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15 Best Movies About Travel

These are some of the best movies about travel you can watch to inspire your wanderlust. I’ve seen all of them and some multiple times over as they’re so good.

These movies about travel cover all genres of travel so you should find one to suit your taste.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon where you can rent (or buy) these movies about travel. I get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through the links.

Into The Wild

backpacking movies - into the wild man sitting on top of a bus

Into The Wild is about the adventurous but short life of Christopher McCandless who gives away all his worldly possessions and heads out to travel across the US to Alaska where he will live in the wild. It’s based on a true story that was excellently written in a book by Jon Krakauer.

I spent several weeks travelling in Alaska and the wilderness there is out of this world. However, the one thing I didn’t like in this movie was how unprepared he really was for the wilderness. I felt so bad for him at the end.

Out of the movies about travel this is one I find as a cautionary tale that yes go and live your life, but if going into unknown environments make sure you’re properly prepared.

Even if you think you’re prepared, going into the wilderness by yourself is a very serious undertaking. It’s not like hiking on a popular hiking trail where you may be found.


Cheryl Strayed backpacking

Wild is one of the best movies about backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail in the US and is, again, based on a true story.

It follows the life of Cheryl Strayed who is a divorced woman, looking to escape and find herself, so to speak.

She sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and meets many other hikers, learning about life on the journey.

Spiritual and adventurous, it’s a must-watch for any avid hiker, especially if you want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Tip: If you have an interest in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail then also take a look at the documentary Only the Essential. I’m not including it on this list as this is about movies about travel and not documentaries.

The Darjeeling Limited

best travel movies - Darjeeling Limited

This one is funny and existential. The Darjeeling Limited follows 3 brothers who don’t get along so great in life and they travel across part of India onboard the train called (you guessed it) The Darjeeling Limited.

Their eventual mission is to find their mother who has mysteriously disappeared to a convent in the middle of nowhere.

The real entertainment is the culture shock the brothers have in India and their humorous events along their journey.

The Way

backpacking on the Camino de Santiago

A great hiking movie and emotional all at the same time. The Way follows a father as he hikes the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain when he finds out his son has died there when doing it.

The beautiful scenery and the stories amongst the other hikers and the emotional reflections make this a great hiking movie.

It also showcases life on the Camino de Santiago and why people hike it.

Another tip: If you have an interest in the Camino de Santiago check out this documentary Walking The Way.

The Motorcycle Diaries

South America travel movie - 2 men on motorbike

This is about Che Guevara’s journey as a young man through South America on a motorbike, stunningly captured in the Motorcycle Diaries.

The journey and what he sees and the experiences he has changed him. He went on to become one of the worlds leading communist revolutionaries, especially in Cuba.

It’s taken from Guevara’s own diary as a 23-year-old on the trip. Watch this one if you’re interested in South America travel.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

2 men carrying luggage

My favourite travel comedy. It follows the misadventures of two very different personalities who somehow find themselves together trying to get back home to Chicago after their flight is diverted due to bad weather.

As the title suggests they end up using all modes of transport to try and reach home and the chemistry between the two is hilarious as they are both so different from one another.

Steve Martin plays the uptight salary man whereas John Candy is the polar opposite playing an easy-going chatty street salesman.

The scene in the first hotel bedroom is comedy genius. I won’t spoil what happens, just watch it!

Seven Years in Tibet

Travel in Tibet

Adventure, if you can call it that, in the Himalayan Mountains.

Seven Years in Tibet is about the true story of Heinrich Harrer a famed Austrian mountain climber who ends up in a British prison camp during WWII before escaping with the plan to trek across the Himalayas into the safety of non-British Tibet.

The task is hard but after they make it across life gets stranger as they enter a land that few westerners have seen.

Intrigued and bewildered with this peaceful Buddhist way of life they stay and immerse themselves into the culture and it changes them forever, for the good.


woman trekking with camels.

Tracks is about the epic adventure of a woman seeking solitude and decides to find it by crossing the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only four camels and her dog.

It ends up being a 1700-mile trek!

This is the ultimate getaway from everything in the movies about travel genre.

Lost in Translation

Interested in Japan? Lost in Translation will be funny and interesting for you as it shows the culture shock you will experience when first going there.

I’ve spent several months travelling in Japan and have watched many movies about Japan and this one is one of my favourites.

It follows two strangers from the US who accidentally meet in Tokyo and proceed to have their own adventures together there.

They delve into and explore what is for them a strange new world of Japanese culture. I know the feeling from my first trip to Japan!


Amelie movie scene

If you love Paris then you must watch Amelie. It’s a funny movie following the life of an introvert called Amelie, who is a waitress at a cafe in Paris who decides her mission is to try and make other people happy.

In her quest to do so hilarious events happen. The cafe scenes are so funny in the mishaps that happen and the dialogue is a classic.

The gnome that travels the world? Check out the movie to see what the hell I’m on about.

Will she end up finding happiness herself after helping others?

Easy Rider

men riding mororbikes

Classic! Easy Rider is one of the ultimate motorbike road trip movies about travel.

It’s about two hippies who set out on a motorbike trip across the US in search of spirituality and truth in modern America during the 1960s’.

Drugs, bigotry, crazy times are all in this movie. Plus it’s got a young Jack Nicholson playing a role! What more could you want.

On The Road (2012)

road trip movie

Jack Kerouac’s book ‘On The Road’ is a classic in beatnik literature of the 50s’ (also one of my favourite travel books) and the On The Road movie is a decent enough adaptation of the book.

Although as I always say if you’ve read the book then the movie will most likely not be as good as you think. Even so, have a watch, it’s fun!

Drinking and partying and finding yourself on the road.

Indiana Jones Movies

archaeology movie

For the ultimate adventure movies about travel, you can’t beat Indiana Jones. Everyone should have heard about him even if you haven’t seen the movies.

When I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark as a child I wanted to get out on an adventure somewhere in the world. Except for the part about evil nazis chasing me around!

There are 4 movies in total with the 1st, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and 3rd, The Last Crusade, respectively being the best of the bunch.

The Lost City of Z (2016)

South America travel movies - lost city of z

Adventure in the jungle of Brazil. It follows the British explorer Colonel Percival Fawcett as he navigates up a river in the Brazilian rainforest in search of what he believes to be a lost city. The Lost City of Z.

It’s set in the early 20th century.

It’s based on a true story and makes for one of the more adventurous movies about travel.

Roman Holiday (1953)

Italy 2 people riding on Vespa

Roman Holiday is an old travel movie but a good one still, especially if you’re visiting Italy and want to watch a movie set in Rome to get you inspired.

A princess comes to visit Rome and is bored as she is watched over by her guardians constantly and now allowed to do things she wants to do.

She manages to escape and falls for an American journalist who works in Rome who then shows her around the city. Initially, he does this as he wants to get a story on the princess, but then they slowly fall for each other and romance ensues.

It stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Enough said!

Movies About Travel

So those are my personal favourite movies about travel.

Of course, there will be a few travel movies that you may love and have been missed here but then you should know about them already.

One movie I did leave out of the list that has been popular in backpacking circles, especially in southeast Asia, is The Beach. The main reason is that I read the book back in 1998 on my first trip to Thailand and the book is excellent, a classic, but the movie doesn’t live up to the book at all. Take a look at it if you didn’t read the book is my advice.

For more movies to watch take a look at the 10 best survival movies to watch.

Disclaimer: I own none of the rights to the images in this post. They are used in fair usage terms to discuss movies about travel.

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