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30 Travel Movies to Help Inspire Your Next Trip

These films about roaming will activate your wanderlust.

One of the great things about movies is that they can take you places without you having to squeeze into an uncomfortable airplane seat or with all the other hassles that real-life travel entails. There are lots of great movies about people setting out to see the world, so let the big screen scratch your wanderlust by checking out these 31 films.

Some of the movies on this list are romantic, following two people as they come together in that special way that happens when you're away from home. Others are about journeys of self-discovery, showing what can happen when you hit the road solo. Some movies are uproarious comedies that will transport you away from your troubles as you laugh along to the antics on screen. There are also movies that are less of a vacation than they are an adventure, sure to get your blood pumping. And there are some scary movies about travel—the sort that might make you think, "You know, actually, maybe let's make this one a staycation."

Don't bother packing your bags. All you need to do is hit "play" to embark on any one of these 30 great travel movies.

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Romantic Travel Movies

Under the Tuscan Sun

Diane Lane stars in this charming 1996 movie as a recently divorced woman who travels to Italy in an attempt to break out of her post-divorce funk. (In her defense, her husband was cheating on her and he got to keep the house, so she's right to be miffed.) Once in Tuscany, though, she somehow becomes the owner of a villa, and as she begins to make a new life for herself, the potential for new love emerges amidst some of the most beautiful scenery and delicious-looking wine ever put to film. It's the type of movie that will have you looking up flights to Florence.

Anyone But You

A destination wedding counts as travel, and the breakout comedy of 2023 was shot on location in Australia. Glenn Powell and Sydney Sweeney play two people who left on bad terms after a one-night stand only to have to make nice when their mutual friends get married. Anyone But You is enough to make you want to take a trip Down Under, although perhaps without all the rom-com shenanigans.

The Holiday

Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play lovelorn women who swap homes so that they can get away from their respective heartbreaks over Christmastime. When Winslet's Iris and Diaz's Amanda get to Los Angeles and London, respectively, they find new love in Jack Black and Jude Law's characters. The 2006 movie, from the great Nancy Meyers, works extra well as a travel movie because, thanks to the house-swapping premise, it's a reminder that everyone's home is somebody else's trip.

Before Sunrise

The first of Richard Linklater's Before trilogy introduces audiences to Ethan Hawke's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Céline as they meet on a train from Budapest and decide to spend the night together wandering Vienna. Widely regarded as one of the more romantic movies ever made, Before Sunrise will also make you want to explore Vienna with someone you've just met—someone who maybe you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with.

Midnight in Paris

Technically, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is a travel movie (because Owen Wilson's character is visiting Paris with his fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams) and a time travel movie (because he goes back in time to 1920s). It's a romantic movie both because of the relationship Wilson's Gil strikes up with Marion Cotillard's Adriana and because of how it romanticizes Paris and nostalgia—and deftly interrogates that romanticism.

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Movies About Traveling Solo


Dev Patel stars in this 2016 film, which is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his parents in India at a very young age and adopted by an Australian couple. Once he grew up, he went back to his birth country in an attempt to find his biological parents. Saroo's trek through India and into his own forgotten past is a tear-jerking, emotional travel story, and Lion was rewarded with six Oscar nominations.


This 2014 adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail stars Reese Witherspoon as Strayed sets out to hike from Southern California to Washington State in an attempt to find herself. The tour of the West Coast's trails is a tour-de-force for the actor as her character remakes her life one hiking boot-clad step at a time.


In 1977, Robyn Davidson set out on a nine-month journey across the unforgiving Australian Outback with her dog and four camels. She later wrote about her adventure in National Geographic and in her memoir Tracks. In 2013, her story was adapted into a film with the same name. Mia Wasikowska plays Davidson in the movie, which features stunning cinematography of the Australian desert in all its harsh beauty.

Into the Wild

A lot of solo travel stories are tales of self-discovery where the voyager has learned something by the time they reach their destination. Into the Wild offers no such catharsis, instead telling the true story of Christopher McCandless, a man who hiked across America and eventually ended up in the Alaskan wilderness—an environment he was not prepared for. It's a poignant, tragic counterpart to the more common celebrations of wanderlust you tend to see in pop culture.

Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert in this 2010 adaptation of her memoir of post-divorce travel and self-discovery. Feeling her life is aimless and without purpose, Liz elects to travel around the world, stopping in Italy, India, and Bali where she eats, prays, and well, you can probably guess.

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Travel Horror Movies


Ari Aster's supremely disturbing folk horror movie stars Florence Pugh as a young woman who is begrudgingly invited by her not-great boyfriend and his friends to go to Sweden to observe a commune's midsummer festival. Upon getting there, Pugh's Dani soon learns that the Hårga are not all sunshine and flowers, and that there are dark rituals and sinister plots. It's the type of movie that will make you think twice about a Nordic vacation, and you'll never look at a taxidermied bear the same way.


This 2005 horror movie, from director Eli Roth, is one of the biggest examples of the so-called "torture porn" subgenre, but there's more to Hostel than just blood and guts. (There are a lot of blood and guts, though.) The film follows some American backpackers who, while traveling in Eastern Europe, become the victims of a shadowy organization that lets the ultra-rich live out their most depraved fantasies by torturing and killing unsuspecting tourists. Let's just say that Hostel is not exactly a great promotional tourism campaign for Slovakia—something that the country was actually pretty upset about.


This 2022 film, released by the horror-centric streaming service Shudder, follows a social media influencer who, when traveling in Thailand, meets and befriends a young woman. It's the type of movie that lives or dies on its twists, but let's just say that Influencer is what you would get if The Talented Mr. Ripley were set in the social media age and a full-on horror film instead of a thriller.


The Creator director Gareth Edward's 2010 debut follows a photojournalist as he tries to escort a young woman through Mexico, which has been taken over by kaiju-sized alien monsters. There are moments of beauty and discovery along their journey, as well as high-stress moments of terror when they encounter these creatures, which Edwards brings to life on a shoestring budget—though you can't tell that by watching.

An American Werewolf in London

It's right there in the title: John Landis' 1980 comedy horror is about an American in London, although he's not a werewolf when he first arrives in the UK. No, that happens after he's mauled by a strange beast in the moors of Yorkshire—and that same beast kills the friend he was backpacking with. When he recovers in London, things get gnarly in the light of a full moon.

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Comedy Movies About Traveling

National Lampoon's Vacation

If you like the misadventures of the Griswold family's first vacation attempt, great news: There are five sequels to this 1983 Chevy Chase comedy. Before the European, Vegas, or Christmas Vacation, though, Clark Griswold tries to drive his family from Chicago to southern California. Their journey makes for some classic comedy, though it might hit a bit too close to home if you've had to endure a family vacation that went awry.

The Darjeeling Limited

A lot of Wes Anderson's movies are about travel, including his most recent film, Asteroid City, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His ultimate travel movie, though, is 2007's The Darjeeling Limited, which stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman as three estranged brothers who agree to make a trip through India together in the hopes of reconnecting after their father's death.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Lots of movies are about travel, but are they about a big adventure, the way Tim Burton's directorial debut is? Paul Reubens stars as his Pee-wee Herman character, who hits the road in an attempt to recover his beloved bicycle, which has gone missing. Following a psychic's totally legit vision of his bike in the basement of the Alamo, Pee-wee encounters a ghost trucker, biker gangs, and all the madness of a Hollywood backlot.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Netflix's Oscar-nominated animated movie has a setup that's not too dissimilar from that of National Lampoon's Vacation. Aspiring filmmaker Katie Mitchell can't wait to get away from her family and start film school. Her dad, voiced by Danny McBride, feels his daughter slipping away and opts to have the whole fam drive her across the country rather than take a plane to school. At the same time, an A.I. gone rogue has started a robot uprising. Oops!


In addition to featuring a hall-of-fame cameo from Matt Damon as the singer of "Scotty Doesn't Know," Eurotrip is a classic, if not especially intelligent, teen sex romp. It's not the movie to watch if you want to get a feel for Europe, but it is what you put on when you want to enjoy some good, dumb laughs.

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Adventure Travel Movies

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller directed and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, an imaginative adaptation of a 1939 short story about a mild-mannered man who gets lost in his daydreams. When circumstances force Walter to embark on a trip around the world, he starts living his daydreams for real, going to Greenland and the Himalayas. Featuring a fantastic soundtrack and gorgeous cinematography of some truly beautiful, off-the-beaten-path places, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the type of movie that might make you stop just thinking about taking a trip and actually buy a ticket.


William Friedkin, best known for directing The Exorcist, also helmed this 1977 thriller about possibly the worst road trip of all time. When four people, all on the run from their various sordid pasts, find themselves trapped in a remote oil village in Colombia, they are desperate to get out by any means necessary. The opportunity presents itself when the bosses need people to drive boxes of dynamite that are extremely unstable and could blow at any minute across miles of rainforest. There is one sequence in Sorcerer that's some of the most unbelievably tense filmmaking you'll likely ever see. (Note that it's a remake of another classic film, Wages of Fear, should you want another movie that'll keep you on edge.)

The Tourist

Johnny Depp stars as an average man who finds himself smack in the middle of an international criminal incident when on vacation in Europe after a woman, played by Angelina Jolie, tries to trick the authorities into thinking Depp's the fugitive they're looking for. Thrills, laughs, and a little romance ensue.

The Lost City of Z

Charlie Hunnam plays real explorer Percy Fawcett in this adaptation of the book by the same name from author David Grann, who also wrote Killers of the Flower Moon. The film follows the British explorer in the early 1900s as he tries, time and time again, to prove the existence of a mythical city deep in the jungles of Brazil. Think of it as a somber, reflective take on a real-life Indiana Jones, one whose obsession with traveling to hostile environments in search of knowledge may prove to be his undoing.


This gripping survival drama about the infamous 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, as documented by Jon Krakauer in the book Into Thin Air, is the type of film that will probably make you consider an all-inclusive beach resort for your next vacation rather than mountain-climbing.

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Movies About Roadtrips

The Motorcycle Diaries

This biopic follows the man who would become the Che Guevara when he, as a young man in the early '50s, travels across South America with his friend Alberto Granado. The film, which is based on Guevara's trip diary, is both a road movie and a coming-of-age film about an important historical figure, as we see him become radicalized by the poverty and inequality he sees on this journey.

Drive-Away Dolls

Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan star in Ethan Coen's romp from earlier this year, and it wouldn't be inaccurate to call Drive-Away Dolls "The Big Lebowski, but just the silly parts." Set in the late '90s, it follows two lesbian friends who learn that the car they've rented has a human head and a briefcase in the trunk—and that some shadowy types really, really want whatever's in that case back.

Smokey and the Bandit

Burt Reynolds stars in this 1977 classic, which was the second-highest-grossing movie of its release year after the original Star Wars. He plays a legendary bootlegger who accepts a job to smuggle 400 cases of Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta in under 28 hours. Along the way, he encounters a runaway bride played by Sally Field, and Sheriff Buford T. Justice, who wants to stop the Bandit. Smokey and the Bandit also features an incredible theme song, "East Bound and Down," and while the lyrics describe the plot of the movie almost beat-for-beat, you'll find that it's a fitting song to blast on your own car stereo when you're on the road.

Il Sorpasso

Il Sorpasso, which is sometimes given the English title The Easy Life, is a masterpiece of 1960s Italian cinema. It follows a boisterous middle-aged man who decides to take a timid, bookish college student he meets under his wing for a good time out on the road—whether or not the younger man actually wants to tag along or not. Hilarious and poignant when you might not expect it, Il Sorpasso's well worth the watch.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This seminal adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel of the same name stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as they drive to Sin City under the influence of an absurd amount of drugs. In that way, it's the ultimate travel movie. It's about a trip, but it's also about a trip.

James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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