How To Take The Ultimate Summer Movie Road Trip

There’s nothing like hopping in your car with a pal, popping on that playlist or audiobook, and cruising down the highway. Eating terrible and delicious fast food, staying in motels of a dubious nature, and narrowly escaping running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, are all part of the adventure. Unfortunately, some of us have jobs, money shortages, or just other plans besides hitting the road this summer. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live vicariously through our favorite cross-country movies, now does it? So if you’re stuck at home, plop on the couch with some popcorn and satisfy your wanderlust with these ten awesome road trippin‘ movies.

It Happened One Night

You’ve got Clark Gable as a reporter and Claudette Colbert as a runaway heiress. That’s basically all you need to know. If you need more: you’ve got classic Hollywood, wisecracks left and right, and a particularly famous hitchhiking scene. Just go and watch it right now if you haven’t seen it.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

You can’t not love this classic Steve Martin and John Candy road tripper about two very different strangers who basically are forced to use every mode of transportation they can to get home for Thanksgiving. It’s written and directed by John Hughes of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles fame — to name a very few of his masterpieces. And it’s the film that prompted me to shout, “Those aren’t pillows!” at every opportunity I can find.


Even Terrence Malick made a road trip movie. Yup, the guy who confused us with The Tree of Life and impressed us with Days of Heaven made this kooky movie starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen about a violent criminal and a crazy, mixed-up kid on a free-wheelin‘ spree.

The Sweetest Thing

This movie is considered awful by critics but I love it because it’s so ridiculous and stupidly fun. There’s a musical number about penises, an impromptu makeover scene, and a totally unnecessary scene featuring Christina Applegate and Cameron Diaz in their underwear washing their car while they flail around and sing. Their road trip is goofy, dumb, and pure joyous entertainment.

Dumb and Dumber

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels playing two of the most beloved idiots of all time. And their road trip is in a car decorated to look like a dog. That is all.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

The ultimate craziest road trip ever. When the climax of your trip is holding a theme park employee hostage to let you into Wally World, you know the road that led you there had to be something to see. Learn from Clark and never give up on your quest for fun.


Never was a road trip more necessary than in Zombieland. And never did a movie have cooler opening credits. It’s a somewhat simple premise: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin meet up along the road, trying to stay safe from zombies. Ultimately the gang ends up in Los Angeles, staying in a celebrity’s mansion, accompanied by a delightful cameo by said celebrity. It’s got love, action, adventure, Twinkies, and plenty of cardio inspiration.

Little Miss Sunshine

If you think your family is dysfunctional, just wait. Abigail Breslin always seems to get in on the strangest road trips. Watch the world and the road rip apart one family only to bring them wonderfully back together.


I still don’t know anything about wine, but I do know I shouldn’t drink Merlot. For some reason.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Road trippin‘ with criminals in a surreal and very musical 1930s American landscape. George Clooney as an irascible convict on a treasure hunt? Yes, please!

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