The Best Travel Movies to Enjoy at Home

There’s something magical about movies about travel. They have the ability to transport people to far away lands from the comfort of their living room. Over the years movies about traveling the world have inspired us to do just that. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, but they all made us dream of adventure. We hope you enjoy our choices of the best travel movies to watch at home.

Best Travel Movies Stay at Home-Kids Are A Trip

The Best Travel Movies to Watch When You are Stuck at Home

1. Chocolat

First of all, what’s not to love about Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp? Binoche and her daughter, Anouk, arrive in a small French town where they decide to open a chocolate shop. Unfortunately it’s the beginning of Lent and could be too tempting for the faithful. The town’s mayor is intent on stopping the shop, convinced the town’s people must be saved from chocolate tempation.

At the same time, Roux (Depp) and his band of River Rats show up in town. A romantic relationship begins to develop between he and Binoche. The characters are charming, the story in divine, and the French towns that serve as the backdrop will have you planning a trip in no time.

travel movies on netflix to watch when stuck at home-Kids Are A Trip

2. The Secret of Roan Inish

Ten year old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland after her mother passes away. Shortly after her arrival, she learns of a local legend. It claims that her ancestor married a selkie, a seal who can turn into a human. There is also a rumor that years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle, and some think he is being raised by the seals.

One day Fiona catches sight of a naked little boy on the abandoned isle of Roan Inish across the way. She then decides to take a more active role in uncovering the mysteries which abound. The scenery is beautiful and the story is perfect for families.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Secret of Roan Inish-Kids Are A Trip

3. The Motorcycle Diaries

This movie tells the epic journey of two friends, “Che” Guevara and Alberto Granado as they travel from Brazil to Peru on motorcycle. Along the way they learn a lot about the human condition and themselves. The South American scenery provides a breathtaking backdrop. If a trip to South America is in your future, you will definitely want to watch this before you go.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Motorcycle Diaries-Kids Are A Trip

4. The English Patient

This is a beautifully told story of a mysterious stranger (Ralph Fiennes) who is cared for by British Allies during World War II. Throughout the movie the mystery of his identity begins to unravel, and an incredible tale of passion, travel, and adventure begins to unfold. The story is set in Italy and Egypt with spectacular scenery filmed in Tunisia and Tuscany.

Best Movies that Will Make You Want to Travel The English Patient-Kids Are A Trip

5. The Hundred Foot Journey

A young man from India has a passion for cooking. When his family’s restaurant burns down during rioting, the family must leave India and start a new life. They head to England where they are unsuccessful in the restaurant business. The father thinks they might have more success on the Continent so they pack their belongings in the family car and head off for a new life.

The car breaks down in a small French village and the family decides this must be a sign. They open a restaurant right across the street from the Michelin star restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). A rivalry ensues that is delightfully entertaining from beginning to end.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Hundred Foot Journey-Kids Are A Trip

6. Midnight in Paris

Paris is a magical city and Woody Allen understands that perfectly. Owen Wilson is the main character, Gil, who strolls the lanes of Paris with his head in the clouds and walks right into his own best fantasy. Gil is there with his materialistic fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her unpleasant parents, taking a break from his spiritually unfulfilling Hollywood career. He wants to quit the movies, move to Paris, and write that novel he’s been meaning to finish just like his heroes in the bohemian Paris of the 1920s.

Wouldn’t you know it, a midnight encounter draws him into the jazzy world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali, and an intense Ernest Hemingway, who promises to bring Gil’s manuscript to Gertrude Stein for review. Gil wakes up every morning back in the real world, but returning to his enchanted Paris proves fairly easy. I know I would love to step into this daydream and step back into time.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Midnight in Paris-Kids Are A Trip

7. Catch Me If You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank Abagnale, Jr., a real life con artist who spent four years impersonating an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, all before he turned 21. While doig this he cashed more than $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in 26 countries. Throughout the movie he is pursued by a dedicated FBI agent named Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) Hanratty is always one step behind Abagnale’s spontaneous wits. Clever and charming, it definitely keeps you entertained.

The Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Catch Me if You Can-Kids Are A Trip

8. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

An epic film set against the breathtaking landscapes of ancient China, this film combines the exhilarating martial arts choreography and the classical story telling of an Ang Lee film. The result is something truly unexpected: romantic, emotionally powerful entertainment.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-Kids Are A Trip

9. A River Runs Through It

If there was ever a movie that made me want to try fly fishing, this was it. Set in the beautiful Montana wilderness this is the story of two brothers, Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul (Brad Pitt) and the different life paths they choose to take. Their father (Tom Skeritt) is a Presbyterian minister and master fly fisherman. He is loving, but stern, and as Norman says “there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing”.

The scenery is breathtaking and the story is captivating. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen the movie, take a moment to go back and watch it again.

Best Movies that Make You want to Travel A River Runs Through It-Kids Are A Trip

10. Out of Africa

A classic for anyone considering a visit to East Africa, this fascinating true story of Karen Blixen (played by Meryl Streep), a strong-willed woman who, with her philandering husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer), runs a coffee plantation in Kenya, circa 1914.

She soon discovers herself falling in love with the land, its people, and a mysterious hunter (Robert Redford). The masterfully crafted, breathtakingly produced story of love and loss earned it seven Academy Awards.

Best Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel Out of Africa-Kids Are A Trip

11. The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films

No list would be complete without the movies that jump started the tourism industry in New Zealand. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) along with The Hobbit Trilogy created a demand for travel to New Zealand like never before. It seems everyone wants to visit the shire where Bilbo Baggins lived with his fellow Hobbits.

Bilbo is a hobbit who is swept into a quest by the wizard Gandalf. He joins other dwarves on an epic, treacherous journey that takes them through lands where they have to fight giant spiders, shape shifters, and other deadly creatures. Along the way, Bilbo encounters a creature named Gollum who will change his life forever with a “precious” golden ring that is not as helpful as Bilbo would hope.

Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel-Kids Are A Trip

12. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The movie recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune, all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent. Set in the fictitious Republic of Zubrowka, the movie was mostly filmed in the Saxony region of Germany.

Travel Movies Grand Budapest Hotel-Kids Are A Trip

13. Before Sunrise

The first time I saw this movie, I wanted to be Julie Delpy, a French grad student who meets Ethan Hawke on a train traveling from Budapest to Vienna. They only have one day and night to get to know each other, yet there is an obvious spark between them. This movie later became a trilogy with Before Sunset and Before Midnight, but the original is the best in my opinion.

Before Sunrise Favorite Travel Films-Kids Are A Trip

14. Into the Wild

This is the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). Freshly graduated from college with a promising future ahead, McCandless walked away from his life of privilege and into the wild in search of adventure. What happened along the way transformed this young wanderer into an enduring symbol for countless people. He became a fearless risk taker who wrestled with the precarious balance between man and nature. The outcome is tragic, but his desire to pack a bag and escape from life may strike a chord with many.

Travel Movies Into the Wild-Kids Are A Trip

15. Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago started my love for learning about Russian literature and history. Omar Sharif is the main character (Zhivago) living through the changes during the Russian Revolution. As the rule of the czar comes to an end and the political landscape changes, Dr.Zhivago’s relationships reflect the political turmoil raging about him. This epic, sweeping romance, told in flashback, captures the beauty of Moscow before the war and the violent social upheaval that followed. The scenery from Moscow to Zhivago’s home in the Urals is other worldly.

Doctor Zhivago travel movie-Kids Are A Trip

You can find many of these travel movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Looking for other ways to travel from home? Don’t miss our favorite travel stories for kids.

*This post originally appeared in February 2016, but was updated in April 2020.

Best Travel Movies for Families to Watch at Home

20 Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I have only seen one of those. I better get busy watching the rest of them …..not that I ever need an excuse to travel.

  2. You know what? We started watching that last night, but didn’t finish it. Pretty good adventure and a great message too! You’re right!

  3. Who needs an excuse is right! You better make some time to catch up on movies, these are some good ones!

  4. Ahhh! “The Secret of Roan Inish” was one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE movies growing up! I’m so happy to see it on this list, and now need to give it a re-watch!

  5. I love this list! One of my favourites has to be The Grand Budapest Hotel – such a beautiful film! I would also add The Beach to this list.

  6. Great list!! The Hundred-Foot Journey is one of my favourite books but I haven’t seen the movie yet – we must try to watch it soon. I had forgotten about The Secret of Roan Inish – that’s a good one for us to watch before our trip to Ireland next month.

  7. I need to watch it again. I remember loving it the first time I saw it. Such a magical film. Have a great week!

  8. Great list! They all make me want to visit the settings. Sigh.

  9. Really? I’ve never heard it. Now I have to go find it!

  10. I hear you. That’s the problem. Too many destinations, so little time (and money).

  11. Beth Henry says:

    Great list! I’ve only seen half of them, but on those you’re absolutely right about the inspiration to travel!

  12. This sounds cheesy, but one of my favorite movies is “The Notebook” and every time I watch it I have the urge to go back to the Low Country. It reminds me so much of Beaufort, SC! (which is one of my favorite places ever). We were able to visit Boone Hall Plantation, outside of Charleston, which is where they portrayed Aly’s family summer home in the film.

  13. I haven’t been to Beaufort, but I went to Charleston and toured Middleton Place? The entire area is spectacular and I would love to go back and your all the plantations. Seems like I need to watch “The Notebook” again for some “inspiration” ?

  14. Thanks Beth!

  15. Ahhhh, A River Runs Through It! One of my all-time favorite movies. It involves two things I love dearly: Montana and fly fishing. I’ve never heard of The Secret of Roan Inish but it sounds like something my daughter would love. I’ll have to find it so we can watch it!

  16. I have never been to Montana but I need to go! And yes I think Roan Inish might be on Netflix? Perfect for St. Patrick’s day.

  17. I love most of those movies – those are some of my favorites. My favorite travel movie is Eat, Pray, Love. It always makes me want to go to Italy and Bali and avoid India like the plague!

Comments are closed.