30 Movies and TV Shows That Will Inspire You to Travel

Are you looking for something to watch that will also inspire you to travel? Once in a while I come across a movie or TV Show that really inspires me to pack up my bags and go! Often times it is not even about the story of the film as about the beautiful location it takes place in. Sometimes, having been to the place and seeing in the big (or small) screen again, I feel like having been there, as I remember the smell and the feeling very distinctly. Many of the travel movies are about characters looking for themselves and often have very dramatic stories, but not all – some are very light and positive!

Do you have a movie that inspires you to travel to a certain place and it is not on this list? Write in comments!

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Crazy Rich Asians – Singapore

I have not yet been to Singapore, but it is on my list for quite some time. But after seeing “Crazy Rich Asians”, I really, really want to see it for myself! The movie is about a young woman who sets to meet her boyfriends friends and family for the first time. Suddenly she realizes his family is one of the richest in Asia. If you are a fan of Constance Wu in Fresh Off The Boat, Gemma Chan in Humans, Jimmy O.Yang in Silicone Valley and Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery, this movie is a must for you! I have read all of the books in the series as well, so movie was just the final missing piece! 

Lion  – Calcutta, India

The film is about a young man who sets on a quest to find his real mother in India, with the help of Google Earth. It is based on a real story on how technology enabled to change lives in this family. I don’t cry often when I watch movies, but this one was one of those. Having been to India and seeing the scenes from Calcutta, this movie was especially close to my heart.

Into The Wild  – USA

Alex Supertramp walked, hiked & hitchhiked his away all over USA, til he got to the “Magic Bus” in Alaska. Some say he is a hero, for having rejected the material world, some say he suffered from a mental illness. Whichever it is, the movie offers a glimpse into the world of a special kind of travelers and makes you wonder if this would be for you.

Woman in Gold  – Vienna, Austria

A film based on true events – how a woman decided to get her aunts portrait (famous Adele painted by Gustav Klimt) from the state of Austria, as the portrait was taken by Nazis during the war. A beautiful movie about what is rightfully yours and the horrors of World War II.

Secretly, Greatly  – South Korea

I watched this on a plane to the United States, and it surprised me being so different than anything else I had seen. It shows the story of a North Korean spy who pretends to be the village idiot in South Korea.

visiting Gyeongbokgung palace in korean dress

Adrift  – French Polynesia and Ocean

Movie based on a true story of a young woman working random jobs in French Polynesia until she meets a guy and both of them set on a task to deliver a yacht to San Diego. On the way they encounter the strongest hurricane in the modern history.

Whale Rider  – New Zealand

An unusual movie about maori people and how little girls life story is impacted by the death of her twin brother and the origins of her tribe – who rode on the back of a whale. Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for Academy award for this role.

Wild  – Pacific Crest Trail, USA

Starring Reese Witherspoon, this is another famous travel movie that will inspire you to travel in the United States, even if you don’t agree with the protagonist or her values. The film shows a story of a young woman hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail (in total is around 4000 km), which takes her 94 days. She tries to find herself after her mother’s death and all the wrong choices she has made.

Couple’s Retreat  – French Polynesia

An easy, almost dumb watch for a weekday that still will inspire you to visit French Polynesia. The shooting of the film takes place in St.Regis in Bora-Bora, and tells a story of several couples who have gone on this journey to improve their relationships. Starring Vince Vaughn, Kristen Bell & Kristin Davis.

Slumdog Millionaire – India

I watched this movie when it just came out and at the time I wasn’t even thinking that I might go to India some day. But I do recommend it for people planning a trip there (or even if you have no plans to go – it is a wonderful film!). It is a story of a young man participating in the show “Who Want’s to be A Millionaire” and when he is accused of cheating, he tells the story of his life. It also has a beautiful soundtrack!

Sound of Music  – Austria

I know quite a few people who claim that The Sound of Music is their favorite movie. It shows the life of Von Trapp family in Austria before war. I have visited Leopoldskron in Salzburg, where part of the shooting took place – it is a hotel now and you can stay the night there and enjoy the paths taken by Julie Andrews herself! There are plenty of other places in Salzburg to see as well. I am not a fan of this movie, but, interestingly, the Sound of Music played by Laibach on their North Korea tour, is one of my favorite songs of all time!

Liberation Day – North Korea

It is a movie about Slovene band Laibach going to North Korea to perform the first ever rock concert in the history of the country, directed by Morten Traavik and Ugis Olte. It shows how you should not leave the hotel on your own, how they prepare for the concert and the creative and political differences they have, and offers a slightly different glimpse in to life of North Korea.

Under the Sun – North Korea

A movie by Vitaly Mansky, who currently lives in Latvia. It talks about propaganda and the power of it in North Korea. A very specific script was approved for filming, but the crew decided to do the unthinkable – and keeps the camera rolling, when the preparation takes place as well, capturing the reality of how propaganda works. After watching this movie, I was very torn – I really would like to visit this country, but at the same time – not.

Everest – Nepal

A movie about a group of climbers on their ascend to the highest peak in the world – Everest – when they encounter a strong snowstorm and fight for their lives. The movie shows incredible views of the mountains and really makes you wish to visit at least the base camp, if nothing else!

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan – China

A movie based on one of my favorite authors Lisa See book, and it shows the story of two Chinese girls in the 19th century, bandaging of the feet to get the traditionally beautiful small feet and the life during four Qing dynasty emperors.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – New Zealand

Slightly unusual movie about an orphan, who is very unlucky with his adopting families, until a couple on the countryside adopts him. But his life turns around completely very soon, and the boy and the foster father are forced to hide in the forest. It is very different than the Hollywood movies we are accustomed to! The views of nature will inspire you to visit New Zealand!

Forrest Gump – USA

While Forrest Gump may not be considered to be the most typical travel movies, it does show a lot of beautiful places in the United States, especially, when Forrest is running. But my favorite scenes are of his house and the trees around it – just the feel of the Southern states!

The Road Within – USA

Three young people – a guy with Turret’s syndrome, another guy with OCD and a girl suffering from anorexia, run away from a clinic and explore California on their journey to find the ocean.

Tracks – Australia

This movie is based on true story of a young woman Robyn and her camels crossing the Australian desert to get to the Indian ocean. She remembers her childhood, meets people and gets into situations that change all her life, looking for herself in the meantime. This was once an actual cover story of National Geographic and will inspire you to visit Australia!

Amelie – Paris, France

The world famous movie starring Audrey Tautou takes place in Paris. A must-see, especially for those visiting Paris for the first time to get inspiration for the places to visit!

When the Light Comes – Svalbard

One of the few films out there about Svalbard. It is a story based on biography of a 19 year old student who arrives in Svalbard and spends the winter in a cabin with a Norwegian fur trapper, experiencing the harsh conditions of this land.  

TV Shows

Outsourced – India

There is a movie and TV show with the same name, and seeing both will be interesting, but the TV show is especially good! It only has one season, but it one of my all time favorite TV shows that I have seen several times, before going to India and after. It talks about an American guy who is sent to manage a call center in India, where he comes across significant cultural differences, which makes his job nearly impossible. Both men and women will enjoy this show!

Entourage – LA, USA

A TV show and a movie to conclude it, talks about four friends who have moved from New York to Los Angeles as one of them becomes a famous actor. It is one of my favorite shows that I watched in it’s entirety in just a few weeks! You can see iconic LA views, Joshua Tree National park, driving along the coast and the exhilaration of movie premieres. A lot of Hollywood, humor and will be interesting for men and women alike! After watching this show I really want to visit LA again, which was the starting point of my grand USA roadtrip a few years ago.

Kim’s Convenience  – Toronto “Korean style”, Canada

Canadian comedy, which was my biggest discovery this year after Entourage. It shows a life of a Korean family in Toronto, who own a little convenience store. Funny and somewhat different than American shows! Again, both for men and women alike.

Gossip Girl – New York, USA

This is my favorite TV show about New York! It shows the life of an elite school in New York, life on Upper East side. The world discovered Blake Lively after this role, but I was always more a fan of Blair (Leighton Meester). I believe, Gossip Girl bus tour in New York is the only ever film tour I have ever taken! More for women than men.

Younger – New York, USA

A story of a recent divorcee who is forced to pretend she is 26 in order to find a job. Starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. Former Gossip Girls audience will like this one too.

Ice Road Truckers – Yellowknife, Canada

I once saw very cheap tickets to Canada, Yellowknife and started reading more about this place and discovered that Ice Road Truckers was filmed there. It shows the life of drivers using the ice roads to transport supplies to mines. When the lakes are not frozen, the only way to transport something is by helicopter, which is very expensive, so drivers are under a lot of pressure to be very fast about their deliveries! After seeing this show, for the first time in my life I become interested in visiting cold destinations!

Game of Thrones –  Croatia, Northern Ireland, Malta, Iceland, Spain, Morocco

This is a show that has inspire global madness to visit the filming locations! I have only seen the ones in Northern Ireland and Malta, and while I don’t watch the show myself, I am certain I will be seeing more of the filming locations in my next trips!

Hart of Dixie –  Alabama, USA

It is a sweet show about a young doctor who moves to live in Alabama from New York and realizes what life is like in Southern States. It does show the life there with a bit of exaggeration, but will be nice show for those planning to visit the USA!

Lost in Space – Space

Sometimes it is worth to dream about places we will never see, and trips we will never take or at least that are not possible at the moment. The latest trend in travel industry magazines is, in fact, outer space travel. Lost in Space was my third “big discover” in TV world this year, and it is a story of a family moving to colonize a new world on a different planet, when life on Earth has become uninhabitable. One season of this show was just not enough!

Do you have a movie that inspires you to travel to a certain place and it is not on this list? Write in comments!

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  1. This is such a cool list! I can’t wait to add some to my must watch list, though lately I haven’t had much time to keep it updated. However, travel movies are the best =)

  2. Ooh, there are some great-sounding movies on here that I’d never even heard of! WIll definitely be checking some of them out!

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