It's summer, a time when many Americans pack up their belongings and travel to far-off destinations. Whether you're jetting off to Amsterdam, voyaging to South America or making the always difficult journey from your bed to your couch, please enjoy these 11 choice movies about, you guess right, travel!
Celebrate summer with our 11 favorite vacation movies
"Roman Holiday" (1953)
Let's kick things off with a classic for the ages: "Roman Holiday." This 1953 film about a reporter and a visiting princess who fall for each other was shot entirely on site in Rome, breaking the tradition of films necessitating a Hollywood set. It's one you'll enjoy whether you're gearing up for a visit to Italy, or if you're not, because that's expensive!
"Before Sunrise" (1995)
"Before Sunrise" is the story of two young travelers who meet on a train and decide to spend an evening together in Vienna, although they know it'll likely be their first and last. Director Richard Linklater recently released "Boyhood," so celebrate his achievements by watching this lovely film.
"Darjeerling Limited" (2007)
Not one of Wes Anderson's essential films, but in a list about travel, this movie definitely deserves a slot. "Darjeerling Limited" follows three brothers played by Luke Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody, as they travel by rail in India. In classic Wes Anderson form, this film is beautifully shot.
"Into the Wild" (2007)
Emile Hirsch stars in the true story of a young man who forgoes all worldly possessions, donates his savings and hitchhikes to Alaska. "Into the Wild," directed by Sean Penn, could evoke even the most inert couch potato to go forth and travel into the unknown!
"Dumb and Dumber" (1994)
This delightful comedy tells the tale of two total idiots who set off to return a mysterious suitcase to Aspen, "where the beer flows like wine." If you're preparing to go on a road trip, "Dumb and Dumber" is a perfect standard for what not to do.
"Lost in Translation" (2003)
Bill Murray plays an American actor feeling rather lost in Tokyo until he connects with another rather lost American, played by Scarlett Johansson. This film, aside from being quite moving and perfectly directed by Sofia Coppola, will make you want to book a flight to Japan ASAP. Also, gotta love that Elvis Costello karaoke.
"In Bruges" (2001)
In many of the films on this list, characters fall in love with the cities to which they travel. This is not one of those films. Much like "Lost in Translation," "In Bruges" is a mood piece. This time, however, the mood is grim. We're presented with two contract killers stuck in the small medieval town of Bruges. One loves to sightsee, one would love to leave. You will be pleasantly surprised by this film.
"Motorcycle Diaries" (2004)
Destination: South America
Let's fly over to South America for our next two films. The first tells the story of a young Che Guevara, who, before all that Marxism business, embarked on a soul-searching motorcycle trip throughout his home continent. A great choice if you love travel movies, or just want to learn more about the iconic man on the T-shirt the kids are always buying at Urban Outfitters.
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001)
In this coming-of-age film, two teenaged friends and one older woman embark on a journey of self-discovery through Mexico. This drama was directed by the highly regarded Alfonso Cuaron. He released "Gravity" this year.
Editor's note: This trailer is not work-appropriate.
Two longtime friends, one a struggling writer, the other about to get married, embark on a week-long wine tour through California. The result is a very enjoyable film from Alexander Payne, who would go on to direct "The Descendents" and "Nebraska."
Destination: Walley World, Calif.
There's only one right way to end a list about vacation movies. In Chevy Chase's original "Vacation" film, the Griswolds embark on a trip to Walley World, and along the way, learn more about America than one could possibly gather from a history book. This is the quintessential travel film, so if you haven't seen it, make sure to set aside 1.5 hours before you depart on a trip of your own!