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10 Movies About Travel that Inspire Wanderlust

As an introvert, I am always in a battle with two things.

One is my desire to travel. Two, my liking to stay in bed reading or binge-watching movies!

Even if the ambiverts and extroverts have counter-arguments, this is pretty much all of us now. We are all getting good with the ‘new normal’, aren’t we?

But, are we going to let our wanderlust go to slumber completely? NO!

That is why, I thought, why not we go on a virtual holiday for change? Let’s watch some movies about travel!

I mean, it’ll be great to add some of those destinations to your best places to visit in 2021 list. Or what do you know? The places in these movies could already be in your travel bucket list 2021!

To start with, here’s a pick from my favourite genre: COMEDY! 

Eat, Pray, Love

I recommend this movie out of all the movies about travel, to you if you want to lose yourself. It’s a great movie just to lie back and traverse some of the best locations with Julia Roberts!

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Eat, Pray, Love is a story about a married woman who takes off on a journey around the world to “find herself” and the peace she had lost in her unhappy marriage. The plot revolves around how her life takes a different direction after a divorce.

Destination(s) Targeted

Starting from New York, where she leaves behind her broken life, Eat, Pray Love covers many remarkable attractions from three different destinations; Italy, India and Bali.

  • Italy
    Visit Castel Sant’Angelo on river Tiber near the Vatican and look over the city on Castel Sant’Angelo’s terrace, where Elizabeth contemplates the new start to her life.
  • India
    Although Elizabeth did not pronounce the name of the Ashram she goes to in the movie, it is the ‘Ashram Hari Mandir’ where she takes on her spiritual journey. You can visit it, in the heart of Pataudi, India.
  • Bali
    Get the full experience of watching Elizabeth cycling through the green fields of Bali in the Tegalang Rice Terrace.

For extra-reading: Also read, Where to have the Ideal Food Experience in Italy!


Next, for a Musical journey

Saving Mr Banks

Disneyland will be in most of your ‘best places to visit in 2021’ list. So, I’ll recommend this out of the movies about travel, for a virtual holiday in Disneyland. It does not capture the modern Disneyland but unquestionably takes you away from the lockdown fatigue!

YouTube Source: Movieclips Trailers

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Saving Mr Banks is based on a true story about a financially crunched author called Pamela Travers, who visits Los Angeles from London, to meet Walt Disney, who has the interest to adapt her story ‘Mary Poppins’ into a movie. However, his methods do not meet her approval.

Destination(s) Targeted

Majority of the locations you find in this movie are in California! Of course, you’ll find a glimpse of London, where Travers’ home is located. The actual house is located in Chelsea (no, she doesn’t live there anymore).

But, besides that, the other destinations you’ll find in the movie are;

  • Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden – The lush green garden that appears in the opening sequence of the movie, with Travers and her father strolling.

  • Heritage Square in Highland Park, California – You can go to the Heritage Square and visit the Heritage Square Museum today. It was the location chosen that you see in the scene where the Goff family is forced to leave their beautiful home in Queensland.

  • Big Sky Movie Ranch in Simi Valley, California – This location is used to act out the enormous rolling hills of the Australian countryside. It is here where the filmmakers set Goff’s house. (Unfortunately, you cannot visit the Big Sky Movie Ranch if you are not a filmmaker or producer. So, get the experience of the location in the movie!)

The Beach

A list of movies about travel will be incomplete without an adventure movie in it! And, The Beach is a must-watch for anybody looking for travel movies that give island vibes.

A Quick Summary of the Movie

The Beach is about a young man named Richard, who travels to Thailand and finds an odd map that is believed to lead to an island paradise, and sets on an adventure with his friends to find it.

Destination(s) Targeted

Almost all scenes in The Beach were filmed in Thailand’s western coast in Phi Phi Islands, in the Andaman Sea.

These are the four main locations shown to you in the movie;

  • Khaosan Road, Bangkok It is where the opening scenes of ‘The Beach’ were filmed

  • The Memory at On On Hotel, Phuket Town – This is the hotel into which Richard heads into after the opening scene. It is located two hours away from Bangkok.

  • Haew Suwat Waterfall, Khao Yai National Park – It’s the waterfall that is crossed in order to reach the beach in the movie. It’s the only one way down to the beach, they portray as a ‘jump down’ into the water. You can take a tour here, but recreating the scene is not considered safe.

There is also a fun fact about the connection between this movie and the May Bay:

The May Bay became one of the world’s most famous beaches after this movie. So famous, that it started to receive up to 5,000 tourists and 200 boats per day!

If you think Thailand is going to be one of the best places to visit in 2021, make use of this e-book as a guide! (And, thank me later)

Next, saving up the horror for last, so let’s see what movie can keep you going with the eerie vibe. Of course, a thriller

Murder on the Orient Express

Travelling itself is a whole new thrill that we experience. True wanderers will relate to this with me. In that line, Murder on the Orient Express is one of the best picks from the movies about travel!

YouTube Source: 20th Century Studios

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Murder on the Orient Express is a movie based on the famous thriller written by Agatha Christie. The movie is about a detective named Hercule Poirot, who works to solve a murder case that occurs on the same train that he’s travelling on.

Destination(s) Targeted

The scenes of Murder on the Orient Express have been filmed in several locations like; London, Malta, Valle d’Aosta, Great St Bernard’s Pass, Triengen and Büron in Switzerland, and New Zealand.

  • London – Majority of the movie was filmed at the Long cross Studios in London. You can visit here to see where they built a replica of the Orient Express that you see throughout the movie. Not just that, even the replica of Stamboul Station in Istanbul was built in London!

  • Malta – Malta was used as the destination to shoot the flashbacks of the main characters in the movie.

  • Valle d’Aosta – The scene where a character falls off the mountains from the train? It was shot in this location, which is a border between France and Switzerland!

Once you complete your train journey at Calais with detective Poirot, let’s go for a Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun

Light storylines do not always please all the movie buffs. You’ll have your preferences like I have mine. But, Under the Tuscan Sun is one of those movies about travel that you cannot hate. At least not how gorgeous Diane Lane looks in every frame of the movie!!

YouTube Source: alanjasonb

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Under the Tuscan Sun is a memoir of Frances Mayes, a writer who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany intending to change her life.

Destination(s) Targeted

The movie elegantly covers some of the beautiful destinations in Italy! After watching Under the Tuscan Sun, you will find the enthusiasm to go on a pilgrimage to Cortona, where Frances impulsively buys a villa and Positano where she travelled with one of the other most interesting characters you’ll find in the movie! (Avoiding a spoiler for you!)

As you watch the movie, you’ll also understand that these destinations have something to tell you.

Cortona will magically make you believe that it’s never too late to start new. Positano will promise you a future! 

Now, from drama to some Action

In Bruges

Do action and travel go well hand in hand? If you ask me, I’d say it did go very well in this movie! From the start till end, the duo; Collin Farrell’s humour and Brendan Gleeson’s timing comedy blends so well. I think it is one of the perfect movies about travel in the action genre, out of all!

A Quick Summary of the Movie

In Bruges is about two hitmen, Ray and Ken, who get stuck in Bruges, after a failed mission. The story revolves around the complication that occurs later when their boss asks Ken to kill Ray.

Destination(s) Targeted

The title of the movie pretty much sums up which destination is targeted in the movie. It is Bruges, in Belgium!

The locations portrayed throughout the movie are so much part of it that it is indeed a virtual tour around Bruges for you.

So, for those who want to get free sightseeing in Belgium, you must watch this movie. It covers up the following tourist attractions; 

  • The Belfry, Grote Markt – One of those spots that Ken and Ray spend a lot of time strolling in their sightseeing. It is also here where Ray gets his taste of Belgian beer!

     

  • Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce Hotel, Wollestraat – This is the classic boutique hotel in which the duo hides out!

     

  • Groeninge Museum – It’s the museum in which Ray finds the Hieronymus Bosch painting of The Last Judgment.


    Next up, some Mystery before Fantasy!

A Perfect Getaway

Travel enthusiasts who are also mystery lovers, A Perfect Getaway is a must-watch for you. You may not like the idea of the plot if you are someone who wants sheer storylines. But, of all mystery movies about travel, this one is highly recommendable!

A Quick Summary of the Movie

A Perfect Getaway is a movie about a newly-wed couple, Cliff and Cydney, who travel to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The story revolves around mystery when their trip takes a terrifying blow when they learn that tourists are getting killed on the island that they are in, by psychopaths.

Destination(s) Targeted

Most of the movie portrays exotic sceneries of Hawaii’s incredible Napali Coast. The action beautifully enhances the exceptionality of the paradise’s Kalalau Trail from Kee Beach and then extends to Hanakapi’ai Beach. The additional element to the mystery is within a nearby sea cave.

Although the background is digitally enhanced in certain scenes, the movie gives you a complete Hawaii vibe. Not just that, since most of the scenes of hiking were filmed in Puerto Rico, the virtual tour does not end in Hawaii.

It’s like a two-in-one mysterious encounter of the best two destinations.

 

Next, Fantasy!

The Lord of the Rings

If you have read Tolkien’s poem on ‘Roads, Go Ever On’, you’ll know why this is in travel. Again, one of the exceptional fantasies to be in the ‘movies about travel’ list, I’d highly recommend.

YouTube Source: Movieclips

A Quick Summary of the Movie

The Lord of the Rings is a movie series consisting of three epic fantasy films based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. The three epics are; 

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  2. The Two Towers (2002)
  3. The Return of the King (2003)

Destination(s) Targeted

Although the series comes under the ‘fantasy’ genre, unbelievably, most of the locations portrayed in the movie are real! And they are located in New Zealand!

After knowing this fact, it would be impossible for you not to want to add it to your ‘Best places to visit in 2021’ list!

So, here are some of the itineraries you can add to your travel bucket;

  • Waikato Town – It’s where the Hobbiton town was created! Good news is that it is now a permanent tourist attraction.

  • Mount Ngauruhoe – Also known as ‘Mount Doom’ is the mountain shown in the climb up to the red cater.

  • Mount Victoria – It’s the forestry areas in this mountain where the Hobbiton Woods were depicted. It’s also where the hobbits hid from the black rides

Next, comes romance

Midnight in Paris

One cannot separate love from Paris. Same way, Midnight in Paris has to be in everybody’s picks for movies about travel undoubtedly. I know many movies have portrayed Paris in its best forms. But it is a must-watch to know why it has its unique elements.

YouTube Source: Sony Pictures Classics

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Midnight in Paris is a story about Gil, who is in Paris with his fiancée and her family for a vacation, midway through finishing his debut novel. The story revolves around how the beauty of Paris takes Gil back to his past, away from his fiancée.

Destination(s) Targeted

Midnight in Paris is indeed a dream tour around Paris. It gives you all the best reasons why this city is known as the city of love!

Some of the best locations the movie covers in Paris are;

  • Monet’s Garden – It’s the actual location where the movie begins, after a series of scenes that silently shows around Paris. It’s in the Monet’s Garden where Gil and his fiancée are seen in the first part of the movie.

  • Château de Versailles –Explore the location where Gil, Inez and Paul started their long Paris tour at. If you are travelling with your friends, you’ll know it’s the best spot to take some of those ‘gang’ pictures!

  • Musée Rodin – The location that Gil and Inez go to and admire the Rodin sculpture, because of Paul’s insistence.

Now, for the final genre that’s left. Horror

Jaws

Horror in movies about travel? How can that inspire wanderlust?

If these are your thoughts when you saw this, then you need to watch it! That is how much curiosity this creates in the mind of travellers. With its fine selection of locations clouded by uncanny moods, it’s one of those travel movies you can’t despite.

A Quick Summary of the Movie

Jaws is a movie about a police chief, a marine scientist and a fisherman encountering a white shark that terrorises the inhabitants of a quiet island called Amity. The story revolves around how these men spring into a series of actions in tackling this white shark.

Destination(s) Targeted

Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts!

“You are going to need a bigger boat” if you are going to tour Martha’s Vineyard. Maybe not precisely, but at least to give this one-liner from the movie its real eerie vibe. After watching the movie, these are some of the locations you may want to visit;

  •  Vineyard Haven Harbour – It is the harbour that you see in the opening scene!

  • South Beach – The bonfire at night was filmed in this beach.

  • Cow Bay Beach in Edgartown – The most horrific scene was filmed here, where Chrissie takes her last swim before the first shark attack.

Great! So, we come to the end of our travel movies marathon.

I hope all you belles and beasts sitting back home wishing to adventure in the great, wide somewhere, enjoyed the virtual tour.

I know I have NOT covered ALL the movies available to quench your thirst for travel. But I have picked the best ten in this article.

So, if you need more movies like this to keep you engaged, let us know in the comment below. Or, if you are a more prominent travel enthusiast and movie buff, send us in your suggestions! We would love to add them on our list. 

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