100+ Films that Inspire You to Travel

When you put key words “travel movie” you get 110 000 000 results. Everybody has their own. I too have my own but it’s little bit different than others. Sure, travel is going from place A to place B, but how about when you want something more? To see something inspiring from the places A and B.

In our family we watch lots of movies, about one in couple of days. Now on my maternity leave couple of movies per day. Also certain kind of TV shows are always welcomed. We like to watch movies and series because they might inspire us to visit the places we haven’t been yet. For example Boardwalk Empire inspired us to visit Atlantic City and because we have seen Stratosphere Hotel in TV, we wanted to stay there over night instead of some other Casino Hotel. You could call us “as seen on TV” travelers, haha

So here is my list. It has also those “getting there” or “on the road” movies, but it also has movies that we have watched perhaps before the trip or after the trip to relive the place.

(Movie descriptions and photos are from IMDB, unless said otherwise)


 Sailing / by water

  1. Kon-Tiki

Film locations: Maldives, Thailand, Sweden, Malta, Norway and New York. Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

  1. Maiden trip

Film locations: French Polynesia, Panama, Galapagos Islands, Australia, South Africa and Netherlands. 14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

benjamin button

  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Film locations: Canada, Louisiana, Cambodia, California and U.S. Virgin Islands. Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

  1. Master and Commander

Film Locations:  Ecuador and Mexico. During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.


  1. Wild

Film locations: Oregon and Washington. A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.


  1. Into the Wild

Film locations: Washington, Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Georgia, Mexico, Nevada and South Dakota. Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.

  1. The Way

Film Locations: Spain, France, Morocco and USA. A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El Camino de Santiago,” and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.

  1. The Road

Filmed in Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Louisiana. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food–and each other.


  1. Forrest Gump

Film Locations: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Maine, Arizona, California, Montana and Washington DC. Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. (picture from here) (Jaanas note: inspired us to visit Bubba Gump restaurant, we also would have visited Greenbow, if Greenbow would have existed)

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Film locations: Iceland, Canada, New York and Greenland. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

  1. Bucket list

 Film Locations: India, Egypt, California, France, China and Tanzania. Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Driving / Road movies

  1. The Adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert

Film Locations: Australia. Two drag queens and a transsexual travel across the desert in Australia to perform their unique style of cabaret.

  1. Thelma & Louise

Filming locations: Utah, California and Colorado. An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a ’66 Thunderbird.

  1. National Lampoon’s Vacation

Film Locations: California, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Utah and Missouri. The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

  1. Kalifornia

Film Locations: Georgia, California and Illinois. A journalist duo goes on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

  1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Film Locations: Arizona, California and Nevada. An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

  1. Alcan Highway or Alaska Highway (same document, known two different names)

Film Locations: Alaska and Canada. Alcan Highway is a film about a journey, a dream which seems to be coming true. But is it what Hese really wanted?

  1. Road trip

Film Locations: Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Connecticut, California and Massachusetts. Four friends take off on an 1800 mile road trip to retrieve an illicit tape mistakenly mailed to a girl friend.

  1. Rain man

Film Locations: California, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio and Indiana. Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt’s father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

  1. Little Miss Sunshine

Film Locations: Arizona and California. A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.


  1. 2012

Film locations: Nevada, California and Canada. A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind. (picture from here)

  1. Sideways

Film Location: California. Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. (Jaanas note: inspired us to stay Days Inn motel in Buellton, the “windmill motel”)


  1. Easy Rider

Film Locations: New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and California. Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

  1. Wild hogs

Film Locations: New Mexico and California. A group of suburban biker wannabes looking for adventure hit the open road, but get more than they bargained for when they encounter a New Mexico gang called the Del Fuegos.

  1. Sons of Anarchy

Film Locations: California. A man in his early 30’s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club.

Mountain climbing

  1. The Summit

Film location: Pakistan. Document, what went wrong when 11 people died on their way up the infamous K2, the deadliest day in modern mountaineering history. 2012

  1. Seven years in Tibet

Film locations: Argentina, Tibet, Canada, Austria and Chile. True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China’s takeover of Tibet.


  1. View from the top

Film Locations: California, Arizona, Ohio, Nevada, New York and France. A small-town woman tries to achieve her goal of becoming a flight attendant.

  1. Amelia

Film Locations: Canada and South Africa. A look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 in an attempt to make a flight around the world.

  1. Terminal

Film Locations: California, Canada and New York. An eastern immigrant finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

  1. Cast away

Film Locations: Fiji, Philippines, Texas, Russia and Tennessee. A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island.

catch me if you can

  1. Catch me if you can

Film Locations: California, Canada and New Jersey. The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

  1. Every single Indiana Jones –movie (can also be under hiking, driving, motorcycling, sailing…)
  2. English Patient

Film Locations: Italy and Tunisia. At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Other Sports

  1. Point Break (1991)

Film Locations: Oregon, California and Hawaii. An FBI agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.

  1. Hidalgo

Film Locations: Montana, South Dakota, Morocco, Oklahoma and California. In 1890, a down-and-out cowboy and his horse travel to Arabia to compete in a deadly cross desert horse race.




  1. Beach

Film Locations: Thailand and UK. Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumors state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss – excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it. (picture from here)

  1. Broke down palace

Film Locations: Thailand and Philippines. Two women are arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand.

  1. Hang over 2

Film location: Thailand and California. Two years after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug jet to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry.


  1. Sin nombre

Film Location: Mexico. A Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster are united in a journey across the American border.


  1. The Best Exotic Marigold hotel

Film Locations: India and UK. British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

  1. The second best Marigold hotel

Film Locations: India, Spain and UK. As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals – Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.


  1. The Last Emperor

Film Locations: China. The story of the final Emperor of China.


  1. Out of Africa

Film Locations: Kenya. In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.


  1. Love Actually

Film locations: UK and France. Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. Jamie, a writer, is taking a writing retreat by himself in rural France…

  1. Amélie

Film Locations: France and Germany. Amelie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

da vinci code

  1. Da Vinci Code

Film Locations: UK, France and Malta. A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

  1. A Good year

Film Locations: France and UK. A British investment broker inherits his uncle’s chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

  1. My Old Lady

Film locations: France. An American inherits an apartment in Paris that comes with an unexpected resident.

  1. Moulin Rouge

A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.



  1. Under Tuscan sun

Film Locations: Italy and California. A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.

  1. The Rite

Film Locations: Illinois and Italy. An American seminary student travels to Italy to take an exorcism course.

  1. Talented Mr. Ripley

Film Locations: Italy and USA. In late 1950’s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.


angels and demons.jpg

  1. Angels and Demons

Film Locations: Vatican City, Italy, Massachusetts and California. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican.

Puerto Rico

  1. The Rum Diary

Film Locations: Puerto Rico. American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960’s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.


  1. The Pirates of the Caribbean

Film Locations:  Dominican Republic, St Vincent and the Grenadines and California. Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate “Captain” Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor’s daughter, from Jack’s former pirate allies, who are now undead.


  1. Jane Eyre

Film location: Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.

  1. Pride & Prejudice

Film Location: Derbyshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Kent and Northamptonshire. Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

  1. Holiday

Film Location: UK and  California. Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.


  1. The Field

Film Locations: Ireland. “Bull” McCabe’s family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public auction, McCabe knows that he must own it. But while no one in the village would dare bid against him, an American with deep pockets decides that he needs the field to build a highway. The Bull and his son decide to convince the American to give up bidding on the field, but things go horribly wrong


  1. The Last Samurai

Film Locations: Japan, New Zealand and California. An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.


  1. Memoirs of a Geisha

Film Location: Japan and California. Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

  1. Lost in Translation

Film Locations: Japan. A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

 New Zealand

  1. King Kong

In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.

  1. Lord of the rings

Film Locations: New Zealand. A meek Hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron.

  1. Piano

Film Locations: New Zealand. A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she’s soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.


  1. Eat Pray Love

Film Locations: Indonesia, India, Italy and New York. A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself”.



  1. Big Fish

Film Locations: Alabama and France. A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father’s life.


  1. Insomnia

Film Locations: Alaska and Canada. Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.


  1. Tombstone

Film Location: Arizona. A successful lawman’s plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.


  1. Walk the Line

Film Locations: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and California. A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash’s life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.


san andreas.jpg

  1. San Andreas

Film Location: Australia, California and Hoover Dam. In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter. (picture from here)

  1. The Rock

Film Locations: California. A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

  1. Zodiac

A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

  1. Escape from Alcatraz

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from the most infamous prisons in the world.

  1. Bottle Shock

Film Locations: California and France. The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as “Judgment of Paris”.


the shining.jpg

  1. The Shining (TV mini –series)

Film Locations: Colorado (The real Stanley Hotel) and Florida. A recovering alcoholic must wrestle with demons within and without when he and his family move into a haunted hotel as caretakers. (picture taken from here)


  1. 50 first dates

Film location: Oahu and Hawaii. Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he’s finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.


  1. Aloha

Film locations: Honolulu, Oahu and Hawaii. A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him. (photo from here)

  1. Lilo & Stitch

A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive from the law.

  1. Just go with it

Film Locations: Hawaii and California. On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend.


  1. Ice harvest

Film Locations: Illinois. A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.


  1. CSI Las Vegas (TV series)


  1. Hang over

Film location: Las Vegas and California. Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

  1. Hang over 3

Film locations: Arizona, California, Nevada and Mexico. When one of their own is kidnapped by an angry gangster, the Wolf Pack must track down Mr. Chow, who has escaped from prison and is on the lam.

New Jersey

  1. Boardwalk Empire

Film Locations: New York. An Atlantic City politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era. (Jaanas note: inspired us to visit Boardwalk in Atlantic City)

New Orleans

  1. A love song for Bobby Long

Film Location: New Orleans. A headstrong young woman returns to New Orleans after the death of her estranged mother.


  1. Treme (TV series)

Life after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives, their homes, and their unique culture in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in the USA. (Inspired us to visit Ninth ward and the Vietnamese harbor)

 New York

  1. Day after tomorrow

Film locations: New York, Canada, Scotland, Los Angeles, Texas, India, California, Japan, Hawaii and Washington DC. Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

  1. CSI New York (TV Show)
  2. Ghostbusters, both of them

(inspired us to find the Ghostbusters headquater aka Hook & Ladder 8)

  1. Sex and the City (TV show) (inspired us to visit Greenwich)
  2. Gangs of New York

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father’s killer.

 North Carolina

  1. Cold Mountain

Film Locations: Romania, South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina. In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

 North Dakota

  1. Fargo (TV series and the movie)

Film Locations: North Dakota, Minnesota. Jerry Lundegaard’s inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen’s bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (Our The Number One reason to visit North Dakota and its Fargo!)


  1. The Grapes of Wrath

Film Locations: California, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona. A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.


shinen ainoa oikea.jpg

  1. The Shining (the movie)

Film Locations: Oregon, Montana, California, Florida and Colorado. A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (Inspired us to visit Timberline Lodge)

South Dakota

  1. Deadwood

Film Location: California. A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime. (Our Number One place, what we want to see, when we get to South Dakota!)


  1. Alamo

Film Locations: Texas. Based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna’s forces at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.


  1. World’s fastest Indian

Film Locations: New Zealand, Utah and New Mexico. The story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years rebuilding a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.


  1. Sleepless in Seattle

Film Locations: Washington, New York, Maryland and Illinois. A recently widowed man’s son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner.


List will be updated at times, when we see another movie that inspires us. Do you know a movie, you would recommend us to watch and add to the list? It would be fantastic, if you shared it with us!

Hopefully the movies on the list inspire you as much as they have inspired us.


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