A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, said by a traveler and every step you take is somehow inspired by what information you grab from the surroundings. One of the inspirations you can get is from movies, and specifically, travel movies. Travel movies teach you that sometimes the journey is important than the destination. You get to know how exciting and adventurous life is out there. You get to learn about different cultures and know about various cities around the world. So, here are the 50 travel movies that every traveler should watch and these movies will definitely give you wanderlust and will inspire you to pack your bags and go on an endless and fantastic adventure.
The true story of Christopher McCandless, a young graduate disappears and his demise in the Alaskan wilderness can be viewed as moronic, depending on who you talk to. But there's no denying the essential sense of beauty and desolation in Sean Penn's film take on the story. As McCandless rides the rails, kayaks the Colorado River, summits snowy peaks, races into the Pacific, and embodies a classically American vision of unchecked wanderlust which is exuberant, unstoppable, and foolish. During his trip, he goes through many situations which change him as a person.
2. 127 Hours (2010)
127 Hours is the real-life spine-chilling story of the engineer and climber Aron Ralston, who traveled to Blue John Canyon without telling anyone to spend the weekend doing what he likes to do: climb the isolated canyon. After having fun moments with two other travel buddies, he continued the trip alone. But while coming back a canyon crack, a chockstone came loose rolling onto his arm. Aron, realises that he was stuck and tried finding a way to release. It is one of the most inspiring and best travel movies to watch.
3. Up (2009)
Up might just be a digital “cartoon”, but it’s definitely not only a kid's film. A heart-touching tale of love and loss, the film follows Carl (voiced by Ed Asner), an old widower and his young friend, Russell, as they travel to South America together in Carl’s floating house in search of Paradise Falls, his wife’s dream destination. Up is one of those rare travel films that makes you realize that you’re just floating on like everybody else is on this giant Earth, with nothing holding you down except maybe a little gravity.
4. Tracks (2013)
Tracks will make you believe that any type of traveling can be done as long as you keep yourself motivated. Although most of the action happens in the Australian desert, Tracks is anything but monotonous. Mia Wasikowska, an Australian goes on a solo trip with her faithful dog and four camels in the desert.
5. Wild (2014)
Cheryl Strayed, a divorced woman is determined to hike 1,100 miles long Pacific Crest Trail. Her solo trip is in pursuit of healing and self-discovery, despite her lack of hiking experience. Although she encounters numerous problems and issues along the way, Strayed continues the journey and begins to discover herself. Wild is an emotional drama telling the tale of life.
Grand Budapest Hotel is a fantastic movie which presents the life of Mustafa who tells the story of how he managed to acquire ownership of the Grand Budapest Hotel by proving himself innocence where he was framed in a murder. The film itself is very quirky, fun and incredibly well executed.
7. Baraka (1992)
Baraka is a documentary film which explores our planet via kaleidoscopic showing footage of places from chaotic cities to wilderness, people and things. It will change the way you travel because you will pay so much more attention to cultures, locals, activities, and traditions.
8. The Beach (2000)
This film inspired thousands of would-be backpackers to jet off to Thailand in search of the perfect beach and a different lifestyle. Richard travels Thailand in possession of a map and how he searches for a rumoured island is shown in the film.
9. Touching the Void (2003)
A documentary about two climbers, Joe Simpson, and Simon Yates want to be the first to reach the West Face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian. They succeed and making their way back after scaling the summit, the pair are caught in a snowstorm and one of them (Joe) ends up injured and stuck in a crevasse. It is out of sheer determination and will to survive that Joe makes it back to camp. This is a real-life incident that took place in 1985.
10. EuroTrip (2004)
EuroTrip is a movie about Scott who got dumped by his girlfriend Fiona and decides to join his friends on a summer trip to Europe in pursuit of a German girl he really likes. The movie is about unpredictable adventures one will encounter during travels and it's an easy movie which will put a smile on your face.
11. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Walter Mitty is a man who always dreams of doing more, being more and having a spectacular life. He is a negative assets manager at Life Magazine and works with photojournalist Sean O'Connell. The movie is about the unpredicted adventures Mitty has, a true travel movie which inspires us all to stop dreaming and start our journeys.
12. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
The Best Marigold Hotel is a story about eight individuals who have to go to India and decide to stay in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is under construction. The movie teaches us through travel that we should be nice to everyone.The movie will make you visit India and understand a completely different culture. One of the best travel movies for sure.
13. Hunt for the Wilder people (2016)
Set in New Zealand, a young boy and his stepdad become the subject of a manhunt. The movie is adventurous with its comedy and drama. It's definitely a must watch which will make you want to fly to New Zealand.
14. The Danish Girl (2015)
The Danish Girl is a must-see travel movie with beautiful Copenhagen. It is a romantic drama about a husband who realizes his lifelong identification as a woman. The unexpected turn for Einar will be inspiring to see.
15. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Going on an adventure has no age because these two twelve-year-olds fall in love and make a pact of living their lie in the wilderness. It's a really nice movie that inspires everyone to follow their heart and start an adventure of a lifetime.
16. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Under The Tuscan Sun is about an American writer, Frances Mayes who decides to go on a trip to Italy as a result of a devastating divorce to cure her depression. This movie teaches us that life is full of unexpected events and we just have to live each day as it’s the last.
17. In Bruges (2008)
In Bruges is an extraordinary action movie set in Belgium in the beautiful city of Bruges. Two hitmen, Ken, and Ray get stuck in Bruges after an unsuccessful mission and how they reach their destination is shown in this film.
18. Up in the Air (2009)
Up in the Air is about Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) who is a frequent flyer and spends most of his time in various airports. He wishes to become the seventh and youngest human to earn ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines.
19. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
The movie is about two friends, Vicky, and Cristina who spend a summer in Barcelona and become infatuated with the same artist, Juan Antonio without any idea that his ex- wife is going to re-enter his life.
20. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
A young and easily influenced Che Guevara buys a motorcycle and decides to take a road trip and explore South America from the Andes to the Atacama, the coast of Chile to the chilling jungles of the Peruvian Amazon. This movie shows how travel has the power to transform the rest of your life.
21. P.S. I Love You (2007)
A romantic drama where Holly Kennedy starts drinking and carousing after her husband’s death. Later, she starts receiving letters from her dead husband who helps her find her way and becomes her hope and strength.
22. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
This is the tale of an unconventional family who takes a cross-country road trip in their VW bus in order to get their daughter to the finals of a beauty contest. Noby said traveling with the family would be easy, but it will sure turn out to be full of weird adventures.
23. Which Way Home (2009)
This film tells the story of the thousands of Latin American migrant children who board a freight train to take them across Mexico to the United States. While one may get angered about the divisive politics that exists in our world, the film simply focuses on the immense courage in the hearts of these kids as they make this frightful railroad journey.
24. The Trip (2010)
The companion, Rob Brydon of the food critic, Steve Coogan eventually starts a road-trip through England to dine in fancy restaurants, all the while one-upping each other’s jokes and pondering the meaning of life, death, and relationships.
25. Samsara (2011)
This movie is a sequel to Baraka. Samsara is a unique travel movie which undoubtedly give you the wanderlust. Ron Fricke explores through the Himalayas, European Cathedrals and other beautiful sites. If you love different cultures and fantastic landscapes, then Samara is the best travel movie for you.
26. Departures (2008)
Departures are not only about traveling, but it shows some touching customs from Japan. Along with fantastic music, deep human connections, and beautiful sceneries, Departures is one of the best Japanese movies which always makes you wish to move to Japan.
27. The Art of Travel (2004)
This film balance deftly the fun side of travel with spiritual awakening. Taking viewers from the rough streets of Nicaragua to the dense jungles, via the backpackers’ haven of Cusco and the trek to Machu Picchu, the film’s philosophy is actually pretty simple, “adventures can only proliferate without restrictions”.
28. A Blank on the Map (1971)
David Attenborough undertakes a government-sponsored exploration to establish contact with people of the Biami tribes which is an unexplored area previously in Papua, New Guinea. The movie revolves around how he interacts and understand the tribe.
29. Riding Solo to the Top of the World (2006)
The movie is about a filmmaker who travels from Mumbai to the remote areas in Ladakh bordering China on a motorcycle. The movie has won 11 awards and 21 film festival.
30. Our Little Sister (2015)
This movie will make you want to visit Japan and have an interaction with the locals. It's a story about family, loss and gain, betrayal and forgiveness. It's a very simple heart- warming story about the three sisters who invite their half-sister to live with them after the death of their father.
31. The Way (2010)
Thomas Avery goes to France to retrieve the body of his son who died on the Camino de Santiago. He takes off a journey which makes him understand himself and his son. A fantastic story which teaches us all that there is only one life and you have to live it fully.
32. Leap Year (2010)
Anna Brady (Amy Adams) decided to fly to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend during a leap year. The trip itself became an adventure and she is forced to take other means of transportation together with a handsome Irish innkeeper.
33. Lost In Translation (2003)
Bob, an American actor goes to cool Tokyo for an ad film and ends up meeting Charlotte. They bond one night after experiencing the local Japanese nightlife and culture and finds a friend within each other. Also, the streets of Shinjuku, the beautiful view from the hotel's window is amazing.
34. The Bucket List (2007)
The Bucket List is foreseeable and yet a very heart-warming story that will want you to tick off your bucket list very soon. Filmed in India, Tanzania, China, France, Egypt, and the U.S. This movie will definitely give you some new ideas for the next trip.
35. Priceless (2016)
The movie is set in the beautiful French Riviera. Priceless is about a pretty woman who only dates rich men. One night she falls for a hotel employee who pretends to be rich. A funny French comedy, Priceless is an awesome movie to watch. Also, you will want to visit Nice after seeing the amazing filming location.
36. Jungle (2017)
The Amazon rainforest has a fascinating adventure but it is mysterious and risky. How does it feel when one day you find yourself in the jungle with no humans around or supplies of any kind and have to survive from zero? This film starring Daniel Radcliffe about how he survives in the jungle.
37. Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002)
This is one of those movies which is not much famous, but everyone who watched it. A young artist travels on the mysterious highway 60 and comes around some magical situations.
38. Great Expectations (1998)
Great Expectation is inspired by Charles Dickens novel and it is a story about an orphan boy, who has good luck and great expectations, and then after loses both his luck and his expectations. Through this good and bad times, however, he learns how to find happiness. He learns the meaning of friendship and love and, then, becomes a better person for it. He falls in love with Estella meanwhile. But he is left heartbroken after knowing she is just manipulating him. A must watch a movie.
39. Amelie (2001)
You will definitely want to visit Paris if you haven’t been there after watching this movie. And if you have, you’ll want to return. Amelie will take you to the most inspiring and beautiful locations in Paris.
40. The Shallows (2016)
The Shallows is a thriller film starring Blake Lively who goes to a secluded beach in Mexico to surf and shows how she survives. Although the story itself is a little simple, The Shallows will make you want to surf and enjoy secluded nature by the beach.
41. Life of Pie (2012)
Santosh and Gita Patel boards for Canada after selling the zoo with their sons and a few remaining animals. On their way, a storm sinks the ship, leaving the Patel’s' teenage son, Pi, as the only human survivor and a Bengal tiger has also found to survive aboard the lifeboat. Days pass into weeks and weeks into months onboard. The movie shows that Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if want to survive.
42. North Face (2008)
Two German climbers who compete to climb the most menacing rock face in the Alps. The government was drawn attention to mountaineering at that time. The film portrays the adventurous competition to climb the mountain.
43. Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
A woman, Elizabeth Gilbert wants to rediscover herself after getting divorced and embarks on a journey to Rome, India, and Bali. In Bali, she meets Felipe and that’s the turning point. It's not like other romantic comedy and it is one of the best travel movies.
44. Out of Africa (1985)
It’s an old movie but it is surely one of the best travel movies to watch. Filmed in the UK and Kenya, that has won 7 Oscars and many other awards will definitely make your dream of Africa. It’s one of those movies that you would like to watch repeatedly.
45. Encounters at the end of the World (2007)
The movie is undoubtedly beautiful and funny describing the people and animals living in Antarctica. Werner Herzog, the filmmaker travels to Antarctica, where he finds a barren and beautiful landscape, untouched by humans yet, and a group of unique people who risk their lives to stay there and study it. At the United States' largest Antarctic research center- McMurdo Station, Herzog traverses the minds of the scientists who are trying to abandon civilization and endure eruptive conditions to learn more about the continent's wildlife and awe-inspiring nature. You will wish to travel to Antarctica after watching this movie.
46. On the Road (2012)
The young writer Sal Paradise’s life has been trembled by the arrival of his friend Dean Moriarty and his wife, Marylou when they go on the open road. As they travel across the country, they meet people who impact their journey inexpugnable.
47. The Loneliest Planet (2011)
The couples who are about to get married are taking a trip before marriage to make sure whether they like the other person or not. And you get to know them more while traveling. The movie shows the relationship building between two lovers while hiking through the Caucasus Mountains.
48. Away We Go (2009)
Just a couple of months before their baby is due, Burt and Verona decide to take a road trip to find the perfect location to raise their family. Their journey takes them from Phoenix, Tucson, Madison and Montreal, a city that is unfriendly. The movie takes you on a trip to North America and the moments around the family affects a lot.
49. The Trip to Italy (2014)
The trip to Italy effortlessly blends the awesome comedy among Coogan and Brydon into the silent moments of self-reflection. It catches the attention of the audience by their comic travel timing. The Trip to Italy is based on the TV series, The Trip.
50. Before Sunrise (1995)
A young American man, Jesse and a French woman, Celine meet on a train in Europe and end up spending one an evening together in Vienna. But they didn’t have any idea that it would be their last night together. The movie takes you on a romantic ride which is the heart touching part.