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Five Road Trip Movies to Watch to Inspire Your Summer Travel

Five Road Trip Movies to Watch to Inspire Your Summer Travel

Summer is here, and with it comes the irresistible urge to throw caution to the wind, gas up the car and hit the open road. Whether you’re dreaming of an epic cross-country adventure or just a weekend escape, there’s nothing like a good road trip movie to get you in the mood for some serious travel.

From dysfunctional family escapades to solo journeys of self-discovery, these five films offer a fresh perspective on the joys and challenges of life on the road.

(Editor’s note: Some of these films include strong language, so check the ratings!)

5. Wild (2014)

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild is the story of a woman seeking redemption and self-discovery on a grueling solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Played by Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl Strayed’s journey is raw, unfiltered, and brutally honest. It’s about confronting your past and finding the strength to move forward.

Why it inspires: Wild is a powerful reminder of the healing power of nature and the importance of facing your demons head-on. Cheryl’s trek is not just a physical challenge but an emotional odyssey, proving that sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself.

Travel Takeaway: Solo travel can be transformative. There’s a unique clarity that comes from being alone in nature, allowing you to reflect and grow in ways that the everyday hustle doesn’t permit.

4. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Ben Stiller directs and stars in this visually stunning adventure that takes the mundane and makes it extraordinary. Walter Mitty, a daydreaming photo editor at Life magazine, embarks on a real-life quest that takes him from the icy landscapes of Greenland to the rugged mountains of the Himalayas. It’s a whimsical journey of self-discovery and adventure.

Why it inspires: Walter Mitty’s transformation from a timid dreamer to a bold adventurer is a beautiful reminder that it’s never too late to start living the life you’ve always imagined. The film’s breathtaking scenery and imaginative storytelling make it a visual treat.

Travel Takeaway: Don’t just dream about adventure — go out and live it. The world is full of incredible places and experiences waiting to be discovered, and sometimes the biggest risk is not taking one at all.

3. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

The quintessential indie darling, Little Miss Sunshine is a chaotic blend of dark comedy and heartfelt drama. The Hoover family, a lovable band of misfits, embarks on a cross-country trek in their rickety yellow VW bus to get young Olive (Abigail Breslin) to a beauty pageant. It’s a trip full of unexpected breakdowns — both mechanical and emotional — and it’s through these mishaps that the family finds its strength.

Why it inspires: Because it reminds us that no family is perfect, and sometimes the most memorable journeys are the ones where everything goes wrong. The Hoovers teach us that perseverance and love can get you through the most ridiculous of circumstances.

Travel Takeaway: Embrace the chaos. The best road trips are those that allow for spontaneity and those beautiful, unplanned moments that become the stuff of family legend.

2. Almost Famous (2000)

Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical Almost Famous is a love letter to rock ‘n’ roll and the golden age of 1970s music journalism. We follow teenage prodigy William Miller (Patrick Fugit) as he scores a dream gig: writing for Rolling Stone and touring with the fictional band Stillwater. What unfolds is a wild ride through the highs and lows of rock stardom, captured with equal parts humor and heartbreak.

Why it inspires: The film perfectly encapsulates the allure of following your passion, no matter where it takes you. William’s journey from starstruck kid to seasoned writer is a testament to the transformative power of stepping out of your comfort zone.

Travel Takeaway: Chase your dreams with reckless abandon. Sometimes, the most rewarding adventures come from diving headfirst into the unknown and living in the moment.

1. Crossroads (2002)

Yes, Britney Spears’ Crossroads is on this list, and it deserves to be. This coming-of-age flick is all about three childhood friends — Lucy (Britney Spears), Mimi (Taryn Manning) and Kit (Zoe Saldana) — who reconnect on a road trip to Los Angeles. Each character embarks on the journey with personal baggage, but together, they find closure and new beginnings.

Why it inspires: Crossroads captures the essence of youthful spontaneity and the cathartic power of the open road. It’s a reminder that sometimes, it’s the journey we take with friends that helps us find ourselves.

Travel Takeaway: Road trips are a great way to reconnect and rediscover friendships. There’s something about being trapped in a car together that forces you to confront your issues and, hopefully, come out stronger on the other side.

Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek or just dreaming of your next adventure, let these movies be your guide. Pack your bags, hit the road, and see where the journey takes you. Safe travels!

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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