Check out the must-see images that inspired us in this10-film journey around the world.
The Budget Travel Oscars
The 10 Most Travel-Inspiring Films of the Year
We love the Oscars as much as the next guy, but there’s no adventure in watching movies from your couch. That’s why we’ve rounded up ten films that will make you want to get out of the house, hop a flight, and see the world.
Where to stay: Built in 1910, the two-star Peery Hotel will transport you back in time with its striking grand staircase, period chandeliers, and individual mail slots for guests. Plus, it's located close to most downtown attractions, like the Mormon Tabernacle, if you decide to take a day off from all that outdoorsy stuff. Peeryhotel.com, doubles from $99
Venice, Italy: The Tourist
The flick: With a title like The Tourist, of course we're going to include it on this list. Inspired by scenic Old Hollywood fare like the 1963 classic To Catch a Thief and Charade, the light-hearted thriller throws Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp into a twisted skein of intrigue set in, and around, an equally twisted skein of Venetian canals. Key scene: Depp and Jolie jump in a motorboat and speed off through the waterways, evading their mysterious pursuers.
Why it's an inspiration: An escape by speeding boat may be a bit much for us average tourists, but what about a calm gondola ride? Or even a stroll along the canals? Despite the lack of streets, Venice is easily one of the world's best cities for walking. Perambulate over countless bridges, through marketplaces, and into its many hidden niches. From the Ponte di Rialto to the pigeons of the Piazza San Marco, it is a place that needs to be seen to be believed, and with the ever-present threat of sinkage, the sooner you can visit, the better.
Price check: The Alilaguna water shuttle will take you from Aeroporto Marco Polo to Piazza San Marco for only $18, but before that a round-trip, one-stop ticket will cost $1059 from Boston (Swiss), $958 from New York (Aer Lingus), or $1602 for a two-stop from Phoenix (Iberia).
Where to stay: The Pensione Guerrato gives you the most historical bang for your buck-not only is it located in a 13th-century palace, but the building still features some of the original medieval stuccoworks. Best of all, the three-star hotel fronts the Grand Canal. Pensioneguerrato.it, doubles from $128 (with a shared bathroom)
London: The King's Speech
The flick: This English prestige picture follows the real-life exploits of King George VI (Colin Firth), who was forced to overcome a severe stutter, with the help of an Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush), in order to lead his country into the encroaching fogs of WWII. Key scene: When his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicates, George VI must step up to the throne. But before he can do that, he has to first make it through his coronation speech. Ely Cathedral stands in for Westminster Abbey in the rehearsal sequence. Even though it's not the real thing, the film portrays the historical building to great effect.
Why it's an inspiration: Westminster Abbey is just one of the many must-see places in London, as is King George VI's former home, Buckingham Palace. Really, the capital of the United Kingdom is a cultural behemoth. Offering more iconic landmarks than can be counted on two hands, top-rate museums like the National Gallery and the Tate Modern, and the chance to mingle with our neighbors across the pond, London is indeed calling.
Price check: London Heathrow Airport has the highest number of international passengers of any transport hub in the world, but how much will that transatlantic flight cost you? A recent search for round-trip flights in July found nonstop tickets for $622 from New York (BMI), $787 from San Francisco (BMI), and $1,314 from Dallas/Fort Worth (American).
Where to stay: With its namesake (and great-grandson of George VI) getting married, why not celebrate by staying at the Prince William Hotel. Near Hyde Park in a building that dates back to the 18th century, it's within easy walking distance of a number of attractions, including Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens, and Harrods department store. Princewilliamhotel.co.uk, doubles from $153
Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The flick: It's the beginning of the end for one of the biggest pop-cultural touchstones of our time as Harry, Ron, and Hermione rush to find magical objects and vanquish the dark forces of Lord Voldemort. Sure, we know it's entirely fictional, but that doesn't stop us from wishing we could book our own ticket on the Hogwarts Express. Key scene: Definitely one of the darker entries in the series, the latest movie isn't as good at making you want to join that world as some of its predecessors, but the magically aided wedding of Bill and Fleur is the one ray of light amid the darkness. Until it gets interrupted by Death Eaters, that is.