Is the lockdown giving you the urge to travel? We may have to stay put for a while, but that shouldn’t stop up dreaming and planning our next trips. And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying whatever movies, TV shows and documentaries it takes to scratch that travel itch. Here’s our list of the best travel movies on Netflix to enjoy while you’re at home (and give those itchy feet some relief). We’ve even thrown in a few TV shows and documentaries for good measure.
Julia Roberts plays a recent divorcee on a quest to find herself with a trip to Italy, India and Bali. Eat Pray Love is a somewhat cheesy rom-com without the rom (mostly), but if you’re looking for a movie with beautiful scenery that will leave you dreaming of Balinese beaches, Indian enlightenment, and – well – pizza – look no further.
Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father sees British comedian Jack Whitehall embark on a belated “gap year”, with his seventy-something-year-old father. In the first series, the unlikely travel buddies hit gap year hotspots in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The show is clearly at least partially scripted, and the bumbling-ly British posh-boy son and repressed, stuffy father double act does grate a little after a while. But there are some genuinely funny moments, and anyone who has travelled in South-East Asia will recognise some of the frustrations, joys and surprises the Whitehalls run into.
Wild has made such a mark on popular culture (looking at you, Gilmore Girls revival), that it’s hard to believe it’s only been six years since its release. Or indeed, that there’s still anyone left who hasn’t at least heard of it. If you’re in this unlikely group, Wild tells the story of a woman’s thousand-mile hike across the USA to recover from personal trauma. It’s nail-biting in parts, uplifting in others – and is without a doubt one of the best travel movies on Netflix.
You know what you’re getting with this movie in the first few lines, when Adam Sandler laments to his cop partner that he’s failed the “detective test” again, and will have to keep lying to his wife, Jennifer Anniston about it. Yes, it’s silly, but at its heart it’s a classic murder mystery story, complete with an elderly, dislikeable billionaire, a host of eccentric characters, and an attractive, continental setting. Watch it, and start planning your trip to the Mediterranean (but remember to treat invites to yacht parties from suave British billionaires with suspicion).
Lost in Translation tells the story of an aging actor and the neglected young wife of a photographer who strike up a friendship in a Tokyo hotel. Yes, most of the “jokes” are either “Japanese people are shorter than Americans” or “Japanese person doesn’t randomly speak fluent English for no reason”. And yes, you may just spend the full 1 hour and 44 minutes clinging to the hope that the unlikely friendship between the 53-year-old Murray and the 19-year-old Johansson won’t turn out to be romantic (I guess 2003 was a different time). Still, it’s fun to watch, and you’ll be dreaming of exploring the streets (and karaoke bars) of Tokyo by the end of it.
6) Our Planet
Think sweeping scenery to take your breath away, intimate close-ups of exotic animals, and the calming tones of David Attenborough. Our Planet might be just what you need to soothe your troubled soul. Netflix’s first foray into nature documentaries, Our Planet is a multimillion-dollar production filmed over four years in fifty countries. It’s also ground-breaking in the world of nature documentaries, in that it doesn’t shy away from the fragility of the eco-systems and environments it highlights. But hey – don’t you wish you could go back to a world where all you had to worry about was disappearing rainforests and piles of plastic in the oceans?
In 2016, I booked my honeymoon in the French Caribbean. I won’t say this was entirely because that I’d spent the last few months binge-watching Death in Paradise on Netflix. But it certainly was a factor. Death in Paradise is a French-British crime drama set on a fictional British dependent island, and filmed in Guadeloupe. With its formulaic structure, rotating cast of barely believable characters and Christie-esque denouement at the end of each episode, Death in Paradise is undeniably very silly. But the Caribbean scenery is glorious, and the tone – despite the constant murder – is cheerful. And honestly, isn’t a bit of silliness just what we need right now?
Tell us your favourite travel movies (on Netflix and otherwise)
Are you using the lockdown to dream about the trips you’ll take once the world is back to normal? Leave a comment to tell us what you’ve been watching, reading and dreaming about! And if you’d like to see more lockdown content, with tips on what to read, watch and do while you’re stuck at home, sign up for updates from the THATMuse blog (we’ll never spam you, and you can unsubscribe with no hard feelings if you get bored of us).