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Road Trip Movies the Whole Family Will Love

Hit the open road, seas or sky and enjoy the adventure with these fun, family films

Author Kari Hanson

Published on: July 01, 2024

The Mitchells vs. The Machines movie image
“The Mitchells vs. The Machines.” Photo: courtesy of Netflix

It’s summertime and that means one thing: road trip!

When it’s time for my family to plan our adventures, we love taking inspiration from movies. And who says road trips are limited to the car? We’ve got journeys that will take you over oceans, though the air, even inside a tornado. 

Whether these films give you ideas for places to head to or places to avoid, every movie on this list is sure to spark some creative dreaming of your family's next trip.

So hang on, and get ready for some open road-themed entertainment.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

A family full of misfits are on a road trip to take their daughter Katie to film school when they find themselves in the middle of a robot apocalypse. Now the last people on Earth, they must come together to save humanity. This animated movie as won multiple awards and was nominated for an Oscar. Stream on Netflix, rated PG

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – the Long Haul

Everyone’s favorite mischievous tween is back in this fun family movie. Gregg Heffley’s family hits the road to attend his grandma’s 90th birthday party. But things don’t go according to plan when Greg hatches a scheme to attend a video gaming convention. Stream on Amazon Video Prime, rated PG

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Join Pee-Wee as he leaves his playhouse and embarks on a cross-county adventure to find his beloved bike after it was stolen by his nemesis, Francis Buxton. In this 1985 classic, Pee-Wee has all kinds of adventures including winning a dance contest, riding a bull in a rodeo and so much more. Just watch out for Large Marge (she freaked me out for years when I was little)! Fun fact: This movie was Tim Burton’s directing debut. Stream on Amazon Prime Video, rated PG


Elf brothers, Ian and Barley, set out on an epic adventure to find a magic gem that can help bring their father back to life for one day. They face many obstacles along the way, and learn the true value of their relationship and the important role they play in each other’s lives. This animated movie from Pixar features some great celebrity voices, including Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Stream on Disney+, rated PG

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) think that their dad Dave plans to propose to his girlfriend, and get rid of them. They have just three days to make it to Miami if they want to avoid losing Dave, and gaining and evil stepbrother. This movie is a combo of live action humans and animated talking chipmunks, and is complete with singing, dancing and Chipmunk-versions of “Baby Got Back” and “Uptown Funk.” What more could you ask for? Stream on Max, rated PG

The Muppet Movie

Kermit and friends trek across the country to find success in Hollywood in this 1979 classic movie that tells the story of how the Muppets all got together. From Janice, to Gonzo to Miss Piggy, kids will love seeing all the Muppets, you’ll love discovering you remember all the lyrics to “Rainbow Connection.” Stream on Amazon Prime video, rated G

The Adventures of Tintin

Ok, this is more of an epic journey than a road trip. But if this doesn’t spark your wanderlust, I don’t know what will! In this Oscar nominated, animated movie, junior reporter Tintin and his brave dog Snowy head off on an adventure to hunt for treasure on a sunken ship. Can they find it before the bad guy? You have to watch to find out. Stream on Amazon Prime Video, rated PG

Mr. Bean’s Holiday

Mr. Bean takes his silly physical comedy (and lack of dialogue) on the road when he wins a trip to Cannes, France. He accidently separates a young boy from his father and goes on a mission to reunite them. Filled with spills, bicycles, near misses and falls, Rowan Atkinson will keep your kids laughing till the end with his exaggerated facial expressions and movements (though he’ll always be Blackadder to me). Stream on Netflix, rated G

Homeward Bound

Who said road trips were only for humans? When three family pets find themselves far from home while their humans are on vacation, they decide to take matters into their own hands — or should I say, paws. Chance, Sassy and Shadow go on an epic adventure through the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (and encounter all kinds of wildlife and dangers along the way) to make it back home. Stream on Disney+, rated G

The Wizard of Oz

This is the only movie on our list that includes travel by tornado! Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale from Kansas as she is swept away in a tornado to the magical land of Oz. With her new friends, Dorothy must brave a witch and make it to the Emerald City in order to find her way back home. If you haven’t shared this classis with your kids yet, you are all in for a treat. Filmed in 1939, this movie has been loved by generations of children (I used to watch it with my great-grandmother), and the moment the screen changes from black and white to color is just as impressive today as it was 85 years ago. Stream on Max, rated G


Not all road trips happen on land. Brave Moana leaves her safe island home in search of demigod Maui to help break a curse that is threatening her home. Filled with incredible songs, adventure and a hilarious chicken, this movie will inspire views of all ages to follow their hearts. Stream on Disney+, rated PG


Here’s a road trip in the sky! Once you’ve recovered from the movie’s first five minutes and can stop sobbing, join Carl and young Russell on their journey to Paradise Falls. Carl has covered his house with balloons and is determined to reach the place he and his late wife dreamed of living. Russell accidently tags along, and the unlikely dup develop a true friendship in this lovely, Oscar-winning movie. Stream on Disney+, rated PG

Little Miss Sunshine

A family with a daughter determined to enter a beauty pageant (in her own unique, wonderful way) hits the road to California in this charming, sweet film. The cast (including Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear) is excellent, and little Olive will make you laugh and cry. This movie won multiple awards, including two Oscars, and deserves a spot on your watch list. It is rated R and has references to self-harm, sex and plenty of f-bombs, so unless you have teenagers, save this one until after the kids go to bed. Stream on Amazon Prime Video, rated R

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