Few things in this world can instill serious wanderlust like a good travel movie. I love movies and if I can’t hop on a plane, I enjoy putting my feet up, sipping a glass of wine, and taking a journey while in my own living room.
I started watching movies at a young age with my mom who loved to travel when she was younger and still enjoys getting out and about when she can. She was big into the classics so that started off my love of travel movies at an early age.
These are some of my favorite travel movies that have inspired my wanderlust.
Starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti
Ok, very few people have ever heard (much less seen), this movie. This was one of my mom’s favorites back in the day.
In the film a middle aged Liverpool housewife starts to reflect on her life and what she used to be like. After her friend wins a trip for two to Greece. As she ventures out and explores, she starts to see her life a little differently.
Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
Roman Holiday is a classic of all classics. How can you not love Audrey Hepburn and Italy? And did I mention a hot Gregory Peck?
It’s a reverse Cinderella story of a princess who longs to get away from her rigid life. On a trip to Rome she slips away to explore the city and embarks on her own adventures.
Starring Philipe Noiret, Massimo Troisi and Maria Grazia Cucinotta
In this 1994 film Mario, a postman, is hired to deliver mail to an exiled poet. The two become friends and Mario starts to learn and appreciate poetry.
He falls in love with Beatrice and even though he is shy, he’s able to communicate with her through his poetry.
The film is set in Italy around the 1950’s and was filmed on the islands of Procida and Salina.
On a real life note, Massimo Trosi, who was also the writer and co-director, had postponed heart surgery so that he could finish the movie. The day after filming he died of a heart attack.
Starring Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson
In Bruges is a dark comedy about two Irish hitmen (Ray and Ken) who are sent to hide out in the town of Bruges, Belgium. Ralph Fiennes plays their gangster boss. The two hitmen explore the historical city while dealing with their past crimes.
Most people had never even heard of Bruges before the movie came out. The city itself is steeped in history and the historic center has been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
This 2000 drama was filmed on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi. The movie offers stunning scenery of the thai island and will make you want to hop on a plane and experience it for yourself.
in the film, Richard, 20s something backpacker, obtains a map from his crazy neighbor that discloses the location of a secluded, tropical paradise.
Lost in Translation
Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson
Two very different people: a withering, depressed movie star and a young woman, come together to form an unlikely friendship as they explore Tokyo.
The movie is the second film by Sofia Coppola.
Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy
Before Sunrise is a story of a young man and woman who meet on a train traveling from Budapest to Vienna. After forming a connection on the train they agree to spend on day together in Vienna. It’s very much a cute girl-meets-boy kinda of movie.
Before Sunrise is part one of a trilogy that was filmed over the course of nearly 20 years. If you like this one, check out the other two: Before Sunset and Before Midnight.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Starring Diane Lane
A San Francisco writer has her world upturned when her husband files for a divorce to marry the woman he’s been having an affair with. After taking a vacation to Italy to escape she impulsively decides to buy a villa in Tuscany.
I swear this movie made everyone want to pack their bags and buy a cute villa in Italy, myself included!
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Starring Ben Stiller
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Ben Stiller in his usual roles. But I really enjoyed the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The cinematography was stunning and the way the fantasies played into real life was awesome.
In the movie a manager at Life magazine dreams of adventures and romance. He sets off on a mission to connect with one of the magazine’s key photographers in hopes of finding a special image for the magazine. The quest takes him to far off countries and real life adventures.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Starring Elijah Wood
I’m a total nerd at heart and LOVE the Lord of the Rings movies. They have everything you could want: drama, action, adventure, elves and magic and phenomenal visual effects.
One of the key visual elements of the movies is the stunning scenery of New Zealand. Some of the filming locations were so remote that at times the crew took survival kits in case helicopters could not reach them in time.
The movies have been a huge boost to tourism in New Zealand and you can even book tours to visit some of the filming locations.