Travel to faraway places or maybe just a neighboring city with these 10 classic travel movies.
Last updated: August 29, 2023
We all love travel movies. They are like secret agents magically transferring us to faraway places and bringing us back in the course of a few hours. However, it’s not always easy to say upfront if a movie we are planning to watch belongs to the travel category. Here is one trick. Travel movies with geographic locations in the title are, in most cases, sure signs for your virtual trips to different destinations of the world within the next few hours.
Why We Choose Classic Travel Movies (Often with Geographic Locations in the Title)
Even before taking our seats in front of our TVs or visiting movie theaters, we know exactly in which geographic location the story takes place. Moreover, we even choose which travel movie to watch based on the physical location mentioned in the title. There is something in that title that allures us. It might be our dream destination that we still ought to visit.
No rarely, we choose classic travel movies with the geographic locations in the title to relive our own adventures. We imagine walking those same streets, eating in those same restaurants, and sitting on those same benches in those same parks of Rome or Barcelona.
And while most travel movies are pretty straightforward, some of them are a bit confusing. For example, you can see in the title a name of one destination, but the action in the movie takes place in the other part of the world. What the movie’s title does here is indicating cultures, traditions, or some other connections to the place mentioned in the title.
Nevertheless, these mismatches of the geographic locations in the title and plots of the travel movies don’t bother us at all. On the contrary, they include so many cultural aspects that you might feel like you got a history and culture lesson, but in a more entertaining way. With that being said, let’s look at some of the travel movies you want to watch now, regardless of what their titles may say.
TOP 10 CLASSIC TRAVEL MOVIES YOU SHOULD WATCH NOW
1. Roman Holiday
Roman Holiday is a beautiful story of a young European princess Ann. Like any other young girls, Ann would rather enjoy her youth and life. But instead she has to deal with endless royal responsibilities. Her frustration with this type of life and busy schedules reaches a final point when the princess visits Rome.
Here she decides to escape and explore the city. Unfortunately, a sedative she took a few hours prior kicks in at a wrong time. The princess falls asleep on a park bench. One American reporter finds her and takes her to his apartment where she can sleep. This is where Ann’s real Roman holiday finally stars.
Roman Holiday is one of the best classic travel movies for the whole family. Even though there is not a lot kids in the movie, the plot is kid-friendly, without nudity or foul language.
2. Under the Tuscan Sun
Under the Tuscan Sun is a classic travel movie based on a novel. It takes place in Europe. Similar to Ann in Roman Holiday, Frances Mayes leaves her cheating husbands and searches for escape from depression in a rural area of Tuscany. During this trip, she buys a villa and learns how to live in and love Italy.
3. Vicky, Christina, Barcelona
Vicky, Christina, Barcelona is a story about two Americans, Vicky and Christina, who travel to Spain for a summer vacation. They stay at a friend’s house in Barcelona. While visiting one art gallery, the girls meet a Spanish painter who immediately invites them to spend a weekend in the city of Oviedo. The girls eventually get attracted to their new friend and grow apart. The situation gets even more complicated when Vicky’s boyfriend follows her to Barcelona.
Vicky, Christina, Barcelona is one of those classic travel movies that deals with complicated relationships on top of cultural misunderstandings. It’s not a movie for everybody. But even if you love, which you probably will, please don’t watch it with your kids.
4. French Kiss
French Kiss is an American movie that, as the title suggests, takes its main character Kate to France. After Kate finds out that her fiancé falls in love with a Parisian girl, she follows him to Paris.
On top of the fear of heights, Kate has to deal with an annoying airplane neighbor Luc. As it turns out, Luc is a thief who uses Kate to smuggle a stolen necklace. In order to get the necklace back, Kate’s new “friend” helps her get the unfaithful fiancé back. But as Kate and Luc get to know each other, their friendship turns into a romantic relationship.
Casablanca is a classic travel movie that even your grandparents still watch on repeat. Although the main story happens in Casablanca, Morocco, at some point it takes us back to Paris, where two main characters Rick and Ilsa met. After a short romance, however, Ilsa disappears.
The heartbroken Rick moves to Casablanca where he opens his nightclub “Rick’s Café”. One night Ilsa suddenly enters Rick’s café. But she is not alone. Her husband, a notable Check rebel, comes along. As Nazis are after Ilsa’s husband, she asks Rick to help them escape to America. Rick reluctantly agrees.
6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of those travel movies that has nothing to do with the geographic names is the title. But even though people in this movie don’t travel from one place to another, their culture does. Thus, Greek traditions cross the ocean and transfer from Europe to Chicago.
In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, two Greek immigrant parents, Gus and Maria, are worried that their 30-year-old daughter, Toula, is still unmarried. Toula lives with her parents and works at family restaurants. After finishing computer classes, Toula with the help of her mother convinces her dad to let her work at her aunt’s travel agency. Here she meets Ian, a non-Greek, and starts dating him. Eventually Toula’s family accepts Ian and gets ready for their wedding in the traditional Greek style.
7. Bangkok Hilton
I’m a bit biased here. Bangkok Hilton is one of my all-time favorite travel movies. It’s also one of Nicole Kidman’s first movies.
Katrina finds out that her father who she didn’t know is alive and travels to London in attempt to find him. Without any lucky, the girl plans to return back to Australia. But she unexpectedly meets and falls in love with a young American photojournalist Arki.
At some point, the couple travels to Bangkok. Here Arkie picks up a shipment of heroin and loads it into a camera that he gives to Katrina. On their way back to Australia, drug sniffling dogs detect the drugs, which leads to Kartina’s arrest. Meanwhile, Arkie joined another group and escaped to Australia. After her arrest, Kartina ends up in Bangkok prison nicknamed the “Bangkok Hilton”.
The girl’s father eventually finds out about the unfortunate fate of his daughter and does all possible and impossible to rescue her. Unfortunately, there is no one to help him. The man can rely only on himself to safe his daughter’s life.
8. Namastey London
Namastey London is a travel movie about an Indian girl Jasmeet who grew up in London. Her father takes her back to India and forces to marry an India guy Arjun. But as soon as Jasmeet returns to London, she refuses to recognize her marriage with Arjun as there is no proof of the wedding. On top of that, Jasmeet has an English boyfriend who she wants to marry.
Meanwhile Arjun travels to London. As Jasmeet and her Indian “husband” spend a lot of time together, the girls slowly falls in love with him.
9. Chennai Express
Chennai Express is one of the most recent Indian travel movies. The movie takes place in different places of the country. It starts in Mumbai where Rahul Mithaiwala lives. After his grandfather dies, he promises to take his ashes to Rameshwaram.
Rahul takes Chennai Express to get to his destination. At the train station, he sees a young woman running after the departing train and helps her in. Without anticipating any troubles, Rahul starts to flirt with the woman. But there are four men who are after this beautiful stranger. Instantly, a series of adventures and travels follow Rahul as he tries to save his and the girl’s lives.
10. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is the best classic travel movie for the whole family. Although it’s popular around Christmas, you can watch it any time of the year.
As the story goes, the McCallister family is getting ready to spend Christmas in Miami. Their youngest son Kevin, however, doesn’t like this idea. And as something always happens to Kevin, he boards a wrong plain. While his family flies to Miami, Kevin heads to New York City.
Here, he uses his father’s credit card and checks in to the Plaza Hotel. Harry and Marv, two bandits that Kevin met in Home Alone 1, happen to travel to New York City as well. They plan to rob a toy store. Kevin interferes with their plan and sends the police to arrest the unlucky thieves.