Movies to inspire wanderlust from home

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight

While globe-trotting travels remain largely on pause, we round up the films to evoke a sense of vicarious adventure from the comfort of your sofa


Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight

Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy puts destination at the heart of the romance between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters, Jesse and Celine. From Vienna to Paris to Greece, each film is dedicated to a couple of hours spent in its setting, showing the couple at three nine-year intervals of their lives.

Sonoya Mizuno in Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians

The 2018 blockbuster rom-com boasts locations as glittering as its cast, which includes Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan and Awkwafina. Based on Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name, the action is set against the shiny backdrop of Singapore’s most envy-inducing settings.

Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

Che Guevara’s radicalizing and history-making road trip across South America is dramatized in this epic biopic, based on his written memoirs. It documents the journey that 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara took with a friend, before he became the revolutionary and guerrilla leader. The trip had transformative power, as he traveled awe-inspiring landscapes while witnessing the extent of poverty and disease across the continent.

Dev Patel and Rooney Mara in Lion


The multi-award-winning 2016 biopic is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley (played to critical acclaim by Dev Patel) and the powerful, emotional journey he takes to find his family, 25 years after being separated from them in India.

Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip

Girls Trip

Starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith as lifelong friends reconnecting on a wild trip to New Orleans, this raucous comedy brings female friendship to the big screen. It won’t only make you want to book a vacation, but also to call your closest girlfriends.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday

Rome has rarely been so romantic as when it was explored in black and white by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. With Peck playing a journalist who turns tour guide for a princess who is looking for a little freedom from royal duties, the Italian capital and its famed sights provide a suitably seductive setting.

Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love

Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s biographical book of the same name, Eat Pray Love brings the benefits of post-break-up traveling to the big screen. Julia Roberts as Gilbert traverses borders, soul-searching and healing on a trip across Italy, India and Indonesia.

Russell Crowe in A Good Year

A Good Year

The sudden inheritance of an idyllic Provençal vineyard and chateau by London trader Max (Russell Crowe) serves as the backdrop and the plot for Ridley Scott’s 2006 romantic comedy. So dreamy-worthy is the locale, it will have you packing for Provence as soon as you can.

Awkwafina (center) and the cast of The Farewell

The Farewell

A different kind of voyage underlies Lulu Wang’s beautiful portrayal of a family coming back from the US to their hometown of Changchun in China, to say goodbye to protagonist Billi’s (Awkwafina) paternal grandmother.

Kenneth Branagh and Daisy Ridley in Murder On The Orient Express

Murder On The Orient Express

Train travel exudes high-octane glamour in both the 1974 and 2017 iterations of this Agatha Christie thriller – despite the lethal liaisons on board. The opulence of the means of transport is mirrored by the beauty of its trans-European journey.

Tony Revolori and Saoirse Ronan in The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Wes Anderson aesthetic offers up fantastical escapism galore, as evident in the gloriously pink and stylized confection of The Grand Budapest Hotel, with Ralph Fiennes playing its committed concierge, Monsieur Gustave. Lose yourself in a plot of fascism and friendship, set against the fictional mountainous Republic of Zubrowka, and a delectable visual experience.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

Steven Spielberg’s crime biopic boasts a starry line-up, led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Based on the life of Frank Abagnale, the multi-million-dollar con man who pretended to be a pilot, doctor and lawyer, the film includes appropriately jet-set locations including California, New York and Quebec.

Audrey Tautou in Amélie


In this film about the art of escaping, the quintessential charm and romance of Paris is depicted by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Set in Montmartre, and shot in dozens of Parisian locales, a young waitress decides to make a difference by bringing joy to the people she knows.