40 Movies for Kids & Families about Travel & Culture
In this article: Travel Movies for Kids, and Family Movies about Travel.
When we don’t have the time, means, or there are things stopping you from being able to travel and show the world to our kids, we can resort to watching some of the best travel movies ever made.
Below is a list of travel movies for kids and movies about travel that will inspire and encourage the whole family to learn about different countries cultures and languages, and perhaps one day, visit them too.
Best Travel Movies for Families and Kids
Below we have broken the list of travel movies into the following sections to make it easier.
- Best Travel Movies for kids (mostly animated for younger children)
- Best Travel Movies for the whole family
Best Travel Movies for Kids
A mix of animated and non animated travel movies for kids that will help teach about different places around the world. For non-animated travel movies for the whole family, skip to number 20.
1. Coco (2017) PG
One of the best travel movies for kids on our list is Coco. In Mexico, young Miguel dreams of becoming a musician despite his family’s ban on music. During the holiday of the Day of the Dead, Miguel accidentally enters the Land of the Dead. He has to find his great-great grandfather, his grandmother Coco’s father, before he is stuck there forever.
The movie, just like the holiday it is inspired by, is a celebration of the lives of those who came before. Coco will inspire children of all ages to look more into the vibrant culture of Mexico and take a trip down memory lane with their loved ones.
This movie is also available in Spanish, take a look at more other Spanish movies for kids.
2. Moana (aka Vaiana or Oceania) (2016) PG
In the (Ancient) Polynesian island of Motunui, Moana is set to be the next chief. Moana is drawn to exploring the ocean and what’s beyond it, but she is forbidden from sailing.
However, her draw toward the ocean could be what saves their village when it suffers after the goddess Te Fiti loses her heart. Moana has to restore the goddess’ heart, and restore her village’s heart for ocean exploration in the process.
Children of all ages will not only enjoy singing songs from the Polynesian islands, but will also be inspired to look into the heritage of the aesthetically beautiful Polynesian culture.
3. Madagascar (2005) PG
Four zoo animals and a group of friends celebrate Marty the zebra’s birthday at the Central Park Zoo. Marty longs to experience the wild and follows a group of penguins he learns are trying to escape.
The group of friends eventually find themselves in Madagascar. They face unexpected challenges of being in the wild, challenging their friendships in turn. This movie will inspire children to face challenges while travelling with good humor. The movie contains one derogatory term (“pansies”).
4. Happy Feet (2006) PG
Another great travel movie for kids is Happy Feet. Emperor penguin Mumble is different from the other penguins. He doesn’t have a heartsong like the others, which is needed to find a mate.
On the contrary, he has a horrible singing voice. He is, however, great at tap dancing, a talent that is not fully accepted. This causes Mumble to feel left out, especially when the penguin he’s in love with is one of the best singers of their penguin generation.
Mumble leaves to find himself, and finds that maybe his own unique talents are more than enough. This movie will inspire children of all ages to see how travelling can help broaden horizons and become more open-minded.
5. Ratatouille (2007) G
Sewer rat Remy has an akin sense of taste and smell, and a great love for cooking. He meets Alfredo Linguini, a restaurant worker in Paris, who is hopeless at his job.
When they learn that Remy can control Alfredo by tugging at his hair under his hat, they make a dream team: Remy can live his dream as a chef and Alfredo can hide his helplessness in the kitchen.
Through his persistence, Remy the rat shows the meaning of, “anyone can cook!” Ratatouille is a movie that will inspire children to look more into French culture with Paris, French music and cuisine lovingly presented to the audience. A funny travel movie for kids.
6. Lilo and Stitch (2002) PG
Stitch is an alien that loves to cause chaos. Trying to escape captivity, he ends up on Earth, in the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. A recently-orphaned young girl named Lilo adopts Stitch, thinking he’s a dog.
Stitch keeps pretending to be a dog to evade capture as he lives with Lilo and her older sister Nani, who is struggling to keep Lilo living with her. Through their experiences, they learn what being a family means. Children of all shapes and sizes will want to tag along Lilo and Stitch as they go on trips throughout the tropical island.
7. Kung Fu Panda (2008) PG
Giant Panda Po lives in the Valley of Peace set in Ancient China. He would love to do kung fu (martial arts), but has to help his father with his noodle shop. He gets a chance at his dream, however, when he is chosen to fulfill a prophecy of a great kung fu warrior.
Po starts training alongside his idols under their teacher, Master Shifu the red panda, who helps him turn his weaknesses into strengths. While teaching perseverance through a heartwarming and comedic story, children will become more inspired to look more into the world of martial arts.
8. Mulan (1998) G
Mulan takes the place of her sick father when the emperor orders one man from each family to join the army, after the Huns invade imperial China. Women are not allowed in the military, so Mulan has to disguise herself as a man.
Mulan, who never felt that she met society’s expectations of what a woman should be like, proves herself through her perseverance and quick-thinking. An inspiring story of courage, Mulan will make kids want to look more into the rich and long history of Chinese culture.
9. Spirited Away (2001) PG
In Japan, young Chihiro is on a car ride with her parents to their new home. After a wrong turn, her parents explore a tunnel where they eat some strange food at an abandoned restaurant that turns them into pigs. Chihiro finds herself in the spirit world, where she must never forget her real name.
With the help of a young boy named Haku, Chihiro uses her kindness, courage, and judgement to save her parents and find her way back home. “Spirited Away” will inspire kids to look into Japanese culture and think of travel as a journey after going on one with Chihiro.
10. Jungle Book (1967 and 2016) PG
Mowgli is a human child raised by wolves in the jungles of India. Shere Khan, a Bengal tiger with a hatred for humans, becomes aware of Mowgli’s existence in the jungle and is determined to kill him. Mowgli leaves his wolf pack for their safety.
This travel movie for kids originally from 1967 is an animated movie featuring some classic songs, while the movie from 2016 is live-action with CGI. Both movies will inspire children to imagine a peaceful co-existence between humans and nature.
11. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) PG
Mr. Peabody, an intelligent anthropomorphic dog, has adopted a young human boy named Sherman as his son. He uses a time-travelling machine to teach Sherman history in real time.
In their travels through time, they end up not only learning about history but also influencing it, and learning more about their relationship as a father and son. Like how Mr. Peabody teaches his son Sherman, this movie will inspire children’s love to travel through history.
12. Rio (2011) G
Blu is a macaw that had been smuggled out of Brazil, later found and raised by a girl named Linda in Minnesota. Blu, domesticated, is too afraid to fly. One day, Linda is contacted by an ornithologist because Blu is the last remaining male of his species and is therefore needed to mate with the last known female of his species, Jewel.
Linda travels with Blu to Rio, where Blu and Jewel’s mating is not as easy least of all because the two birds are captured by smugglers to be sold at the black market. While traveling through the colorful city of Rio, the movie also raises awareness to the global threat to endangered species.
13. The Princess and the Frog (2009) G
In the city of New Orleans, Tiana is a hard-working girl saving up to open up her own restaurant. She meets Prince Naveen of Maldonia who has been turned into a frog by a voodooist.
He asks her to kiss him in order to break the spell, believing her to be a princess because of a costume she was wearing. Since she is not a princess, instead of breaking the spell, she turns into a frog herself! With a soundful soundtrack and colorful animation, “The Princess and the Frog” will inspire a look into the vibrant culture of New Orleans.
14. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) G
Teenage Incan emperor Kuzco is a spoiled and selfish emperor who tells a kind villager Pacha that he will demolish his home in order to build a summer house. However, before he can do so, he is turned into a llama by his advisor Yzma who wants to take over the empire.
Kuzco ends up on a cart that belongs to Pacha and now needs his help to turn back into the spoiled emperor he is, and to stop Yzma from taking over his empire. Children will want to learn more about the history of the Incan empire and traveling through South America after watching this funny travel movie.
15. Brave (2012) PG
Princess Merida in the Medieval Scottish kingdom of DunBroch is a free-spirited, talented archer who loves to ride her horse and dislikes her royal duties. One of which is to accept a betrothal. She uses her superior archery skills to refuse betrothals from various clans, causing a rift in her relationship with her mother.
After giving her mother cake that she received from an elderly witch from whom she asked for something to change her fate, Merida’s mother transforms into a black bear. Merida must work to right wrongs in order to break the enchantment. “Brave” will make everyone want to ride horses with Merida on the mountains of DunBroch.
16. Abominable (2019) PG
Busy teenager Yi, living in Shanghai, finds an escaped yeti on her roof. She names him Everest and resolves to help bring him back to his family in Mount Everest with the help of two friends, Peng and Jin.
Yi gets to fulfill her dream to travel across China, while trying to evade those who want to capture Everest. With vividly animated landscapes inspired by the mountains of China, this movie will inspire children to pack a backpack of their own to see these beautiful views.
17. The Breadwinner (2017) PG-13
Under control of the Taliban, girls and women are not allowed to go out of the house without a male relative in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan. After her father is arrested, a young girl named Parvana has to courageously disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her family and attempt to free her father from prison.
An eye-opening movie to situations in other countries, it also shows that hope comes from the resilience and courage that brave people like Parvana show. The rating is for some violent images.
18. Zarafa (2012) PG
An orphaned Sudanese boy, Maki, is sold as a slave. He escapes and comes across a mother and her young giraffe which is later on named Zarafa. The slave trader finds him and manages to kill the mother giraffe.
Maki makes a promise to keep Zarafa safe, a promise he is resolute in keeping. With this story of resilience based on a true story of Zarafa the giraffe, children will be inspired to look more into the landscapes of Northern Africa and the history between two continents.
19. Polar Express (2004) G
The Polar Express is based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. This travel movie for kids is the perfect introduction for kids into the Arctic Zone. It is a story of a young boy, Billy, who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, Billy embarks on a magical train journey to Santa’s home in the North Pole.
The movie is full of adventure and positive lessons where kids can learn about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas. It creates a sense of magic in children and unveils the power and beauty of believing.
Best Travel Movies for the Whole Family
This list of travel movies for kids is perfect for family movie nights. From young kids, to older kids and adults, everyone young and old can enjoy.
20. Home Alone: Lost in New York (1992) PG
A sequel to the movie of the same name, Kevin once again finds himself accidentally without his family during Christmas, but this time in the bustling concrete jungle of New York City.
He comes across the same burglars, who’s trying to steal from a toy store. With determination and a little creativity, he fends off the two burglars. Full of creative tricks that will amuse the whole family, this travel movie for kids shows that traveling on vacation, or staying home, is not quite the same without good friends and family.
21. Sound of Music (1965) G
A beloved musical drama film based on the stage musical of the same name, Sound of Music is a classic. It’s about Maria, a young postulant in Salzburg, Austria whose love for music and imagination puts her at odds with the rules among the nuns.
She soon becomes hired as a governess to take care of seven unruly children of a retired naval officer, George. A wholesome movie for the whole family that encourages love for music and the outdoors.
22. Cool Runnings (1993) PG
A Jamaican sprinter, Derice Bannock, recruits three others to join him in forming the first Jamaican bobsled team for the Winter Olympics. He also convinces an old friend of his father, formerly disgraced Olympian Irv Blitzer, to train them.
They travel to train in Canada, where they struggle to be seen as equals by the other bobsledding teams. A fun movie that shows there is no limit to what you can achieve and to where you can go. The rating is for some profanity in this movie (hell, damn, butt, asshole, two-dollar hooker, bad-ass).
23. Paddington (2014) PG
Paddington, of an unusually intelligent species of bear, lives with his aunt and uncle in Peru. After an earthquake destroys their home and his uncle dies, Paddington travels to London to find a new home.
His experience is not what he dreamed it would be – until he meets the Brown family, who take him in. A warm, charming, delightful movie appropriate for the whole family.
24. Hugo (2011) PG
A young boy named Hugo Cabret in Paris, continues repairing a broken automaton of a mechanical man that his father found and was working on before he died.
He meets a young girl named Isabelle, and together they unlock the mystery behind the automaton which ties to her godfather Georges Méliès’ memories and regrets.
A great travel movie for families that encourages embracing your past experiences and making good memories.
25. Around the World in 80 Days (1956) G
Englishman Phileas Fogg relies on his precision and bets it all that he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. Together with his French valet, Passepartout, they begin their journey from Paris in a hot air balloon. They encounter unforeseen challenges along the way while racing to reach their deadline.
26. National Treasure (2004) PG
Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian and treasure hunter, is in a race against others to find the “national treasure,” believed to be hidden by the Founding Fathers in the United States, and with clues all over the country.
They find a clue in the lost ship Charlotte that leads them to a map to the treasure decoded on the Declaration of Independence. Folks, young and old, will enjoy seeing some of the landmarks in the United States. The movie uses some profanity so probably not suited for really young kids.
27. Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007) G
A family movie about travel. Britishman Mr. Bean travels to France after winning a vacation and a video camera through a raffle. With the camera, he records his travels through France where he unknowingly separates a young boy from his father, who reports the boy as kidnapped.
Despite his struggle with the language and losing his wallet and passport, Mr. Bean develops some meaningful relationships. A laugh-out-loud movie set in the beautiful country of France. There is some profanity in other languages (connard, shithead in French. “Damn” in Russian) and use of “darn” and “heck”.
28. Parent Trap (1998) PG
Two identical twins, Annie and Hallie, are separated shortly after birth after their parents divorced. Each parent raised one twin each — one in California, the other in London — who have not seen each other until they meet at summer camp.
They soon discover they’re twins and swap places to get to know the other parent. This will encourage children to imagine how it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, especially one who’s not from the same part of the world as them. Kids can also get to know two different cities.
29. Swiss Family Robinson (1960) G
A Swiss family from Bern consisting of a father, mother and their three sons are on their way to New Guinea when they are shipwrecked to an uninhabited tropical island following a pirate attack on their ship.
Unable to leave, the family has to be resourceful and build a home on the island to protect them from the wildlife and pirates roaming the seas. “Swiss Family Robinson” is a fun movie that will inspire kids to imagine an everyday life from scratch.
30. Balto (1995) G
Balto, half-wolf and half-husky, lives in the rural city of Nome in Alaska. He is despised by humans and other dogs due to being half-wolf. The only ones that are kind to Balto are Rosy, a young human girl, and Jenna, a husky.
When there is an outbreak of diphtheria among the children in Nome, among them Rosy, Balto leads other huskies into persevering through the Alaskan wilderness to get the children life-saving medicine. “Balto” shows how determination can help one withstand a difficult journey.
31. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) G
Caractacus Potts is a poor, eccentric inventor in England. He scrapes enough money to buy a formerly legendary car after his two children, Jeremy and Jemima, plead with him to buy it.
He transforms the broken down car into a beautiful car they call the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. With it, they rescue Caractacus’ father and go on beautiful adventures. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is a fun classic that will inspire kids’ imagination as they go on car rides.
32. Queen of Katwe (2016) PG
Based on the true story of a young girl named Phiona Mutesi who lives in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda. When she proves to be a talent at chess, it becomes a hope for her out of poverty. This travel movie for families shows her triumphs and challenges navigating through poverty and self-doubt, where she eventually prevails. A hopeful story about determination overcoming difficult circumstances that will inspire younger children.
33. Pele: Birth of a Legend (2016) PG
The biographical film chronicles the rise of legendary Brazilian soccer player Pelé. Pelé grew up in poverty, in the slums of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Guided by manager Civente Feola and with his amazing skills, Pelé would go on to lead Brazil to its first World Cup victory in 1958 at the age of only 17.
An inspiring film about the journey of an inspiring man. The film uses mild profanity.
34. Viva Cuba (2005) Not rated
In Cuba, Malú is a young girl from a middle-class family raised by a single mother while Jorgito is a young boy from a poor family with a socialist mother and alcoholic father.
Their parents forbid them to see each other, but they underestimate the children’s bond as together, they travel to the other side of the island to find Malú’s father to get him to help them prevent Malú from moving out of the country. Some suggestions of nudity and mild nudity.
35. Vicky the Viking (Wikie und die starken Männer) (2009) Not rated
Vicky, a young viking boy, who lives in the small village of Flake accompanies his father and his men on their adventures. He is timid and often scared. So instead of physical strength, he has to rely on his intelligence and creativity to save the day, rewriting what strong and what being a good viking means.
This travel movie for kids and families will inspire children from all over the world to explore the Scandinavian countries.
36. Like Stars on Earth, Every Child is Special (2007) PG
In India, Ishaan Awasthi is a young dyslexic boy. The things he cares about are rarely what the adults appreciate. And so, he struggles to do well in school and be understood, and is soon sent to a boarding school. There, he meets an unconventional art teacher who helps him make that journey to becoming understood. A moving story about a young boy who just needed to be seen.
37. The Colors of the Mountain (Los colores de la montaNa) (2011) Not rated
In a rural village of Colombia, young Manuel dreams of becoming a goalkeeper. His father buys him a new ball that accidentally lands on what turns out to be a minefield. He recruits a few friends to retrieve his treasured ball. In a backdrop of looming violence, the film centers around the perspective of this optimistic young boy. This movie is in Spanish with English subtitles.
38. Children of Heaven (1997) PG
In South Tehran, Ali lives with his little sister Zahra and their parents. One day, Ali accidentally loses Zahra’s only pair of shoes. Knowing they can’t afford to buy a new pair of shoes, Ali is too scared to tell his parents.
The film is a series of adventures as Ali first tries to share his only pair of shoes with his sister and then tries to find a way to get her a new pair of shoes. At the heart of this movie is a young boy’s love for his family. The movie uses some profanity (shit, damn, hell).
39. Africa United (2019) N/A
Three Rwandan kids walk 3000 miles from their own country to South Africa so that Fabrice can audition to be part of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
They encounter people who help them in their journey and encounter hard realities along the way of refugee camps, child sex slavery/prostitution, and HIV/AIDS.
Despite sad circumstances brought up in the movie, it is entertaining in the way humor is used, and hopeful because of the kindness of the people they meet along the way. There are few uses of the word “shit.”
40. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) TV-PG
Based on the true story of young William Kamkuamb in Malawi. William has a love for and talent in science, and continues to study it even after his family could no longer afford to send him to school.
After his village is hit by drought and famine, he uses books from the school library and recruits the help of his father to build a windmill to power a water pump they could use to sow crops, and save them from starvation. William shows how even one boy’s determination can make life thrive even where the odds are against it.
Movies about Travel for Kids & Families
We hope you have enjoyed this list of travel movies for kids, and films about travel for families. Perhaps we have inspired you and your kids to embark on a new adventure to discover a different language, culture, or destination!