Thanks to movies, people can travel to far away lands without ever leaving the comfort of their couches. Some movies leave viewers in awe with the stunning landscape they use as their backdrop. Other movies inspire people to get out and see the world, experience new cultures, try new foods and find new romances. Whether you’re about to go study abroad, take a long-deserved island vacation, or just want to live vicariously through a character in a film, this list of the top 10 travel movies is just for you. Whether you’re into drama, horror, or even musicals, there’s going to be a movie that gets you excited to get up and go see the world!
10. Mamma Mia!
This is the only musical that made the list. What makes this musical so great and so enjoyable for anybody with the travel bug is the scenery. Amanda Seyfried stars as a young woman who travels to Greece for her wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, her and her mom are trying to figure out who’s her baby daddy. Meryl Streep kills it in this musical as the motherly, yet still vibrant Donna. (What role can’t Meryl Streep play?) The music in this movie makes Greece seem like a land of non-stop celebration.
Now, many people probably don’t want to see a horror film about being tortured while abroad before traveling, but this movie is just creepy, gory, and awesome! Three backpackers’ memorable journey of partying and flings quickly turns fatal when they end up in a torture ring. The film pretty much fuels all the ideas of what can go wrong if you go backpacking across Europe. If you liked to get freaked out, watch this one!
8. Lost in Translation
Two travelers, Bob & Charlotte, (played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen) meet each other and form a friendship in the strange and confusing city of Tokyo. The two seem like unlikely friends due to their age difference and different walks of life, but you befriend strange people when you are in a far away land. Bill Murray brings his signature humor to show the little moments of awkwardness and hilarity that can happen while traveling. In the end, Lost in Translation shows that the best memories can be made when you least expect it.
7. National Lampoon’s European Vacation
The Griswalds go back on the road in this hilarious classic. Of course, they face similar hijinx as is tradition with this family, but this time they do so across Europe. If you like any Griswald movie, you'll love this one. Let's just hope that when you travel, you don't reek as much havoc as this clan.
6. The Beach
This movie represents everything that is great about traveling! Leonardo DiCaprio plays Richard, a twenty-something year old who finds a map to a rumored beach. He sets off the known path in an effort to find the beach. This movie perfectly captures the mood that travelers feel whenever they explore new lands, meet new friends, and beam with joy at the possibility of discovering a new world!
5. Roman Holiday
Roman Holiday is a classic! The ever-classy Audrey Hepburn plays a princess who takes a day off from her regal duties to explore the city of Rome. She meets an American reporter who tries to use her for a story but begins to form a romance with her as the two enjoy all that the city has to offer, all the while eluding the royal police. They stick their hand in the Mouth of Truth (an iconic scene), dance at a hip club off the water, and a whole bunch of classic touristy things. The ending is bittersweet, but makes you want to go to Italy just so you can have an adventure of your own.
4. The Bucket List
This story is about two old men who are terminally ill. Before they “kick the bucket,” they decide to make a list of all the things they’ve ever wanted to do and set out to realize those dreams. The list consists of racing cars, staying in luxurious hotels, and traveling the globe. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are charming as the two friends who decide that now is the time to make their lifelong dreams come true before life catches up with them. These two make the perfect on-screen team and inspire adventure in you, no matter what age.
3. Into the Wild
Emile Hirsch plays Christopher McCandless, a college grad who abandons his former life completely, gives away his live savings, and hitchhikes to Alaska. His whole life on-the-way-to and during his life in Alaska is filled with experiences teaching him about himself and human nature. This story shows the good and bad moments that can happen with travel, but inspires you to leave your life behind and start over new! (Did I mention that this is based on a true story!)
2. Motorcycle Diaries
The historical Che Guevara’s beginnings are explained in this film. Che travels all over South America on a motorcycle to discover his purpose in life. This movie represents the importance that travel has on people-- it opens your eyes to new experiences, new insights into the lives of people different from ourselves. Che, brilliantly played by Gael Garcia Bernal, faces ups and downs along the way, but keeps going with his head high and his eyes and his heart wide open.
1.Eat, Pray, Love
In this true-story, a recently divorced woman leaves all her heartbreak and woes behind in the U.S. and travels across the globe to heal her wounds. She travels to Italy to indulge in humanly pleasures, India to perfect her devotion to a higher being, and Indonesia to find a balance between the two. What makes this movie so great is that as a viewer you go through the emotions of the main character, Liz. You feel her heartbreak and helplessness, but likewise, you feel her redemption and recovery. We can relate with her desire to go far, far away to work on herself and be a better person.
The fact that an all-star cast (including Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco, and Viola Davis) brings the story to life, just makes the movie a classic.