Top 10 Road Trip movies paired with recipes that travel


Image: Sweet Road

I love the open road with the windows down, the stereo blasting my favourite tune and my hair blowing in the wind. There are no deadlines, no real destination, just the road, the car and heaps of food. When you’re on a road trip, the service station person becomes your best friend, you’re care-free so you’ll talk to anyone and best friends are made in the strangest of places. Road trips spell freedom and that’s why movies about long drives are so popular.

The road-trip film is like holding up a mirror to real life. It’s not always an easy, happy experience, there are weird and disgusting things you have to deal with on the way but at the end of the journey, you’re as happy as a clam and wise beyond words!

So, here are my top 10 favourite road flicks you have to see (note: my definition of road-trip is any film featuring any kind of travel/drama/resolution… ie very broad!) :

1. Water For Elephants (2011)

I loved this movie. It starts as every journey story does… with disaster. Then comes the train and once Jacob jumps on it he rarely gets off the thing. Across America he travels with the good old circus and a load of crazy circus folk and sick animals. It’s a fantastic, emotional trip through life and time, relationships and death. You’ve gotta see it!

Snack 1:

I’m sure these awesome travell-y movies will get you keen for your own road trip so here are some snackies that you can take when you head out on your next adventure, starting with Road Trip Chocolate Chip Cookies from Recipes From A Pantry.

2. Tiger and the Snow (2005)

This little-known Italian film is incredible. It stars the gorgeous Roberto Benigni (from Life is Beautiful) as Attilio de Giovanni who follows the love of his life from Rome to modern-day Baghdad to save her life and win her heart! It is a beautiful film – a journey from lust to love and it rocks!

3. The Lord of the Rings (one, two and three – 2001/2002/2003)

This is the ultimate road-trip tale. Drama drips from its jaws as the poor little Hobbits are hunted down by a dark lord and his black riders… creeeepy. There’s a merry band of strange folk who travel across the dark land and battle ugly creatures and evil itself. If you haven’t bothered with this awesome trilogy then what are you waiting for? Read my review of Return of the King here.

Snack 2:

If you’ve had enough of sugary snacks or you want the kids to eat something super-healthy in the car, then make everyone happy with this nutritious recipe – Natural Raspberry Peach Fruit Leathers from 17 Apart.


Image: 17 Apart

4. Australia (2008)

I must include this lovely film of my homeland, Australia. It’s not just about the trip across the rugged country, it’s not just about the characters and the history of our great land, it’s about Australia and what it means to be Australian. It’s everything. To me, this is a bit of a gushy, stylised film but I loved it and will watch it again and again and again!

5. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Being a kid of the 80s I loved this film but my son loved it even more. There we were in the cinema, most of us sitting back relaxing in anticipation of what this version of ‘Tintin’ was going to be like and there was my boy, on the edge of his seat, glued to the screen the whole time! It has fantastic animation, incredible characters and an engrossing storyline that, yes, included a journey from London to Morocco. Check it out!

Snack 3:

Let’s go all savoury with this next salty-meaty snack. It’s Real Healthy Beef Jerky from Real Healthy Recipes. It MUST be REAL healthy, aye!?!

6. Elf (2003)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I LOVE this film. It’s the story of Buddy the elf who sets out from the North Pole to New York City to meet his real dad in the ‘real’ world. Will Ferrell is hilarious in this movie and it’s almost tame enough to watch with the kids (with some exceptions!).

7. The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

My kids adore this film and, I must admit, I do too! Talk about a ‘road’ movie… this one takes you from earth to the world of Narnia, then onto a grand old ship across a dangerous ocean, past strange islands and into and even stranger cave-thing. It’s so much fun… check it out!

Snack 4:

And another yummy, savoury road trip thing to pop into your cooler, esky or lunch box are these delish Savory Muffins with Kalamata olives, semi sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and feta muffins from Grab Your Spork.

8. The Muppet Movie (1979)
A great musical number, a frog on a bike, a bear driving a car and a whole lot of weird puppet characters, what more could you want in a road movie? A baddie… you say? Tick! A love story? Tick! Drama, disaster and comedy? Tick, tick, tick! This is a great, fun film for a Saturday night with the kids.

9. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

What happens when you chuck a family in a Kombi van and drive across the country together? Mayhem, drama, relationships breakthroughs that’s what! This is a funny little movie with great performances from Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. But it all comes together at the end when the family bands together for the one goal; to watch little Olive in the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty contest! It’s one sweet road movie.

Snack 5:

Oh my goodness, check out these beauties, they will definitely be on my road trip food list! They are Peanut Butter S’mores from Today’s Mama.

10. Up (2009)

Every little boy dreams of adventure and Carl Fredricksen is no different. But once dear old Carl grows up and marries childhood sweetheart Ellie, life passes him by and he never achieves his dream to visit Paradise Falls in Venezuela. He becomes a grumpy old man and when the authorities threaten to take him to a home, Carl takes his life into his own hands. Enter a little boy named Russell, a few hundred balloons and off they fly! This is such a lovely film filled with funny moments and a lot of poignancy. Loved it!

Snack 6:

And finally, for a bit of citrussy delight, these moreish Lemon Memories from Sweet Road. I love lemony delights! Gotta try these…


Image: Sweet Road

These are my top ten, what are yours?

More great film and food combos. Check them out:

* Top 10 kids’ movies matched with favourite food
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film paired with fun food
It Happened One Night film paired with road trip food