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15 Inspiring Travel Movies You Need to See Right Now!

Looking for films that inspire travel? Fellow movie-buff and travel-lover, you've come to the right place. I've picked out my favorite movies that have made me want to pick up my backpack and set out on an adventure across our fair globe. There's a link after each film for you to head to iTunes and download it so you'll have material to keep your spirits up on those long, arduous journeys on trains and planes and tuk tuks. Right, now the introductions are out of the way, pack my bags, I'm going to the movies.

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries Travel Movies The Motorcycle Diaries, featuring the enviably handsome Gael Garcia Bernal as revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, has inspired countless would-be travelers to grab a bag pack and explore South America. It paints a vivid picture of the continent, capturing the sheer vastness that's sparingly occupied by human stories of both sadness and triumph. It shows South America in a way that many of us want to see it - charming Latinos with an intrinsic love of dance and spontaneity - and also in a way that we might like to ignore - which is, for the most part, the crippling inequality of many parts of the area. Either way, we're both moved and inspired by the picture painted in the film, and the themes of freedom and adventure will strike a chord with any traveler. >> View on iTunes

Into the Wild

Into the Wild Travel Movies Based on the real-life story of  Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild is an inspiring tale of alienation, disenfranchisement and youth. Except for the fact that it doesn't end well at all and is really sad, that is. McCandless saves up his money and hitchhikes to Alaska where he wishes to live in the wild, away from those pesky "people" he keeps encountering elsewhere. This feeling will resonate with many who, while perhaps not wanting to be quite as extremely isolated as McCandless, nonetheless seek something more from life, and want new experiences, be they good or bad. That's just why we travel, right? >> View on iTunes

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited Travel Movies The Darjeeling Limited reminds me of 3 things I love: my brothers, tea and travel. Auteur Wes Anderson might not be everyone's cup of tea thanks to his deliberately kooky inventions, but I love 'im and you won't change my mind. The Darjeeling Limited tells the tale of 3 narcissistic brothers from a wealthy family who take an overland train in India to mend their broken relationships. While all the actors are great, the real star of the show is India, which dazzles with its array of colors and unmistakable charm. >> View on iTunes

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight

Taken as a trilogy these three films not only offer an insight into a modern relationship, but also act as postcards to Vienna, Paris and Greece respectively. Each film explores the relationship between the two protagonists as they wander somewhat listlessly along, ruminating on questions regarding life, both large and small. While the topics might not exactly be about travel, the independent spirit and the constant questioning of just what the hell we're doing with ourselves at any given time should ring some rather large bells for travelers ("there's so many things I want to do and I end up not doing much" and "baby, you're going to miss that plane" should certainly hit home). Of course, the stunning shots of each location do their part to wake up your wanderlust, too. >> View on iTunes

Easy Rider

Easy Rider Travel Movies What list of travel movies would be complete without some kind of American road movie? And what mention of an American road movie would be worth its weight in webspace without being Easy Rider? Easy Rider dates back to 1969, but don't go thinking that doesn't make it, like, 10 times cooler than you are. Easy Rider tells the story of two drug-addled bikers (Dennis Ford and Peter Fonda) who travel through the States in search of some serious chillaxing, and some rather more nefarious things. Their journey, as you might expect, gets somewhat more complicated. Thanks to its excellent soundtrack and strong counter-cultural message (as well as the road trip theme itself), travelers have flocked to this film for decades. >> View on iTunes

Sans Soleil

Sans Soleil Travel Movies Linear film, schlinear schfilm. Us arthouse fans know a thing or two about movies, and one absolute certainty is that non-linear films are (for some reason, don't ask me to explain) intrinsically better than linear films. So there. In all seriousness, Sans Soleil (1982) is a rhapsody on travel, communication, philosophy and the very art of film itself. It defies easy categorization but with its startling images from Africa, Europe, Asia and the States it manages to captivate its audience. No direct sound is present. The film relies on sporadic spells of music throughout, while a woman's voice narrates letters from an unnamed traveler. It's a masterpiece of avant garde cinema, and one that demands to be seen by any traveler looking to expand their horizons - both celluloid and physical. >> View on iTunes

A Map For Saturday

A Map For Saturday is the traveler's favorite travel movie. Producer Brook Silva-Braga (awesome name, Brook) left his comfortable job with HBO to travel the world with very few possessions. Sound familiar? Yes, that's right, it's your life (apart from the HBO part). This is an intimate portrayal of long-term travel that shows the highs, the crushing lows, and those long stretches of contemplation/boredom that define our journeys. We deal with Europe's prices, India's difficult train travel and traffic in Vietnam. If you want to relive a trip or simply get in the mood for travel, check out A Map for Saturday. >> View on Amazon.com

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Y Tu Mama Tambien Travel Movies Y Tu Mama Tambien drips with sensuality. Adolescent boys, an abandoned middle-age woman and more sun than anyone has any right to enjoy make for a heated road trip, and this road trip is our subject in this Mexican masterpiece. This is the film that inspired me to travel in the first place, and sent me abroad with dreams of barefooted dances with sultry women in far-off lands. I've danced barefooted, anyway. Gael Garcia Bernal makes his handsome way onto this list once again as he explores Latin America, and the similarities with The Motorcycle Diaries don't end there; the movie deals with individuality, adventure and freedom, as well as personal development and the path to finding oneself and "becoming an adult". All beautifully shot to the background of Mexico's irresistible towns and coastlines, Y Tu Mama Tambien is sure to inspire you to travel to Latin America in search of some tequila, dancing and - just to complete the cliche - yourself. >> View on iTunes

Indiana Jones

Travel movies

Travel movies

Countless young men have been influenced by this classic adventure tale, and if you don’t already own it on DVD, perhaps now’s the time. Don’t go seeking historically accurate information, of course, but for anyone looking for some all-out action and excitement (and which traveler isn’t looking for that once in a while?) this may just be the best reference point. >> View on iTunes

L’auberge Espangnole

Travel movies L’auberge Espangnole

Travel movies L’auberge Espangnole

Many travelers have dreamed about moving to Barcelona to learn Spanish, and indeed many travelers have done just that. The appeal of this film, then, should be somewhat obvious since it’s about an economics student from France that moves to Barcelona to learn Spanish.

Uptight Xavier (our protagonist) lives with international students from all over the world and getting used to their strange customs and personal habits is a formative, enlightening and challenging experience for him - something many of us can relate to. >> View on iTunes

City of God

City of God

City of God

This quintessential Brazilian movie captures the fast pace of life in a Rio De Janeiro slum and the intertwining lives of those who reside there.

The cinematography is outstanding, the storyline is captivating and the city of God has never looked more alluring. Not only will you want to travel to Brazil after seeing this but you will also fall in love with Brazilian people and the fascinating Brazilian landscape. >> View on iTunes

The Beach

The Beach

The Beach

As soon as this film came out in 2000, it sparked the new beginning of tourism in South East Asia, with Koh Phi Phi (setting for ‘The Beach’) being the main attraction. Paradise seekers had finally found their calling.

Leonardo Di Caprio gives yet another mind-blowing performance and Danny Boyle produces this unique, attractive and at the same time spooky blockbuster. >> View on iTunes

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Another Danny Boyle classic and yet another gripping tale with more excellent scenes from a developing country.

A great portrayal of life in India and a likeable story of a boy who grows up in India’s largest slum, to eventually win the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. Slumdog Millionaire used untrained children to portray the young protagonists and with this comes a rich and powerful authenticity in their performance. A lovely family movie, great soundtrack and incredible scenery that will make you want to visit India immediately. >> View on iTunes

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

It kind of goes with out saying that in our list of the best travel movies in the world Lawrence of Arabia should make an appearance, since it's quite simply one of the best movies in the world. If you haven't seen it, don't even make it to the next movie on the list. Go out and watch it. >> View on iTunes

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola's meditative film captures the sense of alienation sometimes found when we travel, as well as the fleeting nature of our relationships on the road. Tokyo is the backdrop for this cult-favorite and is painted in lush, if overwhelming, detail. Scarlet Johansson and Bill Murray may make unlikely travel companions, but their chemistry makes a lasting impression. >> View on iTunes What do you think? Has Paul got it right? What would you add to the list? Leave us your suggestions in the comments!