Since we are staying home, and most schools are closed as well, I thought it might be a help to recommend some of my favorite travel-themed movies that you can easily find on the many streaming services that are out there. What better way to spend a couple of hours with your family than watching together, dreaming together, and getting inspiration for your next trip?
- Eat, Pray, Love (2010) – A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself” in Italy, India & Bali.
- Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Based on the book by Frances Mayes, the film is about a recently divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will lead to a change in her life. The beauty of Cortona and the Italian people are featured.
- Letters to Juliet (2010) – traveling to Verona Italy with her busy fiancé, a young American journalist gets involved in an adventure based on a love letter a tourist left at the monument to Romeo & Juliet’s unrequited love.
- Mamma Mia (2008) & Mamma Mia: Here we go again (2018) – based on the wildly successful Broadway musical with a score from ABBA, this story tracks the lovely story of Donna and her daughter Sophie as they both grow and learn from the past.
- National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) – Just for giggles, follow the Griswold family through their comedic adventures in France, Italy & Germany because we all need a laugh right now!
- Out of Africa (1985) – Meryl Streep and Robert Redford star in this tragic love story about a married baroness who falls for a big-game hunter, based on the autobiographical novel by Isak Dinesen. Filmed on location in the U.K. and Kenya, including the Shaba National Game Reserve.
- Roman Holiday (1953) – A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and royal obligations to explore Rome on her own. She meets an American newsman who, seeking an exclusive story, pretends ignorance of her true dientity. But his plan fails as they fall in love.
And movies especially for the kids (but parents will like these too!):
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Epic tale in which an intrepid archaeologist tries to beat a band of Nazis to a unique religious relic which is central to their plans for world domination. Battling against a snake phobia and a vengeful ex-girlfriend, Indiana Jones is in constant peril, making hair’s-breadth escapes at every turn in this celebration of the innocent adventure movies of an earlier era. (Be sure to watch Indy’s other adventures: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. All four would make for a great movie marathon!)
- Madagascar (2005) – This computer-animated film follows the adventures of four Central Park Zoo animals who unexpectedly travel to the African island of Madagascar. An all-star cast keeps the laughs coming from start to finish.
- Moana (2016) – The young daughter of the village chief discovers her calling and purpose by rescuing her Hawaiian island from an angry goddess, with the entertaining help of the demigod Maui.
- Ratatouille (2007) – In Paris, a rat named Remy longs to become a French chef. He befriends a young restaurant worker, Linguini, and “mentors” his human friend in the ways of preparing fine cuisine.
- The Sound of Music (1965) – Need I say more? The adventures of the Von Trapp family and their nanny, Maria, set in pre-WW II Austria. A classic! It’s also the 55th Anniversary of the film’s release. What a great way to celebrate this milestone! (To see some of the film locations you can visit, see our blog Travels Come Alive With the Sound of Music.)
- The Great Race (1965) – A spectacular land race from New York to Paris in the early 20th century is planned, the two main competitors being the handsome, dashing hero in white, The Great Leslie, and the dastardly, black-suited Professor Fate. While Fate’s sidekick, Max, attempts to sabotage Leslie and the other racers, Leslie finds an unlikely ally in Maggie DuBois, a suffragette and journalist-turned-racer whose car breaks down halfway through the event.
- Babe (1995) – While travel isn’t the focus of the 1995 blockbuster “Babe,” you can be sure your kids will enjoy every minute of this movie. Use the opportunity to talk about the scenic Australian backdrop as well as the culture and customs of the continent down under.
- Coco (2017) – This exquisitely drawn animated film is filled with captivating Mexican artwork and folklore. Coco transports viewers to the Land of the Dead, an ethereal world bursting with color and music. The land’s ghostly inhabitants can connect with their Earth-dwelling loved ones once per year on Día de los Muertos.
So, pop some popcorn and cozy up on the couch together and start dreaming! This social distancing thing is looking better already! Is your favorite travel movie listed? If not, be sure to tell us what it is! *Links above are affiliate links.