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18 Movies to inspire where you’ll travel to next

A woman backpacking on a dirt road.

Love movies? If you’re in Sydney or Melbourne you’ll be right at home this summer with American Express Openair Cinemas! Located in the Inner West (Sydney) and St Kilda (Melbourne), you can sit under the stars and watch epic new releases and timeless classics.

Capacity is limited so book ahead online here .

Whether you’re between trips or have never been anywhere at all, there’s nothing like a good movie to inspire you to pack your bags and see the world. From romance to dramas (no horror here obvs), here are our 19 travel movie picks for maximum wanderlust.

The Bucket List

We’re big on bucket lists at Contiki and the flick starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is so inspiring. Suffering from terminal cancer, the two old men strive to make their dreams come true and live their best life all across the world.

Two men are traveling in a car through the savannah.

The Beach

Leonardo Dicaprio in his prime, need we say more? We do? The movie is about an isolated Thai island that’s home to a select group of outsiders. A bit of danger, a bit of romance, but most importantly, beautiful scenery.

A man fishing with a pole.


One of 2016’s best movies has shot to the top of our wanderlust list. A heartbreaking story about an adopted man returning to his home country of India from Australia to trace his origins. It’ll make you reflect on how we’re all connected and what being a global citizen really means.

A man is traveling through a narrow alleyway.


A classic to be sure, but the whimsical French film about a young woman observing the lives of those around her will inspire you to find yourself (in France).


A woman in a red shirt is standing in a restaurant while traveling.

The Way

A father walks Spain’s epic Camino de Santiago trail in memory of his deceased son (BYO tissues) and besides showing Spain’s gorgeousness, it’s about the journey of life and rising to the challenges that come your way.

A group of people riding horses in a field while filming travel scenes for movies.

Murder on the Orient Express

A classic whodunnit about a mysterious murder on a European train trip that besides having a stellar cast, also shows off some of the amazing sights through Eastern Europe and into Istanbul. There’s the original movie, and a new reboot out this year.

What do you mean murder in travel movies?.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Bollywood meets retirees? Trust us, it works! Centred around the ex-palace ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a group of very different people find themselves against the backdrop of India’s vibrant, chaotic world.

A group of people walking down a street in travel movies.


Don’t be fooled by the fact this is a Pixar-Disney movie! You will cry actual tears as you watch 78-year-old Carl fulfil his lifelong dream of soaring away into the clouds by tying a gazillion balloons to his house. It’s full of adventure and his stowaway Russell is our spirit animal.

A group of people with balloons exploring in a travel adventure.


The memoir of Robyn Davidson, a woman who travelled solo across the Australian desert with only camels for company for nine months. If you loved Wild, you’ll love Tracks.

Two people sitting around a campfire in the desert while on a travel adventure.


Speaking of Wild, we’d be fools to not have the ultimate finding yourself through travel movie with Reese Witherspoon on our list. It’s about hitting rock bottom and building yourself up again (spoiler: she does this by walking over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest trail).

In love

Thelma & Louise

One of our ultimate bestie movies is also perfect for inspiring you to road trip across America. Of course they’re not ‘road tripping’ as much as they’re running from the law but the vibes are still there and so is a young Brad Pitt.



We’re not pretending this movie deserved a Golden Globe BUT it’s the right mix of superhero style abilities and globe-trotting. David can “jump” (i.e. teleport) wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and if that doesn’t make your green with envy we don’t know what will.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Every movie in the Disney adventure franchise makes us want to sail the open seas and experience the sights of the world. We’ll skip the piracy and assumed lack of hygiene from those days, but Captain Jack Sparrow will make any child or adult want a taste of freedom.

Canadian weather

Lord of the Rings

Got 9 hours? Dive into Lord of the Rings! While the trilogy about Frodo and friends trying to save Middle Earth is amazing all on it’s own, what makes it inspire the traveller in us is the long distances covered, the strong friendships made and the discoveries they make along the way. The Hobbit movies are also perfect.


Travel movies in the lord of the rings.

The Endless Summer

A documentary about an around-the-world surfing adventure, The Endless Summer is sure to give you a hankering for beaches, waves and sunshine. Strong on the bromance scale, it’s a flick with major cool dude vibes.

A person surfing in the ocean.

Sex and the City

Sex and the City films (1 and 2, we’re cheating) are great for getting you excited for a getaway. The premise of both movies are girl gang trips to reconnect with each other and themselves, but thankfully the fashionable sass-queens do it in exotic locations like Dubai and Mexico. Watch with a pen so you can take style notes!


The Road to El Dorado

A severely under-hyped kids movie, the Road to El Dorado has a lot of sneaky adult jokes hidden along the journey of two con-men who find a map to the lost city of gold. It’ll make you want your own adventure of a lifetime in South America (and mountains of gold).

A cartoon character exploring a jungle.

Eat, Pray, Love

The award-winning book by Elizabeth Gilbert is brought to life by your girl Julia Roberts as she seeks to nurture her mind, body and soul by travelling to Italy, India and Indonesia. Prepare to be inspired to love yourself fully.


A group of people enjoying a movie outdoors in a grassy area.