium), the more you took in the surroundings of Bruges and noticed just how picturesque the city is. While the film is primarily a crime drama and dark comedy it intertwines the city’s picturesque locations and cultural aspects with the narrative seamlessly.

Rent or Buy In Bruges on Amazon

2. banshees of inisherin trailer

best travel movies banshees of inisherin

I was so excited to see Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reunite and this time, they share screen time in one of the newest travel films on our list, the Banshees of Inisherin. The movie takes place on the Aran Islands of Ireland and showcases the beauty of that destination as two friends go through some very dark times.

Gleessan’s character Colm decides he has wasted his life and cuts ties with his lifelong best friend Pádraic (Farrell) and all kinds of darkness begins. It had some of the best acting I’ve seen in years, and every one of the four main cast was nominated for Acadamy Awards.

3. One Week

best travel movies one week

One of our favorite travel movies of all time. And not because it is set in Canada. One Week follows a young man driving a motorcycle on a cross-country road trip across Canada after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. No movie has made me want to explore a country more than One Week. It showcases Canada beautifully.

I didn’t want to see this movie because of its morbid subject, but it ended up being an uplifting and enlightening film of self-discovery. It truly is the ultimate Canadian road trip movie. Rent One Week Here on Amazon

4. Secret Life of Walter Mitty

best travel movies secret life of walter mitty

I had to watch this most popular of all travel films twice before deciding I liked The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I can understand why it is at the top of most lists of best travel movies. This movie takes you from New York, to Iceland, Greenland and the Himalayas.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty shows how taking a risk and getting out of your comfort zone can lead to great things. The ending was my favorite, but I won’t spoil it for you. Rent it now.

5. Before Sunrise Trilogy

best travel movies befor sunrise trilogy

We have three of our favorite travel movies in one package! And each showcases the destination they are in. The Before Sunrise movies are about love but they are also very much travel films. They were filmed 10 years apart and they take place in three different locations around Europe – Vienna, Paris, and Greece.

The Before Sunrise trilogies capture the essence of each destination. And here’s a cool fact – Dave and I stayed at Costa Navarino in Greece where After Midnight took place!

It is probably the best of all romantic travel movies out there that literally spans three decades. (They film a movie every 10 years). Watch Before Sunrise and Sunset on Amazon Prime

6. Planes Trains and Automobiles

best travel movies planes trains and automobiles

John Candy and Steve Martin take an unexpected cross country road trip from New York City to Chicago. This is Dave’s pick for the best travel movie.

This is considered one of the great comedy travel movies, but I look at it as a drama. John Candy’s character breaks my heart. You may think of it as a holiday film but it is also one of the funniest travel films out there. If you’re in the mood for a good heartfelt comedy, rent it today.

7. Julie & Julia

best travel movies julie and julia

Not only does Julie and Julia star the great Meryl Streep but this travel movie is based on blogging. It’s like it was made for us! I was surprised by how much I loved this movie based on the true story of Julia Child and I didn’t go in expecting much.

Julie & Julia follows the life of Julia Child during her time in Paris and cuts throughout to the present day in New York. It makes you crave French cuisine and a life of decadence in France. When it comes to choosing a  favorite travel movie this one is right up there. Rent it now

8. The Big Year

best travel movies the big year

The Big Year follows Jack Black (who doesn’t love Jack Black?), Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin traveling around the United States with hopes of becoming the number 1 bird watcher in the world. It ended up being one of the most surprising travel films I’ve seen.

They are obsessed with spotting more species of birds than any other person in 365 days. I related to this movie because it is more about the journey and how having a great adventure can change a life. Rent it Now

Best Travel Movies for Adventure Lovers

9. Into the Wild

best travel movies into the wild

The real-life true story chronicles the journey of  Christopher McCandless who went on a cross country road trip through the US and ended up in Alaska.

I read Into the Wild years ago and was mesmerized trying to figure out how someone could give up everything to go and live off the grid. John Krakauer dug into the psyche of McCandless and what motivates people to take risks.

Things don’t turn out as he hoped, and it is a lesson learned for would-be adventurers. Enjoy it now!

10. Wild

best travel movies wild From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail By Cheryl Strayed

Wild is an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s travel memoir, From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail. Based on a true story, it follows her journey about putting a life back together after it all falls apart.

Pushing the limits physically on the Pacific Crest Trail and stepping out of her comfort zone take her on a journey of self-discovery. A struggle and journey can change a life and Reese Witherspoon is excellant as usual. Check it out on Amazon

11. Everest

best travel movies everest

Everest by John Krakauer is the true story of the catastrophe that happened on Everest in 1996. It’s a first-hand account by Krakauer who was on Everest at the time. While the movie focuses on the events, it does showcase the psyche of why people climb mountains and it shows the culture and beauty of the Everest Region.

As far as travel movies go, even though it is based on a dark subject, it does make me want to go to Everest. So we did! Plus, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin, so how can you go wrong?

12. Tracks

best travel movies tracks

Tracks is another travel movie base on a true story and I really enjoyed it. It’s a film about a young woman who walks across Australia from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with four camels and her pet dog.

What I really liked is how the lead character Robyn Davidson learns the skills needed to survive. She is visited by a photographer from National Geographic who shared her story and was led through the sacred lands of the Outback by an Aboriginal elder. Watch this Amazing true story on Amazon

13. World’s Fastest Indian 

best travel movies world's fastest indian

From New Zealand to America, Anthony Hopkins takes his Indian Motorcycle to the salt flats to see how far he can go. The World’s Fastest Indian is one of my favorite performances by Hopkins and it is one of the great underrated travel movies.

He is vulnerable, lovable, and inspiring. This true story takes you on a fun road trip along the way until he reaches the Salt Flats of California and that is when you really start rooting for him to win! Rent it on Amazon Prime

14. Adventures of Pricilla Queen of the Desert

best travel movies pricilla queen of the desert

Adventures of Pricilla Queen of the Desert follows a group of drag queens taking a cross country road trip in a van named “Pricilla” from Sydney to Alice Springs where they are going to perform their drag show.

They meet a lot of characters along the way and this film introduced us to superstars Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce who joined the already-established Terrence Stamp.

15. Motorcycle Diaries

best travel movies motorcycle diarieas

Ever since watching one of the best travel movies about South America, (you guessed it, the Motorcycle Diaries) wanted to do a road trip through South America. (PS. I’m still dreaming of that road trip through South America one day)

Gael García Bernal stars as Che Guevera and it follows his journey on a motorcycle trip through South America before he became a part of the revolution. This movie is based on a true story where Che traveled through the continent and I believe it was traveling through South America that Che saw what people were going through and that is what sparked him to take action in his own way.

16. The Way

best travel movies the way

Dave and I have always wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This movie is a bittersweet tribute to the epic hike. Acting legend Martin Sheen walks the trail to honor his son Emilio Estevez (also director) who died on the walk. This movie explores themes of grief, regret, and understanding.

Sheen’s character finishes what his son started helping him connect and understand his son while examining his own life and is one of the most moving travel movies on our list. You can watch it on Amazon

Best Classic Travel Movies

17. Lawrence of Arabia

best travel movies lawrence of arabia

Lawrence of Arabia made us dream of the Arabian Desert and that is what travel films are meant to do. I would say that this is often considered one of the best travel movies of all time. It’s the original travel movie for sure and it really does capture the majesty of the Arabian Desert.

When we got the chance to visit Jordan and walk in the footsteps of the real Lawrence of Arabia, we couldn’t believe we were living our own travel movie. This will make you want to go on an adventure and spend the night in a Bedouin tent. Rent it on Amazon Prime Now

18. Out of Africa

best travel movies out of africa

If you want another Meryl Streep vehicle that is often considered one of the best travel movies, you should try Out of Africa. Out of Africa takes place in a different time, but it captures the heart of Africa beautifully.

Based on a true story, Meryl Streep stars as a married baroness in love with big game hunter Robert Redford. Their chemistry is unmistakable. She falls in love with Africa and you will fall in love with it too.

The cinematography is outstanding. It won 7 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Rent Out of Africa

19. Romancing the Stone

best travel movies romancing the stone

Who didn’t fantasize about an adventure in Colombia after watching Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone? As a kid I always thought about the line “I need to get to Cartagena” and while I had no idea where Cartagena was,(It’s in South America by the way) I knew it was exciting.

In the most romanticly fun of travel movies, Kathleen Turner transformed from a scared writer who merely writes about adventure, to a woman encountering an adventure and meeting a rugged mysterious man in exotic Columbia. Watch Romancing the Stone today

20. The Bucket List

travel movies the bucket list

With two of my favorite actors and a message to live life to the fullest, the Bucket List is one amazing movie and one of the best travel movies. I think it actually invented the term, The Bucket List. The phrase has been overused in recent years, but the message never gets old. The Bucket List is the original “live your dreams now” travel movie.

It’s beautifully acted, heartfelt, and showcases how life should be lived to the fullest. Rent or buy it here!

21. Amelie

travel movies amelie

Most people say that Amelie is one of the best travel movies of all time. So this list wouldn’t be complete without it. I did love the views of Paris and the everyday life showcased in Montmartre.

I also enjoyed the uplifting message of a quiet young woman named, Amelie helping the people around her in the lovely district of Montmartre in Paris. If you want to watch sweeping scenes through Paris streets and if you love Paris, you can’t help but like Amelie. So check it out!

22. Roman Holiday

best travel movies roman holiday

This did not age well in our opinion. We watched it recently and it is just downright bad. Many people will probably disagree. But as far as travel movies go, it is fun to see a princess posing as a regular young Woman zipping around Rome.

They should remake Roman Holiday, it would be fun. Rent it on Prime

23. Sideways

best travel movies sideways

I admit it. After this movie came out, I didn’t drink Merlot for years! Sideways takes us on a road trip through California wine country and it really is filled with amazing performances by Paul Giamatti, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen, and Thomas Hayden Church.

We have been to Santa Maria, California, and this movie captures the feel of wine country perfectly. Rent or buy on Amazon Prime 

24. Up in the Air

best travel movies up in the air

Up in the Air makes you love the idea of travel but it shows the emptiness that the life of a vagabond can lead to if you don’t stay grounded with your family and friends. It’s not in the genre of typical travel films out there, but travel is the main theme.

I cannot go through airport security anymore without thinking of George Clooney as his character has the art of travel down to a science.

This movie also has a great message that Dave and I can relate to. We all become so consumed with our careers and our lives that we forget about what is important. Get it on Amazon Instant Video

Best Travel Movies Highlighting Destinations

25. Ticket to Paradise

best travel movies ticket to paradise

Our newest addition to our travel movies is from two legends, George Clooney and Julia Roberts who take us to Bali for their daughter’s wedding. The two divorced years ago, but agree that their daughter is too young to get married and decide to sabotage the wedding.

This movie showcases the culture and beauty of Bali while showing us once again how travel can be transformational and can change your life.

I love these two together, George and Julia, and great friends in real life and have amazing on-screen chemistry.

26. The Beach – Thailand

best travel movies the beach

The Beach is the original backpacker slacker travel film. The Beach captures what Thailand was like before tourists started flocking to it en-masse. At one time, it was an off-the-beaten-path backpacker destination. We enjoyed the book more, but you can never go wrong with Leo.

If you want to get a sense of what it was like to travel to Thailand before mass tourism, this is a good movie for you. Plus it is beautiful and as far as travel movies go, it will make you want to go to Thailand. Not only are the people beautiful, but the scenery of southern Thailand is also out of this world.

Take in the journey as they search for a hidden beach that is pure perfection.

27. Lost in Translation – Tokyo

best travel movies lost in translation

Tokyo is a bit strange. It is unlike anywhere else on earth, and Lost in Translation showcases the culture shock that one feels when staying in a different city.

There are different customs in Japan and the culture is much different than anywhere else and this movie captures that odd feeling you get when traveling there. Lost in Translation highlights some of the best spots in Tokyo.

The hotel where the movie takes place still has one of the best views in the city! And who doesn’t love Bill Murray? He is priceless and it’s one of Scarlett Johanson’s best performances. Check it Out

28. Slumdog Millionaire – India

bes t travel movies slumdog millionaire

We traveled to India in 2010 and Slumdog Millionaire seemed to capture the true slums of India while showcasing the heart of the people. Many of the rich cities are modern, but when traveling through rural India and the poorer areas, this is what it’s like.

Dev Patel stars as a young Indian boy who gets on a game show that could change his life. It’s heartbreaking, raw, and sometimes uncomfortable which is exactly what travel can be too hence why it made the list of our favorite travel movies. Download it here on Amazon

29. Lion

best travel movies lion

If you are a fan of Dev Patel (as we are) you will love him in another of our favorite travel films, Lion. Lion is based on a true story and is an emotional journey that takes audiences across India and Australia spanning cultures, and decades.

Patel plays Saroo Brierley, a young Indian boy who gets lost on a train in India at the age of five. After surviving several challenges on the streets of Kolkata and eventually being adopted by an Australian family, Saroo, as an adult, uses Google Earth to find his birth mother and the journey begins. The movie also stars Nicol Kidman.

30. Vicky, Cristina Barcelona – Spain

best travel movies vicky christina barcelona

Admit it, we all want to go to Spain and run into beautiful people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Barden. I think this movie did so well because it inspired everyone to go to Barcelona. (That’s our criteria for choosing the best travel movies, how they inspired travel)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona makes us dream of the cities in Spain, the passion of the Spanish people and getting away for a summer in Spain.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona definitely is an inspiring travel movie and one of the best travel films out there. It really captures the energy and passion of Spain in Barcelona. Rent Vicky Christina Barcelona on Amazon

31. Under the Tuscan Sun – Italy

best travel movies under the tuscan sun

For the romantics out there, Under the Tuscan Sun is one of the best travel movies. Wouldn’t you just love to buy a villa in Tuscany and fall in love with a stranger?

This is one of my favorite romantic travel films and Under the Tuscan Sun based on a true story. After a bad divorce, her character takes a trip to Italy courtesy of her best friend, (The incredible Sandra Oh!) and buys a house!

This travel movie is based on a true story where our star shares the trials and tribulations of renovating a Tuscan villa. You can rent Under the Tuscan Sun on Amazon

32. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India

best travel movies best exotic marigold hotel

We always preach that you are never too old to try something new and you are never too old to travel and that is the premise of one of the most beloved travel movies, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It’s chock full of great legendary actors including Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of retirees who travel to India to live out their days at a crumbling retirement hotel. All mayhem and madness ensue as things can only in India. There’s romance, tragedy, and hope. Rent it now

33. A Good Year – Provence France

best travel movies a good year

A Good Year made me want to go to Provence and live a simple life…on a multi-million dollar vineyard estate. That’s reasonable, right? And that’s what travel movies make you want to do…Pick up and go somewhere.

A Good Year makes life in Provence look like the Garden of Eden and I want a piece of it. Everyone is beautiful, everyone is a wine connoisseur, and everyone is pure and good. Who wouldn’t want to go to the south of France after seeing A Good Year? Rent it now.

34. Midnight in Paris – Paris

best travel movies midnight in paris

Looking for travel movies that combine time travel this movie night? Midnight in Paris captures the golden years of Paris as Owen Wilson walks through the streets at night in search of that romantic nostalgia of the city.

Blending time travel with traditional travel, this film showcases Paris’s rich history and examines how different eras appeal to different people.

He ends up meeting the famous patrons of the 1920s including Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and more! This travel movie makes me want to hop on a flight to Paris every time! Watch it on Amazon Prime or get it on DVD

35. Australia – Australia

best travel movies australia

This movie was crucified by the critics, but I loved it and its one of the best travel movies showcasing the beauty of Australia’s landscape. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman take her cattle across the Outback.

It also touches on the injustices of how Australia treated the Aboriginal People, reminding me of what Canada did with residential schools to our own indigenous communities.

It’s beautifully shot and is a love letter to Australia while highlighting the true story of the Aboriginal struggles. I think it deserved more love than it got. Check it out on Amazon

36. The Impossible

best travel films the impossible

It took me forever to finally watch the impossible because it is based on the true story of surviving the devastating Tsunami in Southeast Asia. It follows a family from England who are vacationing in Thailand and are impacted by the Tsunami.

It showcases the huge hearts that the Thai people have. Even while going through their own trauma, they play a huge role in helping this family get back together and survive.

The movie stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland and it is one of the best performances I think Naomi Watts has ever done.

Lighthearted Travel Movies

37. Eurovision

best travel movies eurovision

This is one of the funniest travel movies out there. The movie kicks off (after a brief flashback) in Iceland showcasing its beautiful landscapes and waterfalls with sweeping drone shots of the stars performing.

It has all the stereotypes and cliches of Iceland, but it is done with heart and fun. It really is a love letter to Iceland. Follow Lars and Sigrit as they try to fulfill their dream of competing in Eurovision in Edinburgh. The movie gives a nice showcase of that city too making it two travel movies in one. Rent it on Amazon

38. Darjeeling Limited

best travel movies darjeeling unlimited

This quirkiest of travel movies takes Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrian Brody across India one year after their father’s death starting on the Darjeeling Express train. It’s strange, heartbreaking, hilarious, and pure Wes Anderson.

When they visit their mother in an Ashram, it makes me think of the strange people that run away to India to find themselves. Oh yeah, he gets it. Check it out on Amazon Prime

39. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

best travel movies forgetting sarah marshall

Set in the very real Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu this pick on our travel movies list stars Jason Seigel as a Hollywood Writer who goes to Hawaii to heal his wounds after getting dumped by his girlfriend Kristen Bell. It turns out, she is there on vacation with her new boyfriend and shenanigans ensue.

This movie makes you want to book a plane to Hawaii and have your own stay at Turtle Bay which has now become very popular. Rent it on Prime

40. Last Holiday

best travel movies last holida

If you are searching for comedy travel movies, this should be at the top of your list. This is the ultimate fairytale on how travel can change a life. And how we should all strive to live a better life. It’s too short to wait.

Queen Latifa is priceless as a woman who is diagnosed with a terminal disease, so she takes her life savings to enjoy her final holiday at a luxurious resort. She does everything from base jumping to snowboarding and indulging in decadent French cuisine.

If everyone took a holiday like this, we’d all live happier lives. Rent, Buy or Watch on Amazon Prime

41. The Holiday

best travel films the holiday

It may be a Christmas movie, but The Holiday is one of the best travel movies out there. We watch it every year and it shows how travel is transformational. Starring Kate Winslett, Jack Black, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz, The Holiday flips back and forth between Los Angeles and England.

The two female stars have very different vacations as they house swap, but both have their lives changed through travel.

42. French Kiss

best travel movies french kiss

Meg Ryan plays a woman named Kate who is afraid to travel. When her fiance falls for another woman in France, she vows to win him back and travels there despite being terrified. Hilarity ensues when she meets con man Kevin Kline and they venture across the country together following the formula of travel movies galore.

My favorite scene is when she is indulging in cheese on the train. It’s that French moment that made me daydream about traveling by train across the French countryside. Watch French Kiss for yourself

43. My Life in Ruins

best travel movies my life in ruins

While not as good as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Life in Ruins is a nice comeback for Nia Vardalos in a fun-loving travel film.

She plays a tour leader taking stereotypical tourists through the sites of Greece. It’s fun, it’s romantic and the setting is beautiful. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, but for a fun Saturday afternoon movie, this will transport you to Greece. Rent it or buy it on Amazon

44. The Hangover 2

best travel movies hangover 2

The First Hangover was far better and it too is a travel movie taking you to Vegas. But when choosing travel movies from this trilogy, I had to choose the setting of Bangkok. It captures the crazy energy of the city.

My favorite scene is when Bradly Cooper has to go to the hospital and comes out with an absurdly low hospital bill. Dave and I have been to the hospital in Thailand and can attest, it is cheap. Rent it now! 

Blockbuster Travel Movies

45. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker & The Last Jedi

best travel movies the last jedi

One wouldn’t think of a movie based in outer space to be a travel movie that inspires wanderlust, but the last Star Wars Trilogy featured one of our favorite destinations on Earth, Skellig Michael

This 6th-century monastery was a star unto itself as Luke trained Rey in the ways of the Force. It has now inspired many travelers and film buffs to take the hair-raising boat ride out to these rocky islands 12 km off the coast of Ireland. Check it out

46. Mama Mia

best travel movies mama mia

We actually learned where Mama Mia takes place while visiting the location where it was filmed, Pelion, Greece. The Greek islands are paradise, and Mama Mia follows the story of Meryl Streep who runs a hotel on the coast. We thought it was filmed somewhere like Santorini or Mykonos.

When her daughter becomes engaged, she invites three men who might be her father. It’s a rip-roaring good time of music, fun and beautiful scenery.

The Santorini blue and white houses, the crystal clear blue sea, and the music of Abba become those who watch to travel to Greece! Watch it on Prime today

47. Once Upon a Time in Mexico Trilogy

best travel movies once upon a time in mexico

How sexy are Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayak together? You must watch the entire trilogy to really appreciate this series by Robert Rodrigues. Once Upon A Time In Mexico ends the trilogy with Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Cheech Marin. El Mariachi started it all starring Carlos Gallardo. My favorite of the 3 is Desperado, but they are all entertaining.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico is a fantasy and it is a stereotype of Mexico, but it makes you want to go to Mexico and have a great adventure. The scenery is gorgeous, the film is filled with cool style, and the music is fabulous. Watch the Trilogy today!

48. The Legend of Tarzan

best travel movies legend of tarzan

The $180 million dollar budget makes sure to showcase the beauty of the African Savannah, the dense jungles, and the majestic wildlife. You feel as if you have entered the heart of Africa. Seriously, rent it, you’re going to like it a lot more than you think! Rent it on Amazon

49. The Tourist

best travel movies the tourist

It’s a little indulgent, and Angelina Jolie is a bit annoying to watch with how amazing she thinks she is in this, but it does capture taking an international trip to Europe beautifully.

It makes you want to have a romantic tryst in Venice. It makes you want to ride a train and have a mysterious encounter. It gives you a glimpse into how the rich live and travel the world.

50. The Thing

best travel movies the thing

Recently we had someone write to us with a list of their favorite movies about travel. He mentioned the first Alien vs. Predator took place in Antarctica and I remember that being a pretty entertaining film. Then I thought about the classic Kurt Russel movie, The Thing.

This thriller takes place at a scientific base camp in the Antarctic and really lets you feel how claustrophobic and isolated researchers must feel when spending the winter at the bottom of the world. Watch it now!

51. Thelma and Louise

best travel movies thelma and louise

Who would have thought that Thelma and Louise would be heralded as one of the best travel films of all time, but it has. When researching this article, I saw that everyone had it on their list, so I had to include it. Besides, I love this film. I saw it at the theatre when it came out and it blew me away.

Brad Pitt makes his debut in this dark road trip adventure. Susan Sarandon and Geena Dave about female empowerment, friendship, and the transformative power of travel.

52. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

best travel movies sisterhood of the traveling pants

Yes, this was a blockbuster film for teenagers. I remember working at YTV and this movie was going mad in the teen realm so I had to add it to my best travel movies list. The premise of the story revolves around four friends—Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen—who find a pair of jeans that, despite their differing body types, fits each of them perfectly. They decide to share these “magical” pants as they embark on their separate summer adventures, thus maintaining their connection with each other.

Where does the traveling come in? Well, Lena travels to Greece, Bridget goes to Mexico, Carmen visits her father in South Carolina, and Tibby stays in Maryland.

While not a “travel movie” in the traditional sense—where the main characters are often journeying together or the narrative revolves solely around their travel experiences—”Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” embodies elements of travel movies by incorporating different cultures, locations, and the concept of journeying (both physical and emotional) into its narrative.

53. Bourne Movies, James Bonds, Mission Impossible & Indiana Jones Movies

The Bourne movies, James Bond, Indian Jones, and Mission Impossible take us around the world with each movie and really are the best travel films to showcase the globe. These epic travel movies take audiences to a whole new level of taking an international trip with decadence, wealth, espionage, and romance.

I wanted to include them because if you are looking for some beautiful scenes from Europe and the Middle East, these travel films fit the bill. They are so good at taking you away to exotic places.

Our Favorites of These Epic Travel Movies are

54. The Bourne Identity

best travel movies bourne identity

The original takes us on an international trip from Switzerland through Paris. It’s the car scene in Paris that really captures the city but the entire movie is one big travel movie.

55. Casino Royal – James Bond

best travel movies casino royal

This makes us dream of living with the high rollers in Montenegro the beautiful people in the Bahamas. It’s as epic as epic travel movies get riding on trains, planes and yachts and it’s the best James Bond with Daniel Craig.

56. Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

best travel movies mission impossible

It’s not often that sequels are better than the original, but when it comes to the Mission Impossible series, each one out does the other. Tom Cruise loves to travel and push the limits creating the most epic travel movies on the planet. I chose Ghost Protocol because of its setting in Dubai and Cruise scaling the walls of the Burj Khalifa. (The tallest structure in the world)

Best Travel Movies in Fictional Settings

57. Grand Budapest Hotel

best travel movies Grand Budapest Hotel

I can’t help it, I love Wes Anderson movies. He is offbeat and quirky. Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the best travel movies that isn’t set in any real place. This is all in a fictional setting.

I like this for a travel movie because it reminds me of the grand old hotels from another era. Well, it should because it is set in another era. The hotel is fictional, but it does take you away to another world. Rent it on Prime

58. Black Panther

best travel movies black panther

Wakanda may be a fictional place in Africa, but this movie captures the spirit of East and South Africa. It embraces the African culture and many of the movie’s scenes were filmed in Africa.

We have been to Africa numerous times and this movie transported us there again. It may be fictional, but Black Panther is one fo the best travel movies to make you want to discover the culture and beauty of Africa. watch it now!

59. Lord of the Rings and Hobbit

best travel movies lord of the rings

They may be set in Middle Earth, but the Lord of the Rings movies are a love letter to New Zealand. As far as setting go, the trilogy makes for epic travel movies! Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Movies make us want to go to New Zealand and these films capture its beauty perfectly.

Rent the trilogy on Amazon today

60. Eat Pray Love

best travel movies eat pray love

And let us end with the mother of all travel movies, Eat Pray Love. Who doesn’t love Julia Roberts? However, Eat Pray Love wasn’t my favorite travel movie at all. But The book was okay but the movie starring Julia Roberts is dreadful. If you liked it, let me know. Maybe I’ll give it another watch in case I missed something. Rent it on Amazon

We’ll be updating this list regularly and we love finding new travel movies to watch. So, if you have suggestions for your favorite travel movies, leave them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to give them a watch!

Awesome Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust
The Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust

Tell me what you think are the best travel movies and we will compare notes.

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Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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107 thoughts on “60 Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust”

  1. Very interesting and thought-provoking list. Another film I think belongs in this company is “A Month by the Lake,” a 1995 work starring Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, and Uma Thurman. Its setting, at the Villa del Balbianello on a peninsula in Lake Como, was used in scenes from a number of other movies, but here it gets starring role.

  2. one of my favorite travel movies is “If it is Tuesday it must be Belgium”. it captures the travels and travails of some very uninformed American tourists on a guided tour. One of the wives, tired of the endless strings of cheese shops they visit heads back to their tour bus. The problem is it is the wrong tour bus. Hilarity ensues …

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful list. Might I add a few more wanderlust-inducing movie recommendations/destinations that I have a hunch you will love?

    Enchanted April (Italy)
    Shirley Valentine (Greece/Mykonos)
    Everything is Illuminated (Russia/Ukraine)
    Summer Lovers (Gene Siskel’s ‘guilty pleasure) (Greek Islands/Santorini)
    The Hundred Foot Journey (India/France)
    Local Hero (Scotland — and perfectly depicts how an enchanting location can change your view of what’s important in life)
    Anne of Green Gables — Kevin Sullivan version (Price Edward Island)
    Outsourced (India)
    Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (Provence France)
    The Quiet Man (Ireland)
    A Passage to India (India)

    • These are fantastic suggestions, thank sfor sharing! I’ve been wanting to see The Hundred Foot Journey. I think that will be my weekend watching!

  4. Great movies list all movies are best and all movies have a good rating on IMDb actually my favorite movie is LORD OF THE RINGS AND HOBBIT.
    and next, I would like to watch Star wars series.

  5. Great article! I will definitely choose a few movies that I haven’t seen yet. I could add a movie called “The Hundred-Foot Journey”. This film is about a Hindu family who moves to France, where they open a restaurant.

    • I’ve been meaning to watch that one. I think I will have to check it out this weekend and add it to the list! Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Very comprehensive list! lots of great movies, and some of my favourites such as Seven Years inTibet and Walter Mitty.

    I have to disagree with you about The Darjeeling Limited though: “When they visit their mother in an Ashram, it makes me think of the strange people that run away to India to find themselves. Oh yeah, he gets it.”

    I felt the most important scene in the movie is when the guys rescue the boys in the river, and one doesn’t make it. They take part ion the family grieving and funeral, and have a very life-changing, profound experience. I felt the movie actually validates people “running away to India.”

    In these difficult times especially, finding a sense of purpose, or meaning, or spirituality, or whatever you want to call it, is more important than ever. I think we will see a lot more people “running away to find themselves” and in fact, I am working on offering spiritual itineraries.

  7. We have already watched quite a few of these ? gotta love a great movie night!
    Thanks for a great list, that we will start to work our way through ?

  8. This list couldn’t have come at a better time as we currently shelter in place and travel only through our TVs! Thank you.

  9. Love the list. Thank you for sharing. As a classic movie buff, however, you are so wrong about Roman Holiday. This movie is a classic. I recently saw it on the big screen for the millionth time and it was amazing. How can you not love Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn?! His voice alone is worth a listen! And the old scenes of Rome are wonderful. Have to truly disagree about this one. LOVE this movie.

    Anyway, thanks again!


  10. I love this list!! You hit some of my favorite movies. I’ve watched a lot of these but I have a feeling I’ll be rewatching some of them in the coming weeks. Thanks for remind me!

  11. Great list, guys — you really dug deep. If you love The Sounds of Music, you have to visit Salzburg, where you can see the actual places where they shot many of the scenes, including the palace in the middle of town. You can even stay in the Von Trapps’ house. And I may have missed it in your list, but The Year of Living Dangerously absolutely captures the exotic atmosphere and the beauty of Southeast Asia — the gamelan music stays in your head for days. Also, Gandhi for a virtual trip to India.

  12. Very well collections, Really some of the names are not heard. This type of movies are oxygen for any traveler.

  13. Secret Life of Walter Mitty for sure, this movie made me so pumped to travel while ‘into the wild’ made me a little depressed and not wishing to become a mentally ill person who goes eating dead animals and rejecting society

  14. Each movie is an exciting adventure, felt from the film, emotions, as well as an impressive moment.
    Thanks for your collection!

  15. Thank you for your list!
    Lawrence of Arabia for certain, but almost any film by Werner Herzog, especially Aguirre:The Wrath of God.
    But I am partial to “art” or “foreign” films over Hollywood.

  16. I loved a movie I watched and I can’t remember the name and I can’t find it. It was about a woman, maybe in her 40’s maybe 50’s that traveled to India to meet up with her husband. Her husband was detained by work and sent his male Indian assistant to meet her. While waiting for her husband to arrive, the assistant showed her the sites of India. A romance developed with the assistant over many days, but never crossed the line. Would love to watch this again….

  17. Nice list, you got almost all of my favorite travel films! A couple additions I would make are “The Sheltering Sky”, and “Voyager”.

  18. Definitely a great list of movies that gets us thinking about travel. Everest was one that really took our breath away and told an amazing story. In Bruges is still one of my favorite.
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Loved the post and the films. I still didn’t see 9 films and already want see. Will try found they for this weekend.
    But the best is to see Indiana Jones in the list.. it’s my prefer film of life <3

  20. the beauty of this movie list is that this in includes movies in Malayalam, Hindi English and believe me these movies are the very best travel movies I have seen . kudos?

  21. I hate you after watching only 2 of these movies from your list i feel like travelling but unfortunately my my academics. By the way best list of travel movies I have seen on internet. Good going brother. wish to see more content in future.

    • Thanks for the correction. I mixed up the Trilogy in my head, thinking “the one after Before Sunset.” – There is Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

  22. I love watching movies ahead of travelling and often find them inspirational. For Western Australia I found ‘Rabbitproof Fence’ a very good movie. You’ve chosen some good ones!

  23. Great collection of movies to watch. I absolutely loved The Bucket List. As usual Morgan Freeman was awesome. Great movies about travel and for when traveling.

  24. Can you believe that I never saw Stealing Beauty? Now I am going to have to check it out. I agree with Sideways too. Loved that show. It made me want to drink Pinot Noir.

  25. Wild is a great book and the movie is pretty true to the book. Reece Witherspoon is really good in it. Based on true story of a troubled woman who decides to hike one of Americas longest trails with little money and not enough experience. Humbling and left me feeling the wanderlust pretty hard.

  26. The Bucket List and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are the best travel movies in my opinion. Iceland is on my travel bucket list, hope I can visit that place.

  27. Best Movie Collection. my favorite movies also include in these. love to see the collection of movies thanks to sharing this information with us.

  28. Thanks for compiling this list. It’s interesting to know the place where the movie was shot. I absolutely agree on what you said about James Bond movies.

  29. Thanks for the post. Some I have seen and some I haven’t, and looking forward to (Especially ONE WEEK)

    I’d like to add LOCAL HERO. There are some melancholic moments in the film accompanied by Mark Knopfler’s beautiful soundtrack. Would make anyone jump off the couch, dump all the COMFORTS OF CITY and visit rural Scotland and walk the beaches and witness the Aurora Borealis. One of my favourites alongwith The Motorcycle Diaries and Into the Wild.

  30. Under a Tuscan sun is my favorite!!!! Been to Tuscany because of that movie!! 🙂 Jotted down a few to watch from your list! Thanks!

  31. You named quite a few of my favorites but the two I’d like to recommend are Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness starring Simon Pegg, and The Way starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

    The Way inspired me to walk the Camino de Santiago which turned into an incredible trip.

  32. Great list of best all time travel movies. I must admit that there are still so many movies I have not yet seen. I need to work on that sooner rather than later!

  33. Great list but would certainly add :

    – The way (with Martin Sheen) , very inspiring movie about Camino de Santiago
    – Motorcycle diaries, simply a great movie about travel and life

  34. Wow! This list is great! I will surely add these in my playlist. Hopefully, I will be able to watch most of these travel movies. I plan to travel soon, I’m juts looking for more inspiration and travel tips. Glad I came by your blog!

  35. Whoa! You gave me a completely new set of movies to add to my list here! Into the Wild is one of my favorites and the Everest is a spine-chilling movie. A great list Dave & Deb!

  36. Check out Maindentrip, the story of the youngest girl to sail around the world, Laura Dekker. I think my wife finally believed we could do it if a 13 year old can.

  37. What about “Blue Hawaii” and any of the Jurassic Park videos for Hawaii?

    Thank you for your list – I am constantly looking for good travel movies.

  38. Thank you for this great list. I see some old favorites on the list but also a number of movies I need to see. I’ve added them my list.
    You’re right about movies inspiring travel. After seeing, Under the Tuscan Sun, I’ve always wanted to visit Tuscany. I’m finally making it there soon.

  39. What a fantastic list full of excellent movies! There’s no doubt that these titles can help to light the spark of wanderlust in anyone. I was actually lucky enough to stumble upon the making of Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien Covenant movie in New Zealand’s Milford Sound. I’m very much looking forward to its release so I can see the spectacular panning shots of that breathtaking landscape. Movies are a great medium to translate the beauty of travel.

    • No way! That is so cool. I’m such a fan of Alien, it would be amazing to see them filming it. I love seeing landscapes of places I’ve been in movies.

  40. Nice list – a few of my favourites there: Everest, Into The Wild, Slumdog Millionaire, The Bucket List, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Nothing like a good movie for inspiring travel.

    A few others to consider: The Beach, Midnight Express, Kundun, Seven Years in Tibet…

    Good post!

    “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

  41. Hi, Oh wow I really love this list, seriously is so right! Holidays is another good one that invites you to discover surrey :), I enjoyed so much Amelie, unfortunately I cannot say the same of Paris, Je t’aime, which is other of the “must seen movies”, honestly… overrated… anyways, nice list I really enjoy it.

  42. Great list… something a lot of people leave off the list is Julia and Julia. That movie is HUGE to foodies, chefs, etc… Makes me want to hop on a flight every time I see it! Julia Child was a machine, so glad you guys included that movie on this list!

  43. I am a movie addict person, and I loved to travel. I enjoyed all of these films. Very Inspirational lists. Thank you, Dave, for this excellent Article. Loved it:)

  44. A lots of movies that needed to add here. I watched a few of then not all and find very inspirational and heart touching. Slumdog millionaire is one of my favourite and very heart touching.

  45. I love this list, but I’d add almost any movie filmed in San Francisco, even if they weren’t that good (like “The Wedding Planner” or the “The Rock”). They’d actually have to be filmed there and not just set there, like the last “Godzilla” movie 😉

    • Thanks for the additions. I loved the wedding planner. Although I just watched it again recently and realized what a schmuck Matthew Macoughnay’s character is. He totally led Jennifer Lopez’s character on and was a jerk to his fiancé. haha. But it’s a good lighthearted romantic comdey. They don’t make enough of those anymore..

  46. I came to this article to ensure you had Romancing the Stone..and you didnt let me down. I used to love that movie growing up. I am totally with you, on thinking about Cartagena as some exotic far away place that I had to visit. I eventually found out the movie wasn’t actually filmed in Cartagena or Colombia because of the dire security situation at that time…but when i finally visited Cartagena, i found it even more magical and exotic than the film…love the film, and love the city even more now.

    • I am so glad we didn’t let you down! I am also so glad that you felt the same way about Cartagena. I always envision Kathleen Turner saying “come to Cartagena with me” It was such a grand adventure. We need more movies like that!

  47. Cool list! I would add:

    – Before Sunrise (Vienna)
    – Waking Ned Devine (Ireland, though filmed in the Isle of Man)
    – Lost in Translation (Tokyo)

    • Great additions. I loved Before Sunrise, I can’t believe I forgot about that one. I saw it in the 90s and then watched the whole trilogy. I haven’t seen Waking Ned Devine, I’m going to check that out and yes, Lost in Translation is a good one for Tokyo. I have to watch that again. I barely remember it, but I do remember loving Bill Murray

  48. I don’t need a movie to inspire me to travel. I always want to travel, but some movies make me want to travel more I guess is how to put it. BTW. I thought Up in the Air stunk and don’t get why it was so popular. I loved In Burges which many people have never seen. Guess I’m just weird.
    .-= Gwen´s last blog ..Kids Grease Costumes =-.

    • You’re not weird at all! That is what makes watching movies so great. Everyone has different opinions on them all. We didn’t love Amelie and I have never met another person that didn’t like it. We were more into the quirkiness of Two Days in Paris and nobody liked that one:-)

  49. Great choice, I never really fancied visiting Bruges until watching the hilarious In Bruges (and I agree the film also did Colin Farrell a huge favour). Tuscany is still on my must see list after the gorgeous ‘Stealing Beauty’ and being from the UK, Sideways and Swingers always made me want to go to California.

    • Can you believe that I never saw Stealing Beauty? Now I am going to have to check it out. I agree with Sideways too. Loved that show. It made me want to drink Pinot Noir.

  50. OK, I obviously need to get myself to the nearest pirated DVD place since I’ve only seen 3 of these movies! Thanks for the advice.
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Couch Surfing with KGB Agents =-.

  51. Fantastic post, though most of these movies I haven’t seen (yet) but Vicky Christina Barcelona has really made me want to see Barcelona. I’m really bad for being easily suggestible when it comes to travel. If a place is featured on a movie or tv have a sudden desire to go there. Like I watch a John Waters movie and I wanna go to Baltimore, or the way Shirley Valentine made me really want to go to Greece. Even places that were never really on my travel to do list, like watching Dexter has made me want to visit Miami (even though most of the show is filmed around LA).
    .-= Alouise´s last blog ..List 9 – How To Have A Cheesy Time At West Edmonton Mall =-.

  52. Wonderful list! I’ve seen a few of these and just loved them (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Julie & Julia, In Bruges, Up in the Air, and Romancing the Stone)…..and I still dream of someday going to Cartagena, Columbia because of that movie! There are so many great movies that inspire travel that I’m sure it must have been hard to winnow it down to just eight. The rest of your list I’ll have to add to my Netflix queue!
    .-= Trisha´s last blog ..PR-Blogger Relations Manifesto =-.

    • I love that you think of Cartagena because of Romancing the stone. There were so many movies that I had on a list. I could have just listed about 50 and that could have been good enough. Maybe I will do that for a post one day when I am out of ideas:) It was very difficult to narrow it down to eight, we were trying to be a little unique in our choices, but then again, it is hard to be unique when it comes to choosing great travel movies. I guess, it was more of a reminder post. Everyone thinks of the choices like The Beach, The James Bond Movies and the Bourne Movies, but we haven’t thought about Romancing the Stone or Once Upon a Time in Mexico in a while.

  53. Great list! We think movies and books add so much to travel that we brought a bunch with us on our open ended world tour. We’re in France now, so tend to watch French ones here and ones that are family friendly since we travel with a kid. 😉 I think we love the Red Balloon and Chocolate best for France.

    Two that really stick out on our trip were Troy ( watched again and again through out Greece while reading Homer, including also while we were in Troy in Turkey) and “The Medici, Godfathers of the Renaissance” a thrilling PBS special series that we watched in Florence before we toured.
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Captivating Colliore- France on Bastille Day =-.

    • Thanks for the additions. I forgot about Chocolate. I loved that movie and Johnny Depp and Juliet Binoche were both so charming. I haven’t seen Red Balloon, I will check it out. It is wonderful to watch movies for inspiration before, after and while you are at that place.