Our list of top 20 travel movies, in no particular order. Each one is different and offers insight into the benefits of all types of travel, from journeys that take place within us and those that push our limits physically. There is something here for everyone, so sit back, relax and get inspired for your next trip!
Eat, Pray, Love
The quintessential movie to accompany just about any emotion you’re going through and one that can easily be watched time and again. In terms of travel, Liz covers thousands of kilometres geographically, from America, to Italy, India and Bali. Each country is displayed in all its colourful glory, including the stereotypically famous things to do in each one. In taking the leap to break away from what she knows, she also comes a long way inwardly.
Dear Other Self (Tagalog)
This Filipino movie explores the eternal dilemma of travellers – stay at work or pursue that passion for travel?
Into the Wild
The story of a young man who wants nothing more than to escape the suffocating expectations of modern society. He manages to do this and spends a few years happily wandering through the American wilderness, accumulating powerful life lessons along the way. One day, he finds a long abandoned bus…
- P.K. (Bollywood Film)
P.K. is an alien in human form who lands on Earth for a research mission and is absolutely baffled by all the religious and social rituals that the native inhabitants go through, which are completely unnecessary to him and where he is from. A touching and funny film, it travels across the universe and deep within to uncover the simplest of ideas that we should all embrace.
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
In face of being made redundant from his long-time job as a film photography archivist, Walter finds himself on an unexpected adventure that takes him all the way to Iceland and completely out of his comfort zone. He emerges from his travels transformed.
6. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Grab your wig, your platform shoes and get frocked! Three drag queens from Sydney are forced through a lack of funds, direction and friendship to leave the Big Smoke and the world that they know and love to road trip across the Australian Outback for a gig. They meet some characters along the way, including a tribe of Aborigines, and get themselves into some scrapes thanks to their outlandish and unusual style.
7. The Hobbit
The film adaptation of a classic novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, follow the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and his hobbit friends who must work together with Elves and Dwarves in order to destroy the ring that will otherwise destroy them. Their adventure takes them far from their home, across harsh terrain and conditions. An epic film series that highlights the importance of self belief, working together no matter the superficial differences and proving to yourself and others how much you’re capable of.
8. Tomb Raider (2018)
After her father’s disappearance, Lara Croft must make it in the world without the benefit of her inheritance. Through a series of events, she is able to follow a trail to find out what happened to her father. This movie takes the viewer to the gritty streets of Hong Kong in an action packed, coming of age adventure.
Seven Years In Tibet
Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter are mountaineering in 1930s British India when World War II begins. Their German citizenship lands them in a prisoner-of-war camp in Dehradun in the Himalayas. In 1944, Harrer and Aufschnaiter escape the prison and cross the border into Tibet, traversing the treacherous high plateau. There, they are welcomed at the holy city of Lhasa and become absorbed into an unfamiliar way of life. Harrer is introduced to the 14th Dali Lhama, who is still a boy, and becomes one of his tutors and eventual close friend. Beautiful shots of Tibet and proof that even the most rigid of people can become open and free through the cleansing and introspective nature of arduous travel.
Based on the extraordinary true story of Robyn Davidson’s 1700 mile solo trek across the Australian desert with only 4 camels and her faithful dog for company. Her effort and ultimate triumph, despite the doubts of others who heard of her plan, in walking until the ocean is truly inspiring. Proof that the impossible is possible with a little vision and determination.
A different kind of travel movie, this one never leaves the airport. However, the journey is no less arduous for Viktor Navorski, who finds himself stuck in JFK Airport, denied entry into America and unable to go home due to a military coup. It demonstrates the power of staying calm and carrying on with Viktor still living his life despite the extreme restriction that is placed on him.
A journey to Tibet and a journey through space and time. This Marvel movie explores the inner workings of the mind and what it is capable of with the correct, strict training. There’s a good bit of action in there along with decent humour.
The Lost City of Z
An insight into travel and expedition pre-flight era. Journey like the first intrepid Western explorers through lush jungle to find worlds only known to their native inhabitants.
Thelma and Louise
A classic must see. It tells the story of two women and close friends who hit the road to escape trouble and their abusive home lives. It’s on the road that they find their power and are in total control. Extraordinary scenes of the American desert wilderness to inspire your US road trip.
Idyllic beach vistas, white washed buildings, rooftop parties and non-stop ABBA songs – what’s not to love?! Get your popcorn and get ready to book a flight to Greece.
The Way Back
The film is inspired by The Long Walk (1956), the memoir by former Polish prisoner of war Slawomir Rawicz, who claimed to have escaped from a Soviet gulag and walked 4,000 miles to freedom in World War II. An inspiring example of the strength of human spirit and mind over body.
Queen of the Desert
Based on the remarkable true story of Gertrude Bell who's extraordinary life could not be replicated in these times. A potent example of following your heart with an open mind and the riches that come from it.
Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley. From India to Australia and back, this is a story that goes full circle and is a beautiful display of the powerful transformative nature of inner and outer journeys.
An action packed Jackie Chan movie set in 48 BCE Northwestern China, about a group of outcasts and their defence of the ancient Silk Road against Romans. Worth a watch for kung-fu lovers and for inspiration for your next Asian journey.
Point Break (2015)
Find your breaking point. How to come from adversity and the pain of losing someone close. It’s in adversity that your true capabilities come to the surface.
Which one is your favourite? Any others that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments. Let’s inspire each other!