Make some popcorn and dim the lights… here are 20 travel movies that will inspire you to go globetrotting, if not through their travel based stories, by their amazing scenery. These films and documentaries were crowd-sourced from a group of avid travellers with varying interests and range from the adventurous to the romantic. These travel movies showcase dozens of destinations that will surely spark your wanderlust.
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Nature and Adventure Travel Movies
The Way (2011)
When Daniel dies treking the El Camino De Santiago, his father Tom travels to France to recover his body. It is there Tom is inspired to complete the journey his son could not.
The Beach (2000)
A young traveller sets out to find a mysterious Thai beach, and finds a troubled paradise. Amazing island scenery filmed in Maya Bay, on Phi Phi Leh island of Thailand.
Based on author, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, the film chronicles her solo hike along 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The book/movie raised the popularity of the trail so much, the PCT Association had to revamp their hiking permit system in 2015 to cap the number of long-distance hikers per day.
Kon-Tiki is based on the true story of explorer Thor Heyerdal’s crossing of the Pacific Ocean on a balsawood raft. The Norwegian adventurer wanted to prove the possibility of pre-Columbian migration between South America and Polynesia. It won’t make your want to make you hop the next raft across an expanse of ocean, but it will make you appreciate cruise ships and air travel.
Even if you don’t go for the romantic plot about an English aristocrat falling for an Aussie stock-man in the sprawling outback, you can’t help but be enamoured by the stunning landscapes of my homeland.
Romance and Self Discovery Travel Movies
Before Sunrise (1995)
An American tourist, and French student meet on a train travelling from Budapest to Vienna. They spend a day together and develop a bond that makes the thought of they’re pending separation, more and more difficult.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Screenwriter Gil, journeys to Paris with his fiancée and her family. On an evening walk, Gil finds himself in the 1920’s, his image of Paris’ hey-day. Geographic travel and time travel in one.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
A group of British retirees travel to India where they find their new home is not as it was promised, but as my favourite quote from the movie says: “Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright, it is not the end.”
Hector’s Search For Happiness (2014)
Psychiatrist Hector embarks on a quest to research the secret of happiness. This film hits four continents – North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Outstanding Travel Documentaries
180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless (2010)
Jeff Johnson sets out to retrace the 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Douglas Tompkins (founders of Patagonia and Northface respectively) to Patagonia, Chile.
Long Way Round (2004)
Actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman make a 31,000km (19,000 mile) journey on motorbikes across Europe and Asia, flying to Alaska and continuing to New York.
Waste Land (2010)
Waste Land follows artist Vik Muniz to the world’s largest garbage dump located in Brazil, where he photographs catadores who make a living by picking through the garbage to find recyclable materials.
The Sound of Music (1965)
This award-winning musical is a favourite among young and old, and features stunning footage of the Austria. You won’t be able to resist those opening shots of Salzburg’s stunning Lake District, the Salzkammergut.
If you have a favourite movie that inspires you to travel, please share it with us in the comments below.
Peace, love & inspiring travel,