Films and TV Series that Inspire Solo Travel

Travel trends for 2024 are plentiful, but I’m most intrigued by the significant uptick in folks seeing the world – solo. People are planning meaningful trips as vacationing tourists and globe-exploring travellers; deliberately without a spouse, pal, or family member – on purpose and with purpose.

Just plain good for the soul some say, there is real freedom in traveling on one’s own without having to negotiate planning or consider the interests of anyone else but your sweet self. Consider it an investment in your mental health while you explore your interests and discover new lands, cultures and more. 

There is certainly no shortage of inspiration for solo travel out there in the world of film and television in the way of documentaries, feature films and series. Here, a collection (for your viewing pleasure) sure to fuel your wanderlust. 


Feature Films


Many would say the quintessential movie about solo travel and self-discovery is Eat Pray Love based on the autobiographical novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. Julia Roberts plays Liz, who leaves her failing marriage and career behind while she embarks on travels to Italy (eat), India (pray) and Indonesia (specifically Bali, where love finds her again). 



Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is what to watch if you’ve been dreaming about a bucket list visit to India. Although it’s an ensemble cast that includes some of Britain’s finest actors including Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, and not based on a solo trip per se, each character has their own ‘journey’. Set in Jaipur in a flawed but fabulous Indian hotel, this film will surely inspire.



Wild is based on the true story of a young woman who’s lost her way after the death of her mother and the end of her marriage. As played by Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, completely alone, and with no previous experience as a hiker. A thousand miles later, after every hard lesson Mother Nature could possibly dish out, Cheryl is transformed by the perseverance and strength it took to take her this far.



Sure, Under the Tuscan Sun is slightly cheesy, but it’s easy to overlook that as you float along the dreamy Italian countryside scenery while appreciating actress Diane Lane, who always plays it cool and real in everything she’s cast in. Lane’s character buys a gorgeous Tuscan villa that needs a lot of repairs in a rural town, but the characters make it all worthwhile for her, and for us as the viewer.


Television Series

We know and love her as Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, but IRL she is nothing like the beehived, chain-smoking, champers swilling sidekick she plays. Lumley absolutely lives to travel and has done multiple documentary series she’s hosted all over the planet in mostly challenging, often unglamorous destinations. Joanna Lumley’s Japan series in particular is a winner.


Apple TV

Eugene Levy in The Reluctant Traveler is in season 2 now of this new series on Apple TV, hosted by our favourite funny Canadian from SCTV, Schitts Creek and so much more. Levy takes us on his solo trips to Finland, Costa Rica, Scotland and more with his signature dry-as-toast wit. “When it’s too cold, I’m not comfortable. When it’s too hot, guess what? I’m not comfortable.” 



Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy aired on CNN for multiple seasons and was a huge hit with culinary travel lovers. We follow the American actor as he travels alone throughout his ancestral country stopping at a different city or area each episode. Chatting with locals, chefs, food producers in his laidback, stylish charm is Tucci’s brand – and everyone he interviews is literally eating out his hand, while he eats at their tables.