Winter is a slow time for us. I really just want to settle in until spring gets here and everything starts to warm up again. The cold weather and grey skies are uninspiring at best and border on depressing. During the winter I like to catch up on movies I missed in the spring and summer, listen to good music, and stay inside in the warmth. Check out these 25 travel movies (in no particular order) that will help you get through the winter. Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.
25 Travel Movies to get you through the Winter
25. Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine – When Olive (a 7 year old aspiring beauty queen) is invited to compete in the “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant in California, the family piles into their rusted-out VW bus to rally behind her. Richard, the father played by Greg Kinnear is unsuccessfully trying to sell his motivational success program. Mom, Sheryl, is trying to support her eccentric family, including her brother, fresh out of the hospital after a failed relationship. Grandfather, was recently evicted from his retirement home. A few other special family members tag along for the trip, and hilarity ensues.
24. Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays – After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family. This movie puts all the stress and joy of traveling home to see family right out in the open.
23. The Way
The Way – A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El camino de Santiago”. The father decides to complete the pilgrimage himself to honor his son. On his journey he meets other pilgrims from around the world all searching for something.
22. A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods – After spending 20 years in England, Bill Bryson returns to the US. He decides the best way to reconnect is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends. The serenity Bryson hopes to find on this legendary hike is quickly spoiled by his friend who accompanies him who has completely different ideas about the meaning of adventure.. Hiking the Appalachian trail, 2200 miles through the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine, has been a goal of mine for a long time and seeing it in this movie just adds to the wonder.
21. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – The film version of Hunter S. Thompson’s classic about his road trip across Western America. Thompson and lawyer search desperately for the “American dream” in the Western US. Fueled by large quantities of drugs and alcohol kept in their convertible, The Red Shark, Thomson and Lawyer cover news stories, including a convention on drug abuse, but also sink deeper into a frightening psychedelic otherworld. This movie is wild!
Up – A touching story about grief and growth, UP is probably my favorite film to come out of Pixar studios. Retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, an overeager 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer Russell is on Carl’s front porch! The world’s most unlikely duo meet fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, a rare 13-foot tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life’s biggest adventures aren’t the ones you set out looking for.
19. Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson films are some of my favorites. The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
18. Tommy Boy
Tommy Boy – Chris Farley and David Spade star as two traveling salesmen who hit the road in order to save the family business incredibly, classic from the 90’s. With a cast that includes Rob Lowe, Bo Derek, Dan Akroyd and Brian Dennehy, it would be hard to go wrong. Chris Farley delivers some of his funniest moments in this movie.
17. James and the Giant Peach
James And The Giant Peach – James is sent to live with his wicked and greedy Aunts. Unwanted and forced to perform their menial chores, the boy dreams about going to New York City. Then James meets a mysterious old man who gives him a bag of magical glowing crocodile tongues. On his way home, James spills the contents of the bag at the base of an old peach tree and to his astonishment, a peach instantly grows and grows until it reaches 20 feet in diameter. Hungry and curious, James sneaks out that evening and takes a bite of the peach. When a glowing tunnel appears, the frightened boy ventures inside and meets Centipede, Earthworm, Ladybug, Glowworm, Grasshopper and Miss Spider. Rolling out to sea, the giant peach launches its passengers on a series of wildly imaginative adventures with New York City as their final destination.
16. Endless Summer
The Endless Summer– There are travel movies and then there is Endless Summer. The Endless Summer is a seminal 1966 surf movie. Filmmaker/narrator Bruce Brown follows two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, on a surfing trip around the world.
15. Planet Earth
Planet Earth – Actress Sigourney Weaver narrates this American version of the original BBC production that explores some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders — from the oceans to the deserts to the polar ice caps. This series shows the wonders of our amazing planet in stunning detail. I could watch it over and over!
14. Thelma and Louise
Thelma & Louise – Meek housewife Thelma joins her friend Louise, an independent waitress, on a short fishing trip. However, their trip becomes a flight from the law when Louise shoots and kills a man who tries to rape Thelma at a bar. Louise decides to flee to Mexico, and Thelma joins her. On the way, Thelma falls for sexy young thief J.D. and the sympathetic Detective Slocumb tries to convince the two women to surrender before their fates are sealed.
13. The Beach
The Beach – 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.
12. Beavis and Butthead Do America
Beavis And Butt-Head Do America – This is the movie that first made me want to take a road trip. Maybe because I was an adolescent when it came out, I don’t know. What I do know is I still watch it every time I see it on. It follows Beavis and Butthead as they set off across America in search of their stolen TV set.
11. Lord of The Rings
The Lord of the Rings – The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces are unrelenting in their search for it. But fate has placed it in the hands of a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins, who inherits the Ring and steps into legend. A daunting task lies ahead for Frodo when he becomes the Ringbearer – to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged. This trilogy was filmed in New Zealand and is beautiful. After watching it, I wanted to travel to Hobbiton more than just about anything!
10. Darjeeling Limited
The Darjeeling Limited – Another Wes Anderson film, and one of the best travel movies! “The Darjeeling Limited” is an emotional comedy about three brothers re-forging family bonds.The eldest, hopes to reconnect with his two younger siblings by taking them on a train trip across the vibrant and sensual landscape of India. The beautiful scenery and Anderson’s unique storytelling combine to make a great movie!
Wild – Another favorite of mine, Wild brings bestselling author Cheryl Strayed’s extraordinary adventure to the screen. After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. WILD powerfully reveals her terrors and pleasures –as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.
8. The Bucket List
The Bucket List – A billionaire and mechanic have nothing in common except for cancer and a shared hospital room. During their hospital stay, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy.
7. 7 Years in Tibet
Seven Years In Tibet – Seven Years in Tibet is a biographical film based on the book of the same name written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. In the story, Austrians Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter are mountaineering in British India when World War II begins in 1939. Their German citizenship results in their imprisonment by the British in a POW camp in the Himalayan foothills. After five years, Harrer and Aufschnaiter escape the prison, and cross into Tibet. After initially being ordered to return to India, they are welcomed at the holy city of Lhasa, and become absorbed into an unfamiliar way of life. Harrer is introduced to the 14th Dalai Lama, who is still a boy, and becomes one of his tutors and a close friend. This movies setting is stunning and the story is great too!
6. Easy Rider
Easy Rider – A true American Classic, Easy Rider, tells the tale of Wyatt and Billy, two Harley-riding hippies. They complete a drug deal in Southern California and set off cross-country on their motorcycles in search of spiritual truth. On the road, they experience bigotry and hatred from the inhabitants of small-town America and also meet with other travelers seeking alternative lifestyles. After a terrifying drug experience in New Orleans, the two travelers wonder if they will ever find a way to live peacefully in America.
5. The Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter – This series is magical (really). The films tell the story of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and Muggles. While the story is amazing and captured the hearts of many, the scenery in the movies does it for me. Although often enhanced, England is beautiful in these movies. One day I will travel there and visit some of the filming locations. In the meantime I may just have to visit one of the Harry Potter theme Parks in the States.
4. National Lampoons: Vacation
National Lampoon’s Vacation – When it comes to travel movies, few hold up as well as National Lampoons Vacation. Despite being nearly 40 years old, it still makes me laugh every time I watch it. This comedy follows The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park, and shows us that family vacations don’t always go according to plan.
3. Life of Pi
Life of Pi – After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with their sons and a few remaining animals. Tragedy strikes when a terrible storm sinks the ship, leaving the Patels’ teenage son, Pi (Suraj Sharma), as the only human survivor. However, Pi is not alone; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also found refuge aboard the lifeboat. As days turn into weeks and weeks drag into months, Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if both are to survive.
2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Don’t be scared to be you. Walter Mitty lives an incredibly safe life, ruled by routine. That is until everything changes. His life seems small but his imagination is grand. In his daydreams, Mitty is heroic, brave, and always gets the girl. When his job is threatened, Walter will travel to distant lands and take giant leaps that he never before thought possible.
1. Into the Wild
Into the Wild – I know I said these were in no particular order, but this one is. Into the Wild is at the top of my travel movies list. It follows the travels of Chirs McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp. After graduating from Emory University, an athlete and remarkable student, McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. I have seen this movie a lot and I find something new in it every time.
So that’s that, our list of travel movies to get you through the winter. We hope you enjoyed them. If you have any recommendations for us, leave them in the comments and we will be sure to check them out!