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30 Best Travel Movies to Inspire You to Explore

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Are there too many weeks until your next trip? Are you looking for some long-haul flight entertainment? You might be on the hunt for the best travel movies for many reasons, and we’re here to help. We’ve polled our writing staff, scoured the internet, and gathered a list of our favorite travel movies below.

We love a good travel story. From recounting epic journeys to bringing some of the most captivating destinations to life, the best travel movies make us want to pack our bags and take a long-haul flight. 

Take a two-hour time out from the humdrum of local life and go on an escapist binge-watching spree — here are the best travel movies to watch, selected according to categories, ratings, and their capability to give us itchy feet. 

Best Travel Movies to Inspire You to Explore the World

1. Midnight In Paris

Midnight In Paris Movie Cover
Midnight In Paris / Amazon

If you’re feelin’ fancy and ready for a little Parisian adventure, check out “Midnight In Paris.” Directed by Woody Allen, this travel movie transports viewers back to the 1920s and shares the love story of a young artist and his wacky fellows. It’s sure to get your heart skipping a beat – just like Paris itself.

In “Midnight in Paris,” Owen Wilson is a disenchanted writer named Gil Pender who longs for the 1920s. When he travels to Paris with his fiancée Inez, portrayed by Rachel McAdams, he quickly realizes that being a contemporary writer in today’s monotonous world isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

Everything seems more pedestrian now, from the lively art scene to carefree nights out dancing at chic clubs. “Midnight In Paris” is a bona fide hit! Based on the reviews, it has a 93% approval rating – pretty good.

And this one definitely delivers if you seek an entertaining flick to take your mind off things. It holds an impressively high rating of 7.7 out of 10 on IMDb.

2. Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun movie cover
Under The Tuscan Sun / Amazon

If you’re searching for a travel movie that will take you to the picturesque landscapes of Tuscany and inspire your wanderlust, look no further than “Under The Tuscan Sun.” This captivating film, based on Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoir, will surely transport you through the idyllic Italian countryside.

With its fantastic story and immersive visuals, “Under The Tuscan Sun” is the perfect choice for a movie night that will leave you yearning to explore.

In this film, Frances Mayes, played by the lovely Diane Lane, goes on a whirlwind adventure at the core of Italy. After a rough divorce, she decides to leap of faith and travel to Tuscany. But little did she know that she would fall head over heels for a charming old villa and impulsively buy it.

And let me tell you, no one can beat the aesthetic of this film, highlighting the beautiful scenery. “Under The Tuscan Sun” captures the essence of Tuscany’s rolling hills, lively marketplaces, and quaint towns in such a way that will make you want to pack your bags and go on an epic adventure in this enchanting region for yourself.

“Under The Tuscan Sun” is getting the love it deserves. Critics over at Rotten Tomatoes gave it a thumbs up with a 62% approval rating, saying that while it’s a bit predictable, Diane Lane’s performance shines. And over on IMDb, audiences seem to agree, giving it a solid 6.7 out of 10. So this movie is definitely worth checking out!

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Adventure Movies

1. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

If you’re searching for a movie that’ll thrill your senses and get you imagining all the exciting adventures you could go on, then check out “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”

Based on the popular video game series, this action-packed film takes viewers across the globe in search of adventure. With an amazing story and many exhilarating escapades, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” is perfect for any movie night.

From recovering powerful ancient artifacts at Angkor Wat to getting lost in the thick jungles of Tanzania, Lara Croft, the bold and limber heroine of the massively popular Tomb Raider franchise, has been to many places – and wherever she goes, some high-octane adventure ensues. 

Here, we follow the English aristocrat on multiple globe-trotting adventures against villainous forces, from the Cambodian temple complex at Siem Reap to freezing ‘Siberian’ locations and the deepest jungles of Tanzania.

If you’re gathering the courage to travel to exotic locations, any Tomb Raider movie will give you the nudge you need. 

Tomb Raider Movie Cover

Cool destinations, larger-than-life action scenes, and daredevil stunts made the Tomb Raider series so addictive to watch! 

“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” is a mixed bag, with critics giving it a 20% approval rating. Some reviewers praised the action sequences and Angelina Jolie’s performance, while others found the plot lacking depth. Overall, audiences seem to like it–it has a 5.7/10 on IMDb.

2. The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries movie cover
The Motorcycle Diaries / Amazon

Have you seen “The Motorcycle Diaries?” It’s a total travel movie gem showcasing all of South America’s amazingness. The towering Andes Mountains and lush Amazon rainforest are otherworldly landscapes that’ll leave you itching for adventure.

And let’s not forget how it highlights the power of travel to broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and inspire social change. In this cross-country road trip, we follow young Ernesto “Che” Guevara (played by Gael García Bernal) as he sets out on a motorcycle journey across South America with his buddy Alberto Granado.

What starts as a leisurely adventure becomes a profound voyage of self-discovery and an eye-opening experience of the continent’s social and political realities. Simply one of my favorite movies!

“The Motorcycle Diaries” is killing it on Rotten Tomatoes with an 83% approval rating. Critics agree it’s a heartfelt and profound portrayal of how Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara became a revolutionary legend.

And over on IMDb, audiences across the globe are giving it a solid 7.7 out of 10. It looks like this movie is revving up some profound love from critics and viewers.

3. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark movie cover
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark / Amazon

Indiana Jones Series, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” is a timeless gem in the world of epic travel movies. It takes us on a thrilling adventure across beautiful and exotic locations, all thanks to the daring and charming Indiana Jones, played to perfection by Harrison Ford.

The movie is set in the 1930s and follows Jones as he races against time to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. From Egypt to Nepal and even the mysterious island of Tanis, Jones encounters exciting challenges and fascinating people and uncovers ancient secrets. It’s a wild movie that never fails to entertain!

Indiana Jones Movies are the ultimate adventure flick, taking us on a wild ride to exotic locales that are simply out of this world. From the bustling bazaars of Cairo to the dangerous jungles of South America, this movie transports us to a realm of mystery and marvel.

The stunning scenery is more than just a backdrop – it’s practically a character in its own right, tempting us to pack our bags and set off on our globetrotting escapades. And let’s not forget the thrill of discovery that this film captures so perfectly – it sparks our sense of wonder and reminds us that there’s always something new to uncover in this wild world.

Critics can’t get enough of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Rotten Tomatoes gives it a whopping 95% approval rating, calling it a “rip-roaring, epic masterpiece” that’s got everything from heart-pumping action to laugh-out-loud humor.

And audiences on IMDb agree – they’ve given it an impressive 8.4 out of 10 for its pulse-pounding plot, eye-popping visuals, and the one and only Indiana Jones. It’s safe to say this movie is a real crowd-pleaser!

4. The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin

Searching for the best travel adventure movies? The Adventures of Tintin is a computer-animated film based on Belgian cartoonist Herge’s eponymous comics. It follows a young reporter named Tintin and his dog Snowy. They both go through many misfortunes, searching for treasure from a long-lost ship. 

This Steven Spielberg film is one of the best travel movies on Netflix. You’ll be taken to far-flung corners of the world, including Morocco, France, and across the high seas. There’s a wealth of action here – from car chases to ship-to-ship battles and an incredible fight between construction cranes. 

Let’s face it, nothing can ever compare to the magic of Herge’s comics, but this CGI adaptation offers visual adventures that do not disappoint. 

“The Adventures of Tintin” is a hit for critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 74% approval rating, with reviewers raving about the gorgeous animation, exciting plot, and faithfulness to Herg’s comic books.

On IMDb, the movie scored a solid 7.3 out of 10, with viewers all around the globe loving the immersive storytelling and jaw-dropping visuals. This is one cinematic adventure you won’t want to miss!

5. Alpha

Alpha movie

Step into a time machine with “Alpha” and get lost in a world of awe-inspiring wonders and raw beauty. This flick takes you through nearly unbelievable landscapes, from towering peaks to endless forests, scorching deserts, and frosty tundras.

Brace yourself for a feast for the eyes – every scene is a jaw-dropping masterpiece that’ll have you itching to ditch the couch and explore the great outdoors.

You can categorize Alpha as one of those “boys with a dog” stories but with a few adjustments. The dog is a wolf, and the setting is twenty thousand years ago. The story follows young Keda, who tries to survive in the wilderness alone after being left for dead after his first hunt with his fellow Cro-Magnon tribemates. 

He makes an unexpected alliance with a lone wolf abandoned by its pack. With danger lurking everywhere, Keda and his wolf must traverse the unforgiving landscape to make it home before the chill of winter arrives.

The most remarkable feature of Alpha is its imagery made by a brilliant visual effects team. It makes anyone watching want to trek through the wilderness and discover the unknown.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a thumbs up with an impressive 80% approval rating. Critics are raving about the movie’s stunning cinematography, immersive world-building, and ability to transport you to another time and place.

On IMDb, audiences are loving it too! With a solid 6.6 out of 10 ratings, people can’t get enough of the visuals and heartwarming portrayal of the human-animal connection.

6. Moana

Moana

Disney is a force to be reckoned with regarding the best travel movies that highlight a destination’s culture. Moana is a breath of fresh air as it goes against the grain of princess fairy tales.

Here, the heroine is a strong Polynesian princess named Moana – the strong-willed daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village. The ocean chose Moana to bring a mystical relic to the goddess Te Fiti. If you’re raring to visit the Pacific Islands, this will be a joy to watch!

“Moana” takes us on a wild ride beyond just traveling and digs deep into our personal growth and strength. It’s all about exploring the unknown, facing our fears, and blazing our trails.

This movie is like a motivational coach for all ages, pushing us to take on our transformative journeys and unleash our inner power. And as we watch Moana take step after step, we’re reminded of how much there is to discover out there in the big wide world.

“Moana” is crushing it on Rotten Tomatoes with a whopping 95% approval rating! Critics are raving about the gorgeous animation, captivating story, and how it celebrates culture and heritage in a modern way.

And over on IMDb, the movie is a crowd-pleaser with a sweet 7.6 out of 10 ratings. People can’t get enough of the lovable characters, catchy tunes, and the movie’s uplifting message about the human spirit. It’s no wonder “Moana” is making waves around the world.

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Wanderlust Cinema

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel movie cover
The Grand Budapest Hotel / Amazon

Step into the fictional Republic of Zubrowka in the 1930s with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – a delightful story of Monsieur Gustave H., the legendary concierge, and his protégé, Zero Moustafa. As they navigate a web of mystery involving a stolen painting and a valuable inheritance, the duo embarks on a thrilling adventure through gorgeous scenery and meets an array of eccentric characters. This whimsical film blends comedy, crime, and romance to deliver an unforgettable cinematic journey.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is like a love note to the awesomeness of Eastern Europe. It’s a magical tour through gorgeous mountains, cozy towns, fancy-schmancy castles, and expensive hotels.

Every shot is super-duper crafted with Wes Anderson’s signature style and crazy-awesome attention to detail. The movie whisks you away to a time long gone, making you feel warm and fuzzy inside and wanting to go on an adventure to find all the cool stuff Europe has hidden away.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. It’s no surprise with its impressive 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics can’t stop talking about the film’s visuals, masterful storytelling, and impeccable performances by its ensemble cast. And on IMDb, it’s capturing hearts with its whimsical narrative, quirky characters, and remarkable cinematography – earning an exceptional 8.1 out of 10 ratings!

2. Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love movie cover
Eat Pray Love / Amazon

You cannot miss “Eat Pray Love” – an extraordinary film that will take you on a life-changing journey of self-discovery, love, and excitement. Adapted from a best-selling memoir, the movie chronicles Julia Roberts’ quest for inner peace and fulfillment as she travels through Italy, India, and Bali. The scenery, lively cultures, and profound interactions make “Eat Pray Love” an unforgettable travel movie that inspires personal development and the pursuit of joy.

Get ready to feast your eyes on the visual feast that is “Eat Pray Love.” This movie takes you on a globetrotting adventure, showcasing each destination’s scenery and culture.

Whether wandering through Rome‘s charming cobblestone streets, meditating in India’s peaceful ashrams, or soaking up Bali’s lush tropical paradise, you’ll feel like you’re with the characters. Watching this film will ignite your wanderlust and make you crave your travel adventures!

“Eat Pray Love” sure got some mixed reactions. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 36% approval rating, with some critics saying it was too self-centered but others loving the pretty pictures and great acting (especially from Julia Roberts). Meanwhile, on IMDb, the movie got a rating of 5.8 out of 10, showing that audiences enjoyed exploring its themes but couldn’t quite agree on how well it was put together.

3. Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

If you’re an ABBA fan, “Mamma Mia” is one of the best travel movies you will enjoy. Based on the eponymous Broadway Musical, “Mamma Mia” is a campy and nostalgic musical slash movie with over two dozen ABBA songs and several award-winning performers.  

The storyline is straightforward. Sophie betrothed to Sky, lives on a picturesque Greek island with her single mother, Donna. Knowing nothing about her father, she discovers that three men may actually fill the role. She then invites all three to her nuptials, and they attend the occasion. 

You won’t see any gimmicky cinematography here. Most of the film’s charm relies on the inherent beauty of the Greek islands – and it’s a joy to see!

“Mamma Mia” got a bit of a mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it scored a 54% approval rating. Some critics were charmed by the cast’s performances and the movie’s lively vibe, but others thought the plot was too fluffy.

On IMDb, audiences gave it a 6.5 out of 10, which seems like a more middle-of-the-road response. People really dig the musical numbers and the gorgeous Greek scenery, though!

4. Paddington

Paddington

Searching for one of the best Hollywood travel movies? Paddington will surely satisfy. This anthropomorphic bear needs no introduction. Catapulted to popularity by the best-selling Paddington series of children’s books, the movie tells the tale of a bear migrating to London’s streets after an earthquake ravaged his family’s jungle home. 

To the caniform’s delight, the Brown family takes him in after meeting him at the eponymous Paddington Station, only to discover that a taxidermist (played by Nicole Kidman) wants to add him to her collection.  

It’s a warm, well-acted, gentle, and funny family-friendly film that showcases the quirks of London while also portraying it as an exciting wonderland filled with adventure, mystery, and excitement.

If you’ve never been to London, this is one of the best travel movies. Paddington’s London is definitely a place where those who need assistance are embraced — even if you’re a talking bear. 

Critics and viewers alike can’t get enough of “Paddington.” Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 97% approval rating, showering praise for its lovable characters, touching plot, and ability to connect with audiences of all ages. Meanwhile, IMDb users rated it a solid 7.3 out of 10, raving about its delightful humor, heartwarming moments, and enchanting world.

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International Films

1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie cover

A feel-good flick that’ll take you on a wild ride to an unsuspecting hotel in Jaipur, India, is “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It follows a group of retirees as they venture out of their comfort zones and discover the joys of life.

With an all-star cast, enchanting storytelling, and a vivid portrayal of Indian culture, this movie is a must-see celebration of travel and the incredible journeys that await us.

This film brings together a bunch of folks at a turning point in their lives. They’re lured in by the promise of an affordable, exotic place to retire, but what they find there is beyond their wildest dreams. With new friends, romance, and personal growth around every corner, this movie shows us that travel can transform us in ways we never imagined.

With a whopping 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film was praised for its outstanding performances, touching story, and ability to transport the audience to a world full of lively colors and rich traditions. And it’s not just the critics who loved it – the audience gave it a solid 7.2/10 on IMDb, proving that this movie is a heartwarming hit that offers a fresh perspective on life’s later stages.

2. Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation movie cover
Lost in Translation / Amazon

“Lost in Translation” transports viewers to the electric and mysterious city of Tokyo, where the film follows the intertwined lives of Bob Harris, a fading movie star played by the incomparable Bill Murray, and Charlotte, a recent college graduate portrayed by the talented Scarlett Johansson.

Amidst the dynamic neon lights and tranquil temples of Tokyo, these two strangers form an unlikely bond that transcends language and cultural barriers, revealing the power of human connection and the transformative nature of travel. Directed by the visionary Sofia Coppola, this cinematic masterpiece takes us on a contemplative journey where we witness Bob and Charlotte find solace, understanding, and profound self-discovery amidst the bustling metropolis.

“Lost in Translation” was a total smash hit, with a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were all over it, praising the fantastic acting, beautiful cinematography, and how it made them feel all the feels.

And let’s not forget about the fans – they gave it a 7.7 out of 10 on IMDb, proving that this movie struck a chord with its moody storytelling, deep characters, and mind-bending look at what brings us together as humans.

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3. Tamasha

Tamasha Movie

The in-depth exploration of Indian relationships and stellar performances by  Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone have made Tamisha one of the best travel movies in India. Bringing to life the beautiful city of Corsica, each frame in the movie looks like a picture-perfect postcard. 

The movie tells the story of two young lovers, Ved and Tara, who met on holiday on a scenic French island. Both agreed to have fun without commitments, but years later, when Tara tracks down Ved in Delhi, she is taken aback by finding a different person – one who loathes his life and is weighed down by his dad’s heavy expectations. 

Tara teaches Ved how to live again, but this time on his terms. The heartwarming plot has made Tamasha one of India’s best travel romance movies. Tamasha is one of the best Bollywood travel movies that explores the troubles faced by middle-class Indian men, with warm performances and dreamy tunes by Oscar-winner AR Rahman. 

“Tamasha” rocked, scoring a whopping 86% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And the audience? They gave it a solid 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb, proving they were feeling the movie’s deep dive into self-discovery, travel, and all the messy stuff that comes with human relationships.

The Times of India couldn’t stop gushing about how “Tamasha” was like a visual feast for the eyes and an emotional rollercoaster for the heart.

4. Lion

Lion movie cover
Lion / Amazon

If you’re searching for a movie that will stir up your wanderlust and make you feel warm and fuzzy, a highly recommended one is “Lion.” This lushly filmed drama follows the incredible true story of Saroo Brierley, a young Indian boy who falls off a train in Kolkata and is whisked away to Australia by loving adoptive parents. As he grows into an adult, the desire to return to his homeland burns inside him like never before.

“Lion” serves as a ridiculously inspiring travel movie. It’s full of beautiful landscapes and thrilling action, reminding us that the transformative power of exploration is always waiting to be tapped.

From bustling streets in Kolkata to vast plains full of wide-open spaces, “Lion” takes us on an epic visual journey across the globe. Saroo’s story also emphasizes how significant it is to embrace our heritage, and travel can be a great way to discover yourself.

“Lion” was so loved by critics that it received 86% approval ratings based on their reviews. The consensus on the site says, “Lion is undeniably uplifting story and talented cast make it a moving journey that transcends cliches of its genre.”

It also got 6 Academy Award Nominations in 2016, including Best Picture – so you can’t go wrong with this choice. On IMDb, everyone seems to love it- the rating is 8.0 out of 10.

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Globetrotting Movies

1. Darjeeling Limited

Darjeeling Limited movie cover
Darjeeling Limited / Amazon

“Darjeeling Limited” is like a magical carpet ride that takes you on a journey of family drama and self-discovery. With the gorgeous Indian scenery as the backdrop, the three brothers – Francis, Peter, and Jack (aka Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman) – hop aboard the legendary Darjeeling Limited train to find themselves.

Wes Anderson directs this epic travel flick packed with giggles, soul-searching, and a wealth of warm fuzzies about growing up. He brings a vibrant and eccentric perspective to the film, inviting us to explore the colorful tapestry of India.

With an impressive 69% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie’s distinctive visual style, whimsical storytelling, and exceptional performances by the ensemble cast have all been highly praised. And with a rating of 7.2 out of 10 on IMDb, it’s clear that viewers were captivated by the film’s unique blend of comedy, drama, and introspection.

2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Dreadfully unhappy with his mundane life, magazine proofreader Walter Mitty finds a chance to turn his life around after being tasked to find a missing photo that could save his company from being downsized. 

The photo in question was taken by a mysterious independent photographer who Mitty believes is in Greenland – and an unbelievable adventure begins. The problem is Mitty is utterly unadventurous, so he must step out of his comfort zone and venture into the unknown if he wishes to save his reputation. Warm and inspirational, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is one of the best movies to watch while traveling.

If you plan to visit Iceland, this film is a good introduction. Portions of the film set in Greenland were actually shot in Stykkisholmur, a charming, picturesque town in Iceland with brightly colored buildings from the late 19th century. 

One of the best travel quotes from movies is: “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

This film got a big thumbs up from the critics, with a 51% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. They couldn’t get enough of the flick’s jaw-dropping visuals, out-of-this-world storytelling, and Ben Stiller’s tear-jerking acting. And guess what? The movie scored a 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb, meaning folks were digging its inspiring message and mind-blowing portrayal of travel’s life-changing magic.

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3. Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum

Night At the Museum offers plenty of fun, especially for families seeking an educational experience. The series tells the story of a divorced father who works as a night watchman at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History.

One night, he discovers that the exhibits have come to life, including a mischievous stuffed capuchin monkey, a T-rex skeleton with dog-like qualities, and a few other African animals. 

Travelers will find the showcase of different cultures a thrill to watch. Here, rival miniature civilizations also come to life, portraying Ancient Rome, Ancient Maya, and the Old West. Atilla the Hun, pyromaniacal Neanderthals, and an Easter Island Moai with a chewing gum obsession – loads of silly fun!

To take control of the chaotic exhibits, Larry, the night watchman, reads up on history using the local library and the Internet. What happens next is for you to find out!

It scored an impressive 48% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers raving about its family-friendly fun, clever plot, and lovable performance by Ben Stiller. And on IMDb, it boasts a rating of 6.4 out of 10 – proof that viewers were enchanted by its imaginative concept and delightful execution.

Road Trip Movies

1. The Straight Story

The Straight Story movie cover
The Straight Story / Amazon

Get ready to be swept away by the incredible story of “The Straight Story.” This unconventional road trip movie, directed by the visionary David Lynch, takes viewers on a mesmerizing journey through the heartland of America.

Based on a true story, the film follows the adventures of Alvin Straight, an older man who sets out on an extraordinary quest aboard his trusty lawnmower. When Alvin learns that his estranged brother has fallen ill, he is determined to make amends and sets off on a challenging and unforgettable journey to reunite with him in Wisconsin.

Alvin’s health prevents him from driving, but he’s not one to sit still. So, he hops on his trusty lawnmower and sets off on a wild adventure across the charming American heartland.

Along the way, Alvin realizes that the real magic of his journey isn’t in the miles he covers, but rather in the meaningful relationships he forms with those he meets on his unconventional ride.

“The Straight Story” is absolutely amazing! It has received an incredible 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 8.0 out of 10 on IMDb, which clearly shows that it’s a favorite among critics. The movie’s heartfelt storytelling, Richard Farnsworth’s touching performance, and David Lynch’s unique departure from his usual style have all contributed to its well-deserved high praise.

2. Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine movie cover
Little Miss Sunshine / Amazon

Hit the road with the Hoover family in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ – a charming travel film that ignites your inner explorer. Join Olive, the spunky pageant queen, and her quirky clan as they pile into their trusty VW bus for a cross-country adventure.

With each family member bringing unique quirks and challenges to the trip (including Richard’s self-help obsession), you’re in for a hilarious and heartwarming ride. Watch as they navigate a series of mishaps that test their relationships and force them to confront their deepest fears and aspirations. If you need a good laugh, you must watch this, but it still tugs your soul.

The movie scored an impressive 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers raving about its perfect mix of humor and heart-warming storytelling. And the ensemble cast? They were outstanding!

On IMDb, the movie holds a solid rating of 7.8 out of 10, showing how much audiences loved this relatable story about a memorable road trip. No wonder everyone can’t stop talking about “Little Miss Sunshine.”

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Travel Documentaries

1. The Way

The Way movie cover
The Way / Amazon

“The Way” is like a wild adventure movie that takes you on an incredible journey along the Camino de Santiago. It’s all about Tom, a dad played by Martin Sheen, who decides to take the pilgrimage after losing his son.

He’s determined to honor his son and find meaning in his life, so he sets off on the ancient trail in Spain. Directed by Emilio Estevez, this heartwarming drama will take you through some remarkable landscapes and introduce you to numerous pilgrims searching for solace, redemption, and self-discovery.

The film’s storytelling and cinematography are powerful; you’ll be itching for adventure. And don’t just take my word for it – critics loved it too!

It’s got an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and viewers gave it a solid 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb. So if you’re into emotional depth and stunning Spanish landscapes, this movie is certainly for you.

2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Some of the best travel movies are about food, and there’s no better way to discover Japan’s reverence for culinary craftsmanship than watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi. This 2011 documentary is about 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono and his unrelenting passion for bettering his craft. 

Jiro’s ten-seat Tokyo sushi bar in a Tokyo subway station is a Michelin three-star restaurant with a tasting menu of 20 courses. Though old and frail, he lives, breathes, and eats sushi – but perfection is not his goal. The only plan Jiro has is to be better than his previous self. 

Sushi is a simple dish, but how it’s made is incredibly complex. To make a great dining experience, sushi must be eaten immediately, ingredients must be thoroughly selected, and one must relentlessly practice – these, along with multiple other rules, make Jiro one of the most successful sushi chefs in Tokyo. 

The New York Times is raving about “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” They’re calling it an extraordinary documentary that takes you on a deep dive into the world of sushi.

And get this – it’ll leave you with a profound appreciation for the insane skill and dedication required to create culinary perfection. No wonder it’s got a whopping 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It also got a solid 7.8 out of 10 on IMDb. People can’t get enough of this movie’s exploration of Japanese culture, culinary mastery, and the sheer awesomeness of Jiro Ono.

See Related: Reasons to Visit Japan

3. March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins

Narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by French director Luc Jacquet, March of the Penguins is a more than a decade-old documentary, but its story is timeless. This nature documentary shot in the Antarctic shows the migration of emperor penguins from the South Pole and 70 miles into their next breeding grounds. 

So popular is this documentary about penguins that it may have been solely responsible for making everyone, including filmmakers, obsessed about these aquatic, flightless birds for the next few years. 

The film offers stunning visuals of the Antarctic’s ethereal environment and an emotionally compelling story that touches the heart. If you’re searching for one of the best travel movies that will introduce your kids to documentaries, this one’s a winner. 

“March of the Penguins” has received widespread praise from critics and viewers alike. With an impressive 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear that this documentary has captured the hearts of audiences of all ages. With an IMDb rating of 7.5 out of 10, it’s no surprise that viewers were mesmerized by this fantastic film’s cinematography and emotional resonance.

4. Home

Home documentary

If you’re searching for one of the best travel movies of the 21st century, Home is a stunner you won’t regret ever watching. This documentary about Earth, nature, and humanity is pure eye candy. 

Shot in 54 countries by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand with top-notch narration by Glenn Close, Home uses gorgeous aerial footage to show how humanity has shaped our world and exploited its resources, resulting in destruction, pollution, and climate change. 

There are above-the-clouds shots of our world’s most gorgeous locations juxtaposed with visuals of the terrible damage we’ve caused. While the movie alternates between the Earth’s natural beauties and our disastrous impact on it, the storytelling is made with real sensitivity to all sides of the issue. 

Families looking for the best movies on travel will find plenty to learn about the effects of climate change (though I can’t help but think that this masterpiece is genuinely a well-delivered sermon veiled as a documentary). 

“Home” is a total hit, scoring 92% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics are raving about its gorgeous visuals, mind-bending stories, and power to make us all want to hug Mother Earth a little tighter. And the audience agrees – with an 8.5 out of 10 rating on IMDb, it’s clear that this flick is blowing minds and melting hearts with its stunning imagery and eye-opening messages about our world.

Foreign Language Travel Films

1. The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox movie cover
The Lunchbox / Amazon

Be transported to the lively streets of India with “The Lunchbox” – a true travel movie gem. With Ritesh Batra at the helm, this heartwarming tale explores the power of human connection as a simple lunchbox mix-up brings two strangers together.

This movie stars Ila, a lonely housewife, and Saajan, a widower nearing retirement, exchanging heartfelt notes through the mistaken delivery. “The Lunchbox” is sure to leave you feeling delighted and moved.

“The Lunchbox” has received much praise from critics and viewers alike. It’s impressive to see how the film has captured the heart and soul of Mumbai’s street food culture with heartfelt performances and poignant storytelling.

With an outstanding 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.8 out of 10 rating on IMDb, it’s clear that this movie has truly resonated with audiences.

2. Kedi

Kedi documentary

While most animal documentaries treat their subjects as animals, Kedi goes against the grain by giving a sense of humanity to Istanbul’s stray cats. The story has made seven homeless felines the main characters, following them throughout the streets of Istanbul from their points of view. 

Stray cats are commonplace in Istanbul. They curl up on cafe benches, laze on doorways, sneak under tables at flea markets, and gather where scraps are aplenty. Film director Ceyda Torun focuses on specific cats, giving viewers a rundown of their distinct routines, personality, and life. 

While the focus is on cats, to the delight of feline lovers like me, Kedi is a portrait of the Istanbul community, showcasing its beauty and diversity. The movie got a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty impressive. And can we talk about those stunning visuals and heartwarming storytelling? It’s no wonder reviewers are raving about it.

Plus, on IMDb, “Kedi” has a rating of 7.6 out of 10, showing how much people are digging the film’s celebration of Istanbul’s energetic culture and its intimate portrayal of the cat-human relationship.

Hidden Gem/Lesser-Known Movies

1. Tracks

Tracks movie cover
Tracks / Amazon

Are you also a fan of discovering lesser-known movies with mind-blowing plots? Well, guess what I found for you? “Tracks.” This movie, directed by John Curran, tells the incredible story of Robyn Davidson – a young woman embarks on a solo trek through the unforgiving Australian desert to find herself.

Armed with her trusty dog Diggity and a team of four camels, Robyn sets out on an epic 1,700-mile journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Battling brutal weather conditions, physical obstacles, and her inner struggles, Robyn pushes herself to the brink of exhaustion as she immerses herself in the vastness and solitude of the Outback.

This movie is critically acclaimed, scoring 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. And it’s no wonder why – the cinematography is remarkable, Mia Wasikowska’s performance is top-notch, and the whole story of resilience and self-discovery hits home.

Even viewers love it, giving it a solid 7.1 out of 10 on IMDb. This movie is one to watch if you’re searching for inspiration and breathtaking visuals.

2. Wild

Wild movie cover
Wild / Amazon

Be inspired by ‘Wild,’ the ultimate travel movie directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. Reese Witherspoon brilliantly portrays the incredible journey of Cheryl Strayed, who embarks on a solo hike along the challenging 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

With personal loss weighing heavy on her heart, Cheryl seeks self-discovery and sets out on this epic adventure to conquer her inner demons. Along the way, she faces physical and emotional challenges but finds comfort in the beauty of nature and meets some unforgettable characters.

“Wild” has received widespread recognition, achieving an outstanding 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were blown away by Reese Witherspoon’s mesmerizing portrayal and cinematography. And that’s not all – IMDb rates the movie at 7.1 out of 10, proving that audiences were deeply moved by Cheryl Strayed’s authentic and emotional journey.

3. The Eagle Huntress

The Eagle Huntress

The Eagle Huntress is an ode to girl power, with plenty of inspirational moments for the entire family. The documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl training to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family.

This century-old tradition is usually handed down from father to son. While many eagle hunters boldly reject the idea of a woman participating in the ceremony, Aisholpan isn’t fazed. 

Incredible cinematography captures the bedazzling expanse of the Mongolian steppe, into frigid mountains and the harsh 40 below zero conditions. Brilliantly shot with a captivating story, this is one of the best travel movies to make you believe that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. 

“The Eagle Huntress” has been praised and boasts an incredible 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Unsurprisingly, audiences were enthralled by the film’s fascinating subject matter and Aisholpan’s unwavering determination, as reflected by its impressive 7.5 out of 10 rating on IMDb. 

See Related: Reasons to Visit Mongolia

FAQs

What movie makes you want to travel?

The movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” often makes viewers want to travel. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film takes the audience on an exhilarating global adventure through Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas. Its stunning cinematography and inspirational story often spark the travel bug in its viewers.

What are the best movies about traveling the world?

The best movies about traveling the world typically combine captivating storytelling with scenic global locations. Films such as “Eat Pray Love,” which explores Italy, India, and Bali, “Into The Wild” which traverses across North America; and “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which documents a journey through South America, are highly praised for their globetrotting narratives and compelling portrayals of travel experiences.

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