Over a wet holiday weekend at home or lamenting cancelled holiday plans, films can offer solace and escapism to the frustrated traveller.

However, there are only so many hours of Planet Earth or the glamorous adventures of The Talented Mr Ripley you can watch before you feel you're missing out and travel withdrawal becomes even worse.

Fortunately we have a recommended genre which is just the ticket: the de-motivational travel movie that can both inspire adventure and make you feel better off at home.

From theme parks where prehistoric life finds a way to 'unsinkable' cruise ships tempting fate – these movies can help put any travel snafu in perspective.


This collection of cautionary travel tales should be essential lockdown viewing for travellers who are stuck at home, self-isolating.

Here are nine films you can watch, right now, to make you feel better about having your wings clipped.

Withnail & I (1987 )

"We've gone on holiday by mistake!"

Richard E Grant's tale of a weekend getaway gone wrong will make you feel a little better about any lack of survival skills.

Home Alone (1990)

"It makes you feel any better, I forgot my reading glasses"

When negligent parents forget to take eight-year-old Macaulay Culkin on holiday, he's left to fend off vicious burglars. A phone charger seems trivial.

Streaming options here.

Titanic (1997)

"Everybody called it the ship of dreams, and it was. It really was."


James Cameron's romantic epic about the world's most famous cruise ship is an important lesson for all would-be passengers: don't skimp on cabin class.

Jurassic Park (1993)

"If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists."

Iain Crichton Smith's book about the ultimate theme park carries the ultimate warning to travellers: If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

Into the Wild (2007)

"It's not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong."

Chris McCandless journey to find himself in the Alaskan wilderness is a lesson in hubris and human endurance. Don't be McCandless.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

"Some of us, in the words of the divine Greta Garbo, want to be alone."

Agatha Christie's classic about the intercontinental railway is a warning to choose your travel companions wisely.

Cast Away (2000)

"I'm sorry, Wilson!"

Tom Hanks has a beautiful, desert island all to himself. Proof, you can have too much of a good thing.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

"Excuse me. I know this is your cab, but I'm desperately late for a plane."

John Candy and Steve Martin's oddball comedy reminds us that half of travel is the getting there, and that self-isolation can be preferable to a roadie with the wrong company.

The Beach (2000)

"I still believe in paradise."

Vintage Di Caprio and Danny Boyle, the beach is a lively tale of backpacking into the unknown. Nothing wrong there. However, what this movie has done to Maya Bay is unforgivable.