While we’ve all been spending a little more time indoors, and unable to fulfil our desires to travel, what better time to get comfortable and watch a few (or a lot of) films. We asked our Insight Vacations team to share the films that are keeping their travel dreams alive and have whittled it down to the top ten recommendations. We hope you’re able to pick one or two and be transported across the globe by the magic of cinema. Perhaps to the rolling hills of Tuscany, the romantic streets of Paris or spectacular scenery of Scandinavia.
1. Midnight in Paris (2011)
This Oscar winning film, directed by Woody Allen, proved popular amongst our staff, perhaps it’s the constant shots of Paris in the morning light, the spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower from the rooftops, the Champs-Élysées at night or the stunning French architecture. While the scenery and Parisian lifestyle are spectacular, it’s the intrigue of time travel that has us hooked. The film follows Hollywood screenwriter and aspiring novelist Gil Pender, his fiancé and her family as they take a trip to Paris, where Gil dreams of living once married. Each night Gil wanders around the streets and is mysteriously transported back to Paris in the 1920’s at midnight, where he’s happiest.
Recommended by: Anthony Rich, Holly Hasuer, Jordan Knoll, Emina Hodzic and Owen Boyce
2. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
A classic favourite for any travel lover! Following the story of Audrey Wells book, Frances, an American writer, takes a vacation to Italy as suggested by friends to mend her broken heart, and somehow ends up buying a rundown villa and dealing with the highs and lows of moving overseas. What else would you want to watch while in quarantine than anall-round feel-good story of love, vibrance and resilience set-in the picture-perfect Tuscan countryside. It’s quite possible that our love for this movie taps into our current desire to escape and experience a new and distance destination that changes our lives forever.
Recommended by: Kirsten Spence and Jordan Knoll
3. Queen (2003)
An incredibly inspirational story that breaks the traditional cultural barriers and champions solo women travellers. We love this film about Rani, an independent and strong Delhi woman, who heads out on a solo honeymoon after her fiancé leaves her just before the wedding. The adventures, misfortunes, new experiences and life lessons along the way are formative for Rani and some that any traveller, especially solo travellers, can relate to.
Recommended by: Sarah Campbell
4. Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale visits some bucket-list destinations (typical of any James Bond movie for that matter) that serve as incredible backdrops to Mr Bond’s mission to take down the criminals. Montenegro, Miami and the Bahamas all make an appearance in this series as Bond follows his corrupt rival, but it’s the stunning scene towards the end of the movie that inspires us to travel to Venice as they enter the Grand Canal on a luxurious sailboat before the final showdown.
Recommended by: Igor Bosnic, Jordan Knoll
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
While we might be relating a little to Walter’s feeling of being trapped, the real reason we’re watching this movie is the thrilling experiences and stunning countries Walter visits on his adventures. Our favourites – longboarding in Iceland, exploring the unique town of Nuuk, Greenland and hiking in the Himalayas. Wanderlust by definition!
Recommended by: Tammy Van Exan, Tomas Malmberg, Kathia Gonzalez Parra and Tara Nouraei.
6. Eat Pray Love (2010)
Another brilliant performance by Julia Roberts as she plays a woman who goes through a painful divorce then begins a journey of self-discovery through food, spirituality and love. A plan to visit Italy, India and Indonesia, helps her let go and rediscover an appetite for life. This film is a gentle reminder of how travel is the only thing you can buy to make you richer.
Recommended by: Darsha Soobramoney, Holly Hauser and Owen Boyce
7. Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
An interesting take on the world of travel in Budapest during the 1930’s – The Golden Era. The movie follows a young writer who visits The Grand Budapest Hotel and meets the elderly owner. He’s invited to join the simple man for dinner where he recounts how he became the owner of the hotel. The story is not at all what the young writer expected, but a tale filled with murder, mischief, theft and family fortunes and a backdrop of what it means to provide outstanding 5 star hotel service.
Recommended by: Owen Boyce
8. Call Me by Your Name (2017)
This film is based on the acclaimed novel by Andre Acimen, we adore this story of love set in the beautiful Lombardy region, in Northern Italy. Set during the early 1980’s, this transcendent story of a young 17-year-olds life and his first love, a 24-year-old male American college graduate studying and working as a summer intern. The film is sophisticated, intellectual and incredibly thoughtful.
Recommended by: Laurence Monsalier and Dijana Brisevac
9. Touching the Void (2003)
If you prefer documentaries, real-life action and adventure, this heart stopping docudrama may be more for you. Set in the Peruvian Andes, it follows a disastrous and near-fatal attempt of two men to climb the Cordillera Huayhuash, which reaches over 6,000m above sea level and is well-known as one of the best alpine treks in the world. The movie follows the critically acclaimed book of the same name, written by one of the men who experienced the climb, Joe Simpson.
Recommended by: Brad Ford
10. Thelma and Louise (1991)
An Academy Award winning classic we would recommend ticking off your list or revisiting if you haven’t seen it in a while. The ultimate girls road trip across the USA with life changing encounters and a few problems along the way, and of course, brings us spectacular scenery of open plains and red dirt that has us reminiscing about travelling thorough several of our favourite US National parks.
Recommended by: Drew Campbell and Hayley Grossman
As the world waits for us to return to travel, take a moment to inspire yourself through your favorite travel film, or why not try one of ours?