Last Updated: September 3rd
Movies are a big part of our daily lives. They make us laugh, they make us cry, and — for many of us — they make us want to travel. That’s why we put together a list of our favorite travel-themed movies on Netflix right now.
Of course, it should go without saying, this list will constantly be evolving as Netflix rotates its streaming library and new movies arrive. That said, let these travel movies be your guide and inspire your next grand adventure.
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 5.2/10
What Is It: Getting to travel for work feels like a luxury. Getting to hang in Ibiza with a star DJ and have a spontaneous time-of-your-life moment while traveling feels like something that only happens in movies. Maybe. But you’ll never know if it’s real unless you go out and look for these adventures yourself and that’s where Ibiza gets you.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Sometimes you just have to go out there and live that life and see what happens. You’re never going to know what’s out there unless you go see for yourself.
Wine Country (2019)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 5.4/10
What Is It: Amy Poehler rounds up some of her funniest pals from Saturday Night Live for this boozy comedy about a girls’ trip to Napa Valley. The film is packed with comedy legends like Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and Emily Spivey, and it marks Poehler’s directing debut.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: It’s an ode to female friendships and how they change as we age — think Bridesmaids but with more wine and some scenic views of idyllic Napa wine country. If these amazing vistas of vineyards don’t stoke a desire to get to California ASAP, nothing will.
Murder Mystery (2019)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 6/10
What Is It: Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler reunite for this whodunnit with a slapstick comedy twist. The film follows Audrey and Nick Spitz, a married couple from Brooklyn celebrating their honeymoon 15 years late. They meet a dashing stranger on their plane to Europe (played by Luke Evans) who invites them to vacation aboard his yacht where a shocking murder puts them in the spotlight. As they use Nick’s detective skills and Audrey’s love of true crime to solve the case and clear their own names, more suspects pop up, and more laughs are had.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: We don’t want to say that movie posits you should never accept invitations to party on a yacht in the South of France. But keep your wits about you if you do find yourself in that situation.
Like Father (2018)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
What Is It: Kristen Bell in anything is guaranteed to be funny, but this father-daughter comedy looks especially rife with humor. Bell plays a workaholic jilted at the altar who decides to salvage something from her relationship when she heads out on her honeymoon cruise … with her estranged father. Kelsey Grammer stars as her deadbeat dad and the two try to reconnect over tropical expeditions, ziplining, and plenty of seafaring.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from a light comedy about people reconnecting while living in a confined space. Travel companionship is never a black-or-white prospect and sometimes the best travel buddy is the person you’d least expect.
David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
What Is It: The Brentmaster General is back and as awkward as ever. This time, David Brent (Ricky Gervais) is on a music tour — funding the trip out of his own pocket, renting a bus completely unnecessarily, and making college kids cringe like crazy.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: This one of the best examples of people traveling together that really, truly don’t understand or even like each other. And, whether we like it or not, that’ll eventually happen to all of us at some point. At least with Ricky Gervais steering the action, there’ll be more laughs than tears. Just barely.
Mississippi Grind (2015)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
What Is It: Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star in this road trip drama about a pair of down-on-their-luck gamblers making their way to New Orleans. Reynolds plays Curtis, the younger of the two who’s developed a system to manage his gambling habits. The key, Curtis says, is to not care about winning. Gerry (Mendelsohn) on the other hand is deep into his addiction, out of money, and unable to quit. The two team up, traveling down the Mississippi river, betting all they have on horse races and roulette tables before their wild ways catch up with them.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: It’s a film steeped in the American South’s blue-collar world. There’s plenty to admire about the scenery, but it’s also a film that does a decent job of tackling addiction without making it feel trite or heavy-handed. In the end, this is about two people on a mission and knowing when to let each other go.
The Trip To Spain (2016)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
What Is It: The third installment of the Coogan and Brydon’s The Trip series is streaming on Netflix. This time the duo is driving the winding roads of Spain while eating at some of the most iconic restaurants in the world. This entry is as fun and enticing as ever and we can’t wait to see where these two go next.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Food and travel are inexorably connected. We travel for food and this film gives you the perfect roadmap for an amazing foodie adventure through Spain. These are steps we all should be retracing, especially if we love food.
Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
What Is It: Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith return in their roles as stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. The two travel to Hollywood to stop production of a movie based on their comic book characters after discovering negative reactions to the film online. Along the way, they hook up with a group of diamond thieves, an orangutan named Suzanne, and they land on the police’s radar for allegedly being a part of an eco-terrorist group.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: The road trip vibes run deep in this movie. There’s a real sense of camaraderie between old friends striking out on an adventure. Plus, you can refresh on the characters before the coming reboot.
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
What Is It: Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen star in this Midwestern road-trip drama about an estranged father-son duo trying to reconnect. Harris plays a famous travel photographer intent on developing the rest of his unused film and the only Kodachrome photo lab in Kansas before it closes. Sudeikis and Olsen are dragged along, and along with some stunning vignettes of small-town America, we’re treated to a beautiful portrait of a father-son relationship.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: This movie treats the idea of someone being the proverbial “third-wheel” to a traveling duo aptly. Each character feels like that third-wheel at some point along the journey, which perfectly mirrors reality when you’re traveling with two or more people.
Slow West (2015)
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
What Is It: Kodi Smit-McPhee plays a young Scottish man who travels from his home country to the dry, bleeding heart of the American West to find the woman he loves. Along the way, he meets a band of outlaws looking to collect the bounty on his intended’s head and a thuggish, slow-drawling Michael Fassbender who acts as his reluctant chaperone. It’s a fun, inventive take on the classic Western adventure, and it doesn’t hurt that the cinematography is gorgeous.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: How far will you go for love is a question as old as story-telling itself. In this case, our hero leaves the wind-whipped coasts of Scotland and trudges to America. Have you ever given up everything and hit the great unknown for your love? This movie may well inspire you to.
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
What Is It: Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-tiki Expedition is the travel-history of legends. Back in 1947, the intrepid Norwegian set out to prove that pre-Columbian American cultures had the means and wherewithal to cross the oceans. Heyerdahl’s work was instrumental in moving European anthropology away the inept “savage” view of Indigenous Americans and recentering the idea of human migration.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: At its heart, this film is about the mad ones. The film follows the trials and tribulations of six crew members as they sail the Pacific on a small, reed craft with a single sail. Kon-Tiki offers a glimpse into how hard travel used to be and what we can overcome out there.
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
What Is It: Patricia Highsmith stories always carry with them a sense of adventure. While this love story doesn’t reach the far-flung travel heights of The Two Faces of January or The Talented Mr. Ripley per se, there’s still a wonderful little road movie tucked away in the second act.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Carol and Therese’s fleeing cross-country adds a road trip dimension to the film that deepens their relationship by putting them in a car together. It’s the power of that time spent in close quarters that can make or break a relationship and Carol pulls the dynamic off wonderfully.
The Fundamentals Of Caring (2016)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
What Is It: Paul Rudd is at his most charming and charismatic here. He plays a newly trained caregiver to a distant teenager with muscular dystrophy named Trevor. After some icebreaking, the two set out on a trip to see some of the most boring roadside attractions middle America has to offer. If you’re feeling down, this one will pick you up.
Plus… it’s Paul Rudd. That dude is always a ray of sunshine.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: There’s a classic appeal to a mismatched pair of people traveling along the American road. It helps when the trip isn’t grandiose or the soul purpose of the trip. Sometimes, the trip is the time you spend getting to know who you’re moving with. Everything else is just the icing on the cake.
Run Time: 143 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
What Is It: Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt star in this drama about a vacationing couple whose romantic trip to Morocco is cut short by tragedy. Blanchett plays Susan, Pitt her husband, Richard. When Susan becomes the victim of an accidental shooting while touring the country, their plans go awry and their story collides with three other families, all impacted by the event in one way or another.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Alejandro González Iñárritu weaves these tales together, skipping from the deserts of Morocco to the bustling nightlife of Tokyo to the vibrant, colorful backdrop of the Mexican desert in a non-linear fashion that gives the film an added sense of urgency. Each place draws you in and asks you, ‘why aren’t you having this experience?’
Y Tu Mama También (2002)
Run Time: 106 min, IMDb: 7.6/10
What Is It: After a stint in Hollywood, Alfonso Cuarón returned to Mexico for this story of two privileged high school boys (Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) who road trip with an older woman (Maribel Verdú) in search of an unspoiled stretch of beach. In the process, they discover freedom like they’d never imagined — and maybe more freedom than they can handle.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Cuarón’s stylish film plays out against the backdrop of Mexican political upheaval and plays with notions of upturning the established order on scales both large and small, all the while suggesting that no paradise lasts forever. Those are universal travel themes if ever we’ve heard them.
In Bruges (2007)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
What Is It: In Bruges was the movie that revealed Colin Farrell could be funny. A character actor stuck in a leading man’s body, Farrell gives arguably the best performance of his career as Ray, a rookie Irish hitman on the run with his partner and mentor, Ken (Brendan Gleeson), after accidentally killing a kid while executing a priest.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: There’s just enough sightseeing to whet your appetite for a European road trip of your own, minus overeager assassins and murderous bosses.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
What Is It: The heart of Taiki Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok is a sort of space pirate movie wherein our heroes (in this case Thor and The Hulk) are trapped on a junk planet. They have to fight for their freedom. They live up life on the local hooch. They make new friends along the way before getting back to space travel in a very pirate-y way. It’s a hoot to watch and makes you long for space travel to be a much closer reality.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: You never know when you’ll bump into an old friend when you’re on the road. Thor and The Hulk bumping into each other on a junk planet may seem like too much of a coincidence, but, trust us (we’re professional travelers), that sort of shit happens all the time out there. That’s part of the magic of travel that’s so expertly captured in this movie.
Rain Man (1988)
Run Time: 133 min | IMDb: 8/10
What Is It: Rain Man is considered a classic moment in cinema — not just 80s cinema either. The film follows two brothers as they make their way from Ohio to Los Angeles for not-so-honorable of reasons. 80s Tom Cruise basically kidnaps his autistic brother (Dustin Hoffman) from the mental institution where he’s spent most of his life after learning their wealthy father left all of his money in a trust to take care of Raymond. What ensues is a classic tale of two people on the road learning from each other and growing thanks to travel. By the end, you’ll be in tears.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Learning to listen to others is a big lesson from this film. Opening up your world to the experiences of others is another prominent component as Cruise’s character drives his long-lost brother from one end of the country to the other. Both lessons are crucial to anyone looking to hit the road.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Run Time: 153 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
What Is It: Tarantino often goes deep on a single location. Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood are all odes to a single place, Los Angeles. But when QT does hit the road, it’s often a treat for the sense. In his 2009 a-historical WWII B-movie, Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino takes us on a trip around Europe with titular Basterds. We maraud with them as they make their way from England, to the Belgian lowlands, through France, and into Paris.
Why It’s Great For Travelers: Travel isn’t always about self-fulfillment and relaxation. A lot of folks’ first travel experience before 1950 was via war. Still, there’s a sense of wonder to this movie that transcends any reason to travel and speaks to a universal truth of a group of people finding their way through places they don’t quite understand.
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 8.4/10
What Is It: As far as travel and adventure go, Raiders of the Lost Ark, has everything you could possibly want. A hero with a love for archeology and whips? Check. An adventure to recover a stolen artifact with destructive powers? Check, check. Harrison Ford beating up Nazis with sarcastic one-liners and a knowing twinkle in his eye? Did movies even exist before this?
Why It’s Great For Travelers: It could be argued that this movie inspired a generation of Gen X travelers to hit the road. The movie bleeds the sense of adventure and zest for life that we all wish we could have had on the open road. Raider’s promises glory and thrilling exploits exist out there and we want that to be true deep in our bones.