13 Must-Watch Travel Movies

You can tell a lot about a person by the movies they’re into. If your favourite movies are crazy adventures set in foreign lands, you are likely a keen traveller (even if you don’t know it yet). Different travel movies have different impacts on us. Some demonstrate the jaw-dropping scenery of a particular destination. Others make us want to replicate the same adventure we see on the screen. Whatever the effects are, good, must-watch travel movies transport us to a different place. They make us forget (even just for a moment) that we are sitting at home watching a movie. It’s the next best thing to actually travelling. Just make sure once you’re finished watching, you put that wanderlust to work and actually travel yourself. Go on your own crazy adventures and come back with your own insane stories. For now, though, lose yourself in this list of 13 must-watch travel movies.

Up

Up is the story of an old man who always dreamed of travelling to the other side of the world with his wife. The years went by and they grew old, without ever acting on their dream. One day, he decides it’s time and he heads out on an adventure of epic proportions.

Far too many of us put off our dreams until “tomorrow”. Stop waiting around and just go for it. This movie demonstrates that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Buy it here.

Into the Wild

Into the Wild is based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, who (fed up with our materialistic, capitalist society) donates all his money to charity and embarks on a hitchhiking adventure that would lead him to Alaska, where he would totally cut himself off from society and find refuge in an abandoned bus.

This movie is about more than just an adventure. It’s about the people Christopher meets along the way and the lives he touches. Into the Wild epitomises what travel is all about; it’s a series of adventures and experiences, both good and bad. Just don’t take things too far, like Christopher did.

Buy it here.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Based on the personal journals of Che Guevara (one of the most influential revolutionaries to ever live), The Motorcycle Diaries follows two medical students who embark on an epic road trip across South America in order to volunteer at a remote leaper colony and use their medical skills to help the people there, as well as see as much of Latin America as possible.

This movie highlights the sense of adventure and freedom you feel whenever you travel.

Don’t be put off by the fact that the entire movie is in Spanish. See it as an opportunity to develop your language knowledge.

Buy it here.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I loved this movie!

It’s about Walter Mitty (shocker) who lives a relatively boring life but has crazy visions of him doing amazing things and going on awesome adventures. He finally decides enough is enough and he embarks on a real-life adventure, taking him to places like Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan. This is a perfect example of the personal growth and development you experience when you travel and how travel forces you to overcome challenges and obstacles.

Buy it here.

Paul

Not the first movie that pops into your head when you think “travel” but Paul made me want to hire an RV and set off on an epic American road trip. While the story in itself is entertaining, Paul captures the sense of adventure and freedom that the open road provides.

Buy it here.

A Good Year

If any movie is going to make you want to uproot your life and move to France, it’s this movie!

Investment broker and workaholic, Max, heads to France to sell his uncle’s estate after he passes away. The trip doesn’t go as planned and Max begins to discover that there is more to life than work and money, a lesson we should all take on board.

Buy it here.

The Hangover

This film is the story of four friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party but things go a bit wrong when they wake up with a missing friend and no memory of the night before. While this movie is a bit extreme, it still shows why Vegas is such a popular travel destination, especially for bachelor parties.

Buy it here.

Chef

One of my favourite movies of all time!

Chef is the story of Carl Casper, who escapes his job as a head chef, working for a boss who gave him no creative freedom, in order to re-ignite his passion for food. He buys a food truck and takes it on a road trip across America.

Chef is really one of the most feel-good films I’ve ever seen. It also makes me insanely hungry and – whenever I finish watching it –  I feel the urge to buy a food truck and embark on an adventure, just like Carl does in the movie.

Buy it here.

Easy Rider

Although this movie is nearly 50 years old, it still holds its own as one of the best movies ever put on screen. It follows two hippie bikers who embark on a motorcycle trip across America.

Buy it here.

Everest

Although labelled a disaster movie (and rightly so), Everest does an amazing job at showing how breathtaking the landscape is and what an adventure it is, in itself to make it to Everest base camp. The film does take a dark turn, however, as it documents the disastrous events of 1996 that will forever be ingrained in Everest history.

Buy it here.

127 Hours

This movie can make this list based on its incredible depictions of the beautiful landscape of Moab, Utah. Other than that, it’s not really a travel film but it’s still worth watching for the incredible scenery and intense, thrilling story.

Buy it here.

Lord of the Rings

This epic, New Zealand based trilogy really shows off the beautifully diverse landscape this country has to offer. Featuring forests, mountains, rivers and more, the scenery really takes your breath away in every scene. The Lord of the Rings movies helped turn New Zealand into a premier travel destination and you can even go on Lord of the Rings tours when you visit.

They’re awesome movies too!

Buy them here, here and here. Get the entire trilogy here.

All Indiana Jones Movies

Few movies provide us with as much wanderlust as an Indiana Jones film. And, not to mention, they’re a damn good time to watch. They’ve inspired countless travellers to pursue a life of adventure and they plant the adventure seed into our minds. Sometimes, the best option is to explore on your own, get lost and immerse yourself in a new place.

You don’t have to go seeking dangerous, hidden treasures, but it’s never a bad thing to be up for an adventure!

Buy them here, here, here and (if you thought the fourth one was any good) here. Get all the movies here.

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There are so many more movies out there to ignite the wanderlust within you. These are just the ones I think are best. Hopefully, you catch the travel bug watching one of these and that sets you on course for a life of adventure!