Films inspire people to travel. Although other sources, such as books, can inspire people to venture out, the true impact of a place is felt only through visualization. Locations shown on movies, aided by green screen or not, have a tremendous effect on people and create a desire in them to visit.
The world of CG has enhanced this effect and brought people closer to the places they cannot generally access. For example, the Lord of The Rings trilogy took us to the enchanting mountains and plains of New Zealand and caused a 50 percent increase in the country’s already burgeoning tourism. The visual magic, Harry Potter, is another unforgettable movie anthology that shows some hauntingly beautiful locales in England that perfectly captures the novels’ increasingly darker tones.
But it is not often that people can afford or have the time to watch movies in cinemas, buy Blu Ray or DVDs, or visit these places themselves. But the demand for and desire to watch the majesty of these places unfold on celluloid will always exist.
New home entertainment and streaming services such as Netflix leverage this desire and dearth, and have created some amazing, high-budget TV series with stunning visuals that appeal to a wide range of genre consumers.
Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Lucifer (which has been acquired by Netflix), Vikings, The Walking Dead and similar shows have all done their part in getting people interested in increasing tourism and fulfilling people’s travel desires.
Here, we have listed out 10 best Netflix shows and 10 best travel movies to get you interested in tourism through entertainment. [Caution: Spoilers.]
20 Parts Unknown – Discover what's out there (TV Series)
Traveling the world and uncovering lesser known places is what the US travel and food show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, is all about. The late chef, Anthony Bourdain, travels to beautiful and fabled parts of the world and delves into their cultures and indigenous cuisines.
In a journey spanning 11 seasons, Bourdain visits some stunning locales in Libya, Congo, Lyon, Cuba, Copenhagen, Hanoi, Sicily, Detroit, Punjab, Mississippi Delta, Bahia, The Bronx, and Tanzania, to name a few, and familiarizes with the issues and cultures others may not be unfamiliar with. The show clears common stereotypes associated with these places. Leaving a void in our hearts, Bourdain has left a legacy waiting to be watched and visited.
19 Wild – A Solo Hike (Movie)
When things go south, backpack and go on a solo trip. At least, that is what Cheryl did when some tragic events occur in her life. With no prior experience in traveling, In Wild, Cheryl hikes thousands of miles along the Pacific Crest Trail all alone. While on the road, Cheryl is stuck in a few tricky circumstances and finds her courage to get out of them.
The biographical adventure drama is a real story of self-discovery of a girl who struggled throughout her life. The movie shows a mosaic of memories of the things she has lost, and it is interesting to watch how Cheryl tackles them. This movie will inspire travelers, especially women, who want to go on a solo journey but have always hesitated.
18 Stephen Fry In America – Odyssey In A Taxi (TV Series)
Stephen Fry In America is a BBC travel and adventure documentary. In this show, English comedian, writer, actor, activist and presenter Stephen John Fry embarks on a journey across the US in his black London taxi.
From hunting, sailing and dining to networking with environmental activists and people, Stephen Fry experiences everything that the 50 States of the US are popular for. He shows us how different one state is from the other. Show watchers will understand how diverse the US truly is through the eyes of Stephen Fry and would feel like embarking on their own nationwide adventure.
17 Couples Retreat – A Family Affair (Movie)
Traveling strengthens relationships of all kinds, especially if you are bonded by marriage. We all can agree that couples need to take out time for traveling together. Couples Retreat is about this idea. In this movie, four couples head to a tropical island resort for a vacation and end up rediscovering their relationships.
In the resort, the couples understand the loopholes in their marriages and attempt to fix them. The movie takes you through the real problems in a marriage and employs humor and scenic places in Bora Bora. If you are planning a vacation with your partner, this movie will give you many ideas.
16 Planet Earth – A Close Encounter (TV Series)
Planet Earth, a landmark BBC nature documentary television series, gives us a compelling view of our planet. The show helps you experience Earth through the perspective of animals. Through close encounters with the animals, you will learn their way of life and habitats. You will be taken on a virtual tour of the islands, mountains, jungles and deserts that make our planet special.
The documentary took nearly five years to make and is the most expensive project ever commissioned by the BBC in the category. Planet Earth has received several awards including an Emmy. After the end of each episode, you will also get to watch bonus behind-the-scenes clips.
15 Eat Pray Love – Life Goals (Movie)
Eat Pray Love is the story of one Elizabeth Gilbert who was going through a painful divorce. The protagonist sets out on a year-long holiday, leaving her work and home behind to wander the world, heal and rediscover herself. In the movie, Elizabeth comes out of her comfort zone to change her life.
During the adventurous trip that takes place in Europe and Asia, Elizabeth realizes the true pleasures of life. She finds peace while attending a prayer in India. And a trip to Bali makes her aware of true love. The true story is testimony to the notion that travel can heal a person inside out.
14 Departures – Friends On Adventure (TV Series)
Departures is an adventure TV series about two high-school friends, Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach, who travel to their heart’s content around the world. The show stresses on the value of the journey more than that of the destination itself. The series tells you why traveling with friends is so much more fun and how having just one friend is enough to light up your journey.
The journey becomes more intense as they move to beautiful and remote places around the world. The show teaches the value of friendship, adversities and the true definition of success. Departures is certainly a show to catch up if you are planning on going on an adventure.
13 Midnight In Paris – City Of Love (Movie)
Midnight In Paris is a fantasy comedy about a man who visits Paris with his fiancée's family. The engaged couple, who would be married in the fall, undergo experiences that change their lives. The movie attempts to break the illusion that any life that isn’t ours must be beautiful.
The movie perfectly depicts the sheer beauty of the sizzling 1920's Paris, as the nostalgia-stricken screenwriter travels back in time to the city each midnight. The film charms movie buffs and travel enthusiasts alike. It makes you believe that if you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go, it stays with you for the rest of your life.
12 I’ll Have What Phil’s Having – It’s All About Food (TV Series)
Food is what we look for wherever we travel. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having echoes this thought as its lead, Phil Rosenthal, goes on a sojourn to explore global cuisines in the culinary capitals of the world. During his journey, Rosenthal tries all the regional specialties of the places he visits. He makes us believe how food connects the world.
From Hong Kong to Barcelona, the ever-comical Rosenthal travels and stays at all the big and small places. The show takes you to five-star hotels and small food huts alike, but the spirit of the show - the journey and the stories - remain the same.
11 The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty – A Push Out Of The Comfort Zone (Movie)
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a movie about a man who embarks on an adventure when he finds out that his job is under threat. Until that point, his life was very relatable. The movie is quite inspiring to anyone struggling with their day-to-day routine.
This movie is highly recommended for travel enthusiasts and people stuck in a bad place in life, as it takes you on an awesome adventure and may motivate you to move out of your comfort zone. It is a positive, optimistic and surprising movie with beautiful cinematography.
10 Tales By Light – Through The Lens Of Photographers (TV Series)
We are aware of how technology is redefining the way we take photos and shoot videos. When we come across some incredible photography, we are lost in its details and wish to know about the person who clicked it. Tales By Light is an Australian documentary and reality television series that takes us on a journey of renowned photographers.
You will see these photographers capturing extraordinary images in remote locales. From under the sea to deep in the jungles, these photographers will take you through different places and tell stories through their pictures. The images they click, such as those of human activities and endangered species, will astonish you and may make you want to visit these places yourself.
9 The Bucket List – Travel Therapy (Movie)
The travel bug can bite anyone, no matter the place, situation or age. The Bucket List is the story of two old men who leave their cancer therapy wards to catch the joys of life that they couldn’t enjoy earlier. The two make a bucket list of things to do with the time they have left, and set out to fulfil it.
The heartwarming film is a tearjerker that reminds us that life is too short and that we need to live it to the fullest. The two men will take you on a journey around the world and inspire you to add those places to your own bucket list and inspire you to live your life on your own terms.
8 Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father – Best Travel Partners (TV Series)
Tiny feet using big feet as crutches - this is how your parents might have taught you how to walk when you were infants. And when those feet grow big and strong, who better than parents to accompany it on a journey? In this show, Jack Whitehall goes on a journey with his father.
Jack Whitehall’s Travels With My Father is a travel documentary that showcases the bonding between a father and his son. It is filled with emotions and humor. This TV show will inspire you to travel with your family. If you can’t travel, it will give you enough daydreams to plan a journey in the future.
7 The Motorcycle Diaries – Road Trip Goals (Movie)
The Motorcycle Diaries is a story of two young Argentinians who set out on a road trip to discover Latin America. During their travel, a medical student and his biochemist friend unlock the human and social topography of Latin America.
The movie is filmed based on a popular story of friendship and social justice. The movie has inspired several adventure savants and bikers to venture out. It began a trend of people traveling to the most treacherous hills and roads around the world on bikes. The two daring friends will take you on the most thrilling and enchanting road trip.
If you are planning a road trip yourself, then this movie is the perfect motivation.
6 Sense8 – They Can Sense Each Other (TV Series)
Sense8 is an accessory for wanderlust. The show takes you to 13 different countries, including South Korea, Iceland, Mexico, and India. The US web series is a story of eight strangers from around the globe who are linked to each other mentally and physically.
The characters learn that they are “sensates” – humans who have the ability to connect with each other’s thoughts and actions, and share their knowledge with one another. Sadly, Netflix canceled the streaming of Sense8. However, the show is a must watch for the travel-obsessed, as it gives them the chance to broaden their perspective of the outside world.
5 The Darjeeling Limited – Brothers Travel For Bonding (Movie)
India is a diverse country with a vibrant culture and landscape. The country with its deep history and different customs teaches you a lot about life, nature and mankind. The Darjeeling Limited is a US comedy-drama film about three brothers who set out on a trip to India in an attempt to re-forge their relationships a year after their father’s funeral.
This film takes us on a journey of a lifetime. The interesting portions of this movie involve the brothers finding their relationship with each other in the country. The show will give you a list of wonderful places you can visit in India.
4 The Moaning Of Life – A Journey Of Self-Discovery (TV Series)
Traveling is not a cake walk. It can be quite challenging. The Moaning Of Life is a British comedy series that showcases the different aspects of traveling. The protagonist sets out on a journey of self-discovery where he comes across real-life challenges people face. He learns the diversity of cultures and people.
Watching the journey of the lead unfold and understanding the various customs, values and cultures of different places in the world will definitely enthrall the viewer. For example, the host gets pretty curious about knowing the marriage customs of different countries.
The Moaning of Life is food for the travel enthusiast who loves to know about a place, its people and customs before visiting.
3 Before Sunrise – Love During Travel (Movie)
They say we meet people for a reason and not just by chance. Before Sunrise is about two travelers who meet and bond in unimaginable circumstances. Two people in their youth meet on a train while traveling through Europe. Within no time, they find a pulse in their conversations and decide to spend a few hours together.
The conversations between the two take us through the streets of Vienna from mid-afternoon to sunrise and show the purest form of love. The movie will make you fall in love with the characters and the places, and inspire you to travel with a companion.
2 Midnight Diner – Everyone Has A Story To Tell (TV Series)
Midnight Diner is a Japanese TV series on Netflix. The show is about a chef in a small restaurant serving delectable food to people through midnight. It showcases how the chef builds and fosters relationships with his customers. Each episode focuses on the stories of one customer.
Each customer of the restaurant is dealing with a problem and approaches the chef for advice. How the chef, who has his own challenges, consoles his customers with a good meal and sorts his own problems is what Midnight Diner is mostly about. If nothing else, this show will make you want to travel to Japan and have some mouth-watering ramen!
1 One Week – For The Life (Movie)
One Week is a drama film featuring a person named Ben Tyler who sets out on a road trip in a quest to find the meaning of life. Ben’s life prior to the trip was normal with a decent income and a loving fiancée, until his life turns upside down. When he knows that things are never going to be the same again, Ben buys a motorcycle and heads out on a road trip.
During the trip, Ben makes new friends and views life through a different perspective. He rekindles his love for writing and starts reliving his hobby. How Ben learns to appreciate his life through the road trip is the rest of the movie.
References: trekeffect, uproxx