Travel movies can really inspire you to see go and see new places, explore new countries, or keep you from going stir-crazy by providing a kind of vacation-by-proxy. Have you ever come home from vacation and been hit by the travel bug? Then perhaps you need some eye-catching and captivating travel movies to satisfy that desire to roam exciting and different countries, and give in to your sense of adventure? Or do you need some inspiration for another destination to explore? Take a look at these 10 travel films to get inspired to see the world.
Table of contents:
- around the world in 80 days
- the motorcycle diaries
- mama mia!
- into the wild
- the darjeeling limited
- lost in translation
- eat pray love
- easy rider
- roman holiday
- the beach
1 Around the World in 80 Days
A natural choice on any list of travel movies – who’s better to follow than the one and only Phileas Fogg tours the world in 80 Days all because of a bet? It is the ultimate travel movie that starts and ends in London, passing through India, Hong Kong, Japan and America. Either the 1956 or the more recent 2004 version will do. The movies may not be the best, but they’ll certainly kick-start your desire to see the world in crazy, courageous and humorous ways. I personally still prefer the David Niven version over the remake.
2 The Motorcycle Diaries
This movie is a dramatization of a road trip by Che Guevara with a friend in his youth on motorbikes. They journey 8,000km long through South America, starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their desire is to see the fascinating places they’ve only read about in books with their own eyes. An eye-catching and captivating travel movie that shows off the beauty of South America.
3 Mama Mia!
One of my favorite travel movies, this is a fun and exciting musical that shows the beauty of the Greek Islands. The dazzlingly sexy men and women in bikinis and swimming trunks dancing on the beach, with movie legend Meryl Streep dancing down the cobbled roads of Greek villages to the beats of ABBA would make anyone want to get up off their backsides and dance the night away! Sun, sand and sea, this is an ultimate feel-good movie that has spectacular views of the Greek islands.
4 Into the Wild
Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, this captivating and inspirational movie shows its viewers a whole new way of travelling. A true back-packers mantra: graduate Christopher sheds the complexities and superficialities of his middle-class American life by giving his entire savings of $24,000 to charity, and hikes his way to Alaska. On the way, he sees spectacular sights that show a true appreciation for American landscapes, eventually arriving and living in the harsh yet beautiful Alaskan wilderness, in an abandoned bus.
5 The Darjeeling Limited
Three estranged American brothers reunite after a year of not speaking to one another, to travel across India by train, to find spiritual awakening and bond as a family. This is one of the strangest but most charming travel movies I've ever seen. It shows the rustic adventures India holds, as a backdrop to a familial journey towards brotherhood and trust.
6 Lost in Translation
Two strangers, a 50-year old disillusioned movie star and a 25 year old newlywed, have a fateful encounter as strangers in Tokyo and become unlikely travel companions. This is a movie that largely revolves around the confusion of two Americans being ‘lost in translation’ in the extremely different world of Japan. This movie is perfect for anybody who has had similar experiences of feeling lost or lonely in a completely different language and culture in the eye-catching city of Tokyo.
7 Eat Pray Love
An ultimate ‘enlightenment’ and ‘finding oneself’ movie, Eat Pray Love follows an unhappy married woman who finds her current life boring and unfulfilling. She divorces her husband, and challenges herself by journeying around the world to eat (in Italy), pray (in India) and eventually falls in love (in Indonesia). This is one of the key travel movies that encapsulate risking comfort zones to take a leap into the world of adventure, exploring new cultures and discover true happiness.
8 Easy Rider
A classic American road movie about two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South on motorbikes. This was a landmark film which explored the social tensions in the 1960s, by using the backdrop of travelling to signify freedom.
9 Roman Holiday
A charming and adorable eye-catching travel movie, starring Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn plays a sheltered princess with a thirst for life, who escapes from her guardians and falls in love with an American in Rome. This movie captures the beauty of romance in the historic Rome, where the couple journey to the best sites in the city on a moped. An enthralling, captivating movie of one of the most famous cities in Europe, featuring one of the most gorgeous actresses ever.
10 The Beach
This film put Koh Phi Phi, a Thai island, on the map. Thai islands became one of the hottest destinations to go to after the release of this film, even though it wasn't one of the highest grossing travel movies. The story of ‘The Beach’ depicts a haven on a largely untouched, pure and serene beach with soft white sand and clear blue water. Despite the movie’s exploration of danger and madness, the main thing which audiences take away with them after watching this movie is the beach paradise, and a longing to experience it themselves.
Travel movies have that unique way of encapsulating a country’s beauty on the silver-screen in high-definition quality to really get your legs twitching to get out there and explore. There are tons of movies that inspire different people to go to different places, which aren’t based on travelling but just show some pretty hot shots of a mesmerizing country. I must just share with you that one of the most stunning travel movies I have seen recently was a little independent film called The Tracker. Not much of a story but boy, this is the best advert for New Zealand ever! This list should give some insight in what’s out there, but if you have your own movie favorite to share then please feel free to add it to this list of 10 Eye-catching and Captivating travel movies!
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