75+ Best Travel Movies to Inspire Your Wanderlust

This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy.

 curated a giant list of wanderlust-inducing movies that’ll make you feel as if you are on an adventure far, far away. This list of travel movies covers all genres, from comedies to dramas to documentaries and even a big section of travel series on Netflix!

Best Travel Movies

It’s not always possible to jump on a plane bound for a far-flung destination, but that doesn’t mean your wanderlust just quietly subsides. Nah, that’s when those itchy feet get even itchier. We know the struggle all too well, friends.

There’s no real cure, but sometimes looking at old travel photos does the trick and other times, getting wrapped up in a good travel book makes you almost feel like you did get on that plane after all…

But let’s be real, sometimes you just need to curl up on your couch and turn your brain off for a while. Finding a good travel movie (or Netflix series!) lets you escape reality andexperience the magic of traveling without ever leaving your living room.

We’ve curated a giant list of travel movies including some of our personal favorites as well as some films that are on our to-watch list. Some of these movies are specifically about travel, while others give you a glimpse into places around the world that might inspire your next big trip.

Whether you’re an avid traveler or someone who prefers to “explore” from the comforts of home, these movies will transport you to new and exciting locations around the globe. So bring on the popcorn and cozy slippers and get ready for your next travel adventure!

Types of Travel Movies

We’ve done our best to round up a variety of different kinds of travel movies — from comedic and light-hearted tales to action-packed thrillers to educational series. There is even a section of Netflix-produced films for easy accessibility! Whatever your movie genre preferences, you’ll find pretty much everything on the list.

Psst! Be sure to look for our personal notes, as we’re sharing our favorites on this list as well as a handful that are on our to-watch list!

Jump to the type of movie you prefer and see all the options we’ve gathered just for you:

Comedies

If you’re looking for a little comedic relief and some light-hearted travel inspiration, these movies are for you!

The Bucket List

Travel Movies | The Bucket List
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: This is the uplifting story of two strangers who decide to make the most out of life while facing their impending deaths. 

Two strangers nearing the end of their lives form a bond while sharing a room in the hospital. They decide to take a journey across the globe together checking off items on a list of things they want to accomplish before they kick the bucket. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Crazy Rich Asians

Travel Movies | Crazy Rich Asians
  • Where: Singapore, New York City

  • What: A romantic comedy about love exceeding cultural barriers and family and societal pressures. 

  • TWS Favorite!

In this hilarious and heart-warming film, a girl from New York City, Rachel, agrees to go to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick to meet his family for the first time. She discovers his family is not only crazy-rich but he is also one of the country’s most eligible bachelors and she must fight off the competition – mostly his family – who don’t believe she is good enough for him. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Travel Movies | The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Where: Iceland, Greenland, New York City

  • What: An inspiring film about stepping into the unknown and embracing unexpected adventures.  

  • TWS Favorite!

Based on a short story, this movie is a blend of adventure, comedy and drama. The viewer follows the life of Walter Mitty, a man who is living an ordinary and often boring life but daydreams of more. Adventures begin to unfold when he steps out of his comfort zone, and he follows a hunch that brings him to Greenland and Iceland. A little predictable at times, but we like this movie a lot! The stunning landscapes and inspirational storyline are always a good pick-me-up. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Psst! When this movie makes you want to pack your bags and travel to Iceland, we’ve got tons of tips and useful info for you!

Lost in Translation

Travel Movies | Lost in Translation
  • Where: Tokyo, Japan

  • What: A comedic drama about an unlikely friendship and facing personal challenges.

Bob is an aging American actor on assignment in Tokyo where he meets Charlotte, a young college graduate who’s been left behind by her photographer husband. Gradually the pair forms an unlikely friendship and face the challenges in their lives that they were running away from. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Inspired to travel to Tokyo after watching this movie? We’ve got a huge list of the best things to do in Tokyo to help you plan a future trip!

The Darjeeling Limited

Travel Movies | The Darjeeling Limited
  • Where: India

  • What: A comedic film that examines the role of grief, extravagance and spirituality in the bond of family. 

Three brothers set out on a so-called “spiritual journey” to try and reconnect a year after the death of their father. Their adventure takes them across India on a train called the Darjeeling Limited and forces them into self-reflection. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

In Bruges

Travel Movies | In Bruges
  • Where: Bruges, Belgium

  • What: A dark comedy set in a beautiful medieval city in Belgium   

After a job goes wrong, Irish hitmen, Ray and Ken, decide to hole up in Belgium until things cool down. In the medieval city of Bruges, they meet tourists and locals and even find romance. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Last Holiday

Travel Movies | Last Holiday
  • Where: Europe

  • What: A comedic film about breaking out of your shell, throwing caution to the wind and finding true happiness in life. 

After the discovery of a terminal illness, a shy woman (aka Queen Latifah) cashes out her bank accounts and jets off to Europe to live out her last days like a millionaire. Her positive attitude charms everyone she meets, the only thing she is missing is her long-time crush. While this movie might be a bit cheesy and cliché, it’s an uplifting comedy for a light-hearted movie night. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Midnight in Paris

Travel Movies | Midnight in Paris
  • Where: Paris, France

  • What: A comedic film in which Woody Allen mocks the classic American ideals of status and class, set against the backdrop of nightlife in Paris. 

While on vacation in Paris with his fiancee and her family, Gil is having a hard time fitting in with her stuffy, pretentious family. In the midst of trying to finish his debut novel, he is beguiled by the city, which takes him to a time past, away from his fiancee.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

The Hangover Part II

Travel Movies | The Hangover Part II
  • Where: Thailand 

  • What: The sequel to The Hangover, this movie follows a group of friends on a comedic adventure in Bangkok, Thailand.

If you’ve seen the original, you know this group of friends makes some poor decisions that lead to cringe-y but laugh-out-loud consequences like face tattoos and marrying strangers. Set 2 years after the original movie, one of the friends (Stu) is getting married in Thailand, and all that can go wrong does…

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Psst! If all the bad things that happen in this movie don’t scare you away from planning a trip to Thailand, we’ve got all the information you need!

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Travel Movies | The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Where: India

  • What: An uplifting tale of self-discovery, romance, and second chances.

Seven strangers decide to uproot their lives in the UK and live out the remainder of their golden years in what is promised to be a luxury resort for seniors. They get a lot more than they bargained for when they arrive in India to find the hotel in less than operational standards. However, with the encouragement of the hotel’s enthusiastic owner, they form unlikely bonds and bring the hotel and each other back to life. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Amélie

Amelie | Travel Movies

Where: Paris, France

What: Uplifting film about a young woman who sets out on a mission to make other people’s lives better.

This quirky comedy is set in Paris, and brings you on a journey through this iconic city. The story follows Amélie, a young woman with a unique perspective on the world who is making it her mission to bring her own unique sense of justice to the world. As she’s helping others, she embarks on her own love story. 

Watch trailer | Purchase

Up in the Air

Up in the Air | Travel Movies

Where: Airports

What: The ups and downs in the lives of (very) frequent travelers.

This witty comedy starring George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, mostly takes place in airports and in the air instead of the destination itself. While it’s focused on travel for business, most travelers can relate to the “airport life” that you either love or hate, but can’t really escape.

Watch trailer | Watch Movie (Free with Amazon Prime Video)

Note: If you dig the airport setting, then be sure to check out Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal.

Dramas

Be on the edge of your seat as you journey across the world with these dramatic tales adventures that take place around the globe. No packing necessary! Although you might want to keep the Kleenex box nearby for a few of the movies on this list…

The Beach

Travel Movies | The Beach
  • Where: Thailand

  • What: This drama based on the best selling novel of the same name, examines the idea of self-discovery and limits of a utopian society. 

  • TWS Favorite! (We also like the book!)

Young American backpacker Richard arrives in Thailand with a thirst for adventure and the desire to discover something new. After hearing rumors about “The Beach”, he sets out to find paradise with his new friends. Soon after they arrive on the idyllic island, they realize that paradise isn’t always what it seems and find themselves in a fight for their own survival. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

The Motorcycle Diaries

Travel Movies | The Motorcycle Diaries
  • Where: Motorcycle trip around South America

  • What: A film about two young men on a journey to “forget who they were and discover who they are.”

  • TWS Favorite! (This is a book too!)

A biopic based on the memoir of 23-year-old Ernesto “Che” Guevara (later known as a Marxist guerilla leader and prominent figure of the Cuban Revolution, Che Guevara) as he finds his calling in life while on a motorcycle road trip across South America with his best friend Alberto. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Babel

Travel Movies | Babel
  • Where: Morocco, Japan, Mexico and the US

  • What: This film gives an interesting take on cultural diversity and the barriers that both separate and connect humankind around the world. 

Told non-linearly, this is the story of four disparate groups of people on 3 separate continents whose destinies are intertwined after an accidental shooting leaves an American tourist fighting for her life in a remote village of Morocco. The film depicts the emotional struggles and traumatic situations as each of the characters tries to deal with their problems and winds up making an even greater mess of things. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Lion

Travel Movies | Lion
  • Where: India and Australia

  • What: A biographical drama based on the memoir of Saroo Brierley.

At 5 years old, Sarroo is separated from his family in an unlucky series of events that leaves him alone on the streets of Calcutta, facing many challenges while thousands of miles from home. After being adopted by an Australian family, 25 years later he sets out on a journey through India to find his long-lost family. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Y Tu Mama También 

Travel Movies | Y Tu Mama Tambien
  • Where: Mexico

  • What: With a combination of drama, comedy and sex, this coming-of-age film follows two teenage boys on their road trip across Mexico.

Julio and Tenoch, like most 17-year old boys, are driven by raging hormones, intense friendships, and a reckless rush towards adulthood. While on a cross-country road trip over the course of a summer with an older female companion, the two best friends get into plenty of trouble but ultimately find connection with each other, themselves and the world around them. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Seven Years in Tibet

Travel Movies | Seven Years in Tibet
  • Where: Nepal, Tibet

  • What: Based on the memoir, this is the film adaptation of the real life events that lead Heinrich Harrer to spend seven transformational years in Tibet.

Follow legendary explorer, Heinrich Harrer, on his extraordinary journey across the frozen Himalayas. From being imprisoned by the Chinese to becoming one of the first Europeans to enter Tibet and the Forbidden City of Lhasa where his friendship with the young Dalai Lama transforms his life. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

The Impossible

Travel Movies | The Impossible
  • Where: Thailand

  • What: Based on a true story of survival and the desperate drive to be reunited with family. 

In 2004, tragedy struck Southeast Asia in one of the worst natural disasters in human history. The Bennett family is on holiday in Thailand when a tsunami hits without warning, devastating the country and separating the family, leaving them to survive the initial impact and embark on a heart-wrenching search to reunite amongst the chaotic aftermath.   

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Memoirs of a Geisha

Travel Movies | Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Where: Japan

  • What: A Cinderella story set in a mysterious and exotic world where against all odds a house servant rises to decide her own destiny.

Sold to a geisha house at the age of nine-years-old, Chiyo Sakamoto becomes a victim of unpleasant circumstances, but her fate changes when she meets Mameha. The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful and Chiyo blossoms to become the most captivating geisha of her time. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Half of a Yellow Sun

Travel Movies | Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Where: Nigeria

  • What: A drama that brings together the lives of four people during the struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

  • On the top of our to-watch list!

Twin sisters from a wealthy Nigerian family, who were educated in England, return to Nigeria to take wildly different paths in life. However, both become swept up in the struggle of the Nigerian civil war.

Watch trailer | Purchase (Free on Amazon Prime Video) | Rent

Slumdog Millionaire

Travel Movies | Slumdog Millionaire
  • Where: India

  • What: Loosely based on a true story, this is one young man’s emotional and uplifting tale of rising above circumstance to fulfill what he believes is his destiny. 

  • TWS Favorite!

A Mumbai teen becomes a contestant on the Indian version of the show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ When he is accused of cheating, he reflects on his childhood in the slums, his struggles and his long lost love, revealing how he knew all the answers.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Action & Adventure

If your favorite kind of movies usually involve guns, spies, or some kind of action hero who narrowly escapes death multiple times before the credit scene, then these travel movies are for you!

Sahara

Travel Movies | Sahara
  • Where: North Africa

  • What: An action-packed comedy following treasure hunters on an adventure through the most dangerous parts of Northern Africa.

An explorer finds the adventure of a lifetime when he and his wise-cracking sidekick venture through some of the most dangerous parts of North Africa in search of a lost Civil War battleship known as the Ship of Death. Using their wits and clever heroics, they partner up with a beautiful WHO doctor who believes the ship may have something to do with the mysteriously spreading plague she is investigating.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Indiana Jones

Travel Movies | Indiana Jones
  • Where: US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Jordan, Egypt, India, China, Peru, etc. etc. etc.!

  • What: A classic action series based on the around the world adventures of Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, a fictional professor of archaeology. 

  • TWS Favorite: These were my favorite movies growing up as a kid, and they still spark a sense of adventure in me today!

Follow the adventures of Dr. Indiana Jones and his unlikely sidekicks as he sets out on assignments to find ancient artifacts and save the world from Nazis and bad guys. Though the original 3 movies were filmed in the 80s, they are filled with action-packed comedy that has stood the test of time and still carry a fan-base to this day.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Peru, USA, Nepal, Egypt, Tunisia

  • Temple of Doom: China, India

  • The Last Crusade: USA, Venice, Jordan

While there was a 4th Indiana Jones (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) released in 2008, and a 5th set to hit theaters in 2021, we’d definitely recommend starting with the originals!

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

The Da Vinci Code

Travel Movies | The Da Vinci Code
  • Where: France, UK

  • What: An action-packed mystery thriller is based on the best selling novel about a fictional professor of Symbology. 

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon travels to Paris to investigate a murder inside the Louvre. Once he realizes he’s under investigation, he pairs up with the deceased’s daughter following clues hidden inside Da Vinci’s works to discover a religious secret that could shake the foundations of Christianity. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Like this movie? Watch the following two films in the series: Angels & Demons and Inferno.

The Italian Job

Travel Movies | The Italian Job
  • Where: Italy, Los Angeles

  • What: An action-packed crime drama following a group of professional thieves from Italy to Los Angeles.  

Professional thief Charlie Croker pulled off the heist of a lifetime in Italy, but was betrayed by one of his team members and left for dead. Along with the help of his former boss’s safe-cracking daughter, Croker assembles a team of con artists and formulates a plan to retaliate by stealing back the gold from his former ally. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

City of God

Travel Movies | City of God
  • Where: Brazil

  • What: This action-heavy film illustrates the crippling effect of poverty with limited choices for survival. 

  • TWS Favorite!

Set in the poverty-stricken favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s, this film follows two young men as they navigate the increasing drug-related violence of their neighborhood. José is an ambitious drug dealer who uses photographer Rocket, and his photos of the crime-ridden slums, as a way to increase his fame while a turf war erupts with his rival. The film was shot on location in Rio’s poorest neighborhoods.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

The Tourist

Travel Movies | The Tourist
  • Where: Italy

  • What: A romantic action thriller about the dangerous world of espionage. 

An American tourist is seeking solace in Italy after a recent heartbreak finds his life turned upside down when he meets a beautiful woman on a train going to Venice who convinces everyone that he is her lover who is wanted by the police.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Travel Movies | Lord of the Rings
  • Where: Middle-earth (aka New Zealand)

  • What: A series of three epic fantasy adventure films based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

  • TWS Favorite!

Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins as he and his companions embark on a quest to destroy a ring that will ensure the destruction of its evil maker and save the free people of Middle-earth.

This epic fantasy adventure is filmed mostly on location in New Zealand, so while the movie may take place in a fictional land, the landscapes give a peek into the real-world southern hemisphere destination. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Inspirational Travel Movies

If you are looking to be lifted up and inspired, these feel-good movies will bring you along on transformational journeys and will reignite your wanderlust.

The Art of Travel

Travel Movies | The Art of Travel
  • Where: Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Bolivia and California

  • What: A film that explores the very nature of wanderlust, how it informs character and transforms life.

On his wedding day, Connor walks out on his cheating bride-to-be and decides to embark on his honeymoon alone. While on the road in Central and South America he befriends a ragtag group of travelers and encounters both physical and metaphorical obstacles as he learns the art of travel.

Watch trailer | Watch (Free on Amazon Prime Video)

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Travel Movies | Hector and the Search for Happiness
  • Where: UK, China, Africa

  • What: One man’s search around the globe for joy and ultimately purpose. 

Disillusioned by his own existence, psychiatrist Hector feels he is a fraud for treating patients who never seem to improve or get any happier. Finally reaching his breaking point, he decides to make a change and embarks on an international quest to find the formula for happiness. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Tracks

Travel Movies | Tracks
  • Where: Australia

  • What: Based on the bestselling memoir, this drama chronicles the author’s solo journey across the Australian desert.

  • TWS Favorite!

Mia, a young Australian woman, sets off on a journey to find solitude by embarking on a solo trip across the desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. She is accompanied only by her dog and 4 camels to make the 9-month journey on foot.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Whale Rider

Travel Movies | Whale Rider
  • Where: New Zealand

  • What: An uplifting family drama that questions gender roles in cultural traditions. 

When her twin brother dies at birth, Pai decides to fulfill the destiny he was given to become the chief of their Maori tribe in New Zealand. The only problem is, only males are allowed to become chiefs. With the help of her grandmother and the training of her uncle, the 12-year-old strives to win over her ultra-traditional grandfather and claim her birthright. 

Learning about Maori culture is one of the many things you should know before planning a trip to New Zealand.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

The Fundamentals of Caring (Netflix Original)

Travel Movies | The Fundamentals of Caring
  • Where: Road trip across the United States

  • What: A feel-good movie about overcoming personal challenges and finding hope in friendship. 

After suffering a personal tragedy, retired writer Ben decides to become a personal caregiver to Trevor, a snobby 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. They take an impromptu road trip across the US to see all of the quirky road-side stops Trevor has become obsessed with when they meet Dot, a runaway, who joins them on their journey and helps them come to understand the importance of friendship and hope. 

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

One Week

Travel Movies | One Week
  • Where: Road trip across Canada

  • What: A humorous and moving film about grappling with one’s own immortality on a search for self-discovery.

  • On the top of our to-watch list!

When 20-something Ben Tyler is given a terminal diagnosis, he flees from his impending marriage and boring job in an attempt to live out the rest of his life to the fullest. His misguided road trip on a vintage motorcycle becomes an adventure of self-discovery set against the great Canadian landscape.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Queen of Katwe

Travel Movies | Queen of Katwe
  • Where: Uganda

  • What: An inspirational story of a young girl who lifts herself out of poverty through the game of chess.

This film from Disney is based off of the real life story of a girl named Phiona who grew up in a slum in Uganda called Katwe. At the age of 10, Phiona is introduced to the game of chess and soon begins competing. Her talent opens doors that she never thought would be possible.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Travel Movies | The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Where: A small village in the French countryside

  • What: A heart-warming tale of overcoming cultural differences, romance, and following one’s passion.

This story follows an Indian family who moves to southern France and shakes things up in a small village when they open a restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant. When the son decides to go cook for the competition across the street, cultures clash, loyalties are tested, and boundaries are pushed.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Kodachrome (Netflix Original)

Travel Movies | Kodachrome
  • Where: A road trip across the US

  • What: An emotional and somewhat humorous film with incredible cinematography. 

When Matt’s estranged father’s nurse shows up at his office out of the blue, asking Matt to drop everything and honor his father’s dying wish, he finds his life turned upside down. Reluctantly, Matt joins his famed bad-boy photojournalist father and the nurse on a journey to the last remaining lab in the country that is still developing Kodachrome film. 

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

The Way

Travel Movies | The Way
  • Where: The “Camino de Santiago” trail in Spain, France and Portugal

  • What: A powerful and inspirational film about dealing with loss, family dynamics and unlikely friendships. 

When Tom’s adult son is tragically killed in a storm while walking the The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James trail, he sets out to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect his son’s remains. But instead of returning home as planned, Tom decides to complete the historical pilgrimage in honor of his son. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Travel Movies | Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Where: New Zealand

  • What: An adventure comedy-drama film about personal growth and relationships.

  • TWS Favorite! 

When a rebellious boy is left in the care of tough but loving foster parents, he and his foster uncle become the subject of a nationwide manhunt after they get themselves stranded in the wild New Zealand bush. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Inspired to travel to NZ after watching this? This film brings you through some beautiful landscapes across Kiwi country, and we’ve got tons of resources to help you plan an epic vacation to New Zealand!

A Dog’s Way Home

Travel Movies | A Dogs Way Home
  • Where: A journey across Colorado

  • What: A humorous and moving film about the bonds of love and friendship between man and dog. 

Told from the perspective of Bella, a rescue dog, who gets separated from her human and embarks on a 400-mile journey across Colorado to be reunited with him. Along the way, she encounters people and animals that need her help and help her to reach her final destination. 

Watch trailer | Purchase

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Travel Movies | The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Where: Greece, Mexico and suburban America 

  • What: A coming-of-age tale that highlights the bonds of friendship when grappling with family relationships, romance, and change.

In this “guilty pleasure”-esque flick, four best friends who couldn’t be more different in personality and style find a pair of pants that miraculously fits each of them perfectly. As they set out on separate adventures spending their first ever summer apart, they agree to share the pants between them in the hope that it will keep their bond strong.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

*If you like this movie, check out the sequel, which brings all four friends to Greece!

The Road Within

Travel Movies | The Road Within
  • Where: Road trip across the United States

  • What: An inspiring film about grappling with mental health and overcoming personal challenges. 

After the death of his mother, Robert, a young man with Tourette’s Syndrome is sent to an in-patient facility to get help with his condition. There he meets two unlikely friends and together they embark on an adventure across the country in a stolen car. An epic road trip that will change their lives forever. This feel-good movie takes a deeper look at interpersonal relationships and the stigma of mental health, proving that life is truly about the journey and not always the destination. 

Watch Trailer | Watch (Free with Amazon Prime Video)

Travel & Romance Movies

Get swept off your feet (or couch!) with these light hearted tales of romance and adventure that take place around the world.

Eat Pray Love

Travel Movies | Eat, Pray, Love
  • Where: New York, Italy, India, Indonesia

  • What: Based on the best selling memoir, Eat Pray Love is one woman’s journey to reignite her passion for life, connect with her spirituality and focus on herself. 

Leaving behind her comfortable life and a marriage she was no longer happy in, Elizabeth Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical for a journey of self-discovery eating her way through Italy, practicing meditation in India, and finding love in Bali, Indonesia. 

Perhaps one of the most cliched travel + love stories, this one doesn’t resonate with everyone, but those for whom it does tend to be pretty inspired by this true journey. (In our opinion, the book is better, but the movie indulges you with some pretty scenes from Italy, India and Indonesia!) 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Bali dreaming? After watching this movie, you’ll want to plan a trip to Bali (trust me!). Check out our list of top things to do on this island (we lived there for 6 months, so we’ve got quite the list!).

Under the Tuscan Sun

Travel Movies | Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Where: Tuscany

  • What: This film is about stepping out of your comfort zone and finding / creating your own happiness.  

Frances Mayes is a 35-year-old writer living in San Francisco, suffering from writer’s block and depression after her recent divorce. When her friend gifts her a trip to Italy, she impulsively decides to buy an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside. Restoring the home leads her to new friends and a life-changing adventure filled with unexpected surprises. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Travel Movies | Vicky, Christina Barcelona
  • Where: Barcelona, Spain

  • What: A Woody Allen film about the nature of love and how it plays out between consenting adults. 

Vicky and Cristina are two friends who are spending their summer vacationing in Barcelona when they meet a handsome artist named Juan Antonio and begin an illicit affair. When his ex-wife Maria Elena comes back into the picture, things get interesting and the girls get more than they bargained for. 

Watch trailer | Purchase

Monsoon Wedding

Travel Movies | Monsoon Wedding
  • Where: India

  • What: This movie follows the complexities, drama, comedy, romance and utter chaos that is an Indian wedding.

Aditi is the only daughter in a modern, upper-middle-class family in Delhi, and her family has arranged her marriage to the son of a family friend who lives in Texas. Their wedding is going to be the event of the year. However, it is not without its twists and turns, hidden family secrets, affairs, and unexpected romance.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Letters to Juliet

Travel Movies | Letters to Juliet
  • Where: Italy, New York

  • What: A romantic chick-flick about following your heart and finding true love. 

Sophie is an aspiring writer in New York City who travels to Verona, Italy with her chef-obsessed boyfriend, where she meets the “Secretaries of Juliet” and finds an old love letter hiding in a wall. Sophie sets out on a journey across Italy with the woman who wrote the letter, Claire, and her reluctant grandson, to reunite her with her true love from decades past. 

Watch trailer | Purchase

P.S. I Love You

Travel Movies | P.S. I Love You
  • Where: Ireland, NYC

  • What: A tragic story of life after loss and finding new love and happiness.

This movie follows Holly, a young woman who has just lost her husband to cancer. Before his death, he organized a scavenger hunt type of adventure that brings her back to his hometown in Ireland with her girlfriends. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

A Good Year

Travel Movies | A Good Year
  • Where: Provence, France

  • What: Set in French wine country, this movie follows a man’s journey to finding love and realizing what is important in life. 

Max is a work-a-holic London banker who makes a quick trip to Provence with the intention of selling his late uncle’s vineyard and estate. But things don’t go as planned. Max unearths secrets, finds romance, and gets a lesson on what’s really important in life. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise | Travel Movies

Where: Vienna, Austria

What: A story of modern-day romance between people from two different worlds.

If you’ve ever had a travel fling, this indie film will grip you. It follows the story of an American traveler, Jesse, who falls for an Austrian student he meets on a train. Their connection is strong and they spend a night exploring Vienna together before Jesse’s flight leaves the next morning. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Like this one? Lucky for you, there are two more in this 3-part series: Before Sunset (takes place in Paris) and Before Midnight (takes place in Greece).

Outdoor Adventure Travel Movies

To our fellow outdoor adventure lovers, this list is for you. From dramatic mountaineering feats in the Himalayas to transformational treks across the USA, these movies will take you on some epic outdoor adventures around the globe.

Everest 

Travel Movies | Everest
  • Where: Climbing Mt. Everest

  • What: Inspired by a true story, this dramatic and thrilling adventure is about overcoming mental and physical challenges to achieve the nearly impossible.

  • TWS Favorite!

Everest documents the dramatic and awe-inspiring journey of two expeditions to summit Mt. Everest during a devastating snow storm. The climbers battle the elements and face nearly impossible obstacles as their lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Want to know more? Read about our 17-day journey to Everest Base Camp!

A Walk in the Woods

Travel Movies | A Walk in the Woods
  • Where: The Appalachian Trail

  • What: Based on the best-selling book, this is the story of two friends attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail. 

  • On the top of our to-watch list (we loved the book)!

Sick of life being all about ailments and funerals, Bill decides to push himself on an adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail. After protests from his wife, he recruits an old friend for the journey. 

This is the light-hearted and humorous story of the ill-prepared friends on their attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail in their later years of life. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Into the Wild

Travel Movies | Into the Wild
  • Where: Hitchhiking across North America to Alaska

  • What: Based on a true story, this is a biographical adventure drama film of a young man’s journey to find meaning, belonging and love on a solo journey. 

  • TWS Favorite!

Christopher McCandless is a young man who decides to hitchhike across North America to reach the Alaskan wilderness. During his transformative journey, he encounters several people and situations which change who he is as a person. This story is also a book

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Kon-Tiki

Travel Movies | Kon-Tiki
  • Where: Crossing the ocean from Peru to Polynesia

  • What: A historical adventure-drama about the 1947 Kon-Tiki trans-oceanic expedition.

Norwegian explorer Thor believes that the South Sea Islands were originally colonized by South Americans. He sets out to prove his theory by recruiting 5 companions to set sail from Peru on a wooden raft built from an ancient design with only the stars and ocean currents to guide them. Along the way their moral and physical limits are tested as they encounter more than they bargained for. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Wild

Travel Movies | Wild
  • Where: The Pacific Crest Trail

  • What: Based on the best-selling memoir, this is the story of one woman’s transformative journey hiking the PCT. 

When her life feels like it’s hit rock bottom after losing her mother, battling drug abuse, a slew of one-night-stands, and her marriage crumbling, Cheryl Strayed (played by Reese Witherspoon) makes the impulsive decision to hike over 1,000 of the Pacific Crest Trail, with no experience or training, completely solo. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Animated Travel Movies

Get the family together for a cultural experience or a far-flung adventure to another world. These movies will take you on a comedic journey to some interesting places, and hopefully remind you that animated movies are not just for kids!

Coco

Travel Movies | Coco
  • Where: Celebrating the culture of Mexico

  • What: This light-hearted and comedic tale deals with family dynamics set against the backdrop of Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in Mexico. 

  • TWS Favorite! We watched this for the first time on a bus to Oaxaca (one of our favorite Mexican cities!), and it taught us a lot about local culture.

Young Miguel has a passion for performing. Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, he dreams of becoming a singer like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. After a mysterious series of events during the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead where he befriends a trickster and winds up uncovering secrets of his family’s history. 

A delightful and excellent portrayal of the cultural holiday, this animated film is a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. Plus, it’s great for kids!

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Travel Movies | Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  • Where: Life as an animal in the African bush

  • What: This is the comedic portrayal of what happens when New York City zoo animals find themselves in the wild African bush. 

In the sequel to the popular Dreamworks hit, Madagascar, this fun bunch of NYC zoo animals find themselves in Africa for the first time in their lives. The characters hilariously portray what it would be like to discover “the wild” for the first time after being raised in a zoo, and the difference between New York City and the African bush. With humor that can span generations, this is a fun film for the whole family. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Up

Travel Movies | Up
  • Where: An imaginary adventure in South America

  • What: A comedic animated film about taking chances and fulfilling one’s dreams before it’s too late. 

  • TWS Favorite! 

78-year-old Carl Fredricksen decides to tie thousands of balloons to his house and flies away on his an adventure into the wild of South America. When he realizes he’s accidentally brought along a 9-year-old Wilderness Explorer as an unwitting stowaway, the two have to make the most of their circumstance and build a friendship. 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Moana

Travel Movies | Moana
  • Where: Polynesia

  • What: A lovable Disney movie that follows the adventures of a brave young girl on an important mission.

Moana is a high-spirited teenager who is on a mission to save her people  by sailing across the open ocean in search of answers. Along the way, she meets a demigod, fights monsters, defies impossible odds, and discovers her true identity. The whole family will love this movie and its catchy songs, plus, you’ll feel as if you’ve escaped to a tropical island! 

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Ratatouille

Travel Movies Ratatouille
  • Where: Paris, France

  • What: A story of rising above one’s circumstances and proving once and for all that truly anyone can cook.   

Remy, a resident of Paris, has quite the sophisticated palate and aspires to become a French chef. There is just one problem… he is a rat. When he winds up in the sewer beneath one of Paris’ finest restaurants, Remy befriends a young kitchen worker and together they cook up amazing dishes using Remy’s talents.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Sahara (Netflix Original)

Travel Movies | Sahara
  • Where: A journey across the Sahara Desert

  • What: A story of friendship and love takes these characters on a journey out of their comfort zones. 

When his new love is captured by an evil snake charmer, a kind-hearted cobra and his best friend, a scorpion, set out on a wild rescue mission across the Sahara desert. This cute animated film is best for children. 

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

Travel Documentaries

Find out what life is like around the globe through your own eyes in these compelling documentaries about travel, humanity and the species that share our planet.

Life in a Day 

Travel Movies | Life in a Day
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A National Geographic feature documenting daily life in 192 countries around the world. 

From National Geographic, Producer Ridley Scott and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald asked the world to chronicle their lives via video in a single day. They took the 4,500 hours of footage submitted from 192 countries — all shot on July 24, 2010 — and created the groundbreaking documentary, Life in a Day.

Watch trailer | Watch for free on YouTube

Losing Sight of Shore 

Travel Movies | Losing Sight of Shore
  • Where: Rowing across the Pacific Ocean

  • What: An inspiring documentary about overcoming challenges, both mental and physical, to achieve a common goal. 

Four women set out to make history as they row across the Pacific Ocean, from America to Australia. Covering over 8,000 miles of open ocean, they must overcome extreme mental and physical challenges during their nine months at sea.

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

Expedition Happiness

Travel Movies | Expedition Happiness
  • Where: Road trip from Alaska to South America

  • What: An inspiring documentary about taking chances and following your dreams in the pursuit of happiness. 

A filmmaker and his musician girlfriend leave their lives in Germany behind and buy a school bus which they renovate and move into for their journey driving from Alaska to South America with their dog.

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

Did this film get you curious about #VanLife?! We’ve got all sorts of content on campervans, from how to build your own to insider advice and epic campervan adventures!

Pedal the World 

Travel Movies | Pedal the World
  • Where: Around the world by bicycle

  • What: An inspiring documentary about taking chances and following your dreams in the pursuit of happiness. 

A filmmaker and his musician girlfriend leave their lives in Germany behind and buy a school bus which they renovate and move into for their journey driving from Alaska to South America with their dog. 

Watch trailer | Watch on Netflix

Planet Earth & Planet Earth II

Travel Movies | Planet Earth
  • Where: Nature up close around the globe

  • What: A documentary series and follow up series that takes a close look at nature in our planet’s many ecosystems. 

A BBC-produced television docu-series with breathtaking high-definition footage of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders — from the oceans to the deserts to the polar ice caps. Actress Sigourney Weaver narrates the American version, while David Attenborough is the voice of the original production.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Human Planet

Travel Movies | Human Planet
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A documentary series that takes a close look at humans and their relationship with nature around the globe. 

  • TWS Favorite!

Filmed in dozens of locations around the world, this awe-inspiring BBC production documents how humans interact with their natural surroundings. Each episode is tied to a particular habitat to showcase humans who have adapted to thrive in these extreme environments by building complex relationships with their animal neighbors. 

Watch trailer | Purchase

A Map for Saturday

Travel Movies | A Map for Saturday
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A film documenting the emotional arc of extreme long-term travel for everyone who’s ever wondered what it would be like to travel the world. 

  • On the top of our to-watch list!

“On a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday.” Long before the time of Travel influencers and vlogging, documentary filmmaker Brook Silva-Braga made a movie documenting his solo travels through four continents by telling the stories of travelers he meets along the way from Thailand to Nepal to Brazil.  

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent 

Encounters at the End of the World

Travel Movies | Encounters at the End of the World
  • Where: Antarctica

  • What: Documentary that gives you a glimpse into the least-visited continent on earth.

The only film on this list set on the continent of Antarctica, this documentary follows filmmaker Werner Herzog on his journey to the most remote parts of the earth. See the austere beauty of the landscapes and meet the people who have dedicated their lives to studying this unique part of the world.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Baraka

Travel Movies | Baraka
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition.

With no conventional narrative, this is a film about people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness to former concentration camps, the movie takes viewers around the globe and doesn’t shy away from the dark side of humanity when portraying a variety of natural and technological spectacles. Ultimately proving the interconnectivity of the world by both the tragedy and celebrations of life.

Watch trailer | Purchase | Rent

Netflix Original Travel Series

Travel Movies

Netflix has made streaming incredibly accessible in homes across the globe. If you’ve already got an account, these series will be free to watch! Also, be sure to look for throughout the rest of this list, as we’ve done our best to make note of all the movies that are available on Netflix as well!

Travels with my Father

Travel Movies | Travels With My Father Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A docu-series following comedian Jack Whitehall as he attempts to introduce his stuffy father to the world of backpacking through SE Asia. 

In the first season, adult comedian Jack Whitehall convinces his aging and reluctant father Michael to join him on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia in an attempt to strengthen their bond.

They are recreating the “gap year” experience and along the way they take part in unique experiences including attending an elephant polo match in Bangkok and taking a primitive train ride in Cambodia. When their trip is completed, the pair reflect on the impact of their journey. Subsequent seasons take the pair to other parts of the world. 

Watch on Netflix

Our Planet

Travel Movies | Our Planet Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A documentary series about the wild inhabitants of our planet through the lens of climate change.

This is sort of Netflix’s answer to Planet Earth and the increasing concerns of climate change. This series takes an up close look at our planet’s inhabitants — from polar bears to wildebeests to marine life — and how climate change is affecting every living species on earth. 

Watch on Netflix

Tales by Light

Travel Movies | Tales by Light Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A documentary series about photographers and the making of their images to inspire change.

From wildlife photographers in Africa to underwater photographers in the Arctic seas, to photojournalists documenting at-risk children, this captivating Netflix series takes viewers around the world to showcase talented photographers in their mission to use imagery to save the world.

Each episode follows a photographer and shows what happens behind the lens to create their powerful images. 

Watch on Netflix

Street Food: Asia

Travel Movies | Street Food: Asia Netflix series
  • Where: Streets and food markets in Asia

  • What: A documentary series exploring street food in some of the world’s most vibrant cities in Asia.

  • TWS Favorite!

From the hawker stalls of Singapore to food carts in India, this series brings viewers all over Asia to highlight the stories of perseverance and culture that bring life to various countries’ cuisine. Nations visited include Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam.

Watch on Netflix

Psst! If you like this show, you’ll love the late Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Parts Unknown. We love binging these shows (you can purchase them to watch on YouTube) before traveling to a new country and then trying out the restaurants he features! We’ve been to a bunch of Bourdain-approved locales around the world.

Extreme Engagement

Travel Movies | Extreme Engagement Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: In this reality series, find out if an extreme around the world trip will bring this engaged couple closer together or wind up tearing them apart.

A newly engaged couple embark on a year-long around the world journey, hoping to discover the secret of marriage by exploring marriage customs in cultures around the globe. They hope this journey will help them to know if they are really ready for a lifetime commitment to each other. 

Watch on Netflix

Night on Earth

Travel Movies | Night on Earth Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A documentary series that uncovers the wonders of the nocturnal wildlife around our planet. 

Similar to Planet Earth, but entirely shot at night. All around the planet, the most interesting animals reveal themselves in a completely new light.  Using new night vision technology, this nature series allows viewers to lift the veil of darkness and witness the wonders of the nocturnal world like never before. 

Watch on Netflix

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

Travel Movies | Extraordinary Homes Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A reality series that showcases the most unique properties around the world. 

This property series  showcased the most extraordinary homes found all over the world. The hosts travel across mountains, through forests, along coasts and deep underground to find unique properties in every corner of the globe. If you’re a travel enthusiast and also a fan of HGTV, then this one’s for you! 

Watch on Netflix

Restaurants on the Edge

Travel Movies | Restaurants on the Edge Netflix series
  • Where: Around the world

  • What: A reality series that helps struggling restaurants around the world by reinventing their business model. 

Follow a team of three experts — a restaurateur, a designer and a chef — as they travel the world in search of struggling restaurants that need their help. For each episode, they target a restaurant and tap into the surroundings, culture and community to remodel each business for a chance at success. 

Watch on Netflix


Looking for more travel movies?!

While we couldn’t possibly list all the travel movies out there, here are a handful of more honorable mentions to add to your watch list:


You may also like…

Save this article on Pinterest for later!

Movies for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles
Movies for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

What travel movies are on your watch list? Did we miss one of your favorites? Comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (11) on “75+ Best Travel Movies to Inspire Your Wanderlust

  1. Dragana says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the list, this is very helpful. I will do my best to watch all. Sometimes I write about the movies too. 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!

  2. joanna.rath@outlook.com says:

    What a great list. I really like that you have broken it up into genres – makes it so much easier to find what you might be looking for.

  3. m.macalou@hotmail.co.uk says:

    Wow, what a comprehensive list! Netflix’ Street Food: Asia was one of the show I was actively watching prior to going to South Korea. I was even happy to see the lady on the SK’s segment. I had to stop and try her food and yes it was delicious.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Amazing! That’s so cool you got to try her food! I want to go to every one of the street food stalls on that show!

  4. becarnold01@gmail.com says:

    75 movies, I thought, wow there’s no way I’ve seen even half of these… but I was surprised at how many I’ve seen! Great list with some out of the box inclusions, too.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      We tried our best to get a big variety of travel movies. We’ve seen a lot of these as well, but definitely have more to add to my watch list!

  5. kat@brightlightsofamerica.com says:

    I started watching Travels with my Father but couldn’t finish it, because my American husband just couldn’t get the British humour or the way that Jack and his dad treated each other. I’ll have to finish watching it without him.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Katherine, I can understand, it goes get a little dry at times. But I love the way Jack says "Daddy!" It gets me everytime!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *