Here are the best travel movies, by Andy Lee Graham of HoboTraveler.com, 19 years living abroad, and 107 countries? Send me candidates! Join us free!

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2011 - Explained by Andy Lee Graham, a perpetual traveled for over 17 years, and has lived in 107 countries.

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Sullivans Travels 1942 is an old timer to the list. We wish to celebrate this movie today, Hobos need entertainment, and to make people happy is good.

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A Passage To India 1984 as of December 29, 2014 is listed at number five of best travel movies on site: BestTravelMovies.com. This ranking can change...

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The Sleeping Dictionary 2003 Film has been added to best travel movies of all time as chosen by Andy Lee Graham world traveler. HoboTraveler.com

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On June 26, 2014, I Andy Graham added Air America a 1990 film with Mel Gibson to the list of best travel movies. BestTravelMovies.com.

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Lost Horizon, a 1937 film,is presently listed as the No. 8 Best Travel Movie in English of All Time at BestTravelMovies.com.

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The Sand Pebbles a 1966 film starring Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen has been listed at the 11 best travel movie in English.

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Then number of Hollywoods films that are remakes, sequels, and adaptation of existing stories is growing, and creativity is lacking.

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20 Sub-Genres of Travel Movies listed and explained.

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Marco Polo 2007

Marco Polo released in 2007 is one of the best travel movies of all time.

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This is my collection of the "Best Travel Movies," I am Andy Graham a perpetual traveler of 19 years and 107 countries. My goal is to choose travel movies that captures the essence of real travel. And to keep the cliché, romanticized travel moveis at a distance, this is about the spirit of real world travelers.

The best travel movie should help you dream of a real and possible world, with the essential concept in all of them, we travel, and enter a new culture that is not your own, where you become a foreigner in a strange land.

The meeting of new cultures is the essense of a travel movie.

What is a travel movie?

Before you recommend a travel movie, please read this list of concepts that helps to define what qualifies as a travel movie.

1. The Definition of a Travel Movie
2. Sub Genres of Travel Movies


The Best Travel Movies

  1. The Razor's Edge - Explains the search for meaning as a Darrel travels from country to country reading books and looking for meaning. This delves into the spirituality of India, Nepal and the Asian World. The movies flips back and forth between the Bohemian world of France and the Bourgeoisie, truly an adventure of the spirit.

  2. The Exotic Marigold Hotel

  3. The World of Suzie Wong - All people are real, whether we are the same, we all have feelings, we love, we hate, and can have our feelings hurt. This movie explains the story of an upper crust writers in Hong Kong who meets a common "Bar Girl" and falls in live in spite of himself. Love in the world is to accept people flaws, and that shows us hope in all people. True travel needs, must, and does accept others, we must, we have no choice. This also explains the inner intimate ideas why Expatriates love women in Asia and even marry prostitutes. All major Expat area have women, this is an inherent draw to the destinations, and love is love, unstoppable if you meet the right person and love can overlook, and forgive anything.
    The World Of Suzie Wong

  4. The Sleeping Dictionary 2003 Film - The abilty to talk a foreign language, to communicate, to love, to understand how another culture see their world is at the heart of travel. This love story is about a man learning to speak a foreign language, by having a beautiful girl sleep in his bed, a must watch film for those who believe in love.

     
  5. A Passage To India 1984 - This movie explains the ugly nature of how cultures really clash, and the underlying snobbery of humans. Travel movies must always include two cultures clashing, this is the essence of travel, meeting a new culture, and the uncomfortable silence.

     
  6. Marco Polo 2007 TV Film - The addiction to travel, the true story of a man looking for the answers to questions he did not know he had. This movies about curiosity, the best reason to travel, not to find himself, but to find more than himself, truly a great movie, an inspiring move with real answers, and not the normal confusion. Love, hate, fear, and curiosity, the reason to travel.


  7. Madame Butterfly 1993 Film - A trying movie, better to be ignored unless you have visited the far East, China, Southeast Asia and spent enough time to have lost your rosy colored glasses of culture. Truly an unhappy film, not entertating, and best avoided. Yet, the brutal honesty, the depiction of illusions of cultures, the willful blindness travelers hold is too accurate to ignore. To ignore this quote is impossible, "The meeting of new cultures is the essense of a travel movie."


  8. Bucket List - Dreams of Travel, make a list of places before you die, the idea of bringing meaning to a boring life. This movies explains how two men have an epiphany when told they would die, they asked themselves, shall we live our lives to the most and savor all that life has to give or accept our fate. Travel Movies like this are inspiring, and this one is a charmer, everything they do is truly possible, this is not beyond the will of the traveler.


  9. The Beach - Classic explanation of Backpacker being Tourist, and searching for Paradise. The classic line, "Khao San Road, the center of the Backpacker World," which it is.
    The Beach The Movie

  10. Hector Hector and the Search for Happiness


  11. Pretty Woman - 50-80 percent of the travel experience revolves around the Hotel. The concerge Barney is the "ideal," what we all want when we live away from home. Vivian is racous, rough, and ready, and he make her comfortable, this is living the good life.

    The movie depicts both the difficult resident of a Hotel, and the smart person that makes life great. Personally, the cost of providing this type of service is availalbe to all toursit accommodations, sadly it only truly exist, this non-judgement, effective, resourceful, make all your dreams come true smart person in 1 in 1000 hotels. The movies shows the type of service you should expect from your Hotel or Resort, nothing less.

     
  12. Lost Horizon (1937 film)- This movie is the dream of travel, transformed into real words, with clarity, reason, and simplicity. The traveler searches, he or she goes over the next hill, full of questions. To quote the movie,
    "I'm sure there's a wish for Shangri-La in everyone's heart."
    The search for the answers to questions, is what pushes a traveler onto other locations, the never ending belief in Shangri La. When asked at the end of the movie, if the man searching for the lead actor "Conway." he replied.
    "Yes. Yes, I believe it. I believe it because I want to believe it. Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Here's my hope that Robert Conway will find his Shangri-La. Here's my hope that we all find our Shangri-La."


  13. The Demi-Paradise 1943 - A Russian enters England to build a ship, and  the two cultures clash again and again in the most wonderful and inspiring ways. Travel starts when you meet the new culture, when you are suddenly uncomfortable.

     
  14. Lawrence of Arabia - A classic movie full of culture, long journey, and the every present problem of travelers going native.


  15. Christopher Columbus - The Discovery
    Themes- The Journey - Faith of going somewhere will be good - To have all your friends think you are crazy, yet to make the journey anyway.

  16. Don Quijote Chasing Dreams 
    Don Quixote - Hallmark Film - 
    Chasing dreams movie, and is analogous to the modern Backpacker who go off and outfit themselves with gear that is not needed, to chase adventures that are not there. Dreaming is the game, fantasy, and the hope of a new life, this is Travel. This Travel Movie explains how Titling at Windmills is part of genius and the spirit in all travelers. Themes: --- The great elsewhere --- Adventure --- No Filters --- 


  17. The Sand Pebbles - The Sand Pebbles is a 1966 American period war film directed by Robert Wise. It tells the story of an independent, rebellious U.S. Navy Machinist's Mate aboard the fictional gunboat USS San Pablo in 1920s China. The Sand Pebbles features Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen.

    The military life of the San Pablo's crew, the titular sand pebbles, portrays the era's racism and colonialism on a small scale, through the sailors' relations with the coolies who run their gunboat and the bargirls who serve them off-duty, as well as on a large scale, with the West's gunboat diplomacy domination of China.

     
  18. Eat Pray Love - This is movie that is the dream of many travelers, they wish to travel the world and return home to write a best seller, that is made into a Movie. Therefore, this is a success story for Elizabeth Gilbert, who traveled the world, comes home and write a book that was made into a book with Julia Roberts as the lead. The movie is about a stream of never-ending stereotype activities done after person escaped something in their life. The movie highlights the too major escapes of the typical person, marriage and job, and in a way the 9-5 never-ending work mentality of the people in the USA. After she escapes, the story takes Julia Roberts through the normal list of "find yourself" stops, first in Italy to find love and food, then to India to find God, then on to Bali where she is suppose to self-actualize. This movie does an excellent job of selling the dream, the ending was poetic justice, she wins, as she sails off into the sunset with the love of her life, after she has learned to love again. It was an incredibly long list of clichés put in sequence from the perspective of a person who truly traveled. it is refreshing to see the story of a person who obviously traveled, and told their story.


  19. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium 1969 - This is an incredible collection of cliche travel experiences. It is obvious to me, as an experienced traveler, that there is hardly one scene that does not poke a little fun at the culture of travel. Watch on YouTube


  20. Into The Wild - The nuts of travel explained in a movie, the Che Guerrera, Bob Marley bunch, if this boy would have had dreads it would been more realistic. Explains how travelers romanticizes travel and dream of deserted island and how it is a dead end. An idealistic boy follows a dream, a fantasy, he believes in things, and not people. This travel movie explains how the world of tourist chase the sunset, the shopping, and forget their friends. In the movie people reach out to him continuously and he leaves, friends do not leave, lover does not leave.

  21. Caravans 1978 - Taking the book by James Micheners, and making into a movie. Please note the book is 10 times better, and should be read before watching the movies. This is film about culture clash, between the American Christian, and the Afganistan Islamic. If the film was the same as the film, it would be rated a lot higher. The girl running away respresents the unwanted of travel.

  22. Gulliver's Travels (1996) with Ted Danson - A miniseries / movie that is loyal to the book by Johanathon Swift. The


  23. Out of Africa, how we fall in love with cultures, and how we do not know why, when we leave, we want to return, but when we are there we have cultural fatigue.
    This movies shows how one person desires to accept a culture, while another wishes to change the culture.


  24. One Week 2008 - There is a leap of faith that is needed to reject one lifestyle and choose to search for another. In the movie "One Week" a boy has cancer, and takes off on his motorcycle going west. 


  25. Sullivan's Travels (1942) - A man pretends to be Hobo, and learns why we must focus on the beauty of life.


  26. The Ugly American, and explanation of the confusion, or the difficulty when two cultures meet, and the inability to communicate. This is reality, brutal, honest, and trying, not meant to entertain, this movie explain real people.


  27. Apocalypse Now, the lost souls of travel, and how they drift into spiritual quagmire. This explains the addiction to travel, when he is in the hotel room, he knows he is alive when in, however, he knows all he can think about is leaving when he is in, but cannot live without the addiction to chaos. Truly Travel is a love / hate relationship, and the ability of our spirit to adapt, accept, and understand how we are the same of different than the world, and that is OK.
    Apocalypse Now


  28. Seven Years in Tibet, surrealist view, the stereotypical, cliché view many travelers dream they will have, full of tough times, but love of life in the end, not realistic.

  29. Easy Rider, show the nature of the "Wanted" and "Unwanted" expatriate or Traveler. the anger and the desire to not fit in, to fit in, and to free.
    Easy Rider

  30. Casablanca, the cosmopolitan world that truly exist, the idea of World Citizens, that do not see language or cultures as an obstacles, they just go.

  31. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness 1958 (Submitted by LazyBeacher in comments)
    The reinvention of a person, a woman travels to China to become a missionary and says,
    "I was never alive until I came here." she went from culture shock when they cut the head off a man, to becoming loved by everyone. Adapting to another culture, and becoming part of the culture.
     
  32. Air America 1990 Film - A movie with Mel Gibson where pilots are flying planes into Laos secretly. What makes this a travel film is the interplay between the two cultures, and one general that has it intoxicated with the idea of going to live in the USA. As a travel we continuously meet with people dreaming of America.
     

  33. Hotel 1967 - The lifestyle of a Hotel in New Orleans, showing how class, style and the underbody, and undertones.


  34. Everything is Illuminated recommended by Wade
    A sort of bizarre trip to Ukraine full of culture clash, culture shock, language problems and the search for meaning by illumination of the past.

  35. The Quiet American - The Vietnam situation from the French, to the Americans, and how the West was confused in the endeavors to control. CIA, etc.

  36. The African Queen - A long journey on an African river, whereby two people share a common challenge. .
    - Misrepresenting Culture, showing all the blacks with no teeth. Isolation, separation and clinging to each other, then the loss of faith in ones self.

  37. Magic Trip (2011) - A historical depiction of a group of real people in 1964 who drove an old school bus across the USA: Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney, about Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, and the Merry Pranksters. The movie introduces the search for new, the name of the bus was "Further," a great way of saying, how traveler are wanting to leave, or go further.
    Magic Trip

  38. Up In Air - A love story, but some truly good business perspectives on how to go through airports fast, and how their is little hope for long term relationships as a perpetual traveler.

  39. Singapore 1947 - A movie about a semi-aristocratic lifestyle in Singapore when the British ruled. How people were drawn to exotic culture, and were braver in the past, and not naive, or full of illusions about places. This movie is about a real time in history, and a form of travel that has disappeared with mass tourism. There was a rogue world more than 50 years ago, that was much more vital, and real, when people learned about a country on their own, and did not read and distort the truth. Wiki

  40. The Motorcycle Diaries - A romantic view of travel with a few good true views of the Amazon, as two friends traveled from Argentina north by boat and land. --- Demagoguery story of life of Che Guevara, the Icon of the Backpacker world by smoking a cigar that looks like a joint, and being on all the T-shirts on Khao San Road to the airport in Cuba, this man is famous in legend more than real life. Che is on more T-shirts on planet earth than Coca Cola... 

  41. The Wizard of Oz - The idea of following the path, following the road to dreams, making a journey and needing to make choices, this movie although more fantasy than truth, is about leaving home, and not understanding what you have until your gone, they learning to appreciate you home. All travelers learn to appreciate home, and one of the best reason to go home, because there is no place like home.

  42. Lost in Translation - (Watched) A classic phrase, but more cliché.

  43. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 2011
    An excellent love story, but slow on the characteristics of travel. It does demonstrate the British, culture poignantly, from dry, and distant contrasted with idealism. It was generally nice to watch a film where they do show Arabs of Yemen sharing the same personalities, and loves as British, and not radically different as is normal. The movie is mostly a situational love story, and does not show travel, and there is only one Arab which they interacted, but often quite cliché.
    Recommended by Hobohmd


  44. Away We Go --- A movie where a young couple explore the idea of going away to a new place, the elsewhere. Then because they encounter other people outside their normal world they are force to compare, and learn about themselves.
    Themes - Untethered life - Misfits - Unwanted - Elsewhere.

  45. Slumdog Millionaire - A movie that explains how the media creates an unrealistic view of the hardships of children around the planet, then imbues them with a noble spirit, that poor people are nice. Poor is dangerous, dirty, and problematic for a real traveler. India is difficult, the India people can follow you for days, annoy-you-until-you-give begging. The movie in some ways separates, and explains there is hope for all, but people believe movies more than they believe realty.

  46. Gone with the Wind - (What you believed in, the way you lived, is gone with the wind) A drama explaining what happens when a culture ends, or begins, or is in process.

  47. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Herbert Mundin. Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless ...Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard



Maybe Travel Movies - Negotiable

  1. Gulliver's Travels (2010) (DL)
  2. Gulliver's Travels (TV 1996) Ted Danson (DL)
  3. Tin Tin

Cliché-ed-Plots - Hokey Travel Movies
Reality in a way, yet too hokey - The producers attempt to depict real travel experiences. However, because of over-romanticizing, stretching the truth, and just plain use of clichés, they belong under a special category, not real, but not unreal.

  1. The Art of Travel The Art of Travel - This is the first movie I have seen that attempts to capture the whole story of travel. Oversimplified and cliché characters are grouped together to create the "Traveler Huddle." The small conversations that occur that changes a persons live. 

    Starting the Movie with the "Hotel Santos" in Managua, Nicaragua was insightful and a signal the writer had knowledge of the "Gringo Trail."

    The movie writes 
    "The art of travel is to deviate from the current plan."

    This movie shows how a person must adapt to the situation and remain happy by not trying to control the events or outcomes. I congratulate them on trying, although the deviation from true ways of traveling were hokey.
    a. Saying they was the first to travel the Darien Gap, then mispronouncing the whole movie, they would say with "Spanish" pronunciation.
    b. Renting a car to see the geyser.

    The art of is not to deviate from the plan, it the ability to deviate without losing stride, leaving the girl was romanticizing travel above love.

    Plot: High school grad. Conner Layne is about to marry his first love, but when wedding plans fail, he goes solo on his honeymoon to Central America, finding adventure with a ragtag group of foreigners who attempt to cross the Darien Gap in record time

  2. Last Stop for Paul

  3. Up (2009)

Documentaries

  1. Lewis and Clark
  2. Encounters at the End of the World - More or less a documentary about the South Pole that extremely glamorizes, extremists, romanticizes every thing, there is not one just moment of authentic feelings. Everyone is talking as if they are in a dream world.
    Themes - Dreams - Clichés - Intimate Comments - Worst Possible

Not Travel Movies

  1. Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2008 - This movie could have been made in Boston, it is a complete sellout by Woody Allen. I believe Woody is making fun of the stupid American who would watch this, serving up their stereotyical, and TV version of travel.

 

Stories / Movies that show you travel destinations: These movies were made at stereotypical travel destinations as background, however are not truly showing the interplay between two cultures. They are not travel movies, they set in foreign locations as the backdrop.

  1. Indiana Jones films, these movies make the world as small as it really it, as they go from culture to culture with no great celebration, not trying to save the world.

  2. Chasing Liberty

  3. Darjeeling Limited - A comedy placed on a Train in India, while the movie is entertaining the backdrop is mainly just for effect, very unreal. This movie was fully of the types of traveler conflict one after another, represented in a comedy, however, truly not helping many to travel, just for fun. I wish there was two cultures in the movie, instead of the USA culture looking at the India truly an insulated, segregate movie, the cultures never met, synchronized or clashed, it was a mono cultural interpretation, yet fun.
    Theme - --- Serendipitous learning about ones self.

  4. Eurotrip -- (Started to watch) This is a silly movie... started could not continue.

  5. Before Sunrise (1995)

  6. In Bruges
     
  7. Stranger Than Paradise 1984 - The morose experience of a girl from Hungary experiencing America.


Travel Movies under Review

  1. Grand Hotel (1932) Greta Garbo
  2. Outsourced
  3. Zorba the Greek - Wiki - (Not a travel movie)
  4. A Map for Saturday - Documentary
  5. 180 Degrees South (DL) Documentary
  6. A Good Year (DL)
  7. Amelie
  8. An Education (Not a travel movie)
  9. Around the World in 80 Days 1956
  10. Around the World in 80 Days 2004
  11. Chasing Liberty
  12. City of God (DL) - Movie in Portuguese
  13. David Lynch's Hotel Room - (Not Travel Movie
  14. Genghis Blues (DL)
  15. Have Dream Will Travel - NOT a Travel Movie
  16. In July (Im Juli) (DL)
  17. L’auberge Espagnol (The Spanish Apartment)
  18. Nowhere in Africa (DL)
  19. One Week (DL)
  20. Pierrot le fou (DL) French
  21. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  22. Que Tan Lejos (How Much Further)
  23. Revolutionary Road
  24. Roman Holiday
  25. Shanghai Kiss (DL)
  26. Swiss Family Robinson
  27. The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen (DL)
  28. The Librarian Trilogy - Three Movies (DL)
  29. The Passenger (DL)
  30. The Road Movies Bing Crosby - Bob Hope - Not Travel Movies
  31. The Sheltering Sky
  32. The Third Man - Not a Travel Movie
  33. The Tourist
  34. The Traveler (2010) Val Kilmer - (Not a Travel Movie,) a creepy movie.
  35. The Trip (2010 film)
  36. Travels With My Aunt (1972) (DL)
  37. Under the Tuscan Sun
  38. View From The Top (DL)
  39. Whale Rider
  40. Y Tu Mama Tambien
  41. National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) (DL)
  42. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  43. Vegas Vacation (1997)
  44. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  45. Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003)
  46. Hotel Hell Vacation (2010)
  47. Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
  48. 127 Hours (2010) - Not a Travel Movie
  49. Roman Holiday (1953)
  50. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
  51. From Russia with Love (1963)
  52. Deliverance (1972)
  53. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  54. (1968) Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
  55. (1954) La Dolce Vita (1960)
  56. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
  57. From Russia with Love (1963)
  58. Borat (2006)
  59. The Count of Monte Cristo
    Hector Hector and the Search for Happiness
  60. ??? The Secrect Life of Walter Mitty - NOT RATED