We can’t travel ourselves, but we do have the next best thing… good travel movies! And if you’ve never seen these ones, then you’re in for a massive treat.
There’s a little something for everyone here, whether you’re wishing you were falling in love in – or with – France, or maybe going on an epic adventure to destroy a ring (too specific?). So, lean back in your couch and relax. (Obviously go get some popcorn first though.)
Say hello to… our professionally-ish watched list of the best travel movies around (no spoilers!), so you can binge your way through the weekend, your furlough or your evenings.
P.S. Staying social while social distancing is hard – but by no means impossible. We’ve rounded up the best ideas on how to stay sane, positive and in touch here.
#1st travel movie up… One Week
In the movie, One Week, Ben Tyler, who has just been diagnozed with a cancer that promises only a slim chance of survival even with treatment, decides to buy a motorcycle, say goodbye to his fiance, and take a road trip across Canada.
As he travels he sees iconic landmarks and meets interesting new people while he searches for the meaning of his life. He can’t stop until he finds the answer, even as his fiance begs him to come home to try the treatment on the phone.
This inspiring story makes for one of the best travel movies which may even take you through your own journey of self-realization. Either way, these beautiful Canadian landscapes will stave off the pangs of wanderlust for a little longer.
In #2nd place… L’Auberge Espagnole
As its title suggests, the next of our favorite travel movies takes us to Barcelona, Spain. In L’Auberge Espagnole, a slightly uptight French student named Xavier travels to Barcelona to be apart of the ERASMUS program. During his stay, he lives in an apartment with a bunch of other students who challenge his views. If you did Erasmus, you WILL relate, trust us.
The other students come from all other parts of Europe from England to Germany, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, and Italy, offering a conflicting mix of cultural and language barriers.
Which, to be honest, probably sounds familiar to any basically seasoned traveler…? It’s sort of like when we travel … anywhere. We’ve just got to overcome barriers to meet new and exciting people. So anyone craving a little nostalgia, you know what to watch.
Lucky number #3: The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries was inspired by the journals of Che Guevara. Our main character exchanges graduating from medical school for a chance of a lifetime; out on the road through South America on a motorbike with his friend Alberto Granado. Don’t lie, you’d be tempted. 😉
During their novel-inspired nine-month road adventure, they find that not everything happens like it does in the … well – in the movies. Things go wrong. They meet roadblocks in the form of breakdowns and – get ready for an oh-so-familiar one – a total lack of dollar bills.
At the end of the day, no trip goes exactly as planned though, right? That’s the beauty of traveling! This is the feel good travel inspiration you’re looking for.
Travel movie #4: Out of Africa
In Out of Africa, a dairy farmer named Karen heads to Africa to be with her husband, Bror. What can we say about Bror? Let’s just say.. he’s not exactly the most decent of blokes…
And as a result, Karen starts to get close to a game hunter called Denys. It’s an unlikely romance that normally would never have been sparked, making it all the more beguiling. As Karen gets more and more romantic with Denys, she falls in love with Africa too. Warning: this travel movie will inspire you to start saving for a trip to Africa post-lockdown!
#5th up: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty has a pretty uneventful life. He goes from home to work without doing much of anything else at all. His active imagination sort of fills in the gaps for him though.
He spends a good amount of his day with his head in the clouds, daydreaming about everything under the sun. And then, all of a sudden – he gets to live his adventure. And it’s unlike anything he’s ever imagined in his head.
He must travel all the way to Greenland to hunt down a missing photograph to prove something (watch it to find out what) to himself and he sees many more adventure-inspiring places!
All in all, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, will remind you anything’s possible.
Travel movie #6: The Bucket List
Hands up if you’ve ever been asked a variation of the question – what would you do if you had XX days left? Well, welcome to the film version.
Two unlikely friends (played by two familiar faces) coping with some very final news, overcome the tragedy of it, through friendship and … a great bucket list. So bring a notebook and pen.
The Bucket List might make you cry and will probably make you laugh, but it will definitely offer a bit of travel inspiration and above all an escape into a convincing, emotional story.
In fact, if you’re looking to expand your bucket list even further while you wait, here’s 20 (+20) top places to travel in 2020.
#7th on the list: Lord of the Rings
Yep, even though Lord of the Rings takes place in a fantasy universe, it still counts as one of the best travel movies for many. And for good reason – alright, maybe this one isn’t rogue, but it’s earned its place here.
Frodo must travel throughout Middle Earth (filmed in New Zealand) in order to throw a very special ring into the fire there.
We’re all dreaming of an (okay, slightly less dangerous) adventure like the one Frodo goes through, right? Besides, maybe a fantasy world is more relatable right now? 😉
Pssst… still searching your perfect travel companion? No need to rush it, this stuff takes time! Learn how to find the right person for you in our how to find the perfect travel companion.
Travel movie #8: Lost in Translation
Two different story lines collide in Tokyo’s busiest districts in the shapes of Bob and Charlotte. Bob and Charlotte have very little in common, except the kind of loneliness that is familiar to a lot of us – being lonely in a big city surrounded by millions of people.
If you weren’t already a fan of travel, you’d fall in love with it all over again through the charm, humor and beauty packaged in Lost in Translation.
We’ll get to experience it again ourselves soon, but until then, there’s worse people to live through than these two!
Last but not least #9: Little Miss Sunshine
A family take a road trip across America and hilarity ensues. But, like, actually. If you’re hoping to cry from laughter today, start here.
If you’ve never taken a road trip across the plains of America, you’ll be able to see the attraction. Although you may think twice about taking the whole family!
Little Miss Sunshine herself and her family travel to California to help the little girl realize her dream of competing in a beauty pageant. It’s probably not what you’re expecting. Have fun!
FYI… If you’re a fan of the USA, you might also be interested in the top 10 coolest cities to visit in America?
Keep looking forward…
So there you have it: 9 travel movies that can help you keep positive and stay entertained while we’re not allowed to travel. Did they satisfy your travel cravings?
(If you need a little more then take a look at these 20+20 top destinations for 2020 for our post-pandemic travel plans.)
These movies are great inspiration. But movies can only do so much – check out our article on how to stay social while social distancing for ideas on how to look after your mental health and stay positive during lockdown.
What are you doing to stay positive while self-isolating?