Last Updated: April 28th
Finding a great travel movie right now offers us the chance to dream of far-flung adventures again. To fantasize about parts unknown. To get whistful for the open road. It’s visual inspiration for a life uncommon.
Hulu might not be as heavily stocked as Netflix, but they definitely have some hidden travel gems tucked away in their archives. That’s not to say these are the best travel movies ever made — some of them aren’t even specifically about travel, per se. But they will definitely stoke your wanderlust dreams until it’s safe to strike out again.
At the very least, the best travel movies on Hulu will provide a couple of hours of distraction. And we all need a little of that right now.
The Interview (2014)
112 mins. | IMDb: 6.5/10
Wow, this movie made waves when it came out. North Korea hacking scandal, movie execs lost their jobs, people were talking of war — all for a simple buddy comedy with Seth Rogen and James Franco. That seems like so long ago now.
Anyway, the politics and history of this film aside, this is really a buddy travel movie at its heart. Two longtime friends set out to a very foreign land for work and high jinks ensue while lessons are learned. It’s formulaic, sure. But Rogen and Franco feel like real travel buddies in the this and Randall Park nails it as the North Korean dictator at the center of it all.
Romancing The Stone (1984)
106 mins. | IMDb: 6.9/10
This is a nostalgia pick, especially if you grew up in the 80s and early 90s and watched a lot of cable after school. This is also a great adventure flick, time tested. The whole film is about getting out of your comfort zone, embracing adventure, and finding people along the way.
Sure, this is a very 80s movie. But we’d also argue it’s a great 80s travel movie that still holds up. Plus, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are on fire on-screen together next to a great comedic turn from a young Danny DeVito.
Welcome To The Rileys (2010)
110 mins. | IMDb: 7/10
On the complete opposite spectrum of movies with travel at the core, you have this dramatic turn from James Gandolfini. Gandolfini turns in a beautifully nuanced performance as a grieving father who’s in New Orleans for business. He befriends a young stripper, played by Kristen Stewart, and he and his wife take her in, sort of.
Melissa Leo gives a wonderful performance as the grieving mother. The whole thing is a bit of a tearjerker at times but also offers a great feel for the city of New Orleans outside of Bourbon Street.
The Sisters Brothers (2018)
122 mins. | IMDb: 7/10
Two wandering brothers bounce from being hitmen to miners to losers (spoiler alert, we guess) in this revisionist western. The real treat of this film is the brotherhood felt thanks to Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly’s performances. They bicker so damn well in this movie but truly love each other in a way that feels very real.
Plus, they’re pretty much moving through Gold Rush era California through the whole film, adding a clear travel element throughout.
Fighting With My Family (2019)
108 mins. | IMDb: 7.1/10
Professional wrestling is at the heart of this biopic of former WWE superstar Paige. Why is this on a travel movie list, you ask? The bulk of this film is about Paige leaving her home in very grey working-class England for the sun-kissed beaches of Florida to attend the WWE’s training camp — under the tutelage of a very understated Vince Vaughn no less.
A big plot point of this film is Paige not really digging being in a new situation, trying to change herself to fit in, and simply wanting to go home. Any traveler worth their salt knows exactly how she feels in those moments. Though, be ready to cry by the end of this one too (I definitely did)
The Descent (2005)
99 mins. | IMDb: 7.2/10
Horror and travel are great bedmates when it comes to cinema. This absolute classic follows a group of women on their cave diving trip. It’s an outdoor adventure with a tightknit crew. Then, everything goes horrifically wrong.
If you haven’t seen the film, we’re not going to spoil it because this movie is a classic for a reason. Just be warned, this movie gets very, very claustrophobic.
The Way Back (2010)
133 mins. | IMDb: 7.3/10
This is a wild tale of a group of prisoners escaping from a Stalinist gulag and walking damn near across Asia towards freedom. The film follows a group of escapees led by Jim Sturgess playing Janusz Wieszczek, a Polish citizen who was arrested by the Soviets when they invaded Poland in 1939 alongside the Nazis. Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Mark Strong, and a young Saoirse Ronan give solid performances as other escapees.
The film is also beautiful to look at thanks to direction from Peter Weir and the cinematography of Russell Boyd on location in Bulgaria, Morocco, and India (both had previously worked together on the travel-friendly Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).
Up In The Air (2009)
109 mins. | IMDb: 7.4/10
This is a solid film. But, most of all, it’s a great lesson on how to travel efficiently. The airport scene wherein George Clooney schools Anna Kendrick on how to travel well when you travel all the time is worth the price of admission alone.
The whole movie does become a lesson in travel in every form from meeting random people you’ll never meet again but still having huge emotional moments with them to the drain on your life travel can be yet how deeply addictive it is.
98 mins. | IMDb: 7.4/10
Back in the nostalgia machine, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo’s Vacation is a family road trip classic. Hell, you don’t even need the family to have felt a lot of the pitfalls of a long road trip that are covered in this 80s comedy. This movie speaks some real traveling truths that ring true to this day — like getting somewhere only to find it closed and the severe disappointment that brings.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)
101 mins. | IMDb: 7.9/10
Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople is like a warm hug on a bad day. The film follows a young Indigenous kid, Ricky, and Hec (played amiably by Sam Neill) as they wander the New Zealand backcountry trying to avoid child services taking Ricky to a foster home.
The film has a Huck Finn foundation of wonder with Waititi’s razor-sharp sense of humor and drama layered over top. This film doesn’t pull any punches. It’s touching, hilarious, and wanderlust-inducing. You might end up watching it twice in a week and shedding a tear or two along the way.