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10 Best Travel Movies to Give You Itchy Feet

08 January 2013 | Features, Film Lists, Guest Posts | by David Zou

OK, so travelling is expensive and we don’t all have the money to jet off to the far-flung corners of the earth whenever we feel like it. But, fear not, if you want your travelling “fix” without actually getting on a plane – I’ve always found that a good travel movie does the trick.

There are dozens of travel movies out there – from the funny teen road trips – to the epic sagas spanning decades and many landscapes. I love a bit of everything, so without further ado…

Here are my favorites:

1. The Beach


Set in Thailand, this movie (based on the book by the same name) follows the journey of young man as he attempts to “find himself” through travelling. What he actually find is a secret community of travellers who have set up camp (and a bizarre heavenly culture) on a desert drug island. It’s a great film, with incredibly scenery – and even better acting. If you’ve ever been to Thailand you’ll appreciate this one for all it’s got.


2. Slumdog Millionaire


Showing of the very best of what India has to offer (and the worst) this movie is a great one for anyone wanting to culturally immerse themselves in a culture that is often misunderstood. Add to that the beautiful direction and stunning screenplay, and you have yourself a winner.


3. 127 Hours


Not necessarily for the faint hearted, this film track the (true story) of a man who become stuck within the Grand Canyon. It’s an incredible tale and you’ll sit in awe whilst watching this man struggle through the dilemma he faces to survive. I don’t want to ruin it for you – but the squeamish may want to give this one a miss. Still, incredibly powerful stuff though – and a top film.


4. Little Miss Sunshine


This is one of my favourite films and shows the incredibly funny journey that a family take across the USA so that the youngest child can participate in a beauty contest. Not much actually happens but the stellar cast and the outlook onto America’s mid-west is hilarious and priceless.


5. The Lord of The Rings Trilogy

the lord of the rings

Now, this movie isn’t necessarily about travelling (more of a journey) but if you’ve been day dreaming about New Zealand and you’d love to visit their beautiful land – there is no film quite like this one. The film was filmed almost entirely on location in New Zealand and the landscapes and scenery in the film is all real and stunning.


6. Euro Trip


I love this movie. Full of laughs, full of humor but also (surprisingly) full of lots of awesome European destinations. Whilst it’s not going to win an Oscar anytime soon – this film is great for those wanting something light hearted and fun, but still highly travel-orientated.


7. Into the Wild

into the wild

This film features around the tale of a man who upon graduating from university, gave up all his possession and hitch hiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness and wild. It’s a story that’ll make you think and might even bring a tear to your eye, shot in one of the most beautiful places on earth.


8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


This film is one with a highly original plot line partnered with the back drop of the entire world. It follows the life of a man who ages backwards, and as he grows into his youth he enjoys (finally) more and more of the beautiful world around him. It’s a stunning piece of cinema with great performances from all the actors involved. Made even better by the sheer scope of locations they featured and the underlying concept of travel.


9. Thelma and Louise


This film about travelling and companion ship is one that everyone can relate too. You’ll be in stitches and you’ll be loving the characters, their story (and, without giving too much away) maybe not the ending. The film is a true classic and one which every travel-loving movie buff must see! It’s filmed in the US – in road-trip style, so perfect if you have something along those lines planned.


10. Cast Away

cast away

In my opinion this film is one of Tom Hank’s best performances – and it brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. I adore the film, and the concept behind it and I’m sure you sill too. Whilst it may not encourage you get on a plane (if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand) it will give you a new sense of travelling gusto, and it’ll make you appreciate all those home comforts you have. Aside form that, it’s an emotional film that really tugs at your heart string, and your imagination.

Elle works with and is not only a movie lover – but a huge lover of travelling too!



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  • http://Website Anon

    Your list is just Hollywood-centric and I feel the only one that actually deserves a place is Little Miss Sunshine.

    You need to check out Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries, The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, and even Chinese films such as Zhang Jiarui’s The Road and Zhang Yang’s Getting Home.

  • Pingback: Do We Need an Oscar for Travel Movies? | A Traveler's Library

  • Mariza Melia

    Nice post! My most favorite probably: A Map For Saturday. But there are some others that i do like also check it out here:

  • basuperstar

    “return to paradise” is my fav travel movie, I understand eurotrip being on the list but Roadtrip was 100 times better