There’s nothing like seeing your destination on screen to really get you excited for your trip. While there are a whole host of travel-themed movies, we’ve selected a few of our favorites to highlight this. Watch at home to get inspired or bring on the plane with you to psych yourself up even more for the journey.
This movie has it all: Romance, trains, Ethan Hawke brooding. The real star, though, is the city of Vienna, which provides the setting as Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delpy’s Céline stroll around after meeting on a train. The pair discuss music, philosophy and all the hopes and dreams of unfettered youth. The sequel “Before Sunset” sees the pair reunited in Paris nine years later, looking back on the intervening years while strolling through Paris. “Before Midnight,” the finale of the trilogy, shows the now-married couple vacationing in Greece’s Peloponnese.
Y Tu Mamá También
A classic coming of age road trip takes a pair of teenage friends with an older woman. Along the way, they pass through rural Mexico as a narrator provides background on the country’s political and cultural history, and camp at a secluded beach the boys had made up but turns out to actually exist. The three learn a lot about life, death and relationships while exploring their country. The movie shows a side of authentic Mexico outside the resort areas.
Lion tells the true story of Saroo Brierely, who as a 5-year-old in India fell asleep on a train while waiting for his brother, who was sweeping out train cars overnight. Saroo awakens to find the train moving and no sign of his brother. After days of travel, Saroo finds himself in Calcutta, where he is unable to speak the language or communicate to anyone where his home is. He ends up in an orphanage and is adopted by an Australian couple. After 20 years in Australia, Saroo decides to try to find his home. What follows is an exhaustive and alienating search until he finally returns to his village and reunites with his mother and sister.
Out of Africa
The film adaptation of Karen Blixen’s novel stars Meryl Streep as the Danish author who grew up in British East Africa — roughly corresponding with modern-day Kenya. Descendants of several Kikuyu tribe members mentioned in the book appear in the film, which was shot in one of Blixen’s former houses, and the terrain and wildlife of East Africa steal the show. The book and movie provide an insight into the colonialism of the early 20th century.
The Trip series
Technically, it’s a TV series in the UK, but we get it as movies here in the States. British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon star as fictionalized versions of themselves, eating, doing impressions and generally getting on each other’s nerves. In the first installment, the pair take a food tour of northern England, driving through the countryside. The Trip to Italy sees them traversing in the footsteps of the Romantics from the Piedmont to Capri. In The Trip to Spain, Coogan and Brydon re-enact Coogan’s youthful escapades, this time stopping to enjoy Rioja wines and molecular gastronomy along with beautiful scenery. Brydon revealed in January that the fourth trip will be to Greece.