Where do you get your travel inspiration? If it’s from a movie or TV show, you’re not alone…more than 40 million international travelers say the big screen—and little one—contribute to what destinations they visit…or at least dream of visiting. It’s called set-jetting and it’s helping us live out some of the fun from our favorite shows.
Movies and Travel
It’s easy to fall in love with certain destinations when you see them in your favorite movie or TV series, and it can inspire you to want to go see those spots for yourself. The first one that comes to mind for me is Blue Lagoon, from decades ago. That island life is designed for me and I’d love one day to see it for myself, firsthand. To take a swim in that water, put my toes in the sand.
Movies of today offer that same enticement. Who wouldn’t love to go to that little island at the end of the recent Star Wars movie release? (It’s off the coast of Ireland and the trips are already available.)
Who is Set-Jetting These Days?
Well, more and more people are doing just that—going to the cities and regions where their favorite movies and shows were filmed. It’s called set-jetting, and it’s big business in a lot of communities made famous by the big screen.
One recent survey found that 40 million international travelers cited movies as their inspiration when they were picking their destination, according to Jetsetter.com’s Colleen Clark.
Clark told me in a recent interview, “Everyone dreams of waking up in the middle of a film, whether it’s the glamour of James Bond or the magic of Harry Potter, and so travelers these days are doing just that—they’re booking trips to where their favorite films are set.”
She says the Disney movie Frozen brought a 32 percent jump in tourism to Norway.
Lord of the Rings made New Zealand a hot travel destination.
And The Game of Thrones is bringing new appeal to Croatia, Iceland and beyond.
Clark says she personally would love to see some of the spots featured in James Bond movies, such as Morocco, Paris and Rome.
Photo TravelingMom Kymri Wilt actually planned an entire family vacation around a trip to see the set of the Harry Potter movies, along with visits to places featured in Dr. Who.
Guided Tour or DIY?
Kymri and her family took the self-guided route, renting a car and going from Yorkshire to Wales.
In Atlanta, where I call home, I’ve visited the areas where several scenes from The Hunger Games were shot. I went along with a tour, which I highly recommend, because you’ll hear the inside scoop on things that happened on set, and that adds exponentially to the experience (you can read about that here: ).
An example of the inside stories you can get on a tour can be seen in this video.
While visiting Nashville, Tennessee, I did a little online research and lucked up on several locations where the TV series by the same name is shot. Some of the spots are homes that can be rented out for an overnight stay. Others are private buildings that you can’t access without being part of a tour.
Kymri felt the tours could be too restrictive, only allowing a set amount of time at each location, so that’s something else to consider.
There are incredible resources online if you want to take your own tour. An hour or two of research will certainly add to your experience, no matter which choice you make.
But don’t be disappointed if you go and the locations don’t look at all like you imagined. Quite often, the sets can change the way an area looks dramatically, which is part of the movie magic.
That said, expect to feel the chills when you do happen on a place that you feel like you’ve already been to…a place you’ve already experienced through the movies. It certainly happened for me while sitting on the porch swing outside ‘Deacon’s house’ for the Nashville TV series, and Kymri says it was magical when she finally found the spot from the Harry Potter movies where the character Dobbie was buried. In her words, “Something special happened there.”
Want to read about other places that are the sets of movies? Here’s one on the movie Twilight.