7 Movies to Watch Before Taking a Road Trip

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7 Movies to Watch Before Taking a Road Trip

These films will get you in the mood to hit the road

Long road trips require a lot of planning. You have to think about what to bring, where you’ll be staying, what roads to take, etc. So by the time you’ve got everything worked out, you may have lost some of your excitement for why you’re even going in the first place. Once your RV is loaded, take the time to sit and relax, turn on the TV, and binge-watch some movies that will get you back in the mood to do some traveling. Here are seven to consider:

National Lampoon’s Vacation

If you’re worried about what could go wrong on your trip, this movie will probably make you feel better, especially if you’re bringing your family. Written by teen angst master John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis (Egon in Ghostbusters), Vacation tells the story of the hapless Clark Griswold and his attempt to get his family across the country to the mythical Wally World. Basically, everything that could go wrong does, but there is a happy ending (of sorts).

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Another one written by John Hughes (he also directed), this film is about two very different people who are thrust together through a series of events and now have to rely on each other in order to get home for Thanksgiving. Similar to Vacation, the characters encounter numerous pitfalls on their journey and manage to fall into every one of them. Silly and slapsticky, there’s a tear-inducing, heartwarming ending. (For yet another John Hughes movie about people trying to get home for Thanksgiving, check out Dutch.)

Little Miss Sunshine

Before a family trip, think about watching Little Miss Sunshine, as this will almost certainly make you feel better about your own brood. Dysfunctional to say the least, the Hoover clan sets out to make the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in time for 7-year-old Olive to enter. Of course, getting there – in their old Volkswagen bus that has brake problems – is much easier said than done.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

When Pee-wee Herman’s beloved bike is stolen, he visits a psychic who tells him it’s at the Alamo in San Antonio, which starts him on his quest. Along the way, he meets an ex-con, insanely jealous boyfriend, possibly the ghost of a dead trucker, and many other colorful characters. If you plan to visit the Alamo on your trip, Pee-wee will make you want to get there quickly and take a peek in the basement.

Tommy Boy

Co-starring the late, great Chris Farley – along with David Spade – this is another road trip flick full of wacky misadventures. Farley plays Tommy, the sweet but slow-witted son of the owner of an auto parts factory tasked with going out on the road as a salesman to ensure that the factory stays open.

The Muppet Movie

Who doesn’t like the Muppets? In this, their first theatrical release, Kermit gets a chance to become a star, so he sets out for Hollywood. On his journey, he meets some familiar characters – including Fozzie, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy – and takes them along for the ride. The Muppet Movie is fun, family-friendly, and full of great songs.

The Great Outdoors

Planning to do some camping on your trip? The Great Outdoors may be worth a watch. This one centers on Chet Ripley, who takes his family camping, only to be surprised by his annoying in-laws. Pesky raccoons, a huge bear, and his obnoxious brother-in-law are just a few of the things Chet has to deal with. (This is yet another film penned by John Hughes, by the way.)

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