If there’s one job that I’d really like to have a go at, it’s being a location scout for the film & TV industry. That must be the coolest job ever – travelling the world to find the perfect spot, city or country in which to base scenes that’ll live in some people’s minds forever. And while they’re getting to feed their love for travel, the rest of us live vicariously through the movies they helped create. Here are some of my favourite travel films on Netflix UK that’ll get you packing your suitcase in minutes.
Chef / Miami
As someone who doesn’t eat meat, this film sure had me wanting to leave 10 years of vegetarianism behind for a real Cubano sandwich in Miami. Jon Favreau plays a chef who sets up his own food truck after getting fired, travelling across the US from Miami and Los Angeles to Austin and New Orleans, selling his Latin American treats. Watch out for the LA food truck event scene – it’s a tummy rumbler.
Lost in Translation / Tokyo
This film was my first experience of Tokyo on the big screen and I’ve wanted so desperately to go ever since. Even though Charlotte (Scarlet Johansson’s character) is super lonely before she meets Bob (Bill Murray), they show us how exciting the coolest city in the world is to experience – even with a stranger. From karaoke and arcades to the Shibuya Crossing and, of course, the Park Hyatt Hotel. If you don’t leave this film wanting to hop on the next flight to Japan – GTFO.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist / New York
Set over one night and entirely in Manhattan, the aim of the evening is to find the secret gig of elusive band, Where’s Fluffy? But of course everything else going on gets in the way. Gigs in grocery stores, stripping nuns, a gay cabaret in a church, eating Russian food, and a typical romantic ending at Penn Station. This is the real, crazy New York and I totally want to be in the middle of it.
Eat, Pray, Love / Italy, Bali and India
I know, I know, this film is a total cliché but it really does make you want to travel far, far away to ‘find yourself’. And you can’t deny that the locations are absolutely stunning. All the food scenes in Italy (practically every scene set there) had me researching food tours for the next month, and the rice paddies of Bali looked a total dream. Your Instagram page would look amaze too – no doubt about that.
Tracks / Australia
A true story about a young girl trekking across the Australian desert ‘from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean’, this movie is a true cinematic masterpiece and will have you reaching for tissues and your passport at the same time. Her walk across the desert, though dangerous, is also absurdly beautiful. I’ve never seen a desert look so inspiring. After watching Tracks, you probably won’t be planning a camel trek, but you’ll definitely want to explore the lesser-travelled parts of Australia.
180° South / Patagonia
It won’t take much in this documentary to have you crying at the bravery of some people and the sheer gorgeousness of this weird little planet we call home. Traveller Jeff Johnson retraces the steps of his adventurer heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia in South America – battling torrential seas, precarious mountains and his own self-doubt. This amazing story forces you to re-look at how you travel and the impact you have on the world around you.
All these movies and documentaries should keep your wanderlust going for a while, but since there aren’t many travel films on Netflix UK (it’s a bit crap at having the best movies compared to US Netflix), have a look at these classic films elsewhere on the internet to get those feet well and truly itchy:
- Amelie / Paris
- The Darjeeling Limited / India
- The Beach / Thailand
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty / Iceland
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall / Hawaii
Got any favourites? Leave a comment!
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