Restriction of proteins to discrete subcellular regions is a common mechanism to establish cellular asymmetries and depends on a coordinated program of mRNA localization and translation control. Many processes from the budding of a yeast to the establishment of metazoan embryonic axes and the migration of human neurons, depend on this type of cell polarization. How factors controlling transport and translation assemble to regulate at the same time the movement and translation of transported mRNAs, and whether these mechanisms are conserved across kingdoms is not yet entirely understood. In this review we will focus on some of the best characterized examples of mRNA transport machineries, the "yeast locasome" as an example of RNA transport and translation control in unicellular eukaryotes, and on the Drosophila Bic-D/Egl/Dyn RNA localization machinery as an example of RNA transport in higher eukaryotes. This focus is motivated by the relatively advanced knowledge about the proteins that connect the localizing mRNAs to the transport motors and the many well studied proteins involved in translational control of specific transcripts that are moved by these machineries. We will also discuss whether the core of these RNA transport machineries and factors regulating mRNA localization and translation are conserved across eukaryotes.