The Best Travel Movies

by The Runaway Guide on September 8, 2011

For anyone who has an insatiable case of wanderlust, and in need of a travel fix, but isn’t fortunate enough to be on the road, the following movies are for you. From foreign romance to surviving the wild, to backpacking Thailand, these are the best travel inspiring movies out there.

9) Outsourced

a guy in an office with a cow

Released in 2006, at the height of controversial outsourcing to India, this is the story of a typical American salesman who is sent to India to train a call center. While there, he falls in love with one of his employees and in turn discovers the uniqueness that is Indian culture. It is a quirky romantic comedy travel movie enhanced by clever commentary on the comic irony of outsourcing. Trailer:

8) Before Sunrise

a scene from before sunrise, a romance film

Another travel romance film, Before Sunrise is the story of an American guy (Ethan Hawke) and a French girl (Julie Delpy) who meet by fate on a train in Europe. Having instant chemistry, they both decide to depart the train in Vienna. As they explore the city, their relationship grows and by early morning they are drunk with love. This is definitely one for you hopeless romantics out there. Trailer:

7) Lost In Translation

bill murray in lost in translation

This film stars Bill Murray as basically himself, who is having a minor mid-midlife crisis. He is in Tokyo doing a commercial when he meets a younger girl (Scarlett Johansen) in the hotel longue. Equally as lost emotionally, they make perfect companions. Together they explore Tokyo’s nightlife. If you have been to Japan, Lost In Translation will make you nostalgic for Japenglish. If you haven’t, you are definitely going to want to go. Trailer:

6) Seven Years In Tibet

brad pitt in the film seven years in tibet

This film takes place during WW2. It follows the plight of a famous German mountain climber played by Brad Pitt. Forced to flee from British Nepal after attempting to summit Mt. Everest, he eventually finds himself in Tibet and becomes a tutor for the Dali Lama. It is a story of survival, adventure, and cultural clashes, and will leave you longing to visit Tibet. Trailer:

5) The Darjeeling Limited

adrien brody and owen wilson in the darjeeling limited

This movie is in part the reason why I wanted to go to India. It is the story of three brothers, (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, & Jason Swartzman) who travel to India to reunite with their mother. Initially a “spiritual journey” they soon succumb to old sibling rivalries and over the counter pain medications. A must see for any travelers of India. Trailer:

4) The Motorcycle Diaries

che guervara on motorcycle

Based on a true story, The Motorcycle Diaries is a fantastic adventure that traces the youthful origins of the revolutionary Che Guevara and his friend, Alberto Granado. After watching, you will no doubt want to buy a motorcycle and ride the world. Trialer:

3) Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

This film as well as the entire series is what inspired me to travel as a kid. If you haven’t seen Indiana Jones and are into travel action films, you won’t be disappointed. Trailer:

2) The Beach

Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach

“The Beach” is the story of a young American backpacker,(Leonardo Dicaprio) who goes to Thailand in search of an adventure off the beaten path. This is the movie that inspired me to go to Thailand. I highly recommend it.  Trailer:

1).  Into The Wild

Into The Wild

Into The Wild is one of the greatest beatnik/wilderness adventure movies I have ever seen. Based on a true story, it follows the path of Alexander “Supertramp.”  Disillusioned by society and capitalism, he renounces the material world and seeks enlightenment through an escape to the Wilderness. He is a traveler after my own heart. Trailer:


If you have any good travel movie recommendations, feel free to post them below.

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