Our Favorite Travel Movies

Movies are just one of those things we all have in common. Nobody asks “Do you like movies?” as a get-to-know-you question. “What KIND of movies do you like?” is a far more common query. 

So as long as we’re all sticking a bit closer to home these days, here are some of our favorite travel-themed films to inspire you to start dreaming of your next vacation.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

If you haven’t seen this non-stop, hilarious romp across Europe with the irrepressible Griswold clan, you’re missing out. From trying on questionable fashions in Italy, to getting stuck in a British roundabout, to speed-spotting masterpieces at The Louvre, travel has rarely been this funny.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Based on the beloved story by James Thurber, Ben Stiller (who also directs) brings the titular character to vibrant life in this adaptation. Faced with unemployment, Walter Mitty decides to embark on the globetrotting adventure of a lifetime. The result is funny, touching, poignant, and filled with scenic beauty from around the globe.

The Beach (2000)

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this lushly gorgeous tale of mystery, intrigue, and the importance of honesty. Upon finding an abandoned map, DiCaprio’s character follows it, not knowing what he might find at the end of his journey. No spoilers here, but it’s not what he, nor the viewer expects. Shot almost entirely in Thailand, this is a film bursting with beauty and a cautionary tale about responsible adventuring.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

An undeniable classic that still holds up today. A group of hapless motorists in the American southwest hear a two-bit gangster confess the location of a buried treasure with his dying breath. The resultant road-trip race to be the first to claim the cash is as madcap as the title would suggest. The movie features an all-star cast including Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Spencer Tracy, Buddy Hackett, and Mickey Rooney. 

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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) The cast and cameos are outstanding. I felt that there were several cameos that I didn't understand because of how far removed I am from the time. The scenario was fun and the stunts were wonderfully chaotic. Spencer Tracy was wonderfully subtle against the slapstick of the rest of the cast. I would suggest watching it just for the cast. #Cinephile #FilmReview #StanleyKramer #SpencerTracy #MiltonBerle #EthelMerman #MickeyRooney #SidCeasar #BuddyHackett #DickShawn #PhilSilvers #JonathanWinters #JimBackus #PeterFalk #NormanFell #BusterKeaton #DonKnotts #CarlReiner #TheThreeStooges #JimmyDurante You can read all my reviews and ratings on my @letterboxd profile. Link in bio

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Easy Rider

Shot at the height of the 60’s counterculture, Easy Rider follows a pair of hippies (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper) as they motorcycle across the American South on the back of — ahem — some ill-gotten gains. Along the way, they experience a spiritual journey concurrently to their physical one. It’s a film that is at turns brutal and beautiful. 

The Bucket List (2007)

A touching tale of friendship, The Bucket List features a top-of-their-craft Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as a pair of hospital roommates diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Rather than lament their imminent fates, the pair decide to set off on a globetrotting journey of discovery, scratching off all of the adventures they could ever hope to have in order to make the most of the time they have left.