The holidays and summer break offer the perfect chance to break free from our daily routines and embark on incredible adventures. Family vacations and other travels often create the most cherished memories of our lives, which is why so many movies have been dedicated to them. So, which vacation films are the absolute best? Join in on the fun and let’s explore which ones rise to the top! This list features a diverse mix of genres, including comedy, drama, and coming-of-age films.
All the movies on this list revolve around epic journeys in some way. From wild family trips to hilariously disastrous bachelor party getaways, there’s something here to captivate everyone’s imagination. Whether you’re seeking inspiration or a good belly laugh, these films are the perfect companions for your own vacation adventures.
This exciting lineup includes beloved classics like Jaws, Weekend at Bernie’s, Taking Woodstock, Dazed and Confused, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Beach, Grown Ups, The Seven Year Itch, The Hangover, RV, Meatballs, Adventureland, The Trip, and Little Miss Sunshine. Share your love for your favorite vacation movies and feel free to express your opinion on any that you believe should be skipped by other fans. Let the journey begin!
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
In this beloved holiday favorite, we see Chevy Chase reprising his role as the hapless Clark Griswold, who is determined to create the ultimate Christmas experience for his family. However, despite his best intentions, the Griswold family encounters one mishap after another. From disastrous lights displays to unexpected houseguests, their holiday adventure is anything but smooth sailing. This movie brings a comedic twist to the traditional festive gatherings, making it a must-watch for those looking for some lighthearted fun during their seasonal vacation.
Directed by: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Actors: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid
2. National Lampoon’s Vacation
This film is an absolute gem – a timeless comedy that has become iconic over the years. It tells the story of the Griswold family, who embark on a disastrous road trip to the fictional amusement park, Walley World. Chevy Chase takes on the role of Clark Griswold, the well-meaning but clumsy father who will do anything to make sure his family has the ultimate vacation.
Their journey is filled with endless mishaps and hilarious encounters, making it a must-watch for both travel enthusiasts and families seeking a good laugh. From start to finish, this movie is packed with moments that will leave you in stitches.
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Actors: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Christie Brinkley
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
In this film, Jason Segel takes on the role of Peter, a composer dealing with a broken heart. To heal from his recent breakup with his well-known girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, he decides to seek solace in the beautiful island of Hawaii. It seems like a good plan, until he realizes that Sarah and her new beau are also staying at the same resort.
Prepare yourself for a movie that will make you burst out laughing. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is packed with hilarious moments that are sure to tickle your funny bone. But it’s not just about the laughs – this film also delves into the relatable pain of heartbreak. You’ll find yourself connecting with the characters and their emotional journeys.
With its mix of humor and heartfelt moments, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” promises to offer viewers a well-rounded experience. It’s not just a mindless comedy; there’s depth to the story. And let’s not forget about the stunning Hawaiian backdrop, which adds an extra layer of escapism to the whole experience. Get ready to be thoroughly entertained and whisked away on a vacation without leaving your seat.
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Actors: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis
4. Just Go With It
In this hilarious comedy, Adam Sandler takes on the role of a plastic surgeon. He’s got a little problem though – he told a selfish lie to his new love interest, played by Brooklyn Decker. To cover it up, he enlists the help of his trusty assistant, portrayed by Jennifer Aniston. But what’s the plan? Well, Jennifer Aniston is going to pretend to be his soon-to-be ex-wife. As you can imagine, things quickly go haywire from there.
But here’s the twist – all of this chaos takes place on a stunning Hawaiian getaway. Picture-perfect scenery, guys. And to top it off, this comedy has a heartwarming tale that will make you want to embrace spontaneity in your own vacations. So get ready for a wild ride with this movie!
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Actors: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman
5. The Hangover
This raucous comedy takes you on an unforgettable journey through Las Vegas. Three groomsmen, played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, find themselves trying to retrace their steps from a wild and forgotten night. Their mission? To find their missing friend and groom-to-be, Justin Bartha. But this search is no ordinary one.
As they navigate the chaos of Sin City, they encounter unexpected obstacles. Tigers, a baby, and even the legendary Mike Tyson make appearances, turning their already crazy adventure into an absolute rollercoaster. The Hangover is not just a hilarious film; it’s also a cautionary tale.
This movie serves as a warning to all those who seek a night of revelry and a memorable vacation. Sometimes, things can go terribly wrong, and this comedy shows just how wild and unpredictable life can be. Prepare for laughter, unexpected twists, and a wild ride through the streets of Las Vegas.
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
6. Weekend at Bernie’s
If you’re into dark comedies, you’ll absolutely love this 80s classic. It’s a hilarious flick that revolves around two insurance workers, portrayed by Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman. These guys stumble upon a shocking truth – their boss is involved in some serious fraud. But here’s where it gets wild: when they show up at his fancy beach house to confront him, they find the dude dead. Instead of freaking out, they come up with a crazy plan to pretend he’s still alive so that they can enjoy their weekend getaway without any interruptions. Trust me, this movie is pure farce and will keep you laughing throughout. So, if you’re up for a vacation movie that’s anything but ordinary, Weekend at Bernie’s is the one for you.
Directed by: Ted Kotcheff
Actors: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Kiser
7. The Great Outdoors
John Candy and Dan Aykroyd team up in this hilarious comedy where they play two brothers-in-law with completely different personalities. They’re just trying to have a peaceful family vacation in the Wisconsin woods, but things don’t go as planned. From encounters with bears and raccoons to a wild waterskiing mishap, these two can’t seem to catch a break.
This movie perfectly captures the craziness of family vacations, reminding us that sometimes you just have to keep going, even when things get chaotic. It’s a comedic gem that will have you laughing and nodding your head in recognition of those unforgettable family moments.
Directed by: Howard Deutch
Actors: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy
8. Couples Retreat
In this comedy flick, Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman, and Jason Bateman take the lead alongside a stellar cast. The story revolves around four couples who decide to go on a fancy vacation to a tropical island. They hope to fix their troubled relationships by facing different challenges and going on thrilling adventures. And let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster ride of laughter and chaos!
One of the highlights of the film is the stunning backdrop of Bora Bora. The breathtaking beauty of the island will transport you to a world of pure escapism. But amidst all the fun and excitement, Couples Retreat also delivers an important message about the significance of love and communication. So, get ready for a hilarious and heartwarming experience!
Directed by: Peter Billingsley
Actors: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau
9. National Lampoon’s European Vacation
After their wild US adventure, the Griswolds, with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo at the helm, had their sights set on conquering Europe. They won a fully-funded trip and were all set to explore the continent. But boy, did they bring their unique brand of chaos along with them!
First up was London, where their driving skills left a lot to be desired. Let’s just say their driving practices were a tad faulty. But hey, who needs a smooth ride when you have the Griswolds behind the wheel? Chaos ensued, and you can only imagine the hilarity that ensued.
Next stop: Germany. And what better way to make an entrance than unintentionally crashing an Oktoberfest celebration? The Griswolds sure know how to make an impression. Picture Clark Griswold stumbling into a beer tent, causing a commotion, and providing endless laughs for everyone around.
Throughout their European escapade, the Griswolds left no destination unexplored. They took us on a rollercoaster ride of laughter and provided witty commentary for all the vacation enthusiasts out there dreaming of their own European getaway.
So, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride as the Griswolds bring their unique charm and shenanigans to every corner of Europe. Get ready to laugh, because this family knows how to turn any vacation into a memorable adventure.
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Actors: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill
10. What About Bob?
Bill Murray gives a brilliant performance as a quirky and anxious patient in “What About Bob?” He tags along with his therapist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, on a family trip to the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Bob, Murray’s character, unintentionally disrupts the peaceful vacation spot, but manages to win the affection of the therapist’s family. This delightful film teaches us the value of finding comfort and happiness in unexpected ways while we travel.
Directed by: Frank Oz
Actors: Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore team up once again in this heartwarming romantic comedy. The story follows two single parents and their kids who find themselves mistakenly booked on the same African safari vacation. As they explore the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, the families gradually form a bond and realize they share more similarities than they initially imagined.
Blended offers a delightful blend of stunning visuals and touching moments. It’s a perfect choice for those looking to escape into an uplifting and feel-good movie.
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Actors: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Joel McHale