10 Best Travel-related Scenes from Holiday Movies

There are holiday movies and there are travel movies, but nothing reminds us just how much more screwed up our lives could be than the classic holiday travel movie. However, it would be too easy to just pick on the dumb-ass, drunk uncle stereotype...so instead let's pick on as many stereotypes as possible as well as throw in a few laughs at the suckers who pony up the cash to see them on the screen.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I'm starting with the obvious one: the idiot relative. This isn't so much a scene as it is a monument of film stereotypes taken to an unheard of level. Probably the best Christmas idiot in Hollywood history, Eddie's cross-country journey to the Griswold family gathering is the road trip from hell, at least for everyone but him.

Home Alone (in the van with the polka band)

Home Alone is the biggest holiday travel movie ever made. Picking one scene is tough, but I'm going a little off the beaten path. John Candy as the leader of a polka band in the back of a rental truck is the only way to get back to the child you abandoned just before Christmas? That's holiday hell for the whole family.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one, not that weird Jim Carrey turd sandwich)

First of all, Jim Carrey's real life Grinch is a dumpster fire. You thought it, I said it. Either way, the Grinch has one of the greatest journeys in Christmas film history when he returns all of the gifts and decorations to Whoville. Even old Rubberface couldn't screw that up.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Jack's flaming sleigh ride)

Jack Skellington really should give us nightmares. A skeleton who sings, dances, and kidnaps Santa? That's terrifying to rational people, especially when he then travels the world putting snakes, bats, and other creepy crap under Christmas trees. Luckily, his journey doesn't last and we get our damn Christmas back.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (two pillows)

PTA is one big journey, but the image of John Candy and Steve Martin spooning in a motel bed and the infamous location of Candy's hand is something that has brought about holiday giggles for generations of people who never grow up and think butts are funny.

The Polar Express (train on ice)

The Polar Express is a great children's book and the movie gets even better with America's Father, Tom Hanks, as the conductor. However, even the journey of the Polar Express cannot overshadow the creepy, soulless eyes of the CGI characters in this movie. They sound good, the visuals are stunning, and the train careening across the frozen lake is an amazing holiday travel scene ... but those damn eyes.

A Christmas Story (flat tire)

This one is a tie. Is it the trip to the mall to see Santa, or the flat tire? I'm going with the flat tire, and if you try to fudging argue with me about that you can go fudge yourself.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (going to the tree place)

Charlie Brown, the little bald kid who never quite gets there. There are numerous classic scenes from the Peanuts gang, but the trip to buy the Christmas tree is perfect Charlie Brown. All those great trees, and he picks the damn stick.

Scent of a Woman (blind guy driving a Ferrari)

A little off the beaten path, and definitely under appreciated, Scent of a Woman actually is a holiday movie. Al Pacino is also a blind guy who gets to drive a friggin' Ferrari. If that isn't an incredible travel scene in the movie that basically wrote the book of Pacino impersonations, then I don't know what is.


Will Ferrell is the world's biggest Christmas elf. That's not a character, that just describes him. Buddy the Elf trying to navigate the streets of New York is hard not to laugh at, even if WF and the movie have a combined IQ of about 37.

Holiday travel and movies go together like Bailey's and coffee. Sometimes watching cheesy-ass holiday movies REQUIRES Bailey's and coffee, but this should help guide you through some of your winter break viewing time.

Drew has been quietly judging cheesy holiday movies for most of his life, but they aren't going to stop being made, so he's going to finally admit to enjoying them too.