Epic Adventures In Film: Celebrating Must-see Book Adaptations – What makes for great travel movies? The destination is achieved after you become a star. A film that features beautiful cities, landscapes and cultures is a film that inspires us to visit a destination or relive our time there when we get home. Dave and I love movies. We worked in the film industry in our previous careers and lived for cinema. So when we chose our list of the best travel movies, we took it seriously.
Our picks for the best travel movies are probably very different from yours, so leave a comment and let us know what you think are the best travel movies. We’re always looking for new travel movies to whet our wanderlust. To rent or buy one of these travel movies to inspire wanderlust, check out Amazon Instant Video
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This is the best travel movie ever. One character actually carries a guide! If you love a good caper in an exotic location, you’ll love Bruges. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as two assassins who are sent into hiding after a job goes wrong in Bruges, Belgium.
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The more Colin Farrell’s character complains about hating Bruges (in Belgium), the more you take in the surroundings of Bruges and notice how picturesque the city is. Although the film is primarily a crime drama and dark comedy, it incorporates the scenic locations and cultural aspects of the city into the narrative.
I was so excited to see Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reunited and this time, they shared screen time in one of the newest travel movies on our list, Banshees of Inishrein. The film is set in Ireland’s Aran Islands and showcases the beauty of that destination as two friends go through very dark times.
Gleeson’s character Colm decides he’s wasted his life and breaks up with his lifelong best friend Padraic (Farrell), and all kinds of darkness ensue. It had some of the best acting I’ve seen in years and each of the four main actors was nominated for an Academy Award.
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One of our favorite travel movies of all time. And not because it’s set in Canada. One Week follows a young man on a road trip across Canada after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. No movie has ever made me want to travel across the country for more than a week. Canada looks good.
I didn’t want to see this movie because of its morbid subject matter, but it ended up being an uplifting and enlightening film of self-discovery. It really is the best Canadian travel movie. Rent for a week on Amazon here
I had to watch this one of the most popular travel movies twice before I decided that I liked The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I can see why it is at the top of the list of best travel movies. The film takes you from New York to Iceland, Greenland and the Himalayas.
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty shows how taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to great things. The ending was my favorite, but I won’t spoil it for you. Rent it now.
We’ve got three of our favorite travel movies in one package! And each displays the destination it has. The Before Sunrise films are about love, but they are also travel films. They were filmed 10 years apart and take place in three different locations in Europe – Vienna, Paris and Greece.
The Before Sunrise trilogy captures the essence of each destination. And here’s a cool fact – Dave and I stayed on the Costa Navarino in Greece where it was midnight!
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It’s probably the best of all the romantic travel movies out there, spanning literally three decades. (They make a movie every 10 years). Watch Before Sunrise and Sunset on Amazon Prime
John Candy and Steve Martin take a non-stop road trip from New York to Chicago. This is Dave’s pick for the best travel movie.
It is considered one of the best road trip comedy movies, but I see it as a drama. John Candy’s character breaks my heart. You might think of it as a vacation movie, but it’s one of the funniest travel movies out there. If you’re in the mood for a good, rental comedy, rent it today.
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Not only does Julie and Julia feature the excellent Meryl Streep, but this travelogue is based on movie blogging. It was as if it was made for us! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie based on the true story of Julia Child and I wasn’t expecting much.
It follows the life of Julia Child while Julie and Julia are in Paris and switches to the present day in New York. It will make you crave French cuisine and autumn life in France. When it comes to picking a favorite travel movie, it’s up there. Rent it now
Big Ear travels to the United States with Jack Black (don’t you love Jack Black?), Owen Wilson and Steve Martin hoping to become the world’s #1 birder. It turned out to be one of the most amazing travel movies I’ve ever seen.
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They see more bird species in 365 days than any other person. I relate to this movie because it’s about travel and how a great adventure can change a life. Rent it now
The true life story describes the journey of Christopher McCandless, who went on a trip across America and ended up in Alaska.
I read In the Wild years ago and was fascinated trying to figure out how someone could drop everything to go off the grid and live. John Krakauer talks about McCandless’s mindset and how he motivates people to take risks.
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Things don’t turn out as he hopes, and this is a lesson learned for the adventurers. Now enjoy it!
Wild is an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s travel memoir From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Based on a true story, it follows her journey to put her life back together after falling apart.
Pushing her physical limits and stepping out of her comfort zone on the Pacific Crest Trail takes her on a journey of self-discovery. The struggle and the journey can be life-changing, and Reese Witherspoon is fantastic as usual. Check it out on Amazon
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Everest by John Krakauer is the true story of the 1996 Everest disaster. This is a first-hand account by Krakauer, who was on Everest at the time. Although the film focuses on the events, it shows the mindset of why people climb mountains and the culture and beauty of the Everest region.
As far as travel movies go, this one makes me want to go to Mt. Mt. That’s what I did! Plus, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin, so how can you go wrong?
Tracks is another travel movie based on a true story and I really enjoyed it. It is a film about a young woman who walks from Alice Springs, Australia to the Indian Ocean with four camels and her pet dog.
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I really liked how the main character, Robin Davidson, learns the skills needed to survive. He was met by a National Geographic photographer who shared his story and was led to sacred Outback land by a tribal elder. Check out this amazing true story on Amazon!
From New Zealand to America, Anthony Hopkins takes his Indian motorcycle to the salt pans to see how far it can go. The Fastest Indian in the World is one of my favorite Hopkins performances and one of the best underrated travel movies.
It is vulnerable, loving and inspiring. This true story takes you on a fun road trip until it reaches the Salt Flats of California and that’s when you really start looking for it to win! Rent it on Amazon Prime
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The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert A group of drag queens take a road trip in a van called “Priscilla” from Sydney to Alice Springs, where they are to perform their drag show.
They meet many characters along the way, and the film introduces us to superstars Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, who join the already established Terence Stamp.
Ever since watching one of the best travel movies about South America, (you guessed it, The Motorcycle Diaries) he’s been wanting to take a road trip through South America. (PS. I still dream of one day traveling through South America)
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Gael García Bernal plays Che Guevara and follows his journey on a motorcycle trip through South America before becoming part of the revolution. This movie is based on a true story where Che traveled across the continent and I believe that Che traveled through South America
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