10 Movies that Will Inspire You to Travel

See the world through these movies and go on your own travel adventures.

By Mathew S. Chan
April 30, 2015


Movies can transport you to new worlds, new realms, and even new realities. Most of the time they present an escape from real life, but they can also inspire us to do things we don't normally do, especially traveling. Here are 10 movies you can watch that will no doubt inspire you to travel.


(Editor's Note: Some entries may contain spoilers.)

1.    Mamma Mia
Music, love, and Greece. Need we say more? Mamma Mia is about a woman named Sophie who is about to get married to the man of her dreams. The one thing missing from her life is her father. Her mother doesn't want to tell her who her father is, but Sophie discovers her mother’s diary with three potential dad candidates, all of whom she invites to Greece, the venue for her wedding. As you watch the movie, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe you’ll even sing along, but most importantly, you’ll want to go to Greece.

2.     Julie & Julia
Based on the true story of very influential women, Julie & Julia is about two ladies and their journey to achieving something on their own. Julia Child’s husband, Paul, who does government work for the US, is assigned to Paris. While they're there, Julia attends cooking school at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu and eventually faces struggles getting her cookbook published. Meanwhile, Julie Powell, a once up-and-coming writer, finds herself stuck in a rut as she sees her friends becoming successful in their respective fields. In her need to achieve something she can call her own, she starts a blog detailing her journey to cook all recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You’ll surely drool with all the food choices and also fall in love with Paris.

3.    Across the Universe
Across the Universe presents a great love story about two people finding each other in the most unlikely of circumstances. Set in the late '60s with the Vietnam War as the backdrop, this story is about Lucy, a lost soul trying to find herself, and Jude, an artist who drops everything in London to find his father. Packed with twist and turns—not to mention 34 songs of The Beatles—Across the Universe will make you fall in love with love, the music of The Beatles, and way-back-when New York.

4.    Monte Carlo
A classic case of mistaken identity, Monte Carlo tells the story of three friends, Grace, Meg, and Emma, who go to Paris on vacation after graduation. After a troubling day, they find themselves in a posh hotel where Grace is mistaken for a British heiress. The three girls are then thrust into the action and find themselves in Monte Carlo, Monaco, living the lavish life. Paris is, of course, a staple on any traveler's list, and if you have not heard about Monaco prior to watching this film, it will surely make your bucket list right after.

5.    Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation is about two unlikely people who form a bond after brief encounters in Japan. Bob is an aging movie star set to film a commercial in Japan. Charlotte finds herself alone in Japan with her photographer husband who seems to be more interested in young stars than he is with his wife. Both Bob and Charlotte have rocky marriages, and after a few encounters in the hotel they both stay at, they start to form a bond and begin to hang around Tokyo to discover the differences between American and Japanese culture as well as the differences between their generations. Japan will certainly be the next place you visit after seeing the characters explore the bright and vibrant city of Tokyo.

6.    Up
Although it may be an animated film, the feelings and emotions you’ll experience while watching this film are all real. The story revolves around a young boy named Carl who loves to explore and discover things and vows to visit a place called Paradise Falls. He eventually meets a young girl named Ellie who shares his aspirations. They form a bond and then get married. Both of them dream of having a family and going to Paradise Falls, but Ellie falls ill and dies, leaving Carl behind. Years later, Carl finds a way to carry out his promise with Ellie, with the unlikely help of a boy scout name Russell. The movie shows you that you are never too old to dream and travel and that it is important to live in the moment because you may not have time or the opportunity to do so in the future.

7.    Eat Pray Love
Based on the book Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, this film is about a woman who thought she had everything from a great career, a home, and a husband, only to find herself lost and without direction. After her divorce, she decides to drop everything and take the big risk of traveling around the world to find herself. Along the way, she learns how to truly eat in Italy and how to pray in India. She eventually finds true love in Bali, Indonesia. The movie shows you that the world is vast and awe-inspiring and that you can only learn some things if you travel.

8.    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is about four best friends who, for the first time in their lives, will be spending summer in different places. Before they all go their separate ways, they discover a pair of pants that seemingly fits all of them despite their varying sizes, and they decide to share it over the course of the summer. The film is set in three locations: Greece, Mexico, and the United States (Maryland and South Carolina). The movie presents how time away in a new place can change a person and how traveling and discovering new things is a journey you must take.

9.    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The movie revolves around a photo negatives manager, Walter Mitty, and his journey around the world. After his editor decides on the perfect picture which will be used on the last cover of their magazine before going digital, the photographer vanishes with the negatives with him. In an effort to find the photographer and the negatives (and save his job), Walter, with the help of a friend, examines three negatives which could be clues to the location of the photographer. The movie spans several continents and countries and presents traveling the world in all its beauty.

10.    Stardust
The only “fantasy” movie on the list, Stardust is about Tristan Throne and his journey to a magical kingdom. His goal is to bring a magical star that turned into a woman, Yvain, back to his home in the hopes of marrying the woman of his dreams, Victoria. Much like other movies in the same vein (for example, the hit movie series The Hobbit), movies like this show everyone that journeys and travels give you experiences like no other and that in order to discover something great you must learn to get out of your comfort zone.