When the weather begins to warm up, that travel bug may start to bite, giving you feelings of wanting to spend time disconnected from your daily life and lounging on a warm beach, hiking a mountain trail, or traveling the globe. While the weather may indicate that it’s time to start thinking about a trip, watching one of the best travel movies can be a great way to inspire wanderlust.

Watching characters immersed in a new location, doing exciting things, and even facing obstacles along the way can be just the inspiration you need to start planning your travels. These 10 movies are guaranteed to inspire wanderlust, showcasing different modes of travel, destinations, and experiences along the way.


1: Nomadland

One of the hottest trends lately is van life, that is living out of a van much like one would travel in an RV. The film Nomadland highlights the beginning of living in a van, as the main character travels the western portion of the United States. Not only do you get a good look at the inside of her personal van, but she also attends a van life seminar to get some insight into how to live on the road. This is a great movie for those that are curious about van life or are considering an RV style trip for their next traveling experience. Between the beautiful nature shots, the music, and seeing life on the road, this is definitely a wanderlust inspiring film.


2: Away We Go

Not all travel movies have to be about travel or vacations, Away We Go is a great movie for inspiring wanderlust as the story follows a couple that are looking for a place to call home while they’re expecting their first child. The couple travel by plane, train, and car visiting different locations that may be perfect for raising their baby while seeing friends and family along the way. This is a great wanderlust movie because it not only highlights different locations, it also gets the viewer thinking about home as well as travel.


3: The Heartbreak Kid

This next film brings together two ever popular wanderlust inspirations: the honeymoon and a tropical destination. The Heartbreak Kid follows a newly married couple to Mexico on their honeymoon, where he meets a new friend and she has hilarious misfortune. The whole film takes place at a destination style resort, giving viewers the perfect inspiration for planning a tropical vacation of their own. The film is hilarious and does a great job at showing off the beach, sun, and activities at the resort while also developing a nice story. As far as inspiration, it’s ideal for those that are looking for a warm and relaxing time at the beach with a few umbrella drinks, ocean activities, and connecting with their travel companions.


4: Midnight in Paris

Paris is often thought of as a magical place, and the film Midnight in Paris does a great job of highlighting not only the streets of Paris with their cobblestone and old world atmosphere, but also how Paris can be inspirational and luxurious. The story follows a writer that ventures out into the street at night and is transported to another time, this experience fuels his writing and changes his life. This is a great film for those that want wanderlust inspiration for slow days at cafes, endless coffees and baked goods, strolling the streets and letting the day take you while you discover new things along the way.


5: National Lampoon’s European Vacation

Another one of the best travel movies for inspiring travels to Europe is National Lampoon’s European Vacation, following the classic family to Europe after winning their trip on a game show. This is a hilarious film that highlights what can go wrong on a trip, perfect for helping you plan ahead for your European exploration. There are great sights in this film along with the overall feeling of exploring different countries during one trip. If you’re looking for some family fun in a film while also getting ideas about exploring Europe and planning a multi-destination trip, this is perfect wanderlust inspiration.


6: Wild

For something a little different, consider Wild great inspiration for wanderlust if you’re a hiker or want to do something off the usual traveling path. This film follows one character on a solo hike through the Pacific Crest Trail, spending most days and nights right out on the trail. The story is fairly simple, but highlights how hiking can help you connect with yourself and gives plenty of time to think through all sorts of life related topics. As far as wanderlust inspiration, this can fuel your next camping trip, hiking trip, or any place where your plan is to connect with nature.


7: Lost In Translation

Films that explore big cities are great for inspiring wanderlust, as they submerge the characters and story in the city, almost making the city a character itself. Tokyo is a great tourist destination, but there’s also plenty to explore as a seasoned traveler. Lost in Translation follows two characters having unique experiences in the city, one a celebrity rekindling his fame, and another lonely in her relationship. They come together to explore all sorts of city activities including karaoke and lounge singing. This is a great wanderlust inspiration film because viewers get a good sense of the size of the city and what it may feel like to experience the city for the first time.


8: Everest

For a bit more adventurous wanderlust, try Everest, where climbers tackle the highest peak and capture their struggles along the way. This is an action packed film that not only highlights the actual climbing, but also the bonding and character growth an event such as scaling a mountain can provide. This is a great wanderlust film for mountain climbers, hikers, and those looking to bond a group together. Watching this film may inspire camping and outdoor activities or be the push you may need to try and do something large with your next trip.


9: Wanderlust

Sometimes trips don’t exactly go as planned. In Wanderlust, a couple purchases a home only to discover it’s not what they expected. They pack up and stumble upon this group living on a large plot of land and join their commune. The story highlights how they grow as people as well as showcases hilarious adult situations. This film is great wanderlust inspiration because it explores what it’s like to dream, act on that dream, and what growth may stem from taking a chance. It also demonstrates new experiences and that’s a great reason to travel as well.


10: The Beach

The last film on the list brings a lot of travel ideas together in a tropical location with the wanderlust of isolated island life. The Beach follows a character that wants to find a solitary island only known on the map of a friend, which leads to a difficult journey to find the paradise. In addition to showcasing Thailand, this film also shows character growth and the balance between the dream of travel and the struggle of society. It’s a great wanderlust inspiring film because it takes place in a wonderful tropical destination, while reminding travelers that there’s fun in travel, but also tranquility at home.


Wanderlust inspiring films are great ways to get excited about traveling to your next destination or as a great primer before planning your next trip. These 10 best travel movies are fun for a week night relaxing or a weekend unwinding in addition to planning. Whichever travel inspires you, there’s a film to help you get started.


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About the Author:

Cory Lee is a wheelchair user, travel addict, and accessible travel writer. On his blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee, he hopes to inspire others to roll out of their comfort zones and see all the beauty our world has to offer.