25 Best Travel Movies Of All Time

Best Travel Movies of All Time

What are the Best Travel Movies?


These are the best travel movies ever (in my opinion). You can watch these films over & over again, and never get sick of them. Which ones are your favorites?

I started to realize I had a travel obsession when all my favorite movies were based on crazy travel adventures.

So here is my personal list of the best travel movies of all time.

Once I’ve finished watching any of these films, I feel the instant urge to pack up everything and head out to explore the world. Great travel movies like these have helped inspire my own personal travel goals over the years.

So if you’re looking for some motivation to push you into a backpacking adventure of your own, sit down and watch a couple of these fantastic flicks with a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, and a friend. It’s the next best thing to actually traveling!

Just make sure to get off that couch and experience the real thing once in a while, because no matter how good these movies are, they can never replicate the incredible experiences of actual world travel…

My Favorite Travel Movies (2014)


The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries Movie
The Motorcycle Diaries is one of my favorite movies of all time. The true story of two medical students embarking on a five month motorcycle trip across South America in order to use their medical training to volunteer for a remote leper colony along the Amazon river. Based on the personal journals of latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, it highlights the freedom, adventure, and personal discovery that is part of the travel experience. A beautiful movie about one of the most influential people to have ever lived, no matter whether you think his influence was positive or negative.

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Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty tells the story of Walter (played by Ben Stiller), an introverted, awkward, and anonymous photo editor at LIFE Magazine who’s real life is pretty boring. However Walter has a very active imagination. When his job is threatened, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the world from Iceland to Afghanistan in search of his hero while taking risks and conquering new challenges along the way. A mix of incredible visual landscapes, a beautiful soundtrack, and some humor is just icing on the cake. The perfect movie to inspire those yearning for something more out of life.

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A Map For Saturday

A Map for Saturday Movie
A Map For Saturday is a travel documentary that follows one man as he quits his cushy job with HBO to travel around the world for a year and live out of his backpack. It shows the different ways people travel, and gives an accurate picture of what it is like to vagabond around the world long term. You get to experience both the ups and downs of his trip at a very personal level. If you ever thought of doing something like this, the movie will show you what the experience is really like. It also shows you that anyone can travel cheaply if they really want to. The only thing stopping you is, well, you.

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180 Degrees South

180 Degrees South Movie
180 Degrees South is a documentary that follows the adventure of a group of friends as they travel to Patagonia in the spirt of their heroes. They pack their surfboards and climbing gear as they sail and drive along the South American coast, learning about the losing battle against industrialization and the destruction of the natural world. Modern commercial interests fed by the growing human consumption of disposable goods is ruining our planet, and the film shows what some brave people are doing to try and stop it. The movie’s beautiful scenery and fantastic soundtrack mix together with a strong message and travel adventure to create a true work of art.

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The Way

The Way Movie
The Way is a beautiful and inspiring tale about a father walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago trail to honor his recently dead son. The experience is an eye-opening an emotional one for him, as he’s forced to make friends with complete strangers and examine his life during the 800km journey. It features a very eclectic mix of characters, all walking the path for their own personal reasons. The movie certainly made me more interested in traveling along the Camino at some point in my life.

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Que Tan Lejos

Que Tan Lejos Movie
Que Tan Lejos (How Much Further) is set in Ecuador, as Esperanza and Tristeza try to get from the capital city of Quito to the town of Cuenca. It is normally a 5 hour bus ride. The two women decide to hitchhike when local strikes force their bus to stop. One girl is a local trying to stop the love of her life from getting married, while the other is a tourist from Spain. Along the way, they learn from each other while meeting interesting people who help them re-evaluate the purpose of their journeys. The film is filled with beautiful scenery from Ecuador, and gives an authentic portrayal of life in that country.

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In July

In July Movie
In July (Im Juli) is a movie about a road trip through eastern Europe and all the adventure that goes along with it. Daniel is a shy & boring young school teacher who never really does anything fun & exciting. He decides to break out of his shell while chasing a girl from Germany to Turkey on a crazy road trip that will change his life forever. His travel partner shows him what he’s been missing as they drive, hitchhike, walk, swim, get robbed, steal a car, get in fights, escape from jail, and bribe border guards to get to their ultimate destination. By the end of the adventure, he’s a changed person.

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L’auberge Espagnole

L’auberge Espagnole Movie
L’auberge Espangnole (The Spanish Apartment) is about a young, slightly uptight Economics student who goes on an exchange program in Barcelona to learn Spanish before he lands a big job. Xavier is not that experienced with the world, and is in for a surprise when he moves into an apartment filled with international students. He has to learn to live with 6 other roommates from different corners of the globe, putting up with their cultural and personal differences. The adventures they have will open his eyes to what life can be. It’s a funny and realistic movie, based on the real life experiences of the director.

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The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited Movie
The Darjeeling Limited is a wacky film about three wealthy, spoiled brothers taking an overland train trip through India. They haven’t spoken in a year, and the trip is supposed to heal and bond them again. Initially it all goes wrong as they bicker and fight with each other. They are all suffering from depression, and pop pain killers like candy. When it seems like nothing is going right, their crazy experiences along the way finally put things into perspective. The ultimate goal of healing and rejuvenation starts to happen. They finally start to grow up and turn into men. The movie is hilarious, and beautifully shot too. It will make you want to visit India.

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A Good Year

A Good Year Movie
A Good Year is about a high powered London stock broker who’s favorite uncle passes away, leaving him a chateau and vineyard in France. When he visits to quickly prepare the property to be sold for millions, he gets addicted to the laid back, stress-free lifestyle of the French countryside. He falls in love with a local beauty, and has fond flashbacks of his childhood under the care of his womanizing uncle. The whole thing is very funny, and it’s a great date movie! The underlying theme is that there is much more to life than money, plus it will make you long to visit the South of France.

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Lost In Translation

Lost in Translation Movie
Lost In Translation is based on two separate travelers, Bob & Charlotte, visiting Tokyo at the same time. They meet each other and form a friendship as they experience confusion and hilarity in a strange and curious city. Bob is an aging actor starring in commercials, while Charlotte is the bored wife of a photographer there on business. They are an unlikely pair, experiencing a degree of loneliness in a foreign city filled with millions of people. This is another beautifully shot film that also shows how funny and interesting traveling in a new country can be. The many little random experiences that present themselves while traveling are often the most memorable.

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Lawrence Of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia Movie
Lawrence Of Arabia is the classic story of a young, eccentric British army officer who heads into the Arabian desert to gather intelligence about the Arab revolt against Turkey during World War 1. He ends up leading a guerrilla force of them to attack the Turks. The setting of the film is fantastic, and it follows Lawrence as he learns about the people and starts adopting some of their customs. I think this is one of the benefits of travel. You learn from other cultures, and adapt your lifestyle around what you’ve learned. Although the “white man leads a bunch of natives” theme is kind of cheezy, overall the film is great.

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Into The Wild

Into the Wild Movie
Into The Wild is the true story of Christopher McCandless, a recent college graduate who gives away his live savings and hitchhikes to Alaska. He meets all kinds of people along the way, each with their own stories. In Alaska, he heads out into the wilderness to live on his own. His life is filled with random adventures and experiences while he makes his way up to “The Last Frontier”. This is what travel is all about to me. Experiences, good and bad, make you who you are. And long term travel is FULL of new experiences. The key is to not completely get in over your head (like Christopher did).

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Seven Years In Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet Movie
Seven Years In Tibet is about an Austrian mountaineer who heads out to conquer a Himalayan mountain in 1939. After getting captured and sent to a prison camp, he ends up breaking out with another man and sneaking into the holy Tibetan city of Lhasa. He befriends the young Dalai Lama just as the Chinese attempt to invade Tibet by force. Both men are from totally different worlds, yet become great friends and learn from each other. The character starts off as a selfish prick, but slowly changes his outlook on life when confronted with new experiences in a very foreign land. It’s a good movie that shows you how travel adventures can transform your life.

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Y Tu Mama Tambien

Y Tu Mama Tambien Movie
Y Tu Mama Tambien is about two best friends who meet an older woman at a family wedding in Mexico City. They convince her to come with them on a road trip to a magical hidden beach that doesn’t exist. She agrees when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. They head out to find a beach that matches their made-up story. Along the way there is passion, conflict, and jealousy. The film is unrated and has some pretty risqué scenes in it, and may not be for everyone. Their trip reveals the harsh realities of poverty that exist outside their privileged life of the city. It’s an eye opener that all travelers experience at some time in their wandering.

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona Movie
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the tale of two friends who take a vacation to Barcelona, where they meet a mysterious painter, Juan Antonio, who asks them to spend the summer with him. Vicky is the more reserved of the two, engaged to be married, while Cristina is more of a free spirit. The relationship between the three is sexually charged, and drama ensues. Things only get more complicated when Juan’s mentally disturbed ex-wife shows up. The movie is quite entertaining, and is set in the beautiful landscapes & cityscapes of Spain. I especially enjoy it because it shows how travel can open you up to new experiences. You learn what you’re really made of on the road.

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Encounters At The End Of The World

Encounters At The End Of The World Movie
Encounters At The End Of The World is an incredibly beautiful and funny movie about the people and animals who live in Antarctica. The film is done by Werner Herzog, one of my favorite directors. The individuals that work at the National Science Foundation research station are full of character, and most are permanent world travelers. Even if you’ve seen Discovery channel shows about Antarctica, this is totally different and fresh. I liked it much more than I thought I would, and it has earned a spot on my best travel movies list because as soon as it was over I wanted to pack up and head down there for a bit!

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Up Movie
UP is about an old man who spent his life dreaming of world travel and adventure with his wife, only for the both of them to grow old without ever taking any action. Then he finally decides to do something about it, and ends up having the adventure of a lifetime! This animated movie had it all, and was definitely not just for kids. Most people spend their whole life pushing travel goals off to the future, when they should be living those dreams right now. Life is short, and you have to fill it with interesting experiences as often as you can. This movie does a good job of emphasizing that theme.

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Indiana Jones Series

Indiana Jones Movies
The Indiana Jones Series are not particularly accurate travel movies, but they sure are fun! These movies helped plant the seed of adventure in my head many years ago. Who wouldn’t want to go searching for lost artifacts in remote jungles and deserts all over the world? Indy’s wild adventures have inspired many travelers over the years. Sometimes group tours won’t cut it. Heading out by yourself into the unknown is a whole different kind of travel experience, and very rewarding. But the last one, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, sucks monkey balls.

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What’s your favorite travel movie? Did I miss any good ones? Share with us in the comments below!

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Comments & Questions

  • Andi

    Guess where I’m going now? To Netflix to rent these!!! I agree Motorcycle Diaries is one of the greatest travel movies!

  • David

    I hadn’t heard of A Map For Saturday or 180degrees South but after reading your descriptions and the sensitive way you talk about these films, I want to see the films and I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you one day.

  • The Curmudgeon

    If the movie doesn’t have to be real, just entertaining, then “Easy Rider”. In your own back yard too.

    • http://expertvagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I was thinking of adding that one too. :)

      • Eric James

        1. The Beach: Actually inspired me to book my first trip abroad to Thailand.

        2. The Art of Travel: Best backpacking movie of all time in my opinion. Hope you enjoy

        • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

          Both of those helped sew the seeds of travel for me too. The Art of Travel is what sent me traveling into the Darien Gap!

    • Alwyn

      Amen to that one

  • Philip

    Lawrence is still my overall favorite. I have seen most of these. The others I will keep an eye out for down the road (probably after South America). btw, your link a couple days ago for Welcome to Antigua does not seem to work.

  • http://hobotraveler.com Andy Graham

    I added your link to my Best Travel Movies collection, and will “Borg” the movies I have not seen. I read many of these lists, and I feel you really watched all these films.

    I am a perpetual traveler, I use torrents to find the movies and often it can take weeks to download a movie because of my dodgy connections.

    Thanks for the great reviews, it is helpful for me to prioritize which movies to watch.

    “Go Native” — A phrase in Lawrence of Arabia is classic.

  • http://www.neverendingvoyage.com Erin

    Some of my favourite films on there (Motorcycle Diaries, Into the Wild), and I also think Revolutionary Road is a great one for making sure you follow through on your dreams.

  • Ted Nelson

    I have only seen a couple of these, so thank you for 15 good movie tips.

  • http://www.lengthytravel.com/ JB

    I just watched the movie, The Fall. It is not a movie about travel, but I can’t imagine anyone watching that visual masterpiece, shot all around the world, and not wanting to travel. Check out the locations used at:

  • Luke Grose

    Into the Wild is absolutely brilliant. Top of my list by a long way and what a great, but tragic story.

    • http://russmease.blogspot.com Russ Mease

      Luke, I agree! Into the Wild is on the top of my list. It is one of many inspirations for my upcoming Pacific Crest Trail through-hike in April…to be followed by travel through-out Asia and who knows what else.

  • http://aventuresauboutdumonde.wordpress.com AudreyDez

    Loved your list!! Watched some of them and I fell in love with them! Can’t wait to watch those I haven’t seen yet and rewatch the rest:)

    Indiana Jones Serie are movies that sure made me travel when I was younger. I think they gave me the urge to see and explore the world:)

    • http://expertvagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Let me know what you think of the others. :)

  • Bill Weimaraner

    Though I hate to admit it, but I really liked “The Beach.” It captures the clickish long-term/short-term traveler scene pretty well and the Thai setting is fantastic.

    • http://expertvagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I don’t like to admit it either, but I liked it too. :)

    • Jo

      The Beach was the first movie to awake wanderlust in me. Sailed to the Caribbean recently and if I’m lucky, Indo is next on that list. Anywhere new is good actually. For book lovers: “Zen and the art of motorycle maintenance” and “Eat, Pray, Love”, it’s good, even though its a bit mainstream and heavily critisized

  • Manjula

    I loved your list. Some of the best travel movies – yes. I am just reading (and yes there are documentaries to go with the books – ahh..capitalism at it’s best) Long Way Down and also read Long Way Round by Obi-wan and Charley Boorman. Really good books about the difficulties or traveling long trips on motorbikes and the charities they support.

    Have a great day!

  • http://www.skinnybackpacker.com Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker

    Before Sunrise and Before Sunset!

    You never know who you’ll meet in your travels… and if you’ll ever meet again.

  • http://www.recoveringvagabond.com/ Andrew Hall

    Glad to see some great stuff by Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Werner Herzog and more here. The travel film I most treasure is Chris Marker’s essay film Sans Soleil, which reflects on the ways we experience the places we travel and features some gorgeous footage from Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, and beyond.

    • http://expertvagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Thanks for the tip Andrew, I’ll be checking that one out soon!

  • Scott

    Nice picks man! I have seen a few of these and your descriptions are spot on. VCB was part of the clincher that made me include Barcelona on my trip to Europe last September!

  • http://freshroads.com Tijmen

    I have only seen a few movies of this list, should watch the others as well. So far Into The Wild has been my favorite one, and yeah I liked The Beach as well :)

  • Tess

    I would add Shirley Valentine, Bagdad Cafe and The Band’s Visit

  • Amy

    I don’t know if this qualifies as a travel film, but since you are visiting Nicaragua you should watch “Carla’s Song” which is about a Nicaraguan woman living in Glasgow who’s escaped the revolution in her country. She meets a bus driver and together they end up going to Nicaragua to find out what’s happened to her boyfriend/husband who may or may not have been killed in the revolution… (sorry, this may not be totally accurate but it’s been several years since I saw it!) Great blog by the way… I live in Nicaragua and it’s great reading all the stuff you’re doing here!

    • http://expertvagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Nice! I’ll have a look. :)

  • http://manonthelam.com Raymond

    I liked Breakdown Palace, but only because I have a thing for Claire Danes. And prisons… :)

  • kadri

    “Wolf Creek” might, in essence, be a serial-killer-offs-young-kids-one-by-one horror film but two things struck me when i first saw it – 2 things that had nothing to do with the gore. The spirit of group road tripping (friends+strangers in a car marathoning long distances) and the beautiful Desert Outback nature shots. I’ve never seen scenery shots incorporated into a genre film like that. Those shimmery, oily, monochromatic desert shots took my breath away.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I love that movie Kadri! It totally made me want to visit the Outback (other than the serial killers of course). :)

  • Usha

    I haven’t caught Motorcycle Diaries yet but watched Into the wild and A Map for Saturday like a million times. lol

    Another one would be ‘One Day in Africa’ by the same dude who did A map for Saturday. :)

    Love your site!


  • Keshav Kumar

    i quite like your list of the best travelin movies but i think you should add.. 127 hours and Before Sunrise both are fantastic movies and I think they deserve to be in this list.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I loved 127 hours! Another good one I’ve found recently is the movie adaptation of the book Zorba the Greek.

  • http://1x57.com Steven Mandzik

    Great list!

    I would also put Endless Summer (1 & 2) on the list.

  • b

    wow! how can you guys forget “sheltering sky”?!!! thanks for the great list.

    • http://seniorvagabond.wordpress.com Gar

      Yes, I love that movie. Especially the scene with the old man at the end. It did make me want to travel – but not necessarily to North Africa. :-)

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Another classic! :D

  • Lois

    Great list! I would also add The Way, recently released by Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen – it’s about a dad who walks the Camino de Santiago in Spain after his son is accidentally killed on the trail; it’s actually filmed on the Camino and shows some of the backpackers’ way of life on the trail. I might also add Last Holiday with Queen Latifah – might be considered by some to be a little “fluffy” but at the time, it inspired me to do more traveling. Thanks for the list!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Finally watched “The Way”. You are right. Excellent movie Lois. :)

  • Michelle

    One Week. Canadian movie about a guy diagnosed with cancer who takes off on a motorcycle trip across Canada. It was awesome to recognize so many places I myself have been to, but also really made me want to see the rest.

  • Ron

    Roadside Prophets — Two strangers meet on the road and travel through Nevada on a motorcycle to find an elusive spot where they can dump another man’s ashes. It’s offbeat and challenging in that it takes a bit to get into (I had to watch it 3 times before it finally “seeped in.”) Existential, yet somehow very satisfying.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      That looks good! Going to check it out this week. :)

  • Soal

    I think EuroTrip should also be in this great list. This stupid teen comedy is also a good travel movie.

  • http://www.vagabondguide.com Adam Mayfield

    Came across your list and just when I was running out of stuff to watch I find a few more! I recently just finished watching Long Way Round and Long Way Down. Both awesome if you like motorcycles and travel.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I loved “Long Way Round”. Those movies need to be added for sure. :)

  • http://www.decidebay.com/ Consumer Product Reviews

    Now that is a nice list. I’m traveling next week so i guess i going to buy some dvd’s from this list. but They forgot Adventures of Presilla, Queen of the Desert. That movie made me want to go to Australia.

  • Jesse

    “The Art of Travel” is one of the best travel movies ever made.

    • Amy

      Loved this movie, but couldn’t remember the name! Thanks for jogging my memory!

  • Twan

    Into the Wild is a must see dvd for all travelers.

  • Alwyn

    Any of the “Auf Wiedersehen pet” series are very inspiring to visit Europe, The Gumball Rally movies/docs are also interesting. Top Gear also has some award winning episodes and specials around the world.

  • Shesasuperstaryea

    Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile.

  • Alwyn

    Just started watchin the movies in this list, thought that “Into the Wild”, “A Map for Saturday” and “A Good Year” are more than worthy additions, would highly recommend!!!

  • Gadobout

    I recommend “The Art of Travel”, it really made me want to get out and see the world.

  • jack

    some people have no idea about what is outside their city and for some reason content about it. I completely respect that and also completely astonished. this world is full of adventure, excitement..if your bored one day..you gotta look at the map…do some research..find a place that intrigues your imagination. I have been spending alot of my time in asia…im looking for places that have beautiuful people…beautiful scenery. post it if you know a place that is like that….im in.

  • Craig O

    PLANES, TRAINS, and AUTOMOBILES!!!!! a true classic

  • Newton

    There is one more i think you could add to the list.. Vagabond (1985) by agnes varda..

  • Cass Collins

    Check out “the way”!!!!!! Awesome movie!!! :)

  • http://www.rhinoafrica.com/blog tamlin wightman

    Great post – I can also suggest these: http://www.rhinoafrica.com/blog/2012/02/01/africa-at-the-movies/ – ones more African Travel specific!

  • GeeLaka

    Great list! I highly recommend…’We Can’t Change The World But, We Wanna Build a School in Cambodia.’ It’s a powerful Japanese film (English subs) that shows us how new experiences and cultures can transform our lives in a dramatic way.

  • Susana

    I wonder if you can help me to find the names of two british movies from the 80s, one is from two london girls that work in the south of Spain and ends when one of them is on a boat heading to Morocco. The other movie is from two guys backpacking in Hungary or Bulgary and of them falls in love with a local girl and when heading to the train station they play “if you leave” of OMD, thank you

  • Vagapunk

    Yep, I’ll vote for” Into the Wild” as well but I’ll add a great lil Aussie film called “Bran Nue Dae” and an awesome book that sold me fully on India, it’s called “Shantaram”. It’s a beautiful told adventure masterpiece.

  • James

    Lost Across America

  • http://thepeterfowler.wordpress.com Peter Fowler

    Great selection of films. If you haven’t already, you should watch ‘The Way’ I guarantee it would make your list!

  • http://www.backpackinggrant.com Grant Aho

    I am definitely checking out some of these movies! Thanks for the list! My own additions would be The Way with Martin Sheen about the Camino de Santiago, and The Art of Travel. The Way inspired me to walk the Camino de Santiago which, to date, is one of the toughest and most amazing experiences of my life. Cheers!

  • http://www.acooknotmad.com A Cook Not Mad (Nat & Tim)

    Out of Africa, Easy Rider, all Bourne movies.

  • http://expatexperiment.com/ Tracey Tullis

    Under The Tuscan Sun, The Beach, Letters From Juliet, One Week. I love travel movies. Thanks for your picks:)

  • amit

    very good for tour

  • sheila

    How about “Under the Tuscan Sun”? This movie makes me want to go back to Tuscany.

  • Antony

    El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky
    Central Station by Walter Salles
    In This World by Michael Winterbottom
    The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni
    And in a “reverse angle” – Last Year at Marienbad by Alain Resnais (endless attempts for a “kick start” repeatedly getting suspended in a particular place and time)

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Thanks Antony! I haven’t seen any of those yet, will check them out.

  • Matt

    You should check out “Wah Do Dem” on netflix. Great movie that I just watched. Makes me want to go to Jamaica.

  • http://www.tvastine.asia Ricotomo

    There are alot of travel/adventure films in some of the extreme sport communities. i highly recommend checking out some of the film festivals they put on. My local climbing gym screens one called Banff Mountain film festival which is excellent, they go on tour around the world so you might wanna check out if there’s a showing near you.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I know the Banff Mountain film festival Ricotomo — I used to live in Bozeman, Montana. They show some pretty epic movies!

  • Sandi

    I absolutely loved A Map For Saturday. Had to purchase it directly from their sight (you can not rent it anywhere), but well worth the trouble. So true to how it is out there. Also, I saw a few suggest The Way, with Martin Sheen. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

  • http://mariza.lagunatrip.com Mariza

    Nice post! My most favorite probably: A Map For Saturday.

  • http://www.thetravellingfool.com The Traveling Fool

    Mine has always been Planes, Trains and Automobiles. An oldie but goodie.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      haha. Love that one! Steve Martin & John Candy are hilarious.

  • http://turtlestravel.com/ Tamara (@Turtlestravel)

    Great list! We were excited to see so many we haven’t seen! We watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel just last night, which was great, followed by Life of Pi (that one, of course, might not inspire some to travel). I’m with you and others all the way on Motorcycle Diaries. Donny (the other Turtle of TurtlesTravel) is a fan of the Beach…all about the scenery.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I have to admit I liked The Beach too, he’s not alone. :D

  • http://trevelation.wordpress.com Nikhil Chandra

    Love them all and each have their own appeal. There are some great movies in this list which I have seen and love to watch again and again Laurence of Arabia, Seven Years in Tibet and Into the Wild or the Motorcycle Diaries and UP. Each of them is unique and it’s very difficult to pick and choose one from the list. I’ll add that this list has some great movies which should be seen regardless of the fact whether you travel or not :-)

  • Maria-Emilia

    Midnight in Paris is exquisite!

  • Alex

    Another good one is The Way Back; and although it is a bit violent at times it shows how travel, pain and fear can unite just about anyone. Even tough the people who become friends don’t have so many things in common.

  • Joshua

    3 years later.. any plans of creating a updated/new list??

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Actually, yes! I’ll be updating this list early next year. :D

      • Sagar Dodhia

        I would like to suggest an interesting work by National Geographic. The name of the movie is “Life in a Day”. It is not exactly a travel movie but for sure you get is an exposure to different culture, people getting captured in its most basic way. Excluding the limelight it is a noble attempt to show how the world lives in a day. It has inspired me in a very subtle sense. Best part of the movie which keeps you activated is their background score. Commendable work !

  • Raj

    I love travelling too. I think its that ancient human urge to explore new places that is still alive in us..
    I like you list though i havent seen all the movies . But motorcycle diaries, in to the wild are definately my favourite ones…also i would like to add Americano, Duets, Almost famous as well as Banger sisters rings similar bells in my heart
    Keep travelli Sir …

  • Formosa

    Ended up here after watching Into the Wild once again. A great addition to the list would be Taiwan Oyster. Saw it at a film festival in Taipei. A must if you’ve ever visited Taiwan at least – or worked as an expat in Asia.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Adding it to my “watch soon” list. Thanks.

  • http://bbqboy.net Frank

    Hi Matthew,
    A good one to add to your site: “The Way”, written by Emilio Estevez. Never heard of it before last weekend but was an enjoyable movie. Good job on your website!

  • Jacob

    Hey man, you have to add the movie ‘the way’ good travel film, I suggest you look it up.

  • http://www.destinationuncharted88.blogspot.com.au Ash Duncan

    The Way Back, it gets left out of so many of these lists but has such beautiful landscapes that it just makes you want to get out and explore the world!

  • HLT

    Some of these might be a little more on the frightening side but I’ve really liked The Beach, Brokedown Palace, and Mammoth.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      No worries, I like those too. But have never seen Mammoth. Going to rent it!

  • http://www.uncladchef.com Unclad Chef

    The Art of Travel

    Love it.

  • http://blog.purpletravel.co.uk/ PurpleTravelKate

    In Bruges… That counts doesn’t it?

  • http://www.ferienwohnung-24-berlin.com/english.htm Luke

    Though I agree with most films on the list, I’d totally exclude Revolutionary Road, because it’s the exact opposite of a road movie.

    The sequel to L’Auberge Espagnole” is called, in english, “The Russian Dolls”, also a very nice movie. And sorry, I cannot leave “Easy Rider” out.

    Finally, in a somewhat more exotic note, I suggest the movie “Bye Bye Brasil”, about a circus troupe that crosses the Amazon forest.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Now that last one has me curious…

  • http://culturalinsightz.blogspot.com Claudia

    Great list, I have seen some of them but will definitely watch the others. There are two other films I would add. One is “Outsourced” – it is not exactly a travel movie but shows the experiences of an American working in India and the clash of the two cultures. The other is a kind of road movie through Ukraine. It is called “Everything is enlightened”. And I wish they made a movie of one of the books of my favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson. Or have they? -

    • Vriezen

      I also loved the tv show inspired by the movie. I was so upset when NBC cancelled the show after the first season of Outsourced. It had everything and I learned quite a bit about India and the culture.

  • Maz

    Great list !

    I think you can add the movie “Duma” to it .

  • pinar

    I would also add “up in the air” to this list.
    Another possible list could be of the movies that inspire you to travel, that would be a different one though. you could even add Amelie with traveling gnome thing or Frida that makes you wanna go to Mexico!

  • Chiranjeevi Raju

    i strongly recommend “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”.
    it is a great Indian movie in hindi language. the title of the movie means ‘you don’t get life twice’. its about three friends who travel to spain on a bachelor party trip. the people they meet and the things they face together change their lives forever. must watch travel film.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      Thanks Chiranjeevi, I’ll check it out.

  • Mark

    My favorite travel movie of all time. Watch it at least once a month.

    The Art of Travel

  • Jason

    Kind of silly but how about “coming to america” that one was hilarious! Or not super travel movie but the one where cheech marin gets stranded in mexico, i forget the name, but the movie is based on him fighting to get back to america!

  • http://facebook.com/albaroma Andy

    Tony Gatclif is an Algerian Gypsy director, most of his films are on a budget and often include local people in the cast. Xiles and Gadjo Dilo are great!

  • http://www.socialtips.co/ William

    To add to this list, I just found a list of 5 great french movies on Netflix, the link is in hte Commentluv. I watched CRAZY and it’s now one of my favorite movie ever…

    • Lily

      actually crazy isn’t french but quebec movies (canadian french if you prefer)

      • kim

        proper term is French Canadian

  • https://www.facebook.com/halliet Hallie

    Two For The Road is one of my favorite travel films! Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney play a married couple who meet on the road and fall in love, and the movie follows the ups and downs of their marriage.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I’m going to look that one up Hallie. Thanks!

  • Glen

    You should check out The art of travel, I’d say it’s almost as good as Into the wild. Really great movie

  • http://expertvagabond.com/best-travel-movies/#respond james B

    Americano is a good one


    great list. i was searching for a complete list of travel films.
    thanks lot mathew and other contributors.
    mathew can you please revise the list and make a top 10 real travel movies?

  • http://passportdave.com/ Passport Dave

    I just found me a great new list of movies to watch. Actually, I have never been much of a movie buff but have heard too much about some of these to never watch them. Just about to watch “Into The Wild” for the first time. Thanks for the list!

  • http://pomenvadrouille.wordpress.com annepom

    Awsome list!
    I would add this one also, which is really really awsome, so that it makes the list complete with 20 movies. ;-p
    “The legend of 1900″

  • http://thegirlandglobe.com Becky

    Now that the weather’s starting to get cooler and I’m spending more time indoors, I love that I have some movie suggestions! Thanks!

  • Stephanie

    The Sheltering Sky! Also Enchanted April.

  • dana scully

    The Loneliest Planet

  • http://www.erikeverywhere.com Erik Everywhere

    The Mosquito Coast 1986 w/ Harrison Ford & River Phoenix
    Was the inspiration for my trip to Belize in 1999.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, makes me want to go to India.

    “Sideways” 2004 makes me want to travel before I get too old :)

    Those are my three cents!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Awesome Erik. I love the last two, haven’t watched The Mosquito Coast yet though. Will check it out!

  • Mohit Narzary

    ‘The Way’

  • http://nomadontheway.com Leena Alloriya

    The collection is really awesome. You have picked fabulous pieces. Keep up :)

  • http://www.aperezvoyages.com Anthony Perez

    Awesome list. I’ve always loved traveling but The Art of Travel is by far the best and most inspiring. I now work a second job soley to do a long term Latin America trip. Who knows, maybe even more than that.

  • Jason

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I would add that one. This clip especially. Cheers! ~J http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button/i-hope-you

  • Nora

    Good list!

    Here are my suggestions:
    One Week
    Garden State
    The Art of Travel
    The Way
    Cry the Beloved Country
    Stealing Beauty
    A Room With A View, A Passage to India (travel films about 1900s)
    TV Show Northern Exposure

  • http://themanylivesofjames.blogspot.com James Walker

    Add The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to your collection. I love movies that make me want to trade the drive home for a drive someplace new and beautiful and Walter Mitty gave me dreams of Iceland, mountaintops, and the great outdoors.

  • juan

    The way, North face of the eider.

  • http://www.escapehunter.com Escape Hunter

    I’d put “The Tourist” on the list. It inspired me to visit Venice and I quickly booked my tickets and hotel :)
    Additionally, I’d also suggest you the “Silver Streak” and “North by Northwest” movies. Quite adventurous!

    Thanks a lot for your list!

  • Vignesh Vicki

    dont miss to watch “the way back” best travell movie

  • Caroline

    Good selection! I really like the Highest Pass. I’ve traveled in this part of India and the movie helped me remember how breathtakingly beautiful it is.

  • Nirban Bhattacharjee

    Good collection.thanks for this collection.A question for u ?

    I m Nirban Bhattacarjee,from Kolkata,India.I m very interest to travel adventure.Do u know sir ,why can i join in real adventure journey???Pls give some suggestion for me.

  • Vriezen

    I don’t recall seeing this in the comments. Not sure if it should count as a travel movie but since Up was mentioned I was reminded of the french movie Amelie. Especially the part where she took her father’s garden gnome and had postcards from all over the world sent to his house of garden gnome selfies inspiring Amelie’s father to travel for the first time since his wife died.

  • Alex

    Arctic Extreme is a must!

  • Supertramp

    North of the sun! ;)

  • Umm e

    Under the Tuscan Sun has always made me dream about traveling to an unknown quaint place in Europe and just settling there

  • SaharMarianne

    The Seltering Sky, Under the Tuscan Sun, Letters to Juliet, The Painted Veil, The English Patient, Eat Love and Pray, Australia, The City of Life (about Dubai), Before Midnight (greece)

  • Christine

    Eat Pray Love

  • Discerning

    Out Of Africa

  • http://hobonoa.wordpress.com/ HoboNoa

    I would recommend “Hobo” , by John T Davis. In this movie John is traveling with trainriding hobos in USA. Its a really good movie, it have all igreedients – information, portrait of people, the travelfeeling,,,, its just a really good travelmovie that will make you grab Your backpack and head for the road. Or the railroadtracks.
    And while Im at it – “Sans toit ni loi” , also known as “Vagabond”. A french drifter in france. Really an inspiering travelmovie if You are into ruff travel and dont mind sleaping outside. /Noa

  • Chris

    I have been searching for some travel movies to refresh my memories of past journeys, and to inspire me to new adventures. Thanks for this wonderful list, Matt! I don’t recall having seen these films mentioned in the comments, so I’d like to suggest Richard Linklater’s exceptionally executed “Before” trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight). Taken as individual movies and as a complete oeuvre, these little narrative and cinematic gems have transported me to their gorgeous locales and served as inspiration for new trips.

  • SArdar Awais Ali

    THE WAY BACK. guyz must watch this movie you’ll really love it ahhhh!!! one of my favourites

  • http://www.shoestringphilippines.com/ Echo Santos

    Into the Wild is the best in my book. I also agree with one commenter here about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Movies that compels you to just go live your travel dreams!

  • Pat

    I’ve just watched “The way” and I have cried the whole length of the movie!!!
    The ending was great thought, great message!!!

  • nomadbiba

    Baraka, a documentary that’s just beautiful images and sounds from around the world… no words.

  • Jujujulio

    I think “The Bucket List” should be in the list too.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      Ah yes, How could I forget that one!

  • David

    I would go for Only You with Robert Downey Jnr & Maria Tomei. Bit of a soppy film but some majestic Italian scenery compensates for this!

  • http://www.reginstravels.com/ Regin

    You forgot Up in the Air, Last Stop for Paul, A Map for Saturday, The Beach, The Art of Travel, and Before Sunrise-Sunset-Midnight

  • Hidde

    Great list, sir! Thank you! There are quite a few on there that i haven’t seen yet. Some of my suggestions: Kon-Tiki, The Endless Summer, Before Sunrise, Baraka, Easy Rider, The Beach (although the book is way better) and Tracks (just went to see it and I was blown away:))

    • lazoon

      Just a note to agree with Hidde about “Tracks”….Brilliantly understated experience of what must’ve been a gruelling solo trek…well, solo ‘cept for the camels!

  • Dr Peter Sloane

    I think that you’ll have to add “Tracks” just out. Very good.

  • TheSpeakingMind

    Thank You For sharing this beautiful list. May you be happy for ever.

  • http://www.diygenius.com/ kaaist

    My vote is for Into The Wild. That film is so epic. I love the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder too.

  • Ellie

    Maybe it’s one of those series that are only really good when you’re young but I absolutely loved the tv-series Relic hunters about ten years ago. They travel the world saving ancient artifacts and it is definitely one of the reasons why I’m currently travelling wonderful New Zealand and planning my next trips to south America and se Asia!
    Great blog by the way!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      Thanks Ellie! I’ve never heard of that series before. I’ll look it up.

  • Fab M.

    50 first dates
    007 series
    Mission Impossible series