13 Best Travel Movies To Inspire You

Two of my favorite things ever are movies and travel. When you put the two together it becomes the best way to use up a few hours of the day, possibly inspiring and changing you forever. After all, I did move abroad to study filmmaking, combining two of my passions!

I have seen many movies in my life, as you have, but just for you I have put up a list of my top 13 travel movies that will take you all around the globe from Australia to Tokyo, Paris, Rome, India and more. 

1. Tracks (2013)

This movie is an adaptation of the true story memoir book by the same name. It chronicles a woman’s nine-month journey across the Australian desert accompanied by her four camels and her dog. She endures intense heat, poisonous snakes, wild dangerous camels, lustful men, and loss. It’s a remarkable story and I can’t believe it’s true, which makes it even more amazing.

2. Lost In Translation (2003)

lost in translation

Sofia Coppola (director) creates a lot of emotion without too much dialogue in this film. Starring Bill Murray as Bob Harris, a lonely fading movie star and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte, a neglected newlywed, they both find a deep bond and quietness amongst the busy lights and energy of Tokyo. Strangers find escape in each other in a foreign land. Coppola, at her second feature film, does a great job showing a subtle and meaningful connection.

3. Midnight In Paris (2011)

If you are into Woody Allen films, Paris, and art, you will LOVE this movie like I did. Owen Wilson as Gil Pender, an aspiring novelist, travels to Paris with her fiancée’s family and somehow finds himself traveling back in time to the 1920’s and meets Jazz Age icons in art and literature like Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. I absolutely fell in love with this movie.

4. Into The Wild (2007)

into the wild

I think every wanderluster that has watched this movie has loved it. Another adaptation from a non-fiction book of the same name about the travels that Christopher McCandless made across North America. Christopher was the son of wealthy parents who graduated from Emory University as a top student and athlete but instead of starting a profitable career he chooses to give his savings to charity, get rid of his possessions, and set out on a journey to the Alaskan wilderness. A truly captivating story and one the rings similarities to my own life.

5. Roman Holiday (1953)

An Audrey Hepburn classic. It took me a long time to watch this movie for the first time and I was really missing out. Hepburn stars as a European princess that has some business to attend in Rome; bored by her sheltered life, she decides to take off for the night and wander around Rome. Passed out from a doctor-prescribed sedative, she is found by an American reporter with whom an interesting rapport develops and conflicting feelings emerge. Audrey Hepburn and Italy make a wonderful mix for a movie.

6. The Way (2010)

the way movie

Maybe you have heard of the “El Camino de Santiago” a long walking path in Spain that people take for different reasons but mainly for pilgrimage. This movie tells the story of an American man who travels to France following the death of his son killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago the Way of St. James (there are a few different ways) and with a combination of grief and homage to his son, decides to embark on the pilgrimage himself.

7. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

darjeeling limited

This may be one of my all time favorite movies ever. Not the most popular Wes Anderson movie, but an absolute piece of brilliance between the colors and cinematography to the acting and amazing cast. A truly enchanting story taking place in India.

It follows the journey of three estranged brothers that haven’t spoken since their father passed a year ago and they all are dealing with different life struggles. One of them convinces the others to take the trip to India and once there reveals the true purpose of their reunion. Their attempts to bond with each other, their experiences in the stunning backdrop of India, and a great soundtrack create a lovely must-watch film.

8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)


A charming film also based in India about a few British retirees who decide to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel in India. Less luxurious than it was advertised, the Marigold Hotel is not quite what they imagined but it nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways and the retirees find that life and love can begin again when they let go of their pasts. This is quite an uplifting and fun film to watch.

9. The Terminal (2004)

We get a glimpse of what it would be to live at an airport when Tom Hanks, who plays an Eastern European tourist, travels to America and because of conflicts between his passport country and the US he is not allowed to leave or enter the US and is stuck indefinitely at the JFK airport. He makes new friends and even develops romantic feelings during this time, the true essence of traveling anywhere.

10. Titanic (1997)


This may have been one of the greatest films ever made by genius director James Cameron. Although traveling via cruise ship might not seem like the best idea after watching the film, it is most definitely a classic and a must-watch made even better by the fact that is based on a true story. Gripping, dramatic, romantic, tragic… this movie has everything you would want in a drama.

11. Eat Pray Love (2010)

eat pray love

I have to admit that this was one of those rare occasions where I didn’t enjoy the book but I enjoyed the movie. Yet another one based on the real story and memoir by Liz Gilbert, Julia Roberts plays the author and visually takes us through her transformational journey from a difficult divorce to a quest of self-discovery through eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Bali. A movie for the senses.

12. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)


In this comedy drama, Aubrey Plaza as Darius, a magazine reporter, accidentally befriends a guy who has put an ad on the paper seeking a companion to go on a trip back in time. The simple premise is magnificently developed by strong performances, charm, and a heartfelt story. A freshly good and unique film to watch and enjoy.

13. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Both DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg make a second appearance in this list now united in this film based on the real life of Frank Abagnale who at the young age of 18 years, through deceit and forgery, successfully becomes a commercial pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor. A brilliant story about a brilliant mind.

Now you are ready to go off on a trip via the screen! Which movie would you add to the list?

If you need more, here are 11 more travel movies you should watch.

53 thoughts on “13 Best Travel Movies To Inspire You

      1. Sorry,Manija,did n`t get time to thank you for the wonderful post and your wonderful blog. Thanks,and hope the best comes out of your journey.


  1. Oh, man! I need to watch a lot of these movies asap. I’ve seen a few (ex. Into the Wild), so I’ll put my trust in you. Can I reblog this on Wednesday (I know, very specific lol)?


    1. I probably should’ve said “most” instead of “a lot,” but you get what I’m saying. I’m excited!


      1. Totally got you 😉 You won’t regret it. I’m excited for you! Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. After so many years 😛 , I’ve finally reblogged your wonderful post:



      2. Great! I love how you introduced it, I would love to live in London again. Thanks for sharing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What’s your opinion on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really liked it. And I thought it was very popular amongst young wanderlusters. I have nothing bad to say about it, I guess it just wasn’t as memorable as the rest for me.


  3. Julie and Julia, makes you fall in love with food, Paris and a bit of Brooklyn 🙂


    1. MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog February 23, 2015 — 2:09 pm

      good one!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I had forgotten about that movie, but I really loved it! Food is right next to films and travel on my favorite things.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. I watched Lost in Translation, lived in Japan and visited the bar in the film. Then left Japan and watched the film again and appreciated it much more.


    1. Oh that’s fun! Ones you experience something or learn about something and see a film through different eyes.


  5. MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog February 23, 2015 — 2:09 pm

    This is a great list! Thanks!



  6. Got six out of 13. Not too bad. I would add “Out of Africa”.
    Bonita semana!


    1. I don’t think I have seen that one. Will keep in mind 🙂


      1. Late 80’s. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. A great movie. Shot on location. I used to ride horses near Karen Blixen’s former house in Nairobi. Saludos.


  7. Great movies! I never understood why The Darjeeling Limited isn’t liked by more people; it’s one of my favorite Wes Anderson films.

    I’d add The Motorcycle Diaries and Eurotrip to my own list.


    1. I agree with you on Darjeeling. I think I’ve seen Eurotrip but don’t remember much of it and I remember owning the dvd of The Motorcycle Diaries for a while but never watched it! hehe.


    1. haha sorry.. I feel that way about the book, but I’ma very visual person and enjoyed that film in that sense 🙂


  8. Some great ones here Mani. Great compilation!


  9. An interesting list! I also loved – Under the Tuscan Sun and Sisterhood of the travelling pants. Beautiful movies ❤ 😀


  10. Some very good choices. I’ve seen a couple of these and I really like Terminal and Catch Me if you Can. I think I just added The Way, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Tracks to my need to see list.

    Have you seen the Motorcycle Diaries? That would be in my top 13.

    Into the Wild is interesting. I have been living in Denali the last 10 summers and the bus has become a major pilgrimage site. It is a long, rather dangerous hike to the bus and back and there have been fatalities. In addition, there are a few rescues each year. Most locals think McCandliss was an idiot for going out there, but his story resonates with a lot of people.


    1. I have not seen Motorcycle Diaries but I want to and I can definitely see how people would think he was an idiot to do so but like you said it is the story and the background that resonates with people 🙂 the principle.


  11. I started watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel when my internet cut out and I stopped- I’ll definitely have to go back and finish it! Thanks for these great new suggestions. Not a movie, but have you heard of An Atlas of Impossible Longing? It’s a fictional book set in India, and the writing is evocative and wonderful!


    1. I have not heard of that book but you make it sound really good 🙂


  12. Thanks for this great list. I’ve only seen a handful, although I’ve heard of most of them! Will try and watch some soon 🙂


    1. Great! I know I made it, but I think it’s a great list! hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great movies! There’s some that I haven’t yet seen, I’m excited to get home to watch them! 🙂 Cheers


    1. I’m glad to have shown new options! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great list. But I wanna know what your list of excellent Mexican films would be…tarea, haha 😉


    1. Hmm.. could be a nice challenge to take on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously…just a few…I’d like your opinion on what you think are great Mexican films. When you have time. No rush.


      2. Oh, I was thinking of post form, but out of my mind right now come: Abel, Biutiful, Babel, Rudo y Cursi, Como Agua Para Chocolate, Amar Te Duele, Inspiración. Recently enjoyed “Amor de mis Amores”. And totally loved the animation: “The Book of Life” 🙂 I do feel I haven’t seen many great Mexican films. Do you have some favorites/recommendations?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes! I loved “The Book of Life”. Such an important message. I’ve seen some others on your list. The ones I remember that I liked are: “Nosotros los Nobles”, “A Day Without A Mexican”, “La Misma Luna”, “Guten tag (buen dia), Ramon” and the documentary “Who is Dayani Cristal?” oh and “Y Tu Mama Tambien” (Gael es mi novio jajaja)


      4. jaja, Gael is a great actor. I really want to see Guten tag Ramon

        Liked by 1 person

      5. If you’ve ever experienced travelling alone and not speaking a word of the native language of the country you’re in, then you’ll know how he feels. I’m sure a lot of his experiences will parallel your experiences.


  15. Great list! So funny…I’m watching “The Way” right now! 😀


  16. Thanks for the suggestions!


  17. I have just watched tracks as a result of your recommendation and greatly enjoyed it.


  18. Thank you for this article! I’m from Ukraine, now traveling in Incrediable India. Dreaming to learn full English to full reading and watching movies. So I started to read English blogs and yours blog is one of the first! 🙂 And there are so much new words, oh my God. But I trying to learn every day!
    Take care And thank you again!


    1. Hi Viktor! I’m glad you stopped by, you English is pretty good. Keep it up! Take care!


  19. Great list! Roman Holiday is such a classic travel movie! Haven’t seen “The Terminal” – will have to look that one up.


  20. Awesome list, Mani! I’ve seen 4 out of the 13 in your list and I love them all. Will definitely check out Tracks and Lost in Translation. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. Great! I hope you enjoyed them 🙂


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