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101 Best Travel Movies to Watch in 2021

If you’re searching for the best travel movies to watch, you’ve landed in the right spot! 

Not only can the best movies about travel inspire you to travel to new places, but they’re also great when you’re stuck at home with a serious case of wanderlust yet unable to travel.

This ultimate list of best travel films has done just that for me! I’ve traveled to places that I’ve seen or learned about in movies plenty of times. But when I wanted to travel but couldn’t because of my strict teacher schedule, these travel movies have transported me across the world from the comfort of my living room.

So, whether you’re looking for backpacking movies, adventure travel movies, movies that take you on a journey in search of love or self-exploration or the best travel documentaries, you’re sure to find movies that inspire you to dream about the world and, of course, plan another travel adventure for when the time is right.

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101 Best Travel Movies to Watch in 2021

1. Eat, Pray, Love

Location – Italy India Indonesia 

Based on a best selling memoir, Julia Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, as a newly divorced woman looking to step out of her comfort zone by embarking on a journey around the world.  Her travels include mouth-watering meals in Italy, the power of prayer and silence in India & finding inner peace in Indonesia.

This classic favorite is a must-see for anyone afflicted with the travel bug. I can’t watch this movie without ordering pizza and searching for flights to Bali.

 


 2. Midnight in Paris

Location -Paris 

Woody Allen’s opening 3-minute montage of Paris will have you booking a flight before the movie has even begun! Owen Wilson plays Gil Pender, a successful yet uninspired Hollywood screenwriter, finds the gift of time travel and inspiration at midnight.

Going back to the roaring 20s, he parties with the likes of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Josephine Baker. Hemingway looked like such a blast to hang out with!

This is one of my favorite travel movies and I put it on any time I wish I was in Paris…which is a lot!

 

 

3. Out of Africa

Location – Kenya 

Filmed on location in Kenya including the Shaba National Game Reserve, Out of Africa was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 7 of them for this autobiographical novel by Isak Dinesen with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the starring roles. 

Karen Blixen is a Danish woman who comes to Kenya with her husband to farm cattle. Her marriage doesn’t work out, but she falls in love with Kenya and its people, connecting with the locals as she helps with education and medical needs.

The movie tells the story of love, heartbreak, having the strength to stay true to yourself. You had me at Africa…and of course, Meryl Streep.

 

4. The English Patient

Location – Tunisia & Italy

Set in Italy during the final days of World War II, this beautiful film combines romance and adventure to tell a classic story after a man is badly burned. The movie flashes back and forth from the perspective of the patient as he shares about his life.

It was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning 9. Directed by Anthony Minghella (who also directed The Talented Mr. Ripley), the movie was shot on location in Tunisia and Italy. The scenery and cinematography are breathtaking!

 

5. The Talented Mr. Ripley

Location – Italy

Two years after Good Will Hunting launched Matt Damon’s career, he showed off his acting chops by playing the diabolical and talented Tom Ripley who is impersonating another character in the movie.

The film’s talented cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Cate Blanchette. Aside from a few opening minutes in New York, the film is shot on location, entirely in Italy, including stunning shots of Positano, Ischia, Procida, and Anzio.

Famous locations included the Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, and the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, and Cafe Florian in Piazza San Marco in Venice. I liked Matt Damon as Will Hunting much, much better but I can’t resist gorgeous Italy!

 

6. Lost in Translation

 Location – Japan

This 2003 romantic comedy-drama starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson in Tokyo provide glimpses of local Japanese spots from Temples to karaoke bars. The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards. Director Sophia Coppola won the Oscar for best original screenplay. 

This relatively low-budget movie is about being lonely and the stress of trying to interact with others who are culturally different from what you’re used to. Bill Murray’s performance is understated, skilled acting but the city of Tokyo stole the show for me. Anyone up for some sushi?

 

7. Sideways

Location – Santa Ynez Valley – Wine Country 

Paul Giamatti (who I still think of as John Adams after starring in the HBO series ) stars in this black comedy-drama along with Thomas Hayden Church. Two men in their forties take a weeklong trip to Santa Barbara wine country for a quasi-bachelor party. Giamatti is a depressed writer dealing with his own personal issues while his buddy is looking for one last fling.

Even if you don’t know Pinot Noirs from Merlots, you’ll still have that yearning to see vineyards with rows of grapes, while sipping new vintages on a wine tour.

 

8. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Location – Germany 

This brilliant Wes Anderson film features a great ensemble cast and won 4 Oscars from Best Costume Design to Best Original Score.

I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson films and if you’re a movie lover you know them when you see them. Anderson captures the feel perfectly of the glory days of grand luxury hotel life during the early 20th century. The owner of the hotel is falsely accused of murder and what follows is a funny series of events as others are out to get him.

P.S. When you see the movie, just try and resist your sweet tooth calling for that bakery box from Mendl’s!

 

9. Into the Wild

Location – Alaska

Thinking of planning some off-the-grid travel? This is the movie for you.

This 2007 non-fiction survival film co-produced and directed by Sean Penn is based on the story of Christopher McCandless, a guy who leaves everything behind to travel and live in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s.  Although it has a tragic end, this story captures the essence of travel and the lessons learned only by experiences gained from a true adventure.

Without a doubt, this is one of the top travel movies ever.

10. The Bond Movies

Location – All over the World 

Do you have a favorite James Bond? Mine is Roger Moore.

From 7 different actors and 26 movies, James Bond has been all over the world fighting bad guys. From the moon to Morrocco, 007 has inspired travel to just about everywhere. With so many Bond movies to choose from, start with Skyfall, The Spy Who Loved Me, From Russia with Love, Casino Royale, and Spectre. And, by the way, I’ll take that martini shaken, not stirred.

 

11. Amelie

Location –  Paris 

Amelie is a 2001 French film that was nominated for 5 Academy Awards. After spending her childhood in isolation, she becomes a waitress at a Paris cafe. Her childhood experience leaves her searching for love, but also trying to help others who want to find love, as well.

The film was a critical success, and to date, it’s the highest-grossing French-language film released in the US. It’s spoken in French, so subtitles are vital here unless you’re fluent in French. It’s also a great way to practice your French language skills…or just sit back, listen, and remember how it feels to enjoy a Paris cafe.

 

12. Almost Famous

Location – USA Road Trip

What’s better than a road trip? A road trip with a rock band, of course!

Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, this movie is a semi-autobiography about Crowe himself. As a teenage writer for Rolling Stone, Crowe toured with the Eagles, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Led Zeppelin. Kate Hudson also stars as a groupie who travels with the band, although, by the end of the movie we learn she’s much more than that.

Even though this movie didn’t do well at the box office, it received Academy Awards nominations and won for Best Original Screenplay. 

 

13. Cast Away

Location – Deserted Tropical Island in the Pacific

Ever wish you could just get away from the world and spend time on a deserted island? What would you take? Could you build a raft out of palm trees or fish with a spear? Could you get a fire lit on a beach with just sticks? Tom Hanks teaches all the skills you need should you find yourself in a similar situation.

Shot in paradise, the ocean views and island scenes are gorgeous. As much as I like this movie and Tom Hanks, I’d much rather land on a tropical island with some lounge chairs and cocktails.

 

14. Chocolat

Location –  Fictional French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes 

This film proves my longstanding theory. Chocolate makes everything better. That and hanging out in a lovely French village. Chocolat is the story of a woman who is new to town and sells the chocolates she makes in her shop.

Along the way, she changes the hearts and minds of the little town, although not without some drama which includes the arrival of Johnny Depp’s character. This part drama part romantic film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. The acting from Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench are stellar.

 

15. Vicki Cristina Barcelona 

Location – Barcelona

This Woody Allen directed romantic comedy stars Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Penelope Cruz.  I felt a deep connection to this film because I love the city of Barcelona.

In the movie, you see Barcelona through the eyes of 2 American students, who both have an affair with the same Spanish artist. The artist’s ex-wife re-enters the picture for a full look at love, the institution of marriage, and the roles society expects of us…should we decide to conform. Throughout the movie, the city of Barcelona shines through its architecture, food, and culture.

 

16. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Location – New Zealand 

Is there anything better than spending a winter or rainy Saturday watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy pretending you’re Frodo and Sam trekking through the New Zealand landscape?

Based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle Earth’s only hope to avoid the shadow of darkness is in the hands of Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit from the Shire. Along the way on his quest, the sweeping New Zealand landscapes will leave you in awe. Load up on snacks for 9 hours of adventure…Minus the orcs. 😉

 

17. Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Location – Iceland to the Himalayas

A feel-good movie about a man who works in an office and dreams of adventures, which ultimately takes him from Scandinavia to Central Asia in search of his destiny.

Ben Stiller’s character is on a journey of courage, whether it’s to finally ask out the co-worker he likes or to discover what the world can offer. The story is all about turning your dreams into reality. As any traveler will tell you, actual voyages usually come with an internal voyage, too. This movie will inspire all of us to find out more about ourselves as we dare to explore the world.

 

18. Far and Away

Location – Oklahoma 

Far and Away is directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The two play Irish immigrants in the 1890s who’ve come to America for a better life. Arriving in Boston hoping for the promise of land in America, life is not as easy as imagined. With little to no money and family drama, their dream of owning land and being together seems nearly impossible.

The movie’s Land Run of 1893 scene shows the fight and spirit the American midwest is known for. The movie was actually shot in Billings, Montana, not Oklahoma and the Land Run scene included nearly 800 hundred extras, plus hundreds of horses and wagons!

This movie will leave you longing for a horseback ride across the midwest to discover the spirit of the American frontier.

 

19. Up in the Air

Location – Airports / Planes 

Up in the Air was one of 2009’s best films and nominated for 6 Academy Awards. George Clooney and Anna Kendrick star in this comedy-drama. Clooney’s character is training Kendrick’s character on how to fire people from their jobs as they both work for a downsizing company. They’re constantly flying to new places for work and along the way Kendrick realizes this is not the path for her.

For points and miles aficionados, George Clooney’s character hits 10 million miles on his frequent flyer account. Is anyone else thinking upgrades?

 

20. The Motorcycle Diaries

Location – South America

The trip that made Che Guevara, Che Guevara. Traveling through South America on a trip that started as a fun adventure, ultimately made Guevara the revolutionary we know today.

The movie is a dramatization of Che Guevara’s memoirs as he traveled from the Andes in Chile to the Amazon in Peru on an 8,700-mile journey. Along the way, he discovers life in Latin America, particularly the poverty so many of the indigenous population is rooted in. What he sees inspires him to fight against unfair class systems and economic hardships.

Today, tons of travelers inquire about how to follow the same trail that turned Che into a revolutionary icon.

 

21. Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Location –  NYC to Chicago to Wichita

If I ever end up in a nightmare travel situation I would totally want to be with these two characters. 

This 1980s classic directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin and the late great John Candy play two men trying to get home to Chicago from New York City for the Thanksgiving holiday. After Martin’s flight gets canceled due to bad weather, all means of transport become an option. He meets John Candy who plays a shower curtain salesman full of bad jokes and, as you can imagine, hysterics follow.

 

22. Catch Me If You Can

Location – Airports and Airplanes

Any movie directed by Steven Speilberg, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks is already a keeper.

DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale, Jr. who by the age of 19 was already a cunning con man pretending to be a doctor, a prosecutor and my personal favorite, a Pan American World Airways pilot. Hanks plays an FBI agent pursuing him the entire movie. 

The movie is based on a true story, which is mind-blowing to think about someone impersonating a pilot.  

 

23. National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies

Location – U.S. Road Trip, European Vacation

How can you not love the Griswolds? They are an American family who likes to take vacations, from a U.S. road trip to a European vacation. However, every one of which goes hysterically wrong!

From 1983-2015, the Vacation movies grossed nearly $300,000,000 and I loved every minute of the nonsense that would eventually accompany every trip.

The series is based on a John Hughes short story called “Vacation 58” that was originally published for National Lampoon magazine. 

 

24. Slumdog Millionaire

Location – India 

Slumdog Millionaire was a sleeper hit of 2008.

The movie stars Dev Patel in the role of Jamal Malik who’s from a Mumbai slum. Jamal had quite the journey from childhood to adulthood. He ends up being a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” with a chance to win 20 million Rupee (=$280k)!

His experiences, as well as the love of his life, serve to help him answer the questions on the show.  

25. Wild

Location – Oregon – California

Starring Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern, the film is based on a biographical memoir by Cheryl Strayed and is considered one of the best travel adventure movies of all time.

In June of 1995, Strayed left Minnesota after losing her mother and the breakdown of her marriage to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail stretches from British Columbia in Canada through Southern California. It’s known to be one of the most difficult hiking trails in North America.

Strayed (played by Witherspoon) does this despite a lack of hiking experience. At some point, we can all use a journey of self-discovery & healing. Just bring enough water and the right boots.

 

26. Under the Tuscan Sun

Location – Tuscany, Italy 

We all can relate to things not going as planned in life and needing a complete change to find a new path.

Frances Mayes, played by Diane Lane, discovers her husband is cheating and loses everything in the divorce. A friend convinces her to take a trip to Italy. While there, she buys and fixes up a Tuscan villa on a whim, to start again. Along the way, she gains friends and a new life in Italy.

You’ll swoon over the beautiful shots of Tuscany. They had me dreaming of Chianti and burrata.

 

27. Everest

Location – Nepal – Himalayas

Based on real events from the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, this 2015 film tells the true story of 2 groups trying to summit Mt. Everest. From blizzards to high-altitude sicknesses, the story quickly becomes a fight for survival. Injuries, lack of oxygen, and exhaustion become obstacles that ultimately determine who makes it back to Everest Base Camp and who does not.

The movie’s cast is a true ensemble with actors that include Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, and Jake Gyllenhaal. 

Of all the films like Into the Wild, this one had me at the edge of my seat!

 

28. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

Location – Savannah, Georgia 

The 1997 crime-drama is based on the novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, which spent a record-breaking 216 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Clint Eastwood directs while Kevin Spacey and John Cusack star alongside the city of Savannah itself. With its beautiful architecture and all of its eccentricities, the city becomes the real attraction. An antique dealer, played by Spacey, has been arrested for the murder of a male prostitute and faces a trial. 

John Cusack’s character is a writer for a magazine and is partially based on the book’s author himself, John Berendt.

 

29. Thelma & Louise

Location – Ultimate U.S. Road Trip

This 1991 classic directed by Ridley Scott stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. It’s considered one of the best road trip movies of all time. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and it won for Best Original Screenplay. It also launched the career of someone named Brad Pitt.

Two best friends set off for a weekend trip that quickly becomes an escape as they try to avoid the police. The authorities eventually corner them at the Grand Canyon and the 2 women are faced with a decision about what to do.

Most of the filming was done entirely in the states of California and Utah, with the primary filming locations in rural areas around Bakersfield, CA and Moab, UT. The film was met with mostly positive reviews and uncanny curiosity about a then-unknown Brad Pitt and his diet and workout routine!

 

30. French Kiss

Location – Paris and the South of France

This 1995 romantic comedy stars 90s darling, Meg Ryan, and Kevin Kline. 

Ryan’s character flies to France to get back her cheating fiance, only to be swindled by a smuggler, played by Kline. Ryan and Kline follow her cheating fiance to the south of France only to have her realize she no longer wants him. 

Along the way, she learns more about Kline’s character, Luc, and the poor choices he’s made in life, only to ultimately help him in the end.

 

31. The Bucket List

Location – Around the World 

Any movie that stars Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson has to be good. 

The Bucket List is about 2 men who are terminally ill who meet in the hospital. They decide to hit the road and travel around the world before they die. They skydive, visit the Taj Mahal, fly over the north pole, see Mt. Everest, go on Safari in Tanzania, motorcycle-ride on the Great Wall, and have a legendary dinner in France. 

On their travels, each man opens up and shares about his personal life struggles as the two become good friends.

 

32. P.S. I Love You

Location – Irish Countryside 

Based on Cecelia Ahern’s 2004 novel, this romance film stars Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. They play Holly and Gerry, a couple who lives in New York City. Sadly, Gerry dies of a brain tumor. 

Before his death, Gerry plans a series of messages, which Holly starts getting after his death. The messages set her on an adventure to help get her through her grief. Each message ends with P.S. I Love You.

The messages end up taking her to the beautiful Irish countryside, where Gerry was from. By the end of the movie, you’ll be crying in your Guinness.

 

33. Before Sunrise

Location – Vienna 

Written and directed by Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise is actually based on a real-life encounter that Linklater had with a woman he met in Philadelphia while traveling.

The movie stars Ethan Hawke as Jesse and Julie Delpy as Celine, who strike up a conversation on a train bound to Vienna from Budapest. They end up walking the city all night because Jesse, who’s due to fly back to the United States in the morning, can’t afford a hotel for the night. They visit some of Vienna’s landmarks and end in a Viennese cafe, which is exactly what you need to do when you’re in Vienna. 

As they talk, Jesse and Celine talk openly about their heartbreaks and their lives. The chemistry between the two is undeniable. But, you’ll have to watch to find out what happens…before sunrise.

 

34. Before Sunset 

Location – Paris 

Before Sunset is the sequel to Before Sunrise. It’s 9 years later and Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles as Jesse and Celine. This time they meet in Paris, where Celine lives and works as an environmental advocate and Jesse has come for the launch of his new book.

Celine goes to a bookstore where Jesse is holding a book event. Afterward, they spend the time they have walking, talking, reconnecting. Back at Celine’s apartment, time runs short and Celine worries Jesse will miss the flight he’s supposed to take.

 

35. Before Midnight 

Location –  Greece

Before Midnight is the 3rd movie in the series with Jesse and Celine. Another 9 years have gone by.

Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy have taken us on a long journey through beautiful Vienna, Paris and now, Greece. The movie realistically highlights love and life and doesn’t avoid the struggles that come with loving another person while still wanting to remain true to who you are.

The ending may not be as storybook as you’ve come to expect from Hollywood but it does leave you hoping for a possible 4th movie.

 

36. Baraka

Location –  24 Countries and 6 Continents

This 1992 travel documentary highlights life, human activities, and natural events on 6 continents. With no dialogue, this film is a journey around the globe showing the planet and all of us on it from Lake Natron in Tanzania to the chanting monks in Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery to a busy city subway terminal.

Baraka will be unlike any other film you’ve watched but one that will inspire realizations about other cultures, the world, and even yourself. Movies with beautiful scenery make you want to see the world…or transport you when you can’t travel.

 

37. Samsara 

Location – 25 Countries

Samsara is the follow up to Baraka, as director Ron Fricke builds on the themes of the first movie with another visually stunning film.

Samsara was shot over 5 years in 25 countries. Again with no dialogue, the filmmakers spotlight human life and the wonders of the planet. This time, though, we see the consequences of human desires quite plainly for a more somber reflection of the planet and our role as people on it.

 

 

38. A Room with a View

Location – England – Italy 

This film is set in Florence, Italy and Surrey, England. It stars Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Rupert Graves, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, and Daniel Day-Lewis.   

While in Florence, Bonham-Carter’s character, Lucy, meets George Emerson played by Julian Sands. They share a connection and a kiss before Lucy returns home to England with her cousin. Lucy is expected to marry a man named Cecil, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. However, George Emerson resurfaces and puts Lucy’s engagement to Cecil in doubt.

This Academy Award winning film came out in 1985 and still holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

 

39. The Last Emperor

Location – China 

The Last Emperor has several achievements. Director Bernardo Bertolucci was allowed by the Chinese government the right to shoot the first western movie about China in The Forbidden City. That alone makes it a must-see. After all, The Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site all on its own.

The movie was also nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won ALL 9. The story is biographical about a man named Puyi who was chosen to be Emperor as a child. The movie begins later in life, after he’s been captured by the Red Army, and flashes back to tell the story of his life.

A fun fact about the making of The Last Emperor was the need for 19,000 extras who were played by the Chinese army.

 

40. Forrest Gump

Location – USA, Vietnam, China

One of the all-time classics, Forrest Gump is the winner of 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Forrest Gump is a simple man who lives an extraordinary life that takes him to foreign countries and across the United States.

The movie includes one of my favorite scenes in movie history. It’s when Forrest describes to Jenny the different places he’s been to on his run across the country, and she says that she wishes she could’ve been there with him. He replies, that she was there. I need a tissue.

 

41. Encounters at the End of the World

Location – Antarctica

The wild, frontier of the 7th continent is on full display in this Werner Herzog travel documentary. The stunning snow and ice landscapes steal the spotlight, along with the underwater footage of the marine life below the ice.

The documentary also shows some of the people who are living and working on Antarctica as they figure out how to survive in the harsh Antarctic environment. If you’re an explorer at heart, how could you not want to uncover the beauty of Antarctica…even if only on the big screen? 

 

42. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Location – Bethesda, Maryland – Greece – Mexico – South Carolina 

Based on the 2001 novel, this movie is about 4 teenage girlfriends who are about to spend the summer apart. Before they go, the girls go shopping and find a pair of jeans that fits them all, despite their different shapes and sizes.

During their time away, the girls share the pants and their experiences with one another as they learn about life. The jeans are the symbolic bond that keeps them connected. 

 

43. In Bruges

Location – In Bruges 

This 2008 dark comedy starring Colin Farrel, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes is set in the gorgeous city of Bruges, Belgium. Located in the northwest of the country with its many canals, Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and called the Venice of the North.

Farrel and Gleeson are 2 Irish hitmen who are hiding in Bruges because they botched a murder and also killed a young boy. Now, the 2 men have been told to wait in the city of Bruges posing as tourists. The debauchery that follows is dark and funny. 

 

44. The Godfather

Location – Italy – New York – Las Vegas

Godfather I and II follows the epic tale of the Corleone crime family from Sicily to New York. Both movies are directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie stars legendary actors like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro.

 While the crime story is the central plot, Italian culture is heavily interwoven throughout the movie’s narrative from life in Sicily to a big, Italian wedding in New York City. You’ll surely be craving homemade pasta and meatballs every time you watch!

 

45. The Descendants

Location – Hawaii

George Clooney plays an attorney and land baron who’s the trustee of a family trust that owns 25,000 acres on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. During these family discussions, Clooney’s wife has a boating accident and ends up on life support. This tragedy brings to light his wife’s affair, as well as brings him closer to his 2 daughters.

Because of Clooney’s role as a land baron, Hawaii takes center stage. It’s beaches and sweeping natural beauty transport you to the middle of the Pacific and help viewers understand Clooney’s ultimate decision about what should happen with the land trust.

 

46. The Holiday

Location – LA / UK

Have you ever considered the idea of home exchange to spur your travels and escape life? The Holiday is about 2 women played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz who do just that over the Christmas holiday.

Amanda, played by Diaz heads to a quaint cottage in Surrey, England and Iris, played by Winslet, heads to a large and luxurious home in Los Angeles. The swaps end up being lucky for both women who meet men who also fall for them and treat them as they should be treated.

 

47. Murder on the Orient Express

Location – Paris to Istanbul

Based on Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel about a murder-mystery that happens on the Orient Express, a luxury train travel trip. The story is a classic who-done-it after one of the passengers is found murdered. As the story progresses, it appears as though several passengers could be suspects.

The latest version sports a star-studded cast that includes Kenneth Branagh (who also directed the film) Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judy Dench, Willem Dafoe, and Michele Pfeiffer. 

 

48. Mama Mia

Location – Greek Islands 

This movie transports you to the Greek island of Skopelos, although in the movie the island is called Kalokairi. Sounds pretty good right there, no?!

This movie-musical is about a girl who is soon-to-be-married who invites 3 different men who could be her father to her wedding. Meryl Streep plays the girl’s mother and doesn’t know her daughter has invited the men until she sees them as guests start to arrive for the wedding.

The movie score features classic, singable ABBA favorites like Mama Mia, Dancing Queen, and Take a Chance on Me.

 

49. The Art of Travel

Location  – Central America and South America

What happens when your wedding goes south? You want to get away…which is what Connor Layne, played by Christopher Masterson, does after he discovers his high school sweetheart’s unfaithfulness. 

Connor heads to Nicaragua as an inexperienced traveler and is almost immediately robbed. Thinking he should go home, he decides otherwise and his confidence slowly grows. Weeks later in Panama, he meets a group of people who want to trek through the jungle and set the world record for crossing the Darien Gap, a swath of dangerous land between Panama and Colombia.

 

50. Sleepless in Seattle

Location –  Seattle – New York City 

This 1990s romantic classic stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The screenplay was co-written and directed by the late great Nora Ephron, who also brought us the classic movie When Harry Met Sally.

Hanks plays a widower with a young son who relocates to Seattle after his wife dies. He’s heartbroken and his son calls into a radio show and persuades his father to talk about his feelings and his late wife.

Upon listening to the show, millions of women send letters hoping to be the one to fix his broken heart, one of them being Ryan’s character. What follows is one of the most romantic endings in movie history at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.

 

51. The Darjeeling Limited

Location – India

What would it be like to take a trip with your adult siblings? Comedy is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of traveling with my sister.

In The Darjeeling Limited, 3 brothers have drifted apart after their father’s death. They come together for a train trip through India to rebuild their relationship as brothers and friends. Each of them is also going through some personal struggles. The older brother, Francis, played by Owen Wilson, has ulterior motives for the trip. He hopes they can locate their mother who’s left them for a life of solitude.

When they get thrown off the train for disturbing other passengers, they’re forced to walk through rural India. Along the way, the brothers reconnect as friends and learn to trust each other.

 

52. Six Days Seven Nights

Location – South Pacific

Are you the kind of traveler who loves movies about exploration and adventure?

In this Ivan Reitman-directed adventure comedy, Harrison Ford and Anne Heche crash land on a deserted island in the South Pacific. Heche had been vacationing with her fiance on a nearby island when she was called away for work.

Stranded and having to survive everything from the elements to Pirates, Ford and Heche initially don’t get along but grow to have feelings for each other. 

 

53. Big Fish

Location – Southern United States

Do you have someone in your life who travels a lot for business? Have you ever heard any of their travel stories?

Tim Burton directed this fantasy comedy flick. It’s not your typical Burton darkness but instead, a story that takes us on an incredible adventure where the main character’s travels include encounters with even more interesting people.

On his deathbed, Ed Bloom begins telling his son, Will, played Billy Crudup, extraordinary tales from his adventures as a traveling salesman. The stories are so out-of-this-world it’s difficult for Will to believe they are true. After his father passes, Will comes to realize his father’s stories weren’t as outlandish as he first thought.

 

54. The Beach

Location – Thailand  

This quintessential travel movie set on the beaches of Thailand has inspired a countless number of young travelers to visit Southeast Asia whether with a travel buddy or solo. In fact, one of the beaches featured in the movie has been closed to tourists to allow the eco-system to repair itself.

The Beach stars a young DiCaprio, who learns of a secret beach where other travelers are living. He and a French couple use a map left by a friend who killed himself to find the beach. The community of travelers living there abide by a set of rules that allow them to be self-sufficient. However, what initially appears to be a utopian paradise ends up quite the opposite.

 

55. The Bourne Movies

Location – The World 

Matt Damon takes us all over the globe through several installments of action-filled movie adventures. Damon plays Jason Bourne, a man who’s a secret assassin, part of an unknown government agency. Starting in the first movie, Bourne Identity, Damon’s character has suffered memory loss but soon realizes he has physical skills that surprise him. When his life is threatened, he’s forced onto a path of discovery to learn who he is and where he comes from.

Each sequel holds its own because of the continuing coherent storyline. The Bourne movies grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide.

 

56. Paris, je t’aime 

Location – Paris

This film will make you fall in love with Paris…if you haven’t already be struck by this beautiful city. 

Paris Je t’aime, meaning Paris, I Love You, is a collection of 18 short films brought to you by 18 famous directors. The film represents stories that take place in 18 of the 20 arrondissements of Paris. Each story has its own cast and is seamlessly sequenced to the ones before and after it.

If you love Paris or dream of visiting the City of Lights, Paris, je t’aime will take you on an exploration of Paris and love. 

 

57. Lion

Location – India

Based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, this amazing true story stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman. 

Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley who at age 5 became separated from his family in India. Arriving in Calcutta not knowing where he is or how to get back home, he eventually lands in an orphanage. An Australian couple adopts him.

However, as an adult, Saroo is haunted by the memories of his brother calling his name and sets off on a return to India to find his biological family.

Lion received 6 Oscar nominations and grossed $140 million worldwide.

 

58. Given

Location – Kauai + 15 other countries

Given lets us see and experience the world through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy named Given. His parents are Aamion & Daize Goodwin, famous surfers from Kauai. Aamion traveled with his father as a young boy and sees it as a generational tradition to set off with his son and family. 

Learning about the natural world and experiencing the daily lives of people around the world, Given gets an education that only travel can teach.

If you’re dreaming of traveling the world or haven’t traveled in a while, Given shows and reminds us how incredible the world is. 

 

59. The Hundred-Foot Journey

Location – France

This light-hearted drama is based on the novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey about dueling restaurants in a small French village.

The Kadam family moves from India to a village in southern France and opens up an Indian restaurant directly across the road from Helen Mirren’s Michelin Star Rated French restaurant. There are several attempts to sabotage the new restaurant by Mirren and her chefs. The family also faces some discrimination as they settle into their new town.

Hassan, the Kadam’s second-oldest son is an up-and-coming chef, who attempts to impress Mirren. The resulting fusion of the 2 cuisines symbolizes how the 2 sides eventually learn to live and dine together. 

 

60. An American in Paris

Location – Paris

Dreaming of being an ex-pat in Paris? In this 1951 classic movie-musical, you can live vicariously through Jerry, played by Gene Kelly, who is an American living in Paris and trying to make it as a painter. 

Interwoven with Gershwin music and choreography by Gene Kelly himself, Jerry falls head over heels for Lise Bouvier who initially rebuffs his advances but eventually reciprocates the feelings. However, Lise is supposed to marry Henri, a French singer moving to America, even though she and Jerry love each other. 

An American in Paris won 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture and is considered one of the best movie-musicals of all-time.

 

61. Sex and the City

Location – New York City

The plot of Sex and the City may be all about Carrie Bradshaw and her wedding to the love of her life, John James Preston (aka Big). But, in actuality, the movie is much bigger than that. It’s a love letter all about New York City. <3

From sweeping pre-war apartments to the New York Public Library, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge, you can transport yourself to the Big Apple through the eyes of the 4 female characters who love and live (except Samantha temporarily) there.

 

62. One Week

Location – Canada

What would you do if you had just diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer?

Ben Tyler, played by Joshua Jackson, finds himself in this exact position. Needing treatment, he instead chooses to set off on a cross-Canadian road trip. On his motorcycle, he travels from Toronto to Vancouver Island. On the journey, Ben reflects on his life, his relationship, his career, and his dreams. 

The Canadian landscape is what has inspired me to visit parts of Canada like Banff or British Columbia. A drive across Canada is still on the bucket list!

 

63. Couples Retreat

Location – Bora Bora

Need some time at an island resort in French Polynesia? Who doesn’t!

Couples Retreat isn’t a cinematic classic, but it allows you to follow 4 couples on their vacation to Bora Bora for a “couples retreat” complete with overwater bungalows, fine food, and…couples therapy!

What follows as each couple spends time exploring their relationships is entertaining and funny. Roles are played by Vince Vaughn (as himself, lol), Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Jon Favreau, and Faizon Love.

Couples therapy or not, you say Bora Bora, and I’m in!

 

64. Only You

Location – Pittsburgh – Venice – Positano – Rome 

In the romantic comedy from the 1990s, Marisa Tomei stars as Faith, a girl who has grown up believing her soul mate is someone named Damon Bradley. Days before her wedding to someone not named Damon Bradley, she gets a tip she might find him in Italy. As she chases the elusive Damon Bradley from Venice to Rome, and finally Positano, Faith gets help from a man she met named Peter, played by Robert Downey, Jr.

The film oozes with romance from the storyline to Italy’s gorgeous scenery as a backdrop. 

 

65. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 

Location – India 

With an ensemble cast of greats like Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tells the story of 7 Brits who are wooed by a brochure to retire at the opulent Marigold Hotel in the beautiful Pink City of Jaipur, India. 

Comedy and drama follow when the hotel isn’t what it appeared to be. You have an inept building manager, culture shock, relationship drama, hip surgeries, and a heart attack. But you also have characters who are coming to terms with their past in the hope of living their golden years happy and fulfilled.

 

66. 7 Years in Tibet

Location – Tibet 

This 1997 biographical drama is based on the 1952 book, 7 Years in Tibet. Brad Pitt plays Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer and adventurer. Despite his wife being pregnant, Heinrich leaves her behind to join a climbing buddy for a trek.

However, they are captured by the British while mountaineering in present-day Pakistan, in a wrong-place-wrong-time situation because World War II has started and they have German citizenship. The 2 men escape prison and make it to the mysterious country of Tibet where they have life-changing experiences. 

 

67. The Sound of Music

Location – Austria

This 1965 classic musical-movie, with songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein and starring the legendary Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, takes place in the mountains of Austria in 1938.

Andrew’s character, Maria is a novice nun, who knows in her heart, is not right for the nunnery. The Mother Abbess sends Maria to be a caretaker for Captain Von Trapp’s 7 children, whose mother has previously passed away. Maria brings music and joy back to the house, which is initially not welcomed by the Captain.

As time passes, Maria and the Captain grow closer and eventually have to flee with the children to avoid the Nazis.

 

68. The Way

Location – Spain 

Is walking the Camino de Santiago on your bucket list? This historic Catholic pilgrimage has several routes that all lead to the Cathedral of the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.

Camino Frances is one such route that begins in southern France and travels through northern Spain. It takes center stage in The Way when Martin Sheen’s character, Dr. Thomas Avery, must go to Spain after his son Daniel was killed during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago. 

He decides to walk the pilgrimage to honor his son. The journey and the people he meets along the way help as he works through his grief.

 

69. Lawrence of Arabia

Location – Middle East

Based on the life of T.E Lawrence, this 1962 classic was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 7, including Best Picture and Best Director. The movie is considered to be one of the best of all time.

T.E Lawrence was a British army officer who worked as a liaison between the British and Arabs during a revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Lawrence disobeys the orders of his commanding officer and suggests Prince Faisal plan a surprise attack on the city of Aqaba in present-day Jordan.

The movie was largely filmed in Jordan and Morocco. However, the city of Seville in Spain was also used because of the city’s Moorish influence and architecture.

The movie has inspired the likes of George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg. It’ll also undoubtedly inspire you to want to visit places like the Sahara and see the ancient historic sights in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Israel.

 

70. Indiana Jones Movies 

Location –  Sri Lanka – Kauai – Tunisia – France – Macau – Petra – Mexico – Spain

The Indiana Jones adventure movie series is one of the most popular of all time. The series was created in 1981 by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, with a new movie scheduled to be released in 2021.

Indiana Jones is formally known as Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr, an archeology professor. The role in the movies has been played by Harrison Ford. Indiana Jones travels the globe in search of important artifacts to make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands. As you can imagine, not everyone wants him to find these powerful and important relics. 

The adventures of Indiana Jones will take you to locations around the world, from Sri Lanka to France to Mexico. His adventures rival any travel bucket list out there.

 

71. Chasing Liberty

Location – Washington D.C. – Prague  – Venice – Austria – Berlin – London

Mandy Moore plays the first daughter of the President of the United States. She wants to be free and live like a normal teenager. The reality is that she must be followed by Secret Service agents wherever she goes.

On a State visit to Prague, Moore’s character Anna rebels by getting away from her Secret Service detail. She desperately wants her independence and ends up on an exciting escapade, first in Prague and then across Europe. 

Ultimately, she is recognized, rescued, and brought back to the United States but not before finding the passion she’s been looking for.

 

72. The Fall 

Location –  India – Europe – South Africa – Indonesia – Namibia and more…

The Fall is a passion project of filmmaker Tarsem Singh. It took 4 years to make and was shot across 20 countries. The result is a visual stunner with backdrops from the Charles Bridge in Prague to the Taj Mahal to a Botanical Garden in Argentina.

Lee Pace plays stuntman Roy Walker who is injured while making a movie. As he recovers in the hospital he meets a young Romanian girl named Alexandria to whom he starts to tells a fantastical story. Alexandria’s vivid imagination has her living the story while Roy has ulterior motives. 

If you’re stuck at home and need an escape, this one-of-a-kind movie will take you across the globe with its cinematography and storytelling.

 

73. Casablanca

Location –  Casablanca 

Casablanca is an absolute classic and considered one of the best movies of all time. Humphrey Bogart plays an ex-pat living in Casablanca, Morocco during World War II. He owns a club where you can listen to music and gamble. 

Ingrid Bergman plays his former lover who suddenly shows up with her husband. Her husband is being tracked by the Germans because he’s part of a resistance group. She thinks Bogart’s character, Rick Blaine can help them escape the country. They also have unresolved feelings for each other that play out during the movie despite the need for safety.

The movie won Best Picture in 1942.

 

74. Around the World in 80 Days (1956 Version) 

Location – Around the World 

This adventure story is about a man named Phileas Fogg who bets a few other men that he can make it around the globe in 80 days. They don’t believe he can do it and happily make the wager. 

Using every form of transportation available at the time from hot air balloons to steamships and trains, Fogg globe-trots around the world from Europe to the Far East to America. Along the way, his many adventures include ending up in a bullfight in Spain, rescuing a Princess in India, experiencing the Wild West on the American Frontier, and fleeing from a Scotland Yard Inspector who mistakenly thinks he has robbed a bank.

If you’d like to circumnavigate the globe on a true adventure, grab your passport and stick with the original 1956 classic version, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

75. Coco 

Location – Mexico 

Not many animated films make this list but Coco is a must! It spotlights Mexican culture and particularly the traditions surrounding Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

A 12-year-old Miguel dreams of being a musician but this is not allowed in his family. Miguel’s great-great-grandfather who was a musician left Miguel’s great-great-grandmother to care for their young daughter, Coco, all alone. However, young Miguel is determined. After teaching himself to play the guitar in secret, he enters the Day of the Dead Talent Show. 

The family-friendly movie goes on to tell the emotional story of Miguel’s family while teaching about the respect Mexican families have for their ancestors. It also won for Best Animated Movie.

 

76. Life of Pi

Location – India – Pacific Ocean – Canada

Young Piscine Molitor Patel, or Pi Patel, spent most of his childhood in India, where his family owns a zoo. At 16, Pi’s father says the family will move to Canada. He arranges for the family to travel with the animals on a freight ship. 

One night a terrible storm hits, sinking the ship and killing his entire family. Pi winds up in a lifeboat with a few of the family’s animals, including a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger who Pi had named Richard Parker. Pi drifts for 227 days until he finally reaches the Mexican coast and is rescued. 

The film is absolutely stunning, and when you watch, you’ll find yourself asking questions about fate, destiny, faith, courage, and survival to understand the lessons the journey teaches.

 

77. Serendipity 

Location – New York City 

Do you believe in fate or having a destiny? Or do things happen just by chance?

Serendipity is a romantic film starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Their characters, Jonathan and Sara meet at Bloomingdales in New York City while Christmas shopping and there is instant chemistry. They’re both in other relationships, yet spend the day together. At the end of the night, Sara writes her name and number inside a used book and Jonathan writes his info on the back of a $5 bill. Sara is confident fate will bring them back together if it’s meant to be.

Years later Jonathan is planning to marry but can’t get Sara out of his mind. He and his best man Dean set off on a quest to find out who Sara is and how to contact her.

Along the way, viewers can tour New York City from Central Park to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to the famed cafe, Serendipity!

 

78. Titanic

Location –  UK / North Atlantic 

Sailing from the United Kingdom to New York City, Titanic was the world’s largest and grandest ship of its day. Being on its maiden voyage was supposed to be the voyage of a lifetime. 

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in this romantic drama, and even though their story is fictionalized, the movie is based on the real-life history and people aboard the ship. Winslet is engaged to be married to a wealthy businessman. DiCaprio is an artist and drifter who won a steerage class ticket just minutes before the ship set sail.

Fate brings them together as they speed across the Atlantic Ocean and as the ship tragically sinks in the frigid North Atlantic Waters.

Titanic was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 11, including Best Picture and Best Director for James Cameron. It was the first film ever to hit the billion-dollar mark, grossing a whopping $1.84 billion worldwide, the most ever for any movie.

 

79. Leap Year

Location – Ireland

Have you dreamed of a trip to Ireland? Then, you won’t want to miss the beautiful Irish landscapes that only add to the romance in this playful comedy with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. 

Per the Irish tradition, a woman can propose to her boyfriend on February 29th and he must accept. So, Adam’s character follows her boyfriend to Dublin. But her travels land her in Wales, instead. She’s forced to hire a ride to get her to a ferry that will take her to Cork in Ireland.

Goode’s character agrees to drive her for a price. But along the way, their adventures bring them closer. When they arrive in Dublin, though, Adam’s character, has a choice to make between her boyfriend and her surprising feelings for Goode’s character, Declan.

 

80.  The Tourist

Location – Paris – Venice 

Angelina Jolie plays Elise Clifton-Ward who’s husband is wanted by both the police the mob. In a plan to help him get away from both, she heads to Venice and looks to set up an unsuspecting target, who’s played by Johnny Depp. The strategy is to have the police and the mob believe this man is actually her husband.

The Tourist is a thriller taking you from Paris to Venice as you try to figure out the plot’s twists and turns. Travel lovers who watch will want to book their luxury stays at Venice’s 5-star Hotel Danieli, which dates back to the 14th-century.

 

81. Crazy Rich Asians

Location – Singapore

If you’re dreaming of everything Southeast Asia, Crazy Rich Asians takes you there in first-class and tempts you with the city’s extravagant architecture, culture, and delicious food.

Nick Young, the heir to a huge family fortune, brings his Chinese-American and native New Yorker girlfriend, Rachel Chu, home for his best friend’s wedding and to meet his mother and family. But, Nick has left out many details about his family’s wealth and his status as one of the best-catch bachelors on the island. 

This comedy-drama will have you laughing, as well as fighting for Rachel who has to figure out how to win the respect of Nick’s family. You’ll also be searching for flights to Singapore by the time the movie’s done!

 

82. Ferngully

Location – Australian Rain Forest

Travel down under to Australia and one of its rain forests located in New South Wales, near Mount Warning. 

In this animated film, the fairies who inhabit the rain forest are trying to save it from human logging and a dark pollution spirit. A fairy accidentally shrinks a human logger down to fairy-size. Together, with the other fairies and the rain forest animals, they try to save the forest eco-system.

Ferngully was Robin William’s first animated voiceover role. And although Ferngully may not be as well known as some of his other animated roles, Ferngully sends an important message about how important it is to protect the planet’s natural spaces.

 

83. The Way Back

Location – Siberia – Central Asia – Himalayas

This movie is based on the real-life events of a man accused of being a spy in the Soviet Union during World War II. He gets sentenced to hard labor in Siberia. 

After some time, he and a few other prisoners plan a prison escape. Using a blizzard for cover, the group takes their chance to be free and sets off through the wilderness on foot for what ultimately becomes a 4,000-mile trek through Central Asia and the Himalayas.

If you’re looking for a similar movie to Into the Wild, The Way Back should be at the top of your list.

 

84. How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Location – Montego Bay, Jamaica  

Stella Payne sets off to vacation in Montego Bay with her best friend Delilah on the beautiful island of Jamaica. Stella is a single mother with a stressful stock market job who hasn’t refreshed and recharged in a long time. 

She meets a good-looking guy 20 years younger than her who lives on the island. Flirtations turn to passion and romance but Stella has doubts about this vacation fling. She questions whether their age difference is a problem and whether it’s just a fling or something more.

Not only were the hotel and beach scenes refreshing, so was the storyline of an older woman-younger guy relationship.

 

85. Les Miserables

Location – France

Les Miserables transports you back in time to the 19th-century in the years leading up to and during the French Revolution in France. The classic story has been told by book, on the stage, and most recently in the movie-musical produced in 2012.

The story centers around Jean Valjean who is put in jail for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. Finally out, he realizes he’ll need to break the terms of his parole to find work and make a new life for himself.

However, Javert is a police officer who never stops looking for him, believing once a thief always a thief. These encounters with Javert threaten Valjean’s new life and the daughter he is raising after satisfying the dying wish of Fantine, a former employee of Valjean’s who was forced into prostitution.

Whether you’re a fan of move-musicals or not, director Tom Hooper made the right decision to record live vocals on set so the acting matched the singing for a more realistic production. Les Miserables was nominated for 8 Oscars and won 4 of them.

86. Love Actually 

Location – England…and few minutes in Wisconsin 

Love Actually is a lighthearted movie set mostly in London. As the title suggests, it’s all about love…in all of its glory and grief. 

The movie cleverly intertwines several storylines where the ensemble cast is experiencing everything from new love, devoted love, and love lost from infidelity and death. Hugh Grant is comical as the Prime Minister of England who’s looking for love. Liam Neeson plays a widower struggling to get over the loss of his wife. Alan Rickman is the classic middle-aged husband who’s bored in his marriage and is tempted by a co-worker’s advances. His wife, played by Emma Thompson, is devoted as a wife and mother. And, Laura Linney’s character wants love but struggles with family responsibilities.

Love Actually is a feel-good movie that’ll give you the warm fuzzies over love and your London fix, too!

 

87. The Hangover

Location  – Las Vegas

If ever there was a movie where the location was the star, it would be The Hangover. Las Vegas takes center stage…the antics of the guys in the movie wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else!

Four friends travel to Las Vegas for the buddy Doug’s bachelor party. We only get to see the remnants of what’s gone on when they wake up the next morning in their trashed hotel room. 

A missing tooth, a random baby, a tiger in the bathroom, a stolen cop car, and their friend and groom-to-be missing is only just the start.

Of all the comedy travel movies on the list, this one had me dying! If you need a good laugh or a vegas weekend of partying, gambling, and drinking, put on The Hangover to get your fix.

 

88. Hector and the Search for Happiness

Location – China – Africa – Los Angeles

Hector is a psychiatrist who’s feeling a bit stuck. He realizes his patients are asking him how to be happy and he doesn’t know the answer for himself. He sets off on a journey hoping to find answers to his questions about what happiness is.

He travels from China to Africa to Los Angeles meeting people along the way and learning about their happiness or lack thereof. His voyages and experiences show him it’s not the pursuit of happiness, but rather the happiness of the pursuit that’s important.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel, Hector and the Search for Happiness. Travel lovers everywhere will easily relate to the lessons Hector learns from his pursuit.

 

89. Shirley Valentine

Location –  England – Mykonos, Greece

Ever considered taking a solo trip? Shirley Valentine may be just the inspiration you need.

Shirly Valentine is a 40-something housewife who lives in Liverpool, England with her husband. Things have grown quite stale between them and Shirley professes that all she wants is to travel and drink wine near the sea.

When a neighbor wins a trip for 2 to Greece, Shirley accepts, ready and willing to travel for a fantastic girls trip. But when Jane, her neighbor, ditches her at the airport after running off with someone she met on the flight, Shirley embraces her solo status determined to make her travel dreams come true.

This 1989 British comedy is a must-watch for anyone who wants to travel but is nervous about going solo or needs a reminder about any unfulfilled travel dreams.

 

90. 127 Hours

Location – Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

Inspired on Aron Ralston’s memoir, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 127 Hours tells the story a hike that goes terribly wrong.

While hiking in Canyonlands National Park, Ralston parts ways with a couple of other hikers he met on the trail and sets off on his own. He falls into a slot canyon where his arm is trapped by a large rock. Unable to get free, Ralston starts recording his attempts to survive, which as the days pass he realizes will take every ounce of his courage.

 

91. Il Postino 

Location – Italy 

This 1994 film takes place on a tiny Italian island in 1950. The local postman, Mario, gets to know Pablo Neruda the famous Chilean poet who’s been driven out of his country and has settled on the island.

Mario has always loved a woman named, Beatrice, who works at a local cafe. But, he’s never known how to tell her or express his feelings. Through his friendship with Pablo and Pablo’s poetry, he is able to win the heart of Beatrice. 

Several islands including Procida in the Bay of Naples and a small island off the coast of Sicily were used for filming. Il Postino is a layered story of travel, love, and politics that’ll stay with you long after the movie is over.

 

92. Letters to Juliet

Location –  Verona, Italy

What could be more beautiful than traveling through Italy for amore?!

Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie, an American traveling with her fiance Victor. The couple visits Verona, the place where Shakespeare’s romantic heroine waited on her balcony for her Romeo. 

She discovers that thousands of letters have been left for Juliet, where visitors have asked for guidance on or confessed their romantic woes. Sophie finds one she has to answer and it sets her on a quest with the woman who wrote the letter many years ago. Each of them finds the answers about the love they’re looking for.

If you’re looking for movies similar to Eat Pray Love, give Letters to Juliet a watch. 

 

93. A Walk in the Woods

Location – The Appalachian Trail 

There’s nothing like hiking when you want to reflect and feel restored, right?

Robert Redford plays the author Bill Bryson who decides to hike the Appalachian Trail after attending a funeral. And lucky for us, we get to hike along with him through all the natural beauty along the trail.

Bill enlists a long-lost buddy played by Nick Nolte to make the trek with him. They gear up with backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags and set off.

The 2,200-mile journey forces the pair to reconnect and plow on despite challenges along the way from bears to bad weather to their physical limitations. For anyone who’s done a long trek or dreamed of doing one, the movie shows the journey is a metaphor for life and doing the best you can is all you can expect, even when things don’t go as planned.

 

94. Romancing the Stone

Location – Columbian Jungle 

Romancing the Stone will have you pining for a jungle adventure!

Joan is a writer who’s sister, Elaine, is kidnapped. She gets a map and is told to go to Cartagena for her sister’s ransom. However, things go wrong when Joan is duped into getting on the wrong bus by a man named Colonel Zolo, who also wants the map.

After the bus crashes, Joan meets Jack, an American who agrees to get her out of the jungle for a price. All the while, Ralph, one of Elaine’s kidnappers is following Joan, too.

Throughout the movie, Jack and Joan have to avoid Zolo as they journey on through the jungle.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone is a thrill for all adventure-lovers.

 

95. The Davinci Code 

Location – France – England  

This popular thriller is based on Dan Brown’s book, The Davinci Code. The first scenes include a murder at the Louvre in Paris. The crime scene is full of symbolism, riddles, and codes that the murdered Jacques Sauniere left to be deciphered.

Tom Hanks stars as Robert Langdon, a symbol expert who’s called to the crime scene unaware that he is the prime suspect. With the help of Jacques Sauniere’s granddaughter, he escapes and the two of them set off across Paris, the French countryside, and onto London and the English countryside in the hopes of solving the mystery of the murder while avoiding the police.

Along the way, travel lovers watching will visit famous landmarks in both Paris and London.

 

96. Tracks

Location – Australian

Based on a memoir by Robyn Davidson, Tracks tells the true story of her journey across the Australian desert. She plans to walk 1,700 miles with 4 camels and her dog from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. A National Geographic photographer played by Adam Driver accompanies her to document the trek.

Not only does this movie show the harsh landscape that sprawls across Australia, but Tracks will also inspire anyone watching with a love for travel and adventure. Robyn’s test of self-courage is a similar voyage of survival and perseverance as Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

 

97. The Impossible

Location – Thailand

The Impossible is based on real-life events of a husband and wife and their 3 sons who were vacationing on the beaches of Thailand when the devastating 2004 tsunami hit.

Naomi Watts was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Maria, a wife and mother, who gets swept away with the waters. She finds her eldest son in the water, too, and fights for both of them to survive. 

The family’s story is unforgettable. And as horrible as the situation is, you’ll be inspired by the kindness of strangers and the strength of the human spirit to overcome such a great natural disaster. 

 

98. Blue Hawaii

Location – Hawaii

Who would have thought an Elvis Presley movie would make this list of top travel movies?!

The award-winning Blue Hawaii stars the King himself as a guy named Chad who lives in Hawaii. Chad doesn’t want to work at his father’s fruit company and decides to become a tour guide for Hawaii tourists. Naturally, his first group of visitors are all pretty girls, which doesn’t exactly thrill his longtime girlfriend.

The tropical Hawaiian scenery combined with the recognizable sound of Elvis’ songs makes this movie classic travel fun!

 

99. A Good Year

Location – London – Provence, in the south of France

This romantic comedy had me at Provence. The south of France is on many a travelers’ bucket list! And if you’re looking for movies like Under the Tuscan Sun, A Good Year is worth a watch.

Max Skinner, played by Russel Crowe, is a financial trader in London who inherits his Uncles’ vineyard in Provence. He travels there, planning to sell the house and quickly return to London. 

But, a series of mishaps delay his return to London and, at the same time, a potential love interest unexpectedly enters his life. Another woman enters the scene claiming to be the daughter of his Uncle, throwing the sale of the vineyard into question. 

Max ultimately has to decide whether to return to his high-powered job in London or stay in Provence.

 

100. View from the Top

Location – Nevada – Cleveland – Paris

Travel lovers all over the globe can relate to the urge to travel and wanting to see the world. That’s what Donna Jensen a girl from a town in Nevada, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, wants to do with her life.

While watching TV, she’s inspired by Sally Weston, a flight attendant who has written a memoir about her travels. Donna goes after her dream by starting at a commuter airline and, throughout the movie, works hard to get assigned to the route she’s dreaming of, Paris in first class.

In the end, Donna has to figure out how to balance her happiness with her love for travel and the sky.

 

101. Nowhere in Africa

Location – Kenya

This autobiographical movie tells about the Redlich family who leaves Germany in 1938 to avoid Nazi persecution. Walter Redlich goes first to Kenya and then sends for his wife, Jettel and daughter Regina shortly afterward. 

Their new life in East Africa is very different from their life in Germany. The cinematography shows us what life in Kenya is like through its landscapes and people. During the movie, each member of the Redlich family faces challenges that come with their new life and we get to see how each one handled them.

When you watch, you’ll understand why this travel movie gem deserved its Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

 

So, there you have it! 101 of the best travel movies ready to transport you around the globe…all from the comfort of your own home.

What are your favorite travel inspiration movies?

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