15 Awesome Movies That Will Make You Pack Your Bag and TravelSpark your wanderlust with these adventure filled movies
Awake your inner adventurer
We love watching inspiring movies that make us want to explore the world.
Okay, we must admit that we are easily persuaded when it comes to travelling and we keep on adding new places to our bucket list.
But on a rainy day or a slow Sunday evening, there is nothing better than to kick back, relax and dream about amazing travel destinations.
Do you feel this way too?
Here are 15 awesome travel movies that will awake your inner adventurer.
Table of contents
1. The Beach
We have to start with a classic!
The Beach is based on Alex Garland’s novel about Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacking in Thailand and getting a hold on a map showing the way to a secret paradise island.
Victoria has probably seen the movie more than 10 times (and read the book, too) as she travelled to Thailand often with her family.
We often look for idyllic beaches like the one in the movie when backpacking in Southeast Asia.
The film also portrays how the Thai islands have been taken over by tourists and full moon parties. The blissful beach from the film, Maya Bay, is ironically completely ruined by crowds of people. In fact, the area is closed for several months in 2018 to properly measure the environmental impact.
Fortunately, Thailand still has plenty to offer, and The Beach is a must-see for both former and future Southeast Asian backpackers.
Do you want to watch The Beach? Stream, rent or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
2. Into the Wild
Even if you are from the US, we bet that this movie makes you want to explore the wilder sides of the country.
The 22-year-old Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) says goodbye to a material life in his quest for freedom.
On a course set for Alaska, he hitchhikes through the United States and on his way he meets interesting people and learns about alternative ways to live.
Into the Wild depicts the beautiful and rugged American nature and the movie has truly inspired us to see more of the States – perhaps we will make it all the way to Alaska one day!
Do you want to watch Into the Wild? Stream, rent or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
3. The Talented Mr. Ripley
It is quite unusual for a Hollywood movie to actually be filmed in Italy but that is the case for the psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley (with Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the leading roles).
It may appear to be a movie about rich guys having fun with an abundance of sailboats, jazz nights and drinks in the Italian sun, but underneath the surface, lurking secrets are bound to come out and ruin the perfect European summer.
Scenes from the fictional city of Mongibello are filmed in Positano, Ischia and Procida and major parts of the film take place in Rome and Venice.
The movie is refreshingly authentic and the colourful Italian scenery makes us miss the streets of Rome and the charming islands in the Bay of Naples.
Do you want to watch The Talented Mr. Ripley? Stream, rent or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
4. Seven Years in Tibet
Brad Pitt plays the role of the Austrian Heinrich Harrer who travels to the Himalayas to climb mountains.
Along the way, World War II breaks out and Heinrich ends up in Tibet where he becomes a trusted advisor to the fourteenth Dalai Lama.
The scenery in this movie is beautiful and the breathtaking views really inspire us to hike more in majestic landscapes.
Many of the scenes are actually filmed around the Andes Mountains in Argentina as well as in Nepal, Austria and Canada.
The director has later confirmed that some of the scenes were also secretly shot in Tibet.
And obviously, the main reason for watching the movie is Brad Pitt! He is quite inspiring too.
Do you want to watch Seven Years in Tibet? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
5. Lost in Translation
Taking place in Tokyo, Lost in Translation is a classic movie about the cultural differences between Americans and Japanese.
Actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) meets the neglected college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in a Tokyo hotel. They both feel tremendously lonely and they decide to embrace their situations and experience the strange Japanese nightlife and culture together.
Even though the movie is a bit melancholic, it is also fun, sweet and romantic. If you have not seen it yet, Lost In Translation is perfect for a rainy day.
Do you want to watch Lost in Translation? Stream, rent or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
Carrying a huge backpack, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) decides to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs along the US West Coast from Canada to Mexico.
Wild is based on the memoirs of the real Cheryl Strayed and besides a lot of hiking the movie is also about drug abuse and the loss of her mother.
94 days of hiking might be just a liiiittle too much for us, but we definitely must explore more of the wild landscapes of North America one day.
Do you want to watch Wild? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
7. Slumdog Millionaire
It is almost impossible to capture what it feels like to be in India, but Slumdog Millionaire does a really good job.
As a matter of fact, the movie won eight Academy Awards in 2008 including Best Picture and Best Director.
Jamal, a young boy from the slums of Mumbai, is a contestant on the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and to prove he is not cheating, he has to explain why he knows all the answers.
While the movie is about love and friendships, it’s also illustrating some of India’s major social problems.
We have both travelled in India (not together yet) and Slumdog Millionaire reminds us that the country is incredibly beautiful but also a relentless and demanding place for travelling if you are from a tiny, well-organized European country like Denmark.
So many people, colours, smells, sounds and impressions everywhere! We both loved it though.
Even if you’ve seen Slumdog Millionaire years ago, it’s a movie that can easily be rewatched.
Do you want to watch Slumdog Millionaire? Buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
The biographical adventure film is about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster where several climbers lost their lives during attempts to descend from the summit.
Despite the tragic plot, it is a surprisingly good Hollywood film.
The beautiful pictures from Nepal (as well as Italy and Iceland) immediately makes us dream about high mountain peaks and endless snowy landscapes.
However, we might hold off on climbing Mount Everest!
Do you want to watch Everest? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
9. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Back in 2010, we visited Barcelona for the first time and this movie definitely had a part to play in that. It has since become one of our favourites.
The Americans Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) spend a summer in Spain where they meet the mysterious artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) who invites them both to Oviedo, which is only a short, bumpy flight away.
Both girls get seduced by this charming and romantic artist and things get even more complicated when Juan Antonio’s ex-wife (Penélope Cruz) shows up.
The drama is beautifully filmed, but it’s the amazing soundtrack that makes Vicky Cristina Barcelona such a pleasant film to watch. The soothing sounds of Spanish guitars call for tapas and red wine under the stars.
Do you want to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona? Stream or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
10. Eat, Pray, Love
Although Eat, Pray, Love is not one of our favourite movies, it’s difficult making a list of inspiring travel movies without mentioning it.
Trying to escape a failed marriage in New York, Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Robert) travels to Italy, India and Indonesia to eat, meditate and fall in love.
Besides showing pretty pictures from the three amazing countries, the movie is encouraging if you want to travel as a solo female.
Just a heads up – if you watch it on an empty stomach, you will want to call your local Italian restaurant.
Do you want to watch Eat, Pray, Love? Stream or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
11. Captain Fantastic
Captain Fantastic is far from a classic travel movie.
Many of the movie’s scenes show boring highways and fast-food chains instead of majestic landscapes. In this case, there is no rise from conformity to adventure – rather the other way around.
Through a back-to-nature and anti-capitalist approach, the movie inspired us to travel; perhaps even in more alternative ways. It made us want to eat berries in the woods, walk barefoot and swim in crystal clear lakes.
And although Viggo Mortensen’s character probably would not be entirely comfortable with the idea, the family’s #vanlife-like life would probably be popular on Instagram.
Do you want to watch Captain Fantastic? Stream, rent or buy the movie on Amazon here (adlink).
At the beginning of this millennium, the French Amélie took the world by storm and since then people have flocked to Montmartre to experience her marvellous world.
Audrey Tautou plays the role of the imaginative waitress who secretly does good deeds to help the people around her. And of course, there’s also a love story.
After watching Amélie you will want to jump on a plane to Paris and experience all the fun and peculiar sides of the romantic city.
Do you want to watch Amélie? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
13. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Many people say that you have to watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty twice to really appreciate the qualities of the movie.
We have only seen it once, but Walter Mitty’s (Ben Stiller) world trip clearly spoke to our inner adventurers.
Big parts of the movie have been filmed in Iceland (also the scenes from Greenland and Afghanistan), and through Walter’s escapades, one sees the country’s stunning scenery with mountains, waterfalls and glaciers.
Unfortunately, we have not visited Iceland yet, but it’s at the top of our bucket list!
Do you want to watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
The chocolate maker Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter travel with the wind until she settles down in a charming, traditional French village.
Her free spirit and enjoyment of life are stirring – particularly with the mayor, who’s rather conservative.
The characters’ outfits, their interpersonal relationships and the many underlying stories make Chocolat a really wonderful movie. It certainly makes us want to stroll around small villages in Southern France.
Pro tip: Be sure to have great quality chocolate nearby when watching Chocolat. It’s difficult not to drool when Vianne whirls around in the chocolate kitchen!
Do you want to watch Chocolat? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
15. Out of Africa
Based on the true story of Karen Blixen’s time as a coffee farmer in Kenya, Out of Africa is a romantic drama with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the leading roles.
It’s a movie classic from 1985 which we finally saw in 2015 when we visited a lot of coffee farms in Central America.
If you dream about going on a safari in East Africa, the many beautiful animal and landscape images will definitely peak your interest.
Do you want to watch Out of Africa? Rent or buy the movie and stream it on Amazon here (adlink).
Which movies inspire you to travel?
Please, share your favourites with us in the comments below.
We would love some additional movie inspiration!