Movies are magic. Like books, they can transport us across the world without even making us get up from the couch. We’re in the mood for escapism lately, so we asked The Budget-Minded Traveler Community to share what favorite travel movies they turn to when wanderlust strikes.
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1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was voted as the BMT Community’s top favorite travel movie. Ben Stiller directs and stars as Walter Mitty, a man who boldly takes life by the horns… in his daydreams. That is until the day he follows the path of an elusive photographer. This adventure brings him from New York City to Greenland, then to Iceland where he outruns a volcano eruption.
Description: “A timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams embarks on a true-life adventure when a negative goes missing.”
Ways to watch: Rent or buy digital copies of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Redbox on Demand.
2. Under the Tuscan Sun
Of course Under the Tuscan Sun made the top of our list of favorites. Who hasn’t daydreamed about buying and renovating a rundown villa in the Italian countryside after seeing this film? My favorite part of this movie is all the eye candy. And by eye candy, I mean the beautiful Tuscan landscape, of course.
Description: “After a rough divorce, Frances, a 35-year-old book editor from San Francisco takes a tour of Tuscany at the urgings of her friends. On a whim, she buys Bramasole, a run-down villa in the Tuscan countryside and begins to piece her life together starting with the villa and finds that life sometimes has unexpected ways of giving her everything she wanted.”
Ways to watch: Under the Tuscan Sun is available to rent or buy on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Redbox on Demand. Or stream it on Hulu.
At its core, Wild is an inspiring story of one woman’s courageous inward journey of self-healing and forgiving. While she’s hiking we see her struggle to reconcile her grief and her actions – ones that hurt others as well as herself – with who she wants to be at the end of the trail. If you’re watching for the scenery alone, you’re in store for some epic landscapes. The Pacific Crest Trail begins in Campo, California (on the Mexico border) and ends in Manning Park, British Columbia, 2650 miles away through the length of California, Oregon, and Washington.
Description: “A woman with a tragic past decides to start her new life by hiking for one thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.”
Ways to watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Wild on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Redbox on Demand.
4. National Lampoon’s Vacation
We all know that travel rarely goes according to plan. The Griswold family’s cross country road trip is a classic relatable depiction of all that can go wrong. Cruise the open road from Chicago to LA with Clark and company and commiserate with them as their “perfectly” planned trip goes astray.
Description: “Clark Griswold is on a quest to take his family to Walley World theme park for a vacation, but things don’t go exactly as planned.”
Ways to watch: National Lampoon’s Vacation is available to rent or buy on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Redbox on Demand. Or stream it on Hulu.
5. The Way
If you have not seen this, put it on your list immediately. The Way takes us to the Camino de Santiago, a network of trails in France, Spain, and Portugal. Pilgrims trek the Camino de Santiago (“The Way of St. James”) for countless reasons. For Tom, it was to feel closer to his son who died while on his own trek of the Camino, and something totally different for the others he met on the trail. If you have ever dreamed of or plan to embark on this trek, this is a great movie to watch for inspiration.
Description: “When his son dies while hiking the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in the Pyrenees, Tom flies to France to claim the remains. Looking for insights into his estranged child’s life, he decides to complete the 500-mile mountain trek to Spain. Tom soon joins up with other travelers and realizes they’re all searching for something.”
Ways to watch: Rent or buy digital copies of The Way on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Redbox on Demand.
Want to listen? Check out episode 113 on the podcast about a personal experience on the Camino.
More Favorite Travel Movies
Here are more BMT Community favorite travel movies that couldn’t go unmentioned:
We know there are many more we could add, what is YOUR favorite travel movie? Please tell us in the comments below, bonus points if you share where the movie was filmed!
More of a bookworm? Check out our list of the Best Travel Books For Adventures Near and Far.