The 7 Best Christmas Movies For Christmas Travel

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation turns 30 this year, reminding us all of just how thankful we are that we’re not Clark Griswold trapped with his family in his over-the-top light-covered house at Christmastime. 

However, there could be worse things than being trapped inside with family over Christmas break, like having to head to the airport and endure long lines, delayed flights, and blizzards. If you find yourself trapped at the airport during the holiday season, de-stress by watching any one of the seven best movies for Christmas travel.

Whether your flight has been delayed or your battling against a wicked snowstorm, the seven best Christmas movies on this list will remind you that you’re not alone in braving the ups and downs of what makes Christmas travel oftentimes so hectic.

The Best Christmas Movies For Christmas TravelHow do these rankings work?

1. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

If there’s anybody who understands what it’s like to struggle just to get home in time for Christmas, it’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ character in this 1998 Christmas classic. Jake, a college student just trying to make it back home for the holidays, finds himself stranded in the desert with no money just days before Christmas. He braves buzzards and thugs before pairing up with a thief driving a truck full of stolen goods just to make it home in time for Christmas dinner.

The Best Christmas Movies for Travelling

2. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Steve Martin and John Candy teamed up to star in this 1980s classic, which is now by far one of the best Christmas movies, especially if you’re facing long delays and typical holiday travel woes. Watch this film to feel better about your situation, as there’s no way you can compare your situation against that of Neal and Del Griffith. Neal tries to make it home for Thanksgiving with nothing but the obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Best Christmas Movies To Watch While Travelling

3. Home Alone 2

Few things feel cosier than watching Home Alone at Christmastime. The first movie is one of the best Christmas movies of all time, but the second one truly encompasses the spirit of Christmas travel. Kevin finds himself lost in New York City and encounters the Sticky Bandits yet again. Whether you miss your flight, find that it’s delayed, or are simply fed up with the long security lines at the airport, you can at least be thankful you’re not Kevin boarding the wrong flight. Although, spending Christmas in New York City doesn’t sound half bad.

Best Christmas Movies for Kids

4. The Holiday

Tired of spending Christmas in the cold? Watching The Holiday can spark some inspiration. In this enchanting Christmas romance you’ll get to see how two single women choose to spend their holidays by swapping houses in California and the UK. Not only will it inspire you to travel to another country for Christmas, but it’s one of the best Christmas movies for those looking to enjoy light-hearted romance this holiday season.

Romantic Christmas Movies

5. Love Actually

Love Actually might be one of the best Christmas movies of modern times. It’s widely regarded as a Christmas staple nowadays. And, while the romantic stories are delightfully enchanting, it’s the film’s ending that’s really going to inspire Christmas travel. Do you have a layover at Heathrow for Christmas? Or, are you stuck at Heathrow? Watch Love Actually and wait for all of the characters to convene there at the end. It’ll help you pass the time and make the airport seem like a less boring place to spend hours waiting.

6. Christmas with the Kranks

Have you ever had a tropical trip cancelled at the last minute? The Kranks, played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, have. They cancel Christmas and purchase tickets to spend Christmas cruising through the Caribbean. What ensues is a flurry of setbacks and difficulties, only to result in them having to cancel all their plans. The movie is light-hearted and funny. And, it’ll make you forget just how difficult travel planning is this time of year.

7. Elf

It’s hard to write about the best Christmas movies for Christmas travel and not remember Buddy the Elf’s fantastic journey. He went through the “seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops, and then…through the Lincoln Tunnel.” He travelled quite a ways just to meet his birth father during the holidays. And, that’s something we can all remember when family annoyances begin to eat away at your last nerve. Try spending Christmas as Buddy would, full of cheer and Christmas spirit.

Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth has lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, all of which have contributed to her passion for travel writing. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring little hideouts in Colombia or watching photography tutorials on YouTube.

Contact: [email protected]

View stories