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91+ Best Travel Movies of All Time: An Ultimate List | 2022 Updated

Great travel movies are priceless.  They can keep you motivated during those days of the cubicle cage and mundane routine. Unfortunately Googling, “Best Travel Movies” always churns out the same 10. Lucky for you, I’ve kept an ongoing list of the best travel movies that will inspire your next adventure and found a few you likely haven’t seen…yet.

The 10 of the Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one knows of: Bella Vita

Contents of this Best Travel Movies List

The 11 Best Travel Movies that No One Mentions

  1. Bella Vita (2014) 
  2. Life in a Day
  3. 180 South
  4. Alamar (2011)
  5. The Way
  6. Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
  7. Point Break (2014) 
  8. The Before Trilogy: Before Sunrise
  9. The Before Trilogy: Before Sunset
  10. The Before Trilogy: Before Midnight
  11. Mile… Mile and Half

Each movie on this quick list of my 11 favorite movies for a travel and adventure mood captures the feeling of simply wandering the world, from South America to Asia, and creating and experiencing your own true story. Whether you’re romantic, adventurous, or a little of both, one of these 11 movies will scratch that travel itch.

The Best Adventure Travel movies you've never seen | Best Travel Movies

If you don’t find a movie that perfectly satisfies your travel palet, keep scrolling our click here to jump to our full list of the 91+ best travel movies.

1.      Bella Vita

In the travel documentary Bela Vita, pro surfer Chris del Moror travels through Italy exploring the artisanal culture that fills the country in every way from culinary artists to the high skilled craftsmen, and even the surfers of the budding Italian surf scene. 

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Bella Vita

Watch the Bella Vita Trailer

This film simultaneously combines the high life experiences of travel with the calming adventure of outdoors sports accented by the loving warmth of Italian culture explored through a cross country road trip -making for a great vicarious experience whenever you’re in a travel mood.

Greatfor: When you’re feeling adventurous yet chill – perfect for a rainy day

Ratings: No rating on Rotten Tomatoes (which means we’ve found an unsung hero)

Where to watch it: Watch Bella Vita (2014)on Amazon

2.     Life in a Day

Why Watch: A pure view of cultures across the world and how we’re all connected by documenting the true story of millions of people’s life in a day

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions - Life in a Day

Watch the Life In A Day trailer

On July 24, 2010, thousands of people from every continent uploaded footage of a normal day in their lives as part of a project by Ridley Scott and Youtube.  The result is an astounding masterpiece, beautifully patched together into a very engaging story…of Lifeon earth, in a single day.

…or watch the entire Life In A Day movie

Why I love this movie: Some of my most adventurous and rewarding travels have been far from risky – more often just making my way into a very foreign place, like Laos, or Vietnam, or Egypt, or Iraq, and then experiencing the culture by simply observing how they live. You would be surprised how rich an experience like this could be, and Life in a Day captures that experience perfectly.  There is no narration, no spin, and no analysis, just normal people and average cultures presenting themselves.  Its beautiful.

If you come away from watching this without feeling like the world is smaller, I’d be surprised.

Don’t forget to follow up this movie with Life in a Day (2020) which was recorded exactly 10 years later. The updated sequel movie explores themes all travelers can relate to, life across cultures, and feelings across the world during the confusing times of the pandemic.

3.      180 South

In 1968, Yvon Chouinard (founder of the clothing brand Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins drove a van, some surfboards, and some climbing gear from Ventura, California to the southernmost regions of Patagonia, in Chile and Argentina – and they recorded the entire journey. Present day adventurer, wanderer, surfer, and climber Jeff Johnson found the footage and decided to remake the journey in pursuit of a quintessential Patagonia experience and self discovery.

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: 180 South

The movie 180 South follows Jeff Johnson as retraces the footsteps while creating a new adventure, sailing south, hitchhiking, exploring, climbing, and picking up friends along the way.  At points, Jeff even connects with Yvon Chouinard to talk about travel and the outdoors in a way that could enliven even the most downtrodden wanderluster. 

watch the 180 South trailer

If your brand of travels includes time spent outdoors, as far as possible from civilization, 180 South will be like having a nice conversation about the adventures you live for.

  • Great for:Wanderers, trekkers, and travelers of all breeds
  • Rating: 83% on RottenTomatoes
  • Whereto Watch:Watch 180 South onAmazon or on Netflix

4.     Alamar (“To the Sea”)

Why Watch: To recreate that feeling of discovery

A documentary and true story of how a small boy is about to make the move to the big city of Rome with his Italian mother, but first takes one last “adventure” with his father “alamar” (“To the Sea”). The boy, his father, and his grandfather spend time connecting and living as traditional fishermen and divers so that the boy always remembers his roots and his heritage of the sea.

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: alamar

watch the trailer for Alamar

Why I love this movie: Though the film isn’t in English, you don’t need to understand a word.  You can feel the adventure that the boy is going through, under the loving watch of his father, and how he grows to feel his connection to the ocean.  The experience of watching is partlyentertaining, with the beautiful views, and partly reminiscent of the feeling of discovery that comes when you go into the vast unknown (the world or the sea) and learn to know you had more in common with the “unknown” than you thought – all with the rift of the occasional Spanish guitar in the backdrop

  • Great for:Water lovers and ocean views
  • Rating& Awards: 91% on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Whereto Watch it: Watch Alamar on Amazon

5. The Way

Why Watch: The feeling of travels started by loss, but ending in gain

Many travelers’ ventures started with a loss, a searching, or a desire for experience that would provide answers or guidance.  That is exactly what The Way is about – father who lost his son and decides to fulfill his son’s last standing wish, to walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain.

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions The Way

The Way is often recommended as an excellent travel movie because of its feel. There is no big budget, the big name actor in the movie (Martin Sheen) doesn’t take himself seriously, and the characters are remarkably human, flawed, and charming – just like the characters you would likely meet on the road.

The Way, and the journey along the Camino de Santiago within, perfectly captures the blend of emotions and the ultimately positive feel that backpacking the world brings.

  • Great for: Just great for the feeling of travel
  • Rating: 83%on Rotten TomatoesWatch The Way onAmazon or on Netflix

6.     Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Why watch: Transports you to a different place as a welcomed observer of a very different way of life

Though Happy People isn’t exactly about travelers, the epic adventure of following those who live in the “Taiga” of Siberia is such a journey that it feels as though you’ve traveled to Russia and followed them thousands of miles between home and the frozen frontier where they live for months on end.

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Happy People a Year in the Taiga

watch the trailer for Happy People

If you have travel experiences on your bucket list like “go to Mongolia” or “visit a tribe in the Amazon”, Happy People is a documentary for you.  The filmmaker follows the tough people of the Taiga region, in Siberian Russia, for an entire year.  The result is an interesting portrayal of a tough yet balanced people living in, thriving in, and enjoying one of the harshest environments in the world.

The Best Adventure Travel movies you've never seen | Best Travel Movies

The “Before” Trilogy

(Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight)

Why Watch: Sums up the romantic experiences of travel – which is a one of a kind adventure

No, I didn’t trick you with the title of this article.  At the risk of being misunderstood, I’ll go all in on this one – the experience of love, regardless of how shallow or deep, is an adventure in its own right. 

You have the chance to gain something undefined yet priceless or lose everything (including your sanity). Even more, romance on the road has higher stakes – you know there’s a looming end date, too many unspoken thoughts, and as much pleasure as you’re willing to let yourself have.

Though this kind of pressure could create unimaginable chaos, given how complicated humans are, it usually results in a nothing to lose and “bare all” situation that is refreshing, irreplaceable, and addictive.  If that’s not a risky adventure, I don’t know what is – and the Before Trilogy captures this sentiment perfectly.

7.     Before Sunrise (1995)

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Before Sunrise

In the first chapter, a young Celine and Jesse meet on a train from eastern European to western Europe, where Celine lives and Jesse is supposed to take aplane home, back to the US.  As theteasing sparks and smiles are exchanged, Jesse has to decide whether to stay,or go…Before Sunrise

Rating:100%on Rotten Tomatoes

8.     Before Sunset (2004)

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Before Sunset

In the second movie, 10 years after initially meeting, Celine and Jesse are presented to the audience again in the familiar (to most) state of unfinished love, divided by continents.  Through clarified miscommunications and trickled honesty the two finally get to the thing that really connects them…all with Jesse’s depart looming as he flies out at sunset.

Rating: 95% on Rotten Tomatoes

9. Before Midnight (2013)

In the conclusion to the trilogy, like all natural things, love goes through seasons and shades.  20 years after the start (in the storyline and after the release of the actual movies), Celine and Jesse are forced to explore this idea – all against the backdrop of wanderlust and travel

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Before Midnight

An interesting and artful film project about travel and love that now spans 3 decades in a way that makes you question love, culture, what matters, and (more importantly) what doesn’t matter in just enjoying and being happy.  Each movie takes place at a casual place, using dialogue and though as its hook.  Each movie also takes place 10 years after the preceding movie, and was released 10 years after the preceding movie.

Rating: 98% on Rotten Tomatoes

Great for: Re-experiencing the rich conversations and interactions that happen while traveling…with your guard down

Where to Watch the Before Trilogy:

10.     Point Break (2015)

Why Watch: The Feeling of Adventure and a Tribe Culture

A remake on the old 1980’s Point Break, but with a touch of adrenaline and travel that makes it more reminiscent of Redbull TV with a story line.

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Point Break

A group of extremely adventurous travelers and criminals chain a string of heists into a”game” to honor the forces of nature, and an undercover FBI agent is sent in to investigate.  The story that ensues is a showcase of extreme sports underlined with that hard to replace tribal feeling that happens when you travel with a likeminded and equally adventurous group.

Though this movie has low ratings and a storyline most will deem illogical, I love it for the adrenaline infused experiences it recreates, focus on the tribe culture that happens on the road, and the idea of finding your “line”.  The “Ozaki 8” extreme sports feats seem like a nice bucket list to recreate as well.  If you like Redbull TV and wandering then this remake is right up your alley.

  • Great for: Adrenaline chasers and adventurous travelers
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 9% (Meaning this is a love it or hate it movie – don’t worry, I’m prepared for the sneers)
  • Whereto Watch: Watch Point Break 2015 on Amazon or on Netflix

11. Mile, Mile and a Half

Why watch: For hikers and trekkers to appreciate a beautiful view from the couch

The 10 Best Adventure Travel Movies that no one mentions: Mile Mile and a Half

If you love to hike but can’t get outside, this is the documentary for you.  “Mile, Mile and a Half” is a project by photographers, videographers, artists, and hikers to capture the experience of hiking 219 miles of the John Muir Trail.  The result is a visually pleasing and peaceful movie that takes you outside when you can’t be.

  • Great for:Hikers and trekkers that are stuck inside
  • Rating: 80% on Rotten Tomatoes (rated by audience)
  • Where to Watch:Watch Mile, Mile and a Half on Amazon or on Netflix

More of my favorite Best Travel Movies

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A daydreaming, introverted, and endearing office worker, played by Ben Stiller, spends part of his days doing what he is told, and most of his days daydreaming about…the secret life of Walter Mitty, the lives inside his mind.

As all wanderlusters do, he daydreams, day in and day out, about the adventures he could have, until one day he’s pushed over the edge to take on that adventure of a lifetime,

Wild (2014)

Inspired by a novel and true story, Wild follows the journey of a young woman as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail and along the way climbs a mountain of self discovery, eventually using the wild to understand the wild in her

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FULL LIST OF THE 91 BEST TRAVEL MOVIES OF ALL TIME

Beyond my 11 favorites, there are hundreds of other travel movie options that inspire wanderlust, trigger that desire for self-discovery and exploration that comes with a good travel film.

In this section, we’ll go even further, sharing the the 91 best movies and TV shows for travel lovers by genre. Whether you’re in the mood for a Rom Com, an action adventure flick, beautiful scenery provided courtesy of nature, a timeless classic, we’ll share great movies from every genre to fill your needs.

Click to jump to your genre of choice

THE BEST PURE TRAVEL MOVIES

  • The Beach (2000)
  • The Way (2010)
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  • Life in a Day (2010)
  • Life in a Day (2020)
  • The Motorcycle Diaries
  • The Bucket List (2007)
  • Into The Wild (2007)
  • 180 South (2010)
  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
  • Endless Summer (1966)
  • Expedition Happiness (2017)
  • The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)

BEST DESTINATION MOVIES

  • The Beach – Thailand (2000)
  • Slumdog Millionaire – India (2008)
  • Vicky, Cristina Barcelona – Spain (2008)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun – Italy (2003)
  • Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India (2011)
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • A Good Year – France (2006)
  • The Last Samurai – Japan (2003)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha – Japan (2005)

ADVENTURE TRAVEL

  • 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible (2021)
  • 180 South (2010)
  • Point Break (2015)
  • The Way Back (2010)
  • Wild (2014) (88% on Rotten Tomatoes)
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003)
  • Endless Summer (1966)

ACTION AND SPY MOVIES

  • Skyfall (2012)
  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  • Indiana Jones Movies
  • Captain America – Civil War (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Fast Five (2011)
  • The Tourist (2010)

ROMANCE AND “CHICK FLICKS” (THAT ANYONE CAN LOVE)

  • Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)
  • A Good Year (2006)
  • Before Sunrise (1995)
  • Before Sunset (2004)
  • Before Midnight (2013)
  • Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
  • Eat Pray Love (2010)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  • ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ (2005) 

NATURE AND DOCUMENTARIES

  • Chasing Ice (2012)
  • Mission Blue (2014)
  • Chasing Coral (2017)
  • Captain Fantastic (2016)
  • Encounters at the End Of The World (2007)

HIKING

  • A Walk in the Woods (2015)
  • Wild (2014)
  • Mile… Mile and a Half (2013)

COMEDY AND PURE FUN

  • Eurotrip (2004)
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)
  • The Hangover Part II (2011)
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
  • ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ (1985)
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2022)

SAILING

  • All is Lost (2013)
  • Adrift (2018)
  • Maiden Voyage (2004)

ANIMATED

  • Up (2009)
  • Ratatouille (2007)

CLASSIC TRAVEL MOVIES

  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • Endless Summer (1966)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)

TRAVEL TV SHOWS

  • Parts Unknown (12 Seasons, 2001-2013)
  • No Reservations (9 Seasons)
  • A Cook’s Tour (2 Seasons, 2002-2004)
  • Departures (3 Seasons, 2008-2011)
  • Long Way Up (1 Season, 2020)
  • Long Way Down (1 Season, 2007)
  • Long Way Round (1 Season, 2004)

FOOD TRAVEL TV SHOWS

  • Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix) (5 Seasons, 2018)
  • Street Food – Asia (Netflix) (1 Season, 2019)
  • Street Food – Latin America (Netflix) (1 Season, 2020)
  • Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse (Amazon Prime) (1 Season, 2016)

NATURE TRAVEL TV SHOWS

  • Planet Earth (2 Seasons, 2006)
  • Planet Earth II (1 Season, 2016)
  • Human Planet (1 Season, 2011)
  • Win the Wilderness (1 Season, 2020)
  • Our Greatest National Parks (Narrated by Barack Obama) (1 Season, 2022)

BONUS!!! My personal list of 95 MORE well rated travel movies to watch (and rate)

  1. 2 Days In Paris (2007)
  2. 7 Days in Havana (2012)
  3. A Map For Saturday
  4. Adventures of Pricilla Queen of the Desert
  5. Amélie
  6. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  7. Australia
  8. Away We Go (2009)
  9. Baraka (1992)
  10. Black Mountain Poets (2015)
  11. Brooklyn (2015)
  12. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
  13. Captain Fantastic (2016)
  14. Carol (2015)
  15. Casablanca
  16. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  17. City of God (2002)
  18. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  19. Duma (2005)
  20. Easy Rider (1969)
  21. Eight Below (2008)
  22. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
  23. Everest
  24. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  25. French Kiss
  26. Girls Trip (2017)
  27. Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
  28. Grand Budapest Hotel
  29. Hector and The Search for Happiness (2014)
  30. Hit the Road: India
  31. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
  32. In Bruges (2008)
  33. Into the Cold (2013)
  34. Julie & Julia
  35. Kundun (1997)
  36. L’Auberge Espagnole (2002)
  37. La La Land (2016)
  38. Last Holiday
  39. Lion (2016)
  40. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  41. Lost in Translation – Tokyo
  42. Meek’s Cutoff (2010)
  43. Midnight in Paris
  44. Midsommar (2019)
  45. Monsoon Wedding
  46. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
  47. My Life in Ruins
  48. Nomadland’ (2020)
  49. Not Without My Daughter (1991)
  50. Nowhere in Africa
  51. On the Road (2012)
  52. One Week (2008)
  53. Out of Africa (1985)
  54. Paris, Je T’aime (2006)
  55. Patagonia (2010)
  56. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  57. Queen of Katwe (2016)
  58. Riding Solo to the Top of the World
  59. Roma (2018)
  60. Roman Holiday (1953)
  61. Romancing the Stone
  62. RV (2006)
  63. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2012)
  64. Samsara
  65. Sideways
  66. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
  67. The Art of Travel (2008)
  68. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
  69. The Big Year
  70. The Endurance (2000)
  71. The English Patient (1996)
  72. The Farewell (2019)
  73. The Good Lie (2014)
  74. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  75. The Kite Runner (2007)
  76. The Lost City of Z (2017)
  77. The Road Within
  78. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
  79. The Terminal (2004)
  80. The Thing
  81. The Tourist
  82. The Trip (2010)
  83. The Trip to Italy
  84. Thelma & Louise (1991)
  85. Tracks
  86. Tracks (2013)
  87. Tracks (2014)
  88. Up (2009)
  89. Up in the Air
  90. Wadjda (2013)
  91. Whale Rider
  92. Withnail & I (1987)
  93. World’s Fastest Indian 
  94. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

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