As the countdown to your trip draws closer, it’s understandable that you might start feeling a little anxious. You might even begin to lose sight of why you booked the trip in your first place amongst all the stress of last-minute packing and passport renewals you forgot to make happen.
But we’ve got the perfect solution for you! The night before your trip, when you’re feeling especially high-strung, get your Netflix and chill on with one of these inspiring travel movies. You’ll remember why you booked that trip to Prague in the first place.
1. Midnight in Paris
Release date: June 3rd 2011
Destinations visited: Paris (France)
Set in modern day Paris, this dreamy film follows the story of screenwriter Gil Pender, whose relationship with his materialistic fiancée quickly comes into question once he discovers, after getting lost at midnight one evening, that he can travel back to 1920s Paris. If you’ve ever felt the romance of nostalgia, enjoyed a stroll through the summer rain, or simply dreamt of finding yourself while travelling abroad, then this is a movie you need to watch before jetting off to your summer in Europe.
2. Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade
Release date: May 24th, 1989
Destinations visited: Utah (United States), Portugal, Venice (Italy), Turkey, Germany, Petra (Jordan)
For those of you who love checking out every landmark, museum and monument during your travels, The Last Crusade is a must-watch before your departure date. In this installment, Indiana Jones finds himself journeying from the coast of Portugal to the deserts of the Middle East in hopes of rescuing his estranged father and keeping a powerful artifact out of the hands of Nazis. Traversing the globe in pursuit of knowledge and the preservation of history, Indiana Jones is an inspiration to the adventurer inside us all. So the next time you’re thinking you might take it easy at an all-inclusive, remember the excitement the less beaten track can bring with a viewing of the best film of this franchise.
Release date: February 20th, 2004
Destinations visited: Ohio (United States), Paris (France), London (England), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bratislava (Slovakia), Berlin (Germany), Vatican City
Have you ever felt like an underdog in need of some excitement, or an escape from your everyday life? Or do you just have a stereotypical view of a summer euro-trip you’re looking to realize? Either way this movie never fails to get the eager teen in all of us pumped to explore Europe. Following the misadventures of high school graduate, Scotty as he makes his away across Europe in pursuit of a German pen pal, this movie hits all the central highlights of anyone leaving home to travel with friends for the first time. From drinking alongside locals in a London pub to sampling pot brownies in Amsterdam, Eurotrip captures the magic of friendship, love and…getting obliterated in post-Cold War Slovakia.
4. Sex and the City
Release date: May 27th, 2008
Destinations visited: New York City (United States), Mexico
Alas, we’ve stumbled upon a movie that perfectly captures the city that never sleeps. If you’ve ever dreamed of making it in the big city or simply making it to the big city, then the Sex and the City movie is required viewing before a visit to the Big Apple. Countless films have attempted to capture the magic of New York but few have it down quite like this gem by Michael Patrick King. Let your brain fill with the excess of the Upper West Side, from Manolo Blahniks to champagne-filled brunches all the way to morning runs through Central Park. This is the perfect film for the traveller who always packs a great pair of shoes and a copy of Vogue to read on the plane.
5. Spirited Away
Release date: July 20th, 2001
Destinations visited: Inspired by Jifuen (Taiwan) and various regions of Japan
One of the quintessential Japanese-inspired movies that leaves us lusting for a good cup of tea and a handful of rice cakes. The heroine of our story is a young girl named Chihiro who is “spirited away” to a magical and mysterious bathhouse for creatures of another world. Director Miyazaki does it again with this classic animated feature that inspired a whole generation of kids and adults to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun. Chihiro is also a protagonist that reminds us that even when our journeys take an unexpected detour, if we’re brave, we can still enjoy ourselves. The soundtrack alone will help you find your inner zen and if that’s not enough, the scenes within the bathhouse will get you pumped for your visit in no time. Fun fact: many people don’t realize that many of the film’s settings were actually influenced by Jiufen, a city in Taiwan.
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Release date: November 30th, 2011
Destinations visited: India
India is a truly magical, spectacular and spiritually rich country with an ancient history to boot. But it is also a destination that many less seasoned travellers can find intimidating with its intense summer heat waves and challenging economic divides. So if you need a little inspiration then this British dramedy by John Madden should be required viewing for the first timer whose always been curious about riding in a tuk tuk. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tells the story of several seniors from Britain who decide to outsource their retirement to a hotel in India, under the assumption it will be luxurious and extraordinary. While it doesn’t begin that way, eventually everyone finds themselves amidst the unfamiliar but colourful backdrop of India. This is a particularly excellent film because it describes the assault on one’s senses that is India, while also encouraging viewers to immerse themselves in the unfamiliar.
7. Casino Royale
Release date: November 14th, 2006
Destinations visited: Prague (Czech Republic), Uganda, Madagascar, Bahamas and Miami (United States), Venice (Italy), Montenegro
If James Bond has been there, it’s safe to say that the destination is a can’t miss one. Upon receiving a license to kill, Casino Royale tells the story of 007’s very first mission which involves foreign foes, black-ties, beautiful women and of course a high stakes game of cards. You should definitely check out this movie if you’re looking to discover some classic favourites like Venice or become more familiar with hidden gems like the Balkan country of Montenegro. This Bond story can also be treated as an instructional film of how to look strong and stylish while running from landmark to landmark with important…luggage, in hand.