10 Must-Watch Travel Movies to Escape This New Normal

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Another day, another depressing headline, and even more travel restrictions in the era of #alonetogether. Whether you were supposed to jet off on a solo holiday, a girls trip, or a romantic getaway in the coming weeks, chances are that your plans have effectively been cancelled. And while we can’t be of much use to you when it comes to flight scheduling or travel insurance woes, we can help with your ever-escalating wanderlust – even if it’s just for 90 minutes. Yes, we’re suggesting that you put your Netflix list on hold and watch these 10 must-watch travel films instead.

1

Before Sunrise

Austria

The first in the film trilogy that redefined our concept of romance and proved that you don’t need elaborate plot lines – just great chemistry – to make for a truly memorable film, Before Sunrise was our first ever venture into Austria. We fell in love with the tiny cafés, tinier bridges, Gothic churches, streetside poets, and old-school record stores of Vienna as Jesse and Céline fell in love.

Watch it here.

2

Eat Pray Love

Italy, India, Indonesia

Prompting women worldwide to drop their lives and travel the globe, Eat Pray Love remains a guilty pleasure. And since packing a suitcase is currently not an option, you can always scoff enough pizza to make yourself sick as you watch Julia Roberts depict Elizabeth Gilbert carb loading in Italy before seeking spiritual guidance in India and balance in Bali in an attempt to recover from her divorce.

Watch it here.

Photo: Courtesy of Decider
3

Lost in Translation

Japan

Shot entirely on location in Japan, Lost in Translation is what happens when culture shock translates to cinematic brilliance, courtesy of Sofia Coppola. Not only does it feature one of Bill Murray’s best performances and a Scarlett Johansson mature beyond her years, but it also introduces audiences to the eclectic sights and sounds of Tokyo – and some further afield in Kyoto, too.

Watch it here.

4

Midnight in Paris

France

If you’re one to romanticize the past – or are a long-standing Francophile – this is the film for you. Boasting a killer cast and seeping with bohemia, the locations seen in this Woody Allen film will add to your Paris bucket list (assuming you already have one). Our picks? Fairground museum Musée des Arts Forains, cabinet of curiosities Deyrolle, legendary theater La Cigale, and independent bookstore Shakespeare and Company.

Watch it here.

5

New York, I Love You

America

Five boroughs, 11 short films, and a handful of imaginative filmmakers come together to, once again, prove what we already know: the Big Apple is a great leading character. While the vignettes neatly tie up together and the likes of Irrfan KhanShu Qi, and Carlos Acosta reflect the city’s diversity, it’s the Drea de Matteo and Bradley Cooper monologues that scream New York.

Watch it here.

Photo: Courtesy of PopSugar
6

The Darjeeling Limited

India

Leave it to Wes Anderson to have three estranged brothers bond – rather, attempt to bond – during a train journey across India one year after the death of their father. Equal parts witty and whimsical, it captures everything from the unpredictability of street life in Jaipur to the splendid vistas of the Rajasthan desert, adding Waris Ahluwalia to the cast as the proverbial cherry on top.

Watch it here.

7

The Hangover Part II

Thailand

If the first installment taught us anything, it’s that trouble ensues when the “wolf pack” gets together – only this time, it comes with a side of smoking monkeys, seedy go-go bars, tuk tuk rides, and the return of Mr. Chow. According to director Todd Phillips, “We chose Bangkok for the same reason we chose Vegas in that it sounds like trouble, and it sounds like there’ll be bad decisions made in a city like Bangkok.” Amen to that.

Watch it here.

Photo: Courtesy of JustWatch
8

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Iceland

It’s only after his job is threatened that daydreamer Walter Mitty sets on a life-altering adventure through Iceland, Greenland, Yemen, and Afghanistan, but in reality, all the breathtaking locations seen in the film are actually in Iceland. Glacier lagoons, beautiful fjords, stunning waterfalls – it’s safe to say that the landscapes in this film stole the spotlight from lead actor Ben Stiller.

Watch it here.

9

Under the Tuscan Sun

Italy

Long before Elizabeth Gilbert headed to Rome to “marvel at something”, Frances Mayes impulsively bought a house in Tuscany after her divorce in San Francisco left her with terminal writer’s block and depression in this 2003 romcom. What follows are some of our favorite passages in film – all inspired by the markets, men, gelato, and traditions of Italy, of course.

Watch it here.

10

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Spain

Still boasting the most intoxicating performance by Penélope CruzVicky Cristina Barcelona transports us to the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí, the fanciful works of Joan Miró, and the soothing sounds of Spanish guitar – but nothing feels more real than the character of Maria Elena. Gifted, passionate, and slightly mad, she’s reason enough to take this virtual tour through Catalonia.

Watch it here.

Photo: Courtesy of IMDb
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