Sometimes a good travel movie is all you need to inspire a sense of wanderlust. While there are several classic films that make us want to travel — like Thelma and Louise, Roman Holiday, or any of the Indiana Jones — we’ve put together a list of some of the more modern movies that showcase epic on-screen adventures. Live vicariously through one of these hit travel movies that are sure to inspire your next vacation adventure!
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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Santorini, Greece
Based on the YA book, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants follows four best friends who are spending their first summer apart.They share a magical pair of jeans, which, despite being of various shapes and sizes, fits each one of them perfectly in their own unique ways. To keep in touch they pass these pants to each other as well as the adventures they are going through while apart. (Want to read the books? Grab them here!)
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Italy, India, Bali
Based on the biography, Eat Pray Love follows Liz Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts), a newly divorced woman who sets out on a journey of self discovery. Throughout her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.
Makes You Want to Travel to: Pacific Northwest
Based off the best-selling biography, Wild chronicles Cheryl Strayed’s solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to recover from personal tragedy. This movie captures the adventures of Cherly’s determination to forge ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthen, and ultimately heals her. Grab your hiking shoes (and your tissues!)
Girl’s Trip (2017)
Makes You Want to Travel to: New Orleans, LA
When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled. This hilarious comedy is ultimately about the bonds of friendship, but also features many iconic destinations that will make you want to visit the Big Easy as soon as possible.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Singapore
When an Asian American woman from NYC travels to her boyfriend’s home in Singapore drama ensues. Will she survive meeting his big, wealthy, family or be sent home packing? This quick paced, witty film gives viewers a glimpse into the personalities of a big extended family full of love, loyalty, tradition and yes – crazy riches.
The Holiday (2006)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Surrey, England
In this light-hearted romantic comedy two heart-broken women (Kate Winslet & Cameron Diaz) swap homes in each other’s countries over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Each unexpectedly meets a local guy and falls in love.
Mama Mia! (2008)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Greek Islands
Based on the hit Broadway musical, Mama Mia (and its sequel) includes it all— love, mystery, singing, dancing and…ABBA. The colorful setting will have you booking your trip to a Greek island stat!
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Tuscany, Italy
San Francisco writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) travels to Tuscany, Italy and impulsively buys an aged, yet charming villa, which ends up being a fixer-upper. She struggles to start her life anew amid colorful local characters and soon finds herself immersed in a life-changing adventure.
Makes You Want to Travel to: California Wine Country
A week before his friend is to be married, best man Miles and Jack, the prospective groom, head off to wine country for a week of fun, relaxation and – of course – wine drinking. Sideways follows the men as they embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.
The Bucket List (2017)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Your Own Travel Bucket List Locations
While sharing a hospital room together, two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on an epic road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Mumbai, India
Jamal Malik, a Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”. Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions.
The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)
Makes You Want to Travel to: The French Countryside
The family of talented cook, Hassan Kadam, has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss. Drifting through Europe after fleeing political violence in India, they arrive in France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred eatery. Warning: Do not watch while hungry!
Lost in Translation (2003)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Tokyo, Japan
Lost in Translation tells the story of a faded movie star and a lonely young woman who form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. It’s a moving story about love, relationships and life in general.
Leap Year (2010)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Dublin, Ireland (and the Irish Countryside)
Anna Brady travels to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on February 29, leap day. But, bad weather derails her travels and she unexpectedly ends up in a small Irish village instead. With the help of a handsome yet frustrating innkeeper, her cross-country odyssey just might result in her getting engaged— just not to the man she had originally planned to marry!
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Makes You Want to Travel to: New Zealand
A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. OK, we know this is a fantasy movie, based off the novels written by J. R. R. Tolkien. But, the movies were filmed throughout over 100 locations in both the North and the South Islands, which gave us total wanderlust to visit the otherworldly landscapes throughout New Zealand.
Oceans 11 (2001)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Las Vegas, NV
In this movie filled with A-list celebrities, Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest Las Vegas heist in history. He combines an 11 member team of thieves, each with their own unique specialty. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand.
Last Holiday (2006)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Czech Republic
Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman decides to sell all her possessions and live it up at the famously posh Grandhotel Pupp in the Czech Republic. She checks into the Presidential Suite, orders everything on the menu, snowboards, and comes to the attention of the chef and the hotel’s powerful American guests: a Congressman, a Senator, a retail magnate, and his mistress. She has nothing to lose, so she tells them what she thinks.
Makes You Want to Travel to: Any Polynesian Island
Inspired by stories from Polynesian mythology, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana’s island, sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific to seek out the Demigod to set things right.
Makes You Want to Travel to: Columbia, South America
Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. Every member of the family has their own special magical ability, except Mirabel. Yet ordinary Madrigal might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Throughout Europe
A mystery man (Matt Damon) is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia. Eventually he begins to remember smaller details in life and discovers his name was Jason Bourne, and he is a high class assassin. This travel movie (and its sequels) follow Bourne as he travels from country to country throughout Europe in search of his new identity.
Chasing Liberty (2004)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Backpack Through Europe
As the US president’s daughter, Anna Foster has never had an ordinary life. During a diplomatic trip to Prague, Anna manages to slip past her secret service guards and escapes with Ben Calder, a handsome photographer she runs into outside of the music club. During Ben and Anna’s travels throughout Europe, they experience many adventures and unexpectedly fall in love. But, who is Ben, really?
My Life in Ruins (2009)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Greece
My Life in Ruins follows Georgia, a disgruntled tour guide in Greece. On what she intends to be her last tour, her group includes a goofy couple, a frat boy, a sullen teen, a feuding couple, divorcées looking for a mate, a funny guy. They all have to deal with a bus without air conditioning driven by a bearded silent driver. But, thanks to unlikely friendships and the Oracle at Delphi, Georgia may have a shot at finding her renewed passion during this four-day tour.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Uganda
A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess. Living in Katwe, a slum in Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona, and her family. But, her world changes when she learns to play chess at a local missionary center and soon becomes a top player in the country.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
Makes You Want to Travel to: North Carolina, The Outer Banks
The Peanut Butter Falcon follows Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from his nursing home to chase his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Zak soon meets up with Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run, who becomes an unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, catch fish, and convince Eleanor, a kind nursing home employee, to join them on their journey.
Dirty Dancing Havana Nights (2004)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Cuba
High school senior Katey moves to Havana in November 1958, where befriends Javier, a local waiter, who introduces her to Cuban music/dance. When Javier is fired from his job, the two participate in a Latin Ballroom Contest in the local Palace club to help him to raise some money.
Soul Surfer (2011)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Hawaii
Based on the true story, Soul Surfer tells the tale of teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton who loses her left arm in a shark attack. She has to re-learn how to do everything with only one arm – including how to surf. It takes her friends, family, community and faith to get her back into the water.
Julie and Julia (2009)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Paris, France
Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book. Though separated by time and space, both women discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Italy
Dan Brown’s best-selling novel about a powerful secret that’s been kept under wraps for thousands of years comes to the screen in this suspense thriller. A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
Little Italy (2018)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Little Italy in Any Major City
Nikki and Leo were staunch competitors and best friends growing up in the Little Italy neighborhood of Toronto. The young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families’ competing pizza restaurants.
The Proposal (2009)
Makes You Want to Travel to: Alaska
Faced with deportation to her native Canada, high-powered book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock) says she’s engaged to marry her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). Andrew agrees to the charade, but imposes a few conditions of his own, including flying to Alaska to meet his eccentric family. With a suspicious immigration official always lurking nearby, Margaret and Andrew must stick to their wedding plan despite numerous mishaps.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Makes You Want to Travel to: New York City
Andrea, a smart but sensible (and non-fashionable) new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding and ruthless editor-in-chief of Runway, a high fashion magazine headquartered in New York City.
Makes You Want to Travel to: Paris, France
Amelie is an innocent girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. Full of whimsical Parisian charm, this eccentric travel movie will leave you yearning for a French adventure.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Makes You Want to Travel to: A Family Road Trip
The Hoover family puts the fun back in dysfunctional by piling into a VW bus and heading to California to support seven-year-old Olive in her bid to win the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. The sanity of everyone involved is stretched to the limit as the group’s quirks cause epic problems as they travel along their interstate route.
Is there a movie we missed? Let us know what your favorite travel movie is in the comments below!
Kim is the owner and publisher of Sass Magazine, as well as the owner of Sass Studios, a boutique graphic design studio in Frederick, MD. When not in the office, Kim can be found doing some of her favorite hobbies—reading a book, dancing, traveling, or playing with her rescued pitbull.