Let’s face it: we’d all travel 365 days a year if we could. However, even the most hardcore traveler takes the occasional day off every once in a while. Whether your feet have been stuck on the ground for too long and you’re looking for the motivation to get away, or you’re simply recuperating from your last big trip before gearing up for the next one, travel movies are a fantastic way to keep your wanderlust ignited while you're stuck at home.
There are endless fantastic films, whose beautiful sets and adventurous storylines are bound to have you itching to pack your suitcase and jet off, but we’ve picked five of our favorites that are sure to fulfill all your travel movie needs.
THE BEACH (2000)
This hit film, starring fan-favorite Leonardo DiCaprio is basically the story of every backpacker's dream turned nightmare. When eager traveler, Richard, finds himself exploring the remote archipelago of Thailand, he's excited to push his adventure as far as it will go.
When he hears about an untouched island of the gulf coast, he’s eager to uncover the secrets it holds. After successfully reaching its shores, Richard and friends find themselves in the midst of an illegal marijuana plantation and almost fall foe to its gun-toting guards before being saved by an unexpected friend.
Richard discovers that the island also houses a small, self-sufficient traveler community and believes he’s found the place of his dreams. Until, that is, it soon becomes clear that maybe paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Quick Tip: This film was originally a hit novel, so if you’re more interested in the page than the screen, then you can easily enjoy this fantastic story via that medium instead.
IN BRUGES (2008)
When two Irish hit men are involved in a horrific accident on a job, they're sent to the beautiful, quaint town of Bruges in Belgium to cool off and wait for orders. They wander the streets, enjoy the sights, and find themselves getting involved in the local culture.
However, the pair is impatient and eager to move on from this seemingly pointless vacation. But when the phone rings and they discover their holiday was not a simple walk-in-the-park as expected, things take a turn for the more dramatic. If you enjoy gun-chases, epic fights, witty banter, alongside quiet canals, ambient evenings, beautiful cathedrals, and wonderful architecture, then this might just be the ideal travel film for you!
EAT PRAY LOVE (2010)
When your life feels like it's crumbling around you, and nothing seems to be going your way, what do you do? Travel, of course! Liz Gilbert has just gone through a divorce, and after her rebound fling with a young and spiritual actor doesn't play out to be the fairytale she first imagined, she books herself a ticket across the world to find her truth.
After eating her way through the many mouth-watering delicacies of Italy, finding her Zen in an Ashram in India and re-connecting with an old friend in Bali, Liz believes she’s found her center once more. Ironically, it takes the introduction of a new love interest in her life before she, reluctantly, truly accepts herself for who she really is. This film is a fantastic testimony to the mental journey that traveling can inspire and is sure to have you lusting for your next trip.
Quick Tip: This film is available to watch on American Netflix, but if you’re overseas, then it’s easy to gain access by using the right tools.
Set on a backdrop of the super-slick, extra-stylish 1960s Italy, this film oozes continental glamor like no other. The story follows famous film director Guido Contini as he prepares for the release of his latest project “Italia,” a film which he has not yet written.
Struggling under the pressure and drowning between the many strong-minded women who influence his life, Guido begins to lose his cool, and through alcohol and stress-induced hallucinations, he explores his life growing up in Italy and all the events that have propelled him to the present day.
This film showcases unmatchable Italian fashion from the era where the country found its cultural place on the world stage. It’s impossible to watch without wanting to be sat on the cobbled streets, enjoying coffee and cigarettes with that classic Italian style.
TWO FOR THE ROAD (1967)
This film's tagline invites you to join the cast as they “make something beautiful out of being alive,” and the adventure that follows is sure to inspire you to do just that. Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney star in the movie that sees a young married couple head to France for the road trip of their lives.
The time on the open road allows them to look back over their time together, and as they remember some of their most poignant moments as a couple, the tension that so obviously has been plaguing their relationship begins to melt away. As they finally reach the southern-most limits of France, they discuss all of their fears and insecurities and, crossing the border to Italy, find a new freedom and lease of life.
Quick Tip: This isn’t the only fantastic travel film Hepburn starred in. For more classic and stylish movies from this wonderful actress, check out this list.
The world of film has allowed us to do almost anything vicariously, and travel is no exception. With these films, you can transport yourself across the world from the comfort or your own sofa. If you know of any more movies that you feel deserve a place on the list, then please leave a comment below, we'd love to hear your ideas!
About The Author: Caroline is an entertainment blogger and a long-time travel-addict. She loves combining her two passions and always sits down with a good travel film when she has itchy feet but doesn’t have the time to get away. You can find Caroline on Twitter here: @CultureCovC