10 Netflix Originals to Take You Around the World
These movies will help fill your travel void.
There are now over 1,500 Netflix original titles, a fraction of which are travel movies, and a fraction of that fraction of which are good (when you put out that many originals it’s inevitable that they all won’t be Oscar winners). But good-shmood and ratings aside, the real reason we tune into a travel movie is not for clever dialogue or an engaging plot—no, what we’re here for is, simply, something pretty. Show me a waterfall I haven’t seen before and one excursion and you’ve pretty much checked all the boxes. To help you get through another season of quarantine, we searched through Netflix and took their algorithm on head first to find 10 of the platforms’ most popular travel movies. So, prepare to “leave” your apartment with a Mai Thai in one hand and remote in the other, we’re queuing up these 10 Netflix original travel movies.
Netflix / Linda Kallerus
It’s not controversial to say that this movie is bad—the 15% score on Rotten Tomatoes making that incredibly clear. But that doesn’t mean there’s not some incredible sightseeing to be done in this movie, which takes place in both Los Angeles and Cabo San Lucas. Whether our leads are paddle boarding the blue waters of Mexico or just sitting poolside at the Las Playas Resort, there are few moments of this movie where the settings aren’t picture perfect. Something to keep in mind: while Desperados might seem to be a sweet rom-com, this movie is far from family-friendly (I won’t spoil anything but the “dolphin scene” scarred me).
"Ibiza: Love Drunk"
This is a business trip turned party turned romance for Ibiza’s star Gillian Jacobs. Leaving New York City for Europe, all in the name of business, our star and her two best friends find themselves in a place known for a lot of things (none of which are business): Ibiza. This movie gives a seemingly good look at Ibiza’s notorious nightlife, though most of the movie was shot in Croatia rather than the titular location. Despite the inaccuracies, we can’t be upset—at the end of the day, we still got scenes of stunning European beach towns, waters, and nightlife.
"The Wrong Missy"
Uh oh, he accidentally invited a grossly inappropriate woman to a beautiful island! What will David Spade, an actor who has made a living on being grossly inappropriate, do? I’ll stop there because you get the point: The movie is very dumb. Despite a lack-luster plot and often cheap jokes, the movie held to its travel promise and set flight to Hawaii. Known for their strict COVID-guidelines, Hawaii has been incredibly off-limits to most, so seeing these two doofuses enjoy the Four Seasons Resort Oahu brought a twinge of jealousy, lots of travel inspiration, and relief: Hawaii is still there and will be just as beautiful and magical as ever when we can return, which is tentatively scheduled for October 15.
With Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston coming together, you know you’re signing up for something likable, and Murder Mystery is that. As a New York couple framed for murder while vacationing in Europe, this movie is something parents and kids can enjoy enough to think, “Well it wasn’t two hours totally wasted!” And for travelers, it’s more than just a way to kill a weeknight, it’s an escape from their home to places like Lake Como, Milan, and Santa Margherita Ligure—it’s a tour of some of Europe’s most sought-after destinations.
When this movie came out in 2019, it was an instant hit among moms everywhere. Wine Country was all about funny, smart women enjoying themselves, so it’s no wonder funny, smart women took a liking to it. On top of bringing some of our favorite funny ladies together for one movie, Wine Country gave us a chance to explore and enjoy the sites and vinos of Napa Valley all from our couch.
Travel doesn’t always mean jetting off to an island or sipping champagne atop the Eiffel Tower, sometimes it’s as simple as leaving the suburbs for the city. In Otherhood, a group of moms leaves their quaint, suburban neighborhoods to visit their sons in New York City. This movie offers viewers a chance to see NYC through the eyes of someone new to and excited about the city that’s become nothing more than a backdrop or starting point for so many other films and shows. Plus, a movie led by Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman, and Patricia Arquette is one we’re tuning in for.
Netflix / Linda Kallerus
"Falling Inn Love"
Netflix noted their audience’s love for romance, travel, and home renovation shows and said, “We can do that,” and then brought us Falling Inn Love in 2019. And what happens when a business savvy single woman wins a fixer-upper in New Zealand? Say it with us: love with beautiful backdrops! This movie transports viewers to small-town New Zealand where they can fall in love with our stars and the Kiwi’s unique landscape.
Nicola Dove / Netflix
We’re in the era of the road trip, so we’d be foolish to not include a road-trip movie. Juanita follows a mother’s journey to find herself as she journeys across the United States. While a good majority of the listed movies have not been overly well-received by audiences wanting something more than just travel-envy (some people are so hard to please), Juanita pulled in a solid 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it not just a good travel movie but a good movie.
It’s not far fetched to believe that a cruise could go wrong, and Netflix’s Like Father shows us just how wrong it can go for a daughter trying to reconnect with her estranged father. Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer find themselves on the beautiful ocean aboard an all-inclusive ship making envy-worthy excursions, but still struggling to play nice. It’s funny, it’s not too dark despite the premise, and, wow, does it make us somehow miss small cabins and overcrowded ports.
Cara Howe / Netflix
"Holiday in the Wild"
Truly an incredible feat, Sex and the City never asked charismatic Rob Lowe to come and charm the easily-wooed Charlotte, so Netflix did. In Holiday in the Wild, Kristin Davis sets off for a solo-honeymoon to Africa post-divorce where she meets a hunky pilot who also shares a passion for elephants. The plot might be a little Lifetime -y, but the destinations are far from cliché. The movie filmed in South Africa and Zambia and showcases some incredible sanctuaries you won’t find in the other beach and city-driven movies. It’s a nice change in pace for those of getting tired of beautiful beaches and looking to plan their post-pandemic safari.