It’s holiday time and that means we’re packing our bags, buying new sun hats and slathering ourselves in enough sun cream to ice a cake. But with so many locations to choose from, we thought you might like a little inspiration. We’ve turned to cinema to to find some of the best movies that inspire us to travel or visit a particular location. Here are 15 movies to inspire your summer holiday;
Eat, Pray, Love –
First we have 2010s ‘it’ film, Eat, Pray, Love centres around a woman who leaves a loveless marriage and lacklustre life to complete a year love trip where she travels to Rome, India and Bali in order to rebuild her life and find happiness. Beautifully shot and displaying some of the best selling points of the three countries, this film starring Julia Roberts is a great catalyst for those needing that final push to set off on a solo trip.
Kings of Summer –
Not all holidays need to be taken far from home as evidence in this teen comedy from 2013. Fed up of their suffocating and oppressive home lives under the adults, three teenage friends decide to run away and build a cabin in the nearby woods. The boys experiment with their new found independence and live like men for the summer holidays. Though they don’t travel far, this good natured movie is a great one to watch before a holiday with a group of mates as it explores the freedom of youth and the bonds of friendship.
The Tourist –
Don’t you wish you would meet someone as beautiful as Angelina Jolie and Jonny Depp on vacation? This romance/thriller has an air of classic noir about it from the stylish costumes to the sunset Italian scenery. An American Tourist has a chance encounter with a British woman on a train but rather than the picture perfect romance that should follow a couple this good looking, Frank, (Depp,) is thrown head first into the mother of all mistaken identity crises. In amongst the action you get to see some truly exquisite Italian architecture, language and dinning.
Midnight in Paris –
Ah time travel, my favourite form of travel. Whilst struggling with writer’s block, Gil, (Owen Wilson,) on a trip to Paris mysteriously finds himself being transported to Paris in the 1920’s. Written and directed by Woody Allen, this movie has some beautiful views of Paris in the light, but perhaps more striking at night in the rain. Many of Paris’s famous landmarks and works of art are also featured and discussed, making this the perfect watch before visiting the great city.
Into the Wild –
One of the greatest films to capture the true spirit of adventure, Into the Wild follows the real life of Christopher McCandless, (portrayed by Emile Hirsch.) After graduating from University, the straight A’s student is expected to peruse a legal career or take his place in a government role. Instead, the young man gives his life’s savings to charity and takes off on a journey with the end goal being to reach Alaska and happiness. Along the way he makes new friends with colourful characters, he encounters hardship, injury, hunger, but also the real adrenalin rush of simple living. Into the Wild really does take you by the hand and lead you into an adventure of backpacking and exploration.
Stealing Beauty –
Starring a young and incredibly beautiful Liv Tyler, Stealing Beauty is about one young girl’s exploration of her roots and her sexuality in Italy. After her mother dies, Lucy, (Tyler,) returns to the countryside of Italy in search of the boy she fell in love with as a child. Everyone she encounters is struck by her beauty and innocence with many attempting to seduce her. With the occasional bit of Italian dialogue, coupled with scenes of the rolling hills and vineyards of rural Italy, this visual feast is gorgeous and sure to have you putting Italy on your bucket list.
Vicky, Christina, Barcelona –
With a perfect, star filled cast, this is another Woody Allen written and directed film that has the setting almost become another character, with Barcelona playing a crucial role in the actions of the other characters. Two American girlfriends, (Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson,) become infatuated with the same Spanish painter, (Javier Bardem,) whilst on holiday in Spain. Things get complicated when the man’s unstable ex-wife, (Penelope Cruz,) suddenly joins them, complicated and confusing the lines of friendship and lovers. With plenty of footage that will have you booking a flight to Spain, this movie also features entrancing Catalonian guitar music and stunning artwork.
P.S. I Love You –
This movie was a big inspiration in my two month trip around Ireland. After the tragic death of her beloved husband, (Gerard Butler,) Holly, (Hilary Swank,) discovers that her late husband had written letters in order to help guide her through her grief and build herself back up to happiness. On this emotional journey, she and her two friends visit Ireland with hilarious mishaps along the way. The movie also features flashback to when Holly visited Ireland as a student and fell in love with her future husband, Gerry. Not only catapulting the song ‘Galway Girl’ into the charts, this film shows the wonderful friendliness of the local people in rural Ireland as well as the natural beauty of the countryside and fun social life of the pubs. Just make sure you have some tissues with you as this one is a tear jerker of the finest degree.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel –
This good old fashioned British comedy takes place in India. A group of English retirees meet on a relocation to India where they intend to live out the remainder of their days in calm luxury at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Culture shock, unrealistic expectations and the eccentricities of the other OAPs makes for an unusual holiday and a very funny watch. With plenty of beautiful moments demonstrating the differences of Indian and British attitudes, the ramshackle hotel wins you over as it does its guests. The superb cast has brilliant comical and moving performances from Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel.
The Karate Kid –
If you’re thinking of the 1984 classic, then this might seem like a strange entry in the ‘holiday inspiration’ list. But when you watch the 2010 remake, you are treated to not only a great, compelling story but also some incredible establishing shots of China. After unwillingly moving to China, a young American boy (Jaden Smith,) finds himself isolated and bullied until he befriends the town’s handyman, (Jackie Chan,) who trains him in the art of Kung Fu so that he can defend himself and win the respect of his peers and young love interest. A classic story that really benefits from the HD cameras and equipment that we now have now; the establishing shots of China’s scenery and cities will mean they never need to pay their tourism board again! (Plus, you must see this film that totally justifies Jackie Chan as a serious actor over the comical commodity he has become.)
This is a relatively new movie, coming out in 2015. Another great ‘spirit of adventure’ movie it follows Romy, (Diane Kruger,) after leaving her husband mid vacation in the USA. She sets off alone after a final fight with him and hitch hikes to Las Vegas. She meets a number of characters, tries her hand at a few jobs and eventually meets a park ranger, Diego, (Norman Reedus,) with whom she starts a passionate relationship. This movie is the best example of starting your life over in a new place where no one knows you. If you’re looking to reinvent yourself on holiday, be sure to check out this little gem first.
After the death of her mother, Cheryl, (Reese Witherspoon,) falls into despair, sleeping around, using drugs and destroying her marriage. In a desperate bid to regain her best self she undertakes a 1,100 mile hike alone along the PCT trail in America. As she walks she recounts painful and happy memories as she endures the pain and joy of the long walk in the wild. This movie is not just inspiring, being based on the real trek of one woman, but also has a lot of pretty helpful tips included in the scenes like the equipment she brings and the adaptions she makes to survive. A brilliant film for a solo traveller, avid hiker or female looking to travel alone.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall –
Ah, taking a holiday to get over a break up, raise your hand if you’ve tried that one. That’s exactly what Peter, (Jason Segel,) decides to do when his long term girlfriend, Sarah, (Kristen Bell,) breaks up with him out of the blue. Fleeing to Hawaii to recover, he’s horrified to find that Sarah is also holidaying there and with her new boyfriend, (Russell Brand.) With superb comedic moments from Segel, Brand, Mila Kunis and Paul Rudd and some great footage of Hawaiian food, nightlife and beaches, this feel-good flick is a great advert for an exotic holiday island and does give hope to the recently single.
The Holiday –
Well this has it right there in the title doesn’t it? The Holiday is a great merge of British and American comedy as two women from different lives, (Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz,) swap homes in LA and Surry, England in order to mend their broken hearts over the Christmas break. There’s initial culture shock, new friends and love interests and the thrill of impulsive travel and freedom. Jude Law and Jack Black also star alongside Winslet and Diaz and will have everyone watching wishing they too will meet a sexy stranger on vacation. Another great one to watch to build up your confidence before travelling to a new destination or if you are planning a solo travel. Even with the beautiful establishing shots of LA and London, the exquisite score remains the star of the movie.
The Road Within –
This is the perfect movie to watch before a road trip with friends. Vincent, (Robert Sheehan,) is just an average, angsty teen with Tourette’s syndrome, forced to stay in a rehab physicality after the death of his mother and his estranged father runs a political campaign. In an act of frustrated rebellion, he and two other patients steal a car and take off on a road trip to the beach. Alex, (Dev Patel,) has a crippling fear of germs whilst Marie, (Zoe Kravitz) struggles with anorexia, yet the three unlikely friends get out of their comfort zone and push each other to their supposed limits whilst navigating the long road ahead. Funny, uplifting, touching and life affirming, this movie demonstrates the spirit of adventure and how travel can be magnified with friends.
So that’s our list of 15 movies that will inspire your holiday. Do you know of any we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments below what your favourite travel movie is and tell us where you’re going on holiday this year. We hope it’s somewhere great!