Movies That Make You Want to Travel

Just when you think your wanderlust has been kept at bay; you watch that travel-related movie that has the ability to connect with the inner-explorer you on a deeper level. Before you know it you’re scrambling around for your passport, hammering numbers into a calculator to work out how soon it is possible to get to that mouth-watering place that you have been lusting over for the past few hours. Or maybe that’s just me?

After thinking long and hard about this, for reasons that will be explained I have conducted (in my personal opinion) 9 movies that make you want to travel. I’ll give you the general plot and try my best not to tell the whole story of the film (because movie spoilers are annoying creatures).

1.) Vicky Christy Barcelona

When I first heard about this film it screamed ‘predictable chick flick.’ Call me shallow but when I found out Scarlett Johansson and the lovely Penelope Cruz were casted I quickly got over my preconceptions. The other lass isn’t bad either. I digress. Beautiful women aside, the true beauty of this film is the introduction to the gorgeous city of Barcelona and other lovely pockets of mainland Spain. The main plot of the film starts when a Spanish guy walks over to two women in a restaurant and declares he wants to make love to them both.

You know – normal stuff. I’m always seeing men in town walking into McDonalds, strolling over to ladies and requesting a ménage-á-trois! Without giving too much away the girls discover more about themselves on their journey through Spain which makes you question if you know yourself as well as you think you do. After watching this I strongly desired to sit in the Spanish sun while listening to a local playing guitar, while sipping tasty wine and forgetting life’s little dramas. It also pushed Barcelona high in priority on the list of places I hope to visit.



2.) One Week

A man finds out he only has one, to a few weeks left to live. (Pacey from ‘Dawson’s Creek’, oh yeah – pretend you didn’t watch it). This might sound a little depressing, and of course it is, but it’s also leaves you feeling philosophical. He decides to rebel against doctors orders and starts a road trip through Canada, travelling on a motorcycle while taking photos and re-evaluating his rapidly expiring life.

I’d be a liar if said Canada was high on my list of places to see, but I absolutely wouldn’t rule out visiting (same goes for all countries) and I would jump at the chance, if cheap flights to Canada came up at the right time and I had a good enough reason to go. Expect to see clips of gorgeous snow-tipped mountains, wondrous landscapes and open roads. This film hammers home that life is fickle and if there is something you really want to do you should damn well make sure you do it, as you never know what’s round the corner. This can be looked at in either a negative or positive way. You choose.



3.) The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios De Motocicleta)

This Spanish speaking, sub-titled film is the most infectious of my travel DVD collection. In fact, this film makes me want to travel so God damn much after I have watched it that I have placed a ban on watching it. Why? I’m very impatient and after watching such a fascinating journey of self-discovery I get really antsy when reality hits and I’m at work the next day. Now that I’ve made the decision to leave England within a year I may lift the ban and allow myself to get excited again 🙂 The Motorcycle Diaries chronicles the road adventure (On a motorbike of course) of two young men, one who would become known as Ernesto “Che” Guevara (controversial icon of the Cuban Revolution).

Like him or lump him, you can’t deny that he is a fascinating historical character and it’s interesting to see the path that lead him to become the man he was. Guevara and his friend travel around South America, starting in Argentina (high, high, high on my list of desire of travels) on a battered motorcycle with a short lifespan using fantastic initiative to draw out their journey. The Motorcycle Diaries is exceptionally thought-provoking (especially when the diary quotes are narrated), distressing, inspiring and at times it’s hilarious. The film makes me wonder how much I will change in different surroundings and also if there is any hidden parts of my personality that I don’t know about. I think it could have the same affect on you.



4.) Last Stop For Paul

Two guys from the same office decide to take a quicker than average round the world trip, completing their excursion at the Full Moon party in Thailand. One of the men carries around ashes of his recently deceased friend to leave at interesting parts of the globe that he visits. The acting is pretty shady but that can be forgiven as the film provides comical moments, times of mischief, re-directed plans and them fluffy feel-good moments. Last Stop for Paul is an easy watch that may put a smile on your face.



A Map For Saturday

In 2005 a young man called Brook Silva-Braga decided his seemingly perfect life in New York as a television producer wasn’t so perfect after all, therefore he decided to hand in his notice and go on an adventure around the world. Not only did he do that, but he decided to video his adventure. Aint that sweet? Unlike the others listed here, this is not a film as such – it was more of a documentary and video diary in one and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Braga gives a first-hand and very personal insight in to the emotions one feels when on such a journey giving us an insight in to the good, bad and ugly side of backpacking round the world. A map for Saturday is very informative with a personal touch and should you consider the ever famous round-the-world trip and you can grab it here

6.) The Beach

The Beach stars Leonardo De Caprio as a bright-eyed, curious and cocky young man who arrives in Bangkok, Thailand in search of exploration. He quickly makes friends and finds out about a mystery island in southern Thailand with vague directions from a strange man that he meets in his hostel. Curiosity gets the better of the boy and he is successful in his search for the island, although he doesn’t know the path and outlandish events that awaits him.

Everything about the island is breath-taking and when you see it on the screen, you will crave to go somewhere so charming. Since the movie has been released, many backpackers who have seen the movie have travelled to the island which goes by the name of Ko Phi Phi Leh, to say they have been there and to verify its gloriousness.



7.) Angels and Demons

Not a travel film as such, nevertheless this film makes the list on aesthetics alone. Also, it’s an excellent film with a smart twist at the end! Every now and then, in an attempt to seduce you, the camera will centre architectural beauties of the Vatican City. I actually planned to go to Rome on my birthday last October after seeing this but I was obliged to cover work last minute. Booo to you Rat Race, may I keep on fighting you till you’re defeated!



Cemetery Junction

Starring and written by Ricky Gervais, Cemetery Junction is a feel-good film based in the 1970’s set in Reading, England. (Don’t worry I’m not going to try to convince you to go to Reading). This film focuses on the lives of three young men growing up as they begin finding out some harsh realities about what life has in store for them, if they let it. Two of the boys have always talked about leaving their depressing existence and upping sticks to somewhere exotic, both never finding a good reason to why they haven’t yet.

The itchy feet become too intense for one of the guys when he starts to fall in love with a girl (an unhappily engaged girl) who also shares his restless desire. The film follows the two guys and the girl as their lives change at an alarming rate and leaves you asking “will they or won’t they?’ This film reinforced my belief that you better have some sort of a plan – or you’ll fall into somebody else’s.



9.) Into the Wild

Every time I have discussed films with a traveller, this name always seemed to pop up. Then I watched it and now I know why. I loved it and I loved it. Did I mention that I loved it? Based on a true story, this film is adapted from the Jon Krakauer book and directed by Sean Penn. A young man named Christopher McCandless is set to live the American Dream after graduating from the University of Emory. Chris rebels, has other plans and decides to give away his savings to charity and embarks on a very unconventional kind of travel, due to the horror of his family.

Christopher is fascinated with man’s relation to nature and adopts a hardcore approach as he learns how to survive in the wild and make it to Alaska. This film is unbelievably philosophical; it kept me awake at night. Emile Hirsh’s acting is incredible and as the character shares his concepts of what is right and wrong about the world I wanted to jump out of my seat and scream “YES!” Note: The character’s behaviour and actions are very extreme, controversial and so are his opinions. In all honesty, I love people conviction. As long as you’re not hurting anyone and you’re living life according to your values, be yourself and make no apologies.



Dishonourable Mentions…

I’m quite possibly going to get some hate mail for this. This post promised to introduce you to movies that make you want to travel and I’ve did that, however these films are travel related films that I was advised to watch, did watch-and really didn’t like: Before Sunrise/Before Sunset

First one is about a girl and a guy who hit it off on a train as they are backpacking through Europe. They spend the night together, knowing in the morning they will go back to their own lives. The 2nd film is the sequel. The romantic storyline has so much potential but the acting is criminal and it drags, oh boy does it drag. The only time I felt like travelling during this film was when I felt the urge to fly to Paris, knock on French Actress Julie Delpy’s door and shout “Shut up, si vous plait.” . Under the Tuscan Sun: A recent divorcee buys an old house in Tuscany. Not enough views of Tuscany, and not deep enough to move you. I’ll never get them 2 hours back 😛 .Hostel 1 and 2: It’s just WRONG. So so wrong! Lost in Translation: I do want to visit Japan but not because of this film. Bill Murray is as dull as dishwater. *Note:* This is just my personal opinion. The majority of people seem to like these movies and love Bill, particularly this movie.

Honourable Mentions…

Eurotrip : Hilarious! “Scotty doesn’t know.” That’s all I’m going to say. . Y tu Mama Tambien: Young people getting into mischief on a road trip, very funny. Spanish speaking film with English subtitles. The Bucket List: Do you have one? You should, because life is meant to be abundant. . Avatar: Watch main man Sam Worthington’s character as he first steps foot on Pandora. This wide-eyed, child-like enthusiasm is reminiscent to how we feel when we first land in a foreign country. Plus, the blue alien woman is weirdly hot.

So there we go the post is A LOT longer than I planned. Well done if you read it all! These are my movies that make you want to travel.

Have I missed any out? Do you disagree/agree with my picks? Which movies make YOU want to travel? Did you also find the 9 foot blue alien woman hot in Avatar and feel you need a support group? Have your say below chaps and chapesses 🙂

Join the Conversation


  1. Jo-Jo Reply

    Why have I only seen six films mentioned above? (one of which on the dishonourable mentions) Do you own them all ?

    Mind you even Surfs Up makes me want to search for a golden beach and waves !!


    1. Anth1892 Reply

      I have owned them all at one point and most of them I sold at the car boots sale 🙁 I have owned every single one. Maybe it’s because you and Caroline bully me and don’t appreciate my movie taste hehe. Surfs up, is that about penguins or something?x

      1. Jo-Jo Reply

        Yes, Surfs Up is about Penguins. Pretty talented ones to be fair. But I have watched the odd film with subtitles too you know. Jx
        P.S My favourite of the list is still the Motorcycle Diaries, perhaps I need to watch the rest next.

        1. Anth1892 Reply

          I’d have to flick a coin between “In to the Wild” and that, but if you held a gun to my head I’d probably choose The Motorcycle Diaries.

  2. math games Reply


  3. me mam Reply

    Anthony these sound like good films,l will have to buy them !do they have Jennifer Aniston in and have a predictable ending ha ha ? x x

    1. Anthony Reply

      haha, no they’re a more acquired taste I’m afraid xx

  4. Juanita Wildy Reply

    Plenty of movies to choose from, since I am a movie buff. Worth adding to my collection, however, I am a western nut. Not too many of them around now.

    JB Wildy

    1. Anthony Reply

      Yeah mate Westerns aren’t the norm nowadays, but doesn’t that make them even more special? 🙂

      A classic is a classic!

  5. deanna Reply

    yes , it does make you want to travel.

  6. Will Peach Reply

    Into The Wild gets my vote as greatest travel film of all time. Thought Vicky Christina was a bit of a crap effort from Woody.

    Nice selection though mate!

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Will,
      Haha call me shallow, but Penelope got me through it! Into The Wild is one of my favourites – gets the cogs in the brain churning.

  7. Alouise Reply

    I remember watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona on tv and immediately thinking I should book a flight to Barcelona. Another movie that made me want to travel was Amelie, right after seeing it I wanted to go to Paris. Now when I see the movie, even though I’ve been to Paris, I just want to go back. There’s actually several of these movies I haven’t seen, and a few I haven’t even heard of. I’ll have to check them out.

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Alouise,
      Did you find Amelie funny? I just didn’t get it as a comedy, but I’m glad it pulled at your travel strings a bit 🙂

      1. Alouise Reply

        I wouldn’t say I found Amelie funny, but I did find it sweet, and quirky. It’s one of the few romance films that I can actually watch, because it isn’t overly sappy. And it really did make me want to go to Paris.

  8. Dave Reply

    Into the Wild was disappointing compared to the book. I always find the Lord of The Rings films make me yearn to travel to NZ due the amazing scenery.

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Dave,
      I hear this one as a shout quite often. I haven’t (don’t hate me) actually seen the movie/s yet! :O

  9. Scott Reply

    Never heard of it, but that One Week seems right up my alley. The story seems solid, the music great, and I am contractually obligated to see any movie with the Stanley Cup in it as I am a massive hockey supporter. In 2007, a few months after my first trip to Europe backpacking, I was laying in bed and A Map for Saturday came on. It showed me the world of backpacking was something truly special and that I wasn’t the only one out there who lusted after travel. If it wasn’t for seeing that movie that night, I am not 100% positive I would be setting out to see the world in four months. good post, dude.

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Scott,

      Cheers man, I had fun watching them all for ummm “research.” Really? It had that much affect on you that it’s the reason you’re leaving? I absolutely love stuff like that! A Map For Saturday relates to the traveller a bit more personal as it’s a real life documentary – no acting at all. I think Motorcycle Diaries was the one that give me a kick up the arse 🙂

  10. xixerone Reply

    I absolutely loved Disney-Pixar’s UP! it would have made me want to go to the Angel Falls in Venezuela if it weren’t because Ihad already been there.

    Oh, and Good Bye Lenin! is another one of my favorites, I’ve been to Berlin so many times and I so want to go back there everytime I watch it.

    When it comes to road trips, I’d add Little Miss Sunshine to the bucket as well, it doesn’t make you want to travel because of the destinations visited but just for the sake of travelling.


    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Xixerone

      I will add “goodbye to Lenin” on to my list! Thanks 🙂

  11. Chris Reply

    I honestly never thought I’d encounter somebody who doesn’t adore Bill Murray. You and I, sir, are dueling at dawn.

    1. Anthony Reply

      I shall fight to the bitter end 😛

  12. Joey Santiago Reply

    Honestly, I can’t stay awake traveling while watching Angels & Demons.

  13. Tin Reply

    I think I have Y tu mama tambien on dvd… from my latino friend… hahahaha =)
    it’s interesting… lol..

  14. TinTin Reply

    Into the Wild is one of my all time favs! 🙂

  15. Holly Reply

    Love this list you have made. I searched on google, films like Into the Wild….and this list came up. Perfect! Exactly what I had been looking for.

    I am also leaving the UK, so want some movies to watch to keep the fire and desire going, because lets face it, working your ass off in the UK with no social life, is no fun! So need these movies to keep you going whilst your saving for the trip!

    Would love to know where your heading to??

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Holly,

      I’m a little late to the party with this one. Into the Wild is fantastic -I may, MAY just prefer Motorcycle Diaries just a little bit more! Working your arse off in the UK is certainly no fun – been there and don’t want the t shirt. Have you watched any of these yet? When are you leaving?

      I rarely plan where I’m heading to in advance – I’m a bit of a wanderer 🙂

  16. Agness of eTramping Reply

    The first one is my all time favourite, Anthony! Great list!