Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Don’t you love it when you sit down to watch a movie or show and it ignites something in you that makes you want to travel? Inspiring movies and shows make me want to explore the world, pack a bag, jump on a plane, leave everything behind, and experience life from a different perspective!
I love reading Million Mile Secrets reader success stories for the same reason!
We picked the 6 movies and TV shows on Netflix that inspire travel and adventure and make you want to get out of your comfort zone and try something or somewhere new!
1. 180 Degrees South
Fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all…. But we just went for it. – Yvon Chouinard, 180 Degrees South
Nothing on earth makes me want to travel more than the documentary 180 Degrees South. I get chills just thinking about it.
This movie follows the 1968 trip made by Yvon Chouinard (former CEO of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins (co-founder of The North Face and Esprit Clothing) to South America on a journey of a lifetime. It takes you to the remote depths of Patagonia from Mexico south along the west coast of Chile while showcasing the most beautiful, dramatic landscapes a person could dream of.
This film is for the adventure seeker and traveler who wants to immerse themselves in nature, natural beauty, serene landscape, and remote wilderness.
2. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown. – Anthony Bourdain
Parts Unknown, a food and travel show on CNN, follows the late Anthony Bourdain around the world exploring rich cultures and the cuisine that goes with them. If you are a foodie and love to travel, then I recommend turning this on to satisfy your palate and thirst for adventure.
Bourdain travels to some of the world’s best food scenes like Sicily, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. He also travels to off the beaten path destinations like Punjab, India, Tanzania, and Detroit.
There is a good chance that wherever you are planning your next vacation, Bourdain has been there, and tried their cultural signature dishes.
Be sure to check out the show if you need some culinary inspiration for your upcoming trip. Or if you need inspiration on where to go next. Bourdain chooses incredible locations to travel to like the Greek Islands, Marseille, France, Havana, Cuba. And his show is an inspiration for both those wanting to dine, enjoy new cultures, and travel.
3. Planet Earth
Our planet is still full of wonders. As we explore them, so we gain not only understanding, but power. It’s not just the future of the whale that today lies in our hands: it’s the survival of the natural world in all parts of the living planet. We can now destroy or we can cherish. The choice is ours. – David Attenborough, Planet Earth.
Talk about worldwide travel inspiration! Planet Earth is the highest budget nature documentary series ever made. The show has won multiple television awards for its incredible ability to get viewers in touch with the natural world.
The series has eleven episodes, each of them covering a different Earthly habitat. Most of these episodes cover a place that viewers might not think much of, like the ocean, the rainforest, or the desert plains. But upon viewing these incredibly detailed and invasive shots, viewers gain an entirely new perspective on the habitats and the ecosystems within them.
If you’re itching for some travel inspiration, then I recommend checking out the Mountains, Jungles, Ocean Deep or Shallow Seas episodes. These will get you pumped up for planning your next trip to a far out destination.
Be sure to keep watching post credits for the behind the scenes footage of the work it takes to get the incredible shots that make this documentary a reality.
4. The Bucket List
Find the joy in your life… my dear friend, close your eyes and let the waters take you home – Carter Chambers, The Bucket List
The Bucket List, a comedy starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, is a must watch not only for you and your friends to find travel inspiration but it encourages viewers to do something bizarre off their bucket list!
The movie follows two terminally ill jokesters that meet in a hospital after receiving their less than ideal, life-threatening diagnosis. They decide to hit the road together with a wish list to complete before they “kick the bucket.” And, they really do it all.
From driving limited-edition Mustangs, to skydiving, visiting the North Pole and venturing to the Taj Mahal in India, they explore the world together conquering fears and crossing items off their bucket lists.
They even ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China and visit Everest Base Camp in Nepal! This feel-good movie encourages viewers to get out with their close friends and make memories that will last a lifetime.
So grab your buddies, and get after it! Make a bucket list with the goal to try to cross something new off every year!
5. The Endless Summer
Many of us ride winter and summer, but the ultimate thing for us would be to have an endless summer. The only way to do this is to travel around the world. – Narrator, The Endless Summer
The Endless Summer is probably the most classic surf film ever made. Whether you’re into surfing or prefer to lounge on the beach and stare at the ocean, this is a must-see flick.
It showcases a multitude of beaches, waves, white sand, and world-class surfing around the world while narrowing in on a story of deep friendship, adventure, and travel. The movie is about finding perfect waves, enjoying good times with friends and seeking adventures that are extraordinary.
From Hawaii to South Africa, and of course Australia and New Zealand, documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August on an around-the-world surfing adventure in search for the perfect wave and an endless summer.
This movie makes you want to pack up your swimsuit and head straight to the beach, and of course, test out a surfboard.
Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive – Joanne Harris, Chocolat
Set in a remote, tranquil French town in the winter of 1959, Chocolat is a story that portrays love, family and a chocolate shop that influences the lives of the townspeople in very different and interesting ways.
The film was shot in the village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in Burgundy, France and on the Rue De L’ancienne Poste in Beynac-et-Cazenac on the Dordogne River in Dordogne, France. The town, buildings and French decor inspire you to experience something new and beautiful.
The cinematography combined with the love story makes you want to book the next flight out to France, fall in love, and enjoy the world from a different lens. Chocolat was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
What movies or shows inspire you to travel? We would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below!