Top 10 Movies That Make You Want to Travel
VOICE OVER: Emily - WatchMojo
WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Even if you can't afford the plane tickets, these are all movies that make you want to travel.
Talk about wanderlust. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Make You Want to Travel.
For this list, we’re taking a look at films whose plots and/or settings are likely to awaken your inner travel bug.
#10: “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018)
The surprise hit of 2018, “Crazy Rich Asians” won over audiences and critics alike thanks to its fresh take on cinema’s overplayed fish-out-of-watch trope. The film sees Rachel Chu traveling to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s extremely affluent family for the first time. Upon arrival, she is immediately thrust into Singaporean high society. Much like Rachel, viewers are left starry-eyed by the dazzling real-life locations featured in the film, from the breathtaking Gardens by the Bay, to the sights and sounds of Singapore’s world-famous Chinatown. The film is a glowing endorsement of the city-state’s best sights, and those who saw “Crazy Rich Asians” likely added Singapore to their bucket lists before the credits had even rolled.
#9: “Roman Holiday” (1953)
An Oscar-winning romantic comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age, “Roman Holiday” is the story of a reporter who falls for a princess while the latter is on a state visit to Rome. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck as the princess and the reporter, respectively, the film weaves a compelling narrative that sees the leads visiting some of Rome’s most magical locations, from the Trevi Fountain to Piazza Venezia. With its dreamy overtures, marvelous real-life locations, and idealized scenes of Roman life, the film will surely have you craving a slice of “la dolce vita.” Many a film set in Rome has been made since, but few inspire a desire to travel quite like “Roman Holiday.”
#8: “Midnight in Paris” (2011)
A film that will leave you with two kinds of wanderlust (regular and historical), “Midnight in Paris” sees Owen Wilson’s floundering screenwriter Gil Pender transported back to 1920s Paris, where falls in love and rubs shoulders with his literary and artistic idols. As Gil jumps from the romanticized Paris of the past and the more complicated present, there remains one constant: the unending elegance and appeal of the French capital. The film with shots of Paris’ most famous landmarks – a decision that seamlessly introduces viewers to the enchanting city – and throughout the film, characters rarely miss an opportunity to walk by, near, or through some beautiful section of the city. Which we must say, inspires us to do the same!
#7: “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)
If Paris isn’t for you, why not take a cue from another Woody Allen flick and book a trip to Barcelona? You’ll find all the inspiration you need in his 2008 film, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which focuses on two American women who fall for the same man during a summer in the Spanish city. The backdrop for the trio’s unique romantic entanglement is one that Woody Allen is constantly exploiting; reaffirming just how spectacular a place it is through shots of the breathtaking architecture and stunning natural vistas. As the story unfolds Barcelona – and by extension Spain – begins to feel like the perfect place for a summer getaway, and perhaps a passionate fling with a charming local artist…
#6: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013)
Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is the travel-inspo flick you didn’t know you needed. Stiller plays a daydreaming negative assets manager at Life magazine, who embarks on a journey across the globe in search of a missing negative. As Walter Mitty travels to the far-flung locals of Iceland and Afghanistan – and hikes the mighty Himalayas – viewers are treated to dramatic shots of the surrounding landscapes. These evocative locations may not be at the top of your bucket list now, but one viewing of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and you’ll be scouring the web for the next flight to Reykjavík.
#5: “The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004)
As anyone who has ever traveled will surely tell you, exploration and self-reflection are two sides of the same coin. This is something “The Motorcycle Diaries’” Ernesto Guevara discovers as he travels through South America in the 50s with his friend, Alberto Granado. Based on the memoir of revolutionary leader Che Guevara, the film takes viewers on a journey deep into the heart of Latin America. It’s there that Guevara first began to muse over the social injustices facing the regions’ lower classes. While you’re not likely to become a Marxist leader simply by watching the film, you will be enamored by the spectacular shots of Machu Picchu, the Andes, and the Atacama Desert. Just make sure to buy a better motorcycle for your journey…
#4: “Eat Pray Love” (2010)
“Eat Pray Love” sees recent divorcee Elizabeth Gilbert embark on a journey of self-discovery, one that takes her to three unique yet equally enthralling destinations. As the title implies, Gilbert’s adventure is one of indulgence, learning, and understanding, three things she experiences during his visits to Italy, India, and Indonesia, respectively. You’ll find yourself watering at the mouth as Gilbert indulges her culinary desires in Italy; pining for a religious awakening during her visit to India; and finally, yearning for a steamy hook-up when she takes on Indonesia.
#3: “Into the Wild” (2007)
A thoughtful and mature look at the life of Christopher McCandless, who in his early 20s abandoned civilization to live in the Alaskan wilderness, “Into the Wild” might actually dissuade some from traveling. While it’s true that McCandless experienced a lifetime’s worth of adventure during his travels, his story is ultimately a tragic one, as he died while attempting to live off the land in a remote section of Alaska. While the film handles McCandless’ passing with grace, it does an even better job showcasing his exuberant personality and lust for life – something that’s exhibited in his travels and social interactions. Sweeping American landscapes dominate the film, which is as much about the beauty of the country as it is about McCandless’ journey.
#2: “Lost in Translation” (2003)
Set in Japan, “Lost in Translation” features Bill Murray playing a disillusioned actor in Tokyo to film a whiskey commercial. While there, he encounters Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson), and the two bond over their shared feelings of isolation and loneliness. While this would be enough to lure in any self-respecting cinephile, the film offers viewers the chance to dive headfirst into Japanese culture, with bustling Tokyo all but declaring itself the third lead. Bob and Charlotte serve as stand-ins for the viewers’ curiosities about Tokyo and Japan as a whole… and while they don’t exactly have a happy ending, you’ll come away from it with the indescribable feeling that accompanies adding a new city to your “must-visit” list.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are some honorable mentions:
“Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003)
“Catch Me If You Can” (2002)
“The Darjeeling Limited” (2007)
“A Map for Saturday” (2007)
#1: “Before” trilogy (1995–2013)
Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy spans 18 years, three European locales, and one epic romance. It begins in the mid-90s when American traveler Jesse meets French student Céline and the two decide to spend the day walking the streets of Vienna together. The city seamlessly weaves its way in and out of their conversation, something Linklater would replicate with Paris and Greece in the later films. The locations featured in the films are simultaneously backdrop and main character, as Jesse and Céline discuss love, life, and everything in between as they stroll through the lustful locations. If you can watch this trilogy without pining for a whirlwind European romance, congratulations, you’re way stronger than us.