Best Road Trip Movies
to Inspire Your Next Driving Adventure

Road.Travel
Road.Travel
Published in
5 min readNov 24, 2022

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A scenic road going straight in sunrise colours

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Enjoy the thrill of the open road at home with these compelling road trip movies that will inspire your next motoring adventure.

We all love a good travel story but for some reason this simple narrative rarely translates well to the screen. As much as we’ve all experienced the head scratching drama of navigating a busy airport, or sheer elation of a plane taking off on time, these moments don’t really make for a compelling movie.

Even small pleasures like sipping that first cold drink on a hot beach or finding the perfect secret dining spot in a new city — as great as they are — remain best kept in your diary or in a photo album on your phone.

There is one genre of travel, however, that not only makes for a great experience in person but also a riveting viewing experience too. The humble road trip has been featured in countless films over the years, and the best ones not only entertain but also inspire. Here’s our pick of the road trip movies that will be sure to rev up your next vacation.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Ridley Scott’s buddy road movie is a heady mix of conflicting themes. There’s the criminals-on-the-run element, as our titular characters (played by Susuan Sarandon and Geena Davis) try to evade the law in an increasingly desperate bid for freedom, but also the equally pressing need for the ladies to break free of the societal shackles they face every day. On a purely visual level, the sight of two carefree individuals taking the roof of their 1966 Thunderbird and charging through desert landscapes gives us all a sense of wild abandon. In the movie the duo go from Arkansas to Arizona, a classic route full of different backdrops, although most of the locations you see in the finished product are actually in Utah.

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The Trip to Italy (2014)

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play exaggerated versions of themselves in this foodie tour from Piedmont to Capri. The comedic duo bicker along the way as they compete to see who can do the most convincing impressions of celebrities as they drive through the stunning countryside in the north of the county. The journey is meant to follow that which the great poets took in the past, but as we can see from this spin on the classic Grand Tour you can have much more fun behind the wheel of a car. Take in Rome for a cultural and artistic highlight and follow up with a detour to experience the west coast before relaxing in Capri.

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Easy Rider (1969)

One of the most iconic road trip movies in cinema history actually takes place on two wheels but that’s perfectly fitting for this slice of counterculture from the late 60s. Interstate 40 from Los Angeles to New Orleans is a pretty well-known route, and it’s the main objective of our freewheeling protagonists too, but things don’t quite go to plan. To be fair the film deliberately gives us a number of glorious roads and otherworldly backdrops from New Mexico to Texas and manages to take in popular destinations like Las Vegas and Colorado along the way. Depending on what time of year you decide to follow in the tyre tracks laid by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, you might want to choose a vehicle with the option of heating as some of these areas can get quite cold. Not very rock’n’roll, admittedly, but we can’t all live life in the fast lane.

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Dumb and Dumber (1994)

The joy of Dumb and Dumber is that its often so funny you forget that the set up is essentially a road trip from Providence, Rhode Island to Aspen, Colorado. Harry and Lloyd (Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey) embark on a journey to return the lost bag of a mystery woman. Their mode of transport is the Mutts Cutts van which comes with furry ears and wagging tail, or at least it is until the pair get on a mini scooter to complete the last 500 miles of the trip. As you can imagine there are a number of unnecessary diversions we go on with the duo, so make sure you take a more direct route if you want to have the ultimate cross country experience. Can’t fault the soundtrack though, be sure to load up some choice picks from the 90s from the movie before to start.

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The Bourne Identity (2002)

First of all, how is this slick action thriller already 20 years old?! It feels like only yesterday that we first watched Matt Damon take on the title role of Jason Bourne — a man with no memory but a wealth of combat experience. Anyway, the film has spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs, but in the original we get to see one of Bourne’s other hidden talents on display. After initially paying for a ride from Zurich to Paris and sitting in the passenger seat, Jason shows off incredible driving skills to evade a number of people who are in hot pursuit. To be fair, the sweeping mountain roads of Switzerland and narrow streets of Paris are so tempting, we’d want to take the wheel too!

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The Trip to Greece (2020)

We couldn’t resist another trip with Coogan and Brydon as this format is particularly wanderlust-inducing by design. Even though the original broadcast was conceived as an episodic TV series, director Michael Winterbottom edited feature length versions which work as a superb way to showcase both the road trip adventure and comedic banter. Starting in Troy and following as much of Homer’s Odyssey as possible, we go on an ancient tour through Athens and ending in Ithaca. You get to see some of the most popular destinations in Greece on this trip and even get a spot of island hopping in too. It might be the last in the escapades of the pair — the ending seems to cap off things in an ominously ambiguous way — but at least we have 4 journeys to cherish. As well as Italy, you can also check out the trips through Spain and the UK from the team.

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Cassam Louch

Writer and journalist

Road.Travel — Adaptive Travel Guides

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Road.Travel
Road.Travel

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