21 MORE Movies That Will Inspire You To Travel

July 30, 2015

Stuck in the house with a travel itch that won’t go away? All of us who suffer from wanderlust appreciate having those movies and books that can inspire us when anything from the flu to lack of travel funds is keeping us at home. Movies, similar to books, have a way to inspire us to think differently, travel, and change the decisions we make.

While we’ve already found 21 travel movies you should see, these additional 21 movies are guaranteed to spark your wanderlust and inspire you to travel as soon as possible. Grab your date, get some popcorn, and get ready to be inspired for your next trip.

1. Extreme Days

Loosely inspired by a true story (only the facts have been changed), Extreme Days is the story of four lifelong bros who head off on a road trip from San Diego to Seattle. For those who dream of adventure and an authentic West Coast road trip, you can’t ask for much more inspiring material than Extreme Days. The movie alternates between 5 minutes of plot and 5 minutes of extreme sports that they participate in along the way, from surfing off the coast of Rosarito to snowboarding and a roadside game of paintball somewhere in Oregon.

The plot’s simple, the acting isn’t sublime, but the story will definitely leave you ready to pack up and hit the road while exploring your extreme adventure travel side.

2. The Art of Travel

Ever think of trading out the American dream of white picket fences and suburban houses for an adventure? The 2008 film The Art of Travel shows a man who does just that after finding out his long time sweetheart and fiancee is cheating on him. Abandoning the past and in an attempt to move forward, he takes his honeymoon alone. The result is an adventure of self discovery and the true meaning and mastering of wanderlust as he and a group of adventurers try to race across the Darien Gap.

Travel lovers everywhere will be inspired by the cinematography as the hero travels through the miles of the South and Central American rainforest. The film also does a fantastic job of depicting the struggle every traveler feels in their soul at the thought of returning to what is familiar after having experienced the challenges the world has waiting for you.

3. Encounters at the End of the World

Although not necessarily a feel good warm and fuzzy tale of the Antarctic animals you may be used to seeing, Encounters at the End of the World is mesmerizing and will stay with you just as much as a more traditional documentary. While somewhat bleak at the evidence of man made catastrophes like global warming,  this documentary is more about finding the beauty in the unusual and last places you’d expect; a true traveler’s mojo.

This documentary does a wonderful job of weaving together people, stories, and nature in one of the most mystical and desolate places on earth. Viewers should be prepared to add Antarctica to their bucket list.

4. James Bond

For over half a century the world James Bond films have been lighting up the cinema screens with exotic locations around the globe. Each of the films, and there are over 20, can be watched independently and inspire some serious travel urges. The series has always placed a high importance on filming in locations around the world rather than using blue screens or back lots in Los Angeles. The result is a wonderful collection of movies that take you around the world throughout the last half century of history, from the hidden USSR reign after the Cold War in Eastern Europe to the drug ridden cartels of South America.

5. The Holiday

If you love traveling because of the ability to shake up the mundane, be someone different, and experience another life, you will love the 2006 Christmas classic The Holiday. While in many ways a classic run of the mill chick flick, The Holiday does a marvelous job of showing the painful motivations behind traveling, and the wonderful metamorphosis travelers experience when they cut loose from the familiar and embrace an entirely new perspective on life.

Two women, both unhappy and wishing for escape from painful relationships, swtich houses with each other across the globe. Every American traveler can relate to Cameron Diaz’s attempt to drive on the left side of the road, and Kate Winslet’s character demonstrates the true difference between a traveler verses a tourist. It is sappy, but it will make you rethink flying back home for Christmas this year in exchange for trying something new.

6. The Endless Summer

This 1966 classic has a cult following, and deservedly so; it spiraled an entire surf and travel subculture, and has been inspiring travelers for the past 50 years. The film follows surfers around the globe as they search to continue summer surfing beyond the summer months. Their travels are what any traveler could wish on such a journey; exotic locations, cultural exchanges and lessons, and plenty of good stories along the way.

7. Away We Go

Away We Go is  story of discovery and interaction with different lifestyles of people across the world, and a look into the different kind of lives we can choose to live. The story follows a couple who is expecting their first child; upon learning they are pregnant, they decide to travel across North America to try to find the kind of culture and life they wish their child to grow up in. The film does well at inspiring you to not settle to be like the people around you, but to make your own path.

8. Room With a View

While set around the turn of the last century, Room With A View has as much to offer viewers today as it did then. The film inspires travel first with its breathtaking obvious beauty in the Italian landscape, but dives in to a much more personal level at the revealing nature travel brings to those who allow themselves to be vulnerable to it. The heroine, Lucy, traveling abroad and away from the safe standard Victorian background she grew up in, is exposed to a different culture where feelings, emotions, and reality are in the foreground. This film, and book, truly inspire us to allow ourselves to not just embrace but to chase things that are real over things that are safe, and to choose adventure over cultural expectation.

9. Up in the Air

Up in the Air somehow both makes you wish you had a career traveling, as well as want a good place to come home to. The movie follows the career path of a frequent flier who travels around the US, as well as the beginning career of a co-worker who deems that all the flying is an unnecessary expense to the job. Every traveler can relate to George Clooney’s reaction to being locked in a cubicle across a computer, as well as the minimalist life he maintains at “home”.

10. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This film is a definite plug for traveling with a group of people and the way people can thrive together over unseen circumstances away from the familiar. The film follows the story of seven strangers who retire to India in hopes of living lavish lifestyles. The result is a wonderful travel story of cultural immersion and the dangers of traveling with expectations in mind. This movie will make you want to retire at any age and experience the wonderful and colorful Indian culture firsthand.

11. 180 Degrees South

This 2010 documentary traces the steps of Jeff Johnson from just north of Los Angeles in California all the way to a volcano in Patagonia, Chile. The unique aspect of this journey is most of it takes place by water, not by land. Instead of heading up for a road trip like you’d expect, Johnson surfs and sails his way down the Pacific Coast to his final destination. It is fun to watch a different kind of travel and adventure, as well as to see some of the wanderlust invoking places and cultural experiences he incurs along the way.

12. To Rome with Love

If Italy isn’t on the top of your travel dream list, it’s about to be. Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love focuses on four different stories of very different people, all centered in beautiful and enchanting Rome. The really brilliant aspect of this movie is its ability to engage the viewer into every aspect of Rome, from the impressive Colosseum and ancient monuments into the private homes of a local Roman.

13. Romancing the Stone

Ridiculous, dated, and full of wanderlust, this 1980’s era comedy is the story of transformation of a young women who travels outside her comfort zone to combat Colombian drug lords, rain forests, and treasure maps. Not to be taken seriously, this movie is a great way to enjoy some laughs and fuel your travel bug for another adventure.  Plus you will instantly be inspired to live the kind of traveling vagabond lifestyle Micheal Douglas lives throughout the movie.

14. Up

This 2009 Pixar classic may be geared to kids, but it has just as much to offer to any wanderlust prone adventure, young or old. The movie follows a 78 year old widower who decides to fly his house to South America, and a young boy who tags along for the ride. Kids and adults alike will be moved by the touching back story, as well as relate to the old man’s desire to see new things and travel when everything else is gone.

15. Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This movie follows a century of travel and discovery through two intertwined lives moving in opposite directions. The entire film showcases not only wonderful locations but the history of those places and cultures as the characters walk through time. Wanderlusts will be inspired and certainly sympathise with Brad Pitt’s travels across the globe as he searches for purpose in his life.

16. The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener isn’t a feel good movie, but it is real and smart, and leaves the viewer with more than if it did have a fairy tale ending. The main couple uproot their lives from metropolitan London to the harsh realities of Kenya for a greater purpose than themselves, resulting in tragedy and ultimately hope for the future. The movie brilliantly portrays a couple everyone wishes they were, spontaneous, real, and loving, while motivating the viewer to travel for bigger purposes and be intentional with your life.

17. The Gods Must Be Crazy

The beauty of this 1980’s film is the dual story of exposure to different cultures and travel stories. A white woman makes her way into the African bush at the same time a leader from a remote African tribe makes his way out into civilization. The result is a comedic yet poignant glimpse into what makes us all different and similar at the same time. The film also does a wonderful job of depicting the day to day life and variety among cultures across Africa, and will inspire you to venture off into the bush as soon as possible.

18. PS I Love You

PS I Love You may appear to be a simple love story, but the background of cultural exchange and experiences across the Atlantic between New York and Ireland will seriously inspire you to pack your bags. No matter what stage of life you are in, newlywed, single, widowed, this 2007 film demonstrates the healing power and emotional aspect of traveling.

The Irish landscape, the people of New York, and the movie’s overall theme are the things travel dreams are made of. Kathy Bate’s quote, “Even if we are all alone, at least we are together in that, too” is a revelation nearly every traveler has come to at some point. The movie shows how everyone you meet is on a journey of some kind or another, no matter the scenery.

19. Lawrence of Arabia

Turkish ports, betrayal, native Bedouin tribes, and political warfare intrigue, all in one film; does travel inspiring adventures get much better than this? Lawrence of Arabia was an instant classic since its debut in 1962, and has every element needed to inspire you to pack your bags tonight. Camel riding across the desert never inspired such wanderlust or seemed so inspiring.

20. The Decoy Bride

This unabashed chick flick may seem little to have little to offer travel fiends, but the heartwarming story of adventure and embracing outcast status set against the backdrop of the Scottish islands will definitely give you an itch to stand out in the crowd, own yourself, and book that next trip to the UK as soon as possible. The film tells the story of an outcast girl who seeks for something more in life than what is doomed to her in her little hometown. At the same time she discovers that her hometown has just as much to offer as an exotic destination about the globe. Anyone who has both wished to escape but also learns to see their own corner of the globe from a traveler’s eye will appreciate this comedy.

21. Indiana Jones

Don’t go looking to Indiana Jones for complete historical accuracy and depiction, but if you’re in need of some serious adventure travel inspiration, look no further than this Steven Spielberg classic series. The glimpses into off the beaten track hidden spots around the world and Harrison Ford’s classic one liners will definitely inspire wanderlust into anyone who wishes to be a hero of their own story and travel the globe.

Ready to get off the couch and let loose your traveling foot? Go to Treckeffect to get started planning your next film inspired adventure!

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Bryn Wied
Bryn Wied is an outdoor enthusiast and serious travelaholic. She explores every inch of the globe in her Sanuk flip flops with her favorite travel buddy/hubby Matt. Matt and Bryn live in California where they blog, surf, snowboard and raise kids in between road trips and camping adventures.
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