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Skyline view of Sighisoara, a historic town in Transylvania, Romania
21 April, 20202 minute read

Lights, camera, take off: 8 films that will inspire your future travel plans

The best travel films are the ones that sweep your imagination away. They make your feet itch, your heart yearn and your brain buzz with adventure. Nothing inspires wanderlust better than watching a destination burst into life on the big screen (or, given the current circumstances, the living room screen), so we’ve shortlisted some of our favourite flicks that are sure to stir some of that magic.

From black-and-white classics to more recent releases, here are eight films to inspire your future travel plans.

Roman Holiday (1953)

If ‘Hollywood classic’ and ‘Audrey Hepburn’ aren’t already enough to win you over, the third ingredient to this black-and-white, comedic love story surely will: the eternal city of Rome. A bored and sheltered princess (Hepburn) escapes her royal obligations for the day to indulge in a little freedom with an American journalist (Gregory Peck), who acts as her personal guide to this beautiful and alluring city.

Rome is the perfect catalyst for the pair’s budding romance – and it’s almost impossible for the audience not to get caught up in all its historic charm, too.

The Colosseum in Rome, visited on Titan's Grand Tour of Italy

Easy Rider (1969)

Two bikers take to the open road on a journey from Mexico to Los Angeles to New Orleans and, if you’re anything like us, this motorcycle travelogue-of-sorts will inspire your wanderlust for the USA to no end. Easy Rider is flush with desert landscapes and small towns as Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hooper) traverse the open country road on this hippie adventure.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

The year is 1935. It’s the golden age of rail travel. The star-studded cast (including Albert Finney and Lauren Bacall) are dressed in all manner of finery and the famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ first-class compartment makes for a wonderfully elegant setting. This murder mystery gives an insight into the romance and glamour of travelling aboard one of the world’s most famous and luxurious trains, which undoubtedly tops many travel wishlists.

If you’re not ready to disembark upon reaching the closing credits, there’s also the 2017 remake for another helping of sumptuous art deco interiors and bolero jackets.

The inside of the bar car on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

You’ve seen the elephants in Sri Lanka, tracked down the Big Five in Kenya and watched the Orangutans in Borneo – so where’s a wildlife-lover to go next?

Watching mountain gorillas play in their natural habitat in Uganda is surely one of the world’s most moving wildlife experiences. Environmental enthusiast Dian Fossey dedicated her life to the study and protection of silverback Gorillas, although in Congo and Rwanda, and Gorillas in the Mist is based on her autobiography of the same name. This remarkable story, which sees Fossey (Sigourney Weaver) go as far as live in the wild with the gorillas, is likely to touch and inspire any wildlife lover.

Baby gorilla laying on mum's back in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Have you ever dreamt of dropping everything and running away to the rolling hills of Tuscany? Who hasn’t? Authentic trattorias, vast vineyards and a medley of romantic hilltop villages…it’s the stuff sigh-inducing day dreams are made of. Well, Diane Lane’s character lives out our Italian fantasies for us and ends up falling madly in love (and not just with the jaw-dropping countryside…).

A cypress-lined lane winds through the Tuscan countryside towards a farmhouse

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

If you haven’t been to India, this heartwarming tale of a handful of Brits-of-a-certain age, who decide to turn retirement on its head, is sure to tempt you. The retirees escape to a five-star retirement home-of-sorts in Jaipur, northern India. When the hotel turns out to be less than luxury, what ensues is a tangle of easy laughs and endearing fish-out-of-water moments.

All the while, wonderfully colourful and vibrant Jaipur feels like a character all of its own and it is undoubtedly one of the stars of the film, alongside the likes of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel.

Inside of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) at Jaipur, India

La-la Land (2016)

This romantic musical follows the timeless love story of an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling). While set in modern day Los Angeles, it is a beautifully nostalgic nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood that is sure to capture your heart. Look out for iconic landmarks including the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood studios. This colourful and lively number is likely to have your toes tapping and heart yearning for the Golden State, California.

The Los Angeles skyline with palm trees in the foreground

Holiday in the Wild (2019)

If you're in the mood for something sweet and feel-good with a side of safari animals, Holiday in the Wild is sure to tick each box. Kate's (Kristin Davis) husband abruptly ends their marriage right before they're due to jet off on their second honeymoon. Not one to be put off by a slight change of plan, Kate travels to East Africa alone and ends up on more of an adventure than she ever bargained for. From luxury safari camp to elephant orphanages in the African wilderness, this is a heartfelt story about people who care - and it's a sure lesson that teaches us all it's never too late to follow your dreams and make a change in life.

A herd of elephants walk across a plain in Kenya, with snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in the background

Have we missed any of your favourite travel-related films? Let us know on Facebook and we'll be sure to add them to our must-watch list.

Image of blog author Natalie Carmen

From the coffee-clad highlands of Colombia to getting up-close-and-personal with elephants in Thailand and the exploring the sprawling winelands of South Africa, Natalie is a wannabe-adventurer and finds it hard to pick favourites when it comes to travel destinations. She has a weakness for wildlife and good wine, so her escapades are usually in pursuit of one or the other. As well as writing for The Scenic Route, Natalie also manages our social media channels. Be sure to follow Titan on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news.

Natalie | About the author

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