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.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may have winnowed all the films of 2010 down to the ten best, but our own Academy of Trips and Bargains has put together a list of its own. These ten movies showcase some of the most travel-worthy spots around the globe, from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the natural tranquility of Bali. And should these films sufficiently inspire you, we've made planning a vacation easier by including flight prices (for June and July—an ideal time to visit these places) and suggestions for each destination's best hotel, inn, or villa. So get ready for some of 2010's best silver-screen sightseeing.
Ireland: Leap Year
The flick: A bit like a gender-switched version of 1952's The Quiet Man, an American, Anna (Amy Adams), takes a trip to Dublin, Ireland, but when inclement weather waylays her in the countryside, she ends up falling for the roguish charms of a local man named Declan (Matthew Goode). Key scene: The film's happy ending doesn't take place at the end of a rainbow, but it's still gold: The rugged Declan proposes to Anna on a cliff overlooking the crashing Atlantic. And right at the magic hour, no less.
Why it's an inspiration: Anna travels from the southwestern Dingle Peninsula all the way to Dublin on the northeast coast—a four- to five-hour drive—which allows you to take in everything from Eire's rolling glens to the country's lovely capital city, with its Victorian pubs, flowering gardens, Georgian architecture, and the striking Dublin Castle (included in the film).
Price check: A recent search for flights in June found round-trip, nonstop tickets for $813 from New York (Lufthansa) and $859 from Chicago (Aer Lingus).
Where to stay: The three-star Clarence Hotel, owned by Bono and the Edge of U2 (how much more Irish can you get?), is perfectly situated in the Temple Bar area, the city's cultural quarter. Theclarence.ie, doubles from $147
New York: Date Night
The flick: Beleaguered parents Phil and Claire Foster (NBC sitcom brethren Steve Carell and Tina Fey) find adventure even in a post-Giuliani Manhattan, as their quiet, romantic night out goes awry, starting with a case of mistaken identity that turns into a zany after-hours escapade that includes a frantic car chase in a taxi and a massive political cover-up. Key scene: Okay, the Fosters' trip to a boathouse in Central Park is not under the best conditions—at gunpoint, actually—but it is a good reminder that the park's real-life Loeb Boathouse, with its open-air seating right on the edge of the lake, is an ideal place to rent a rowboat or enjoy a relaxing round of drinks.
Why it's an inspiration: From the trip through Central Park to a frantic discussion in Times Square to the hilarious cabbie (played by comedian J. B. Smoove) during the chase sequence, the film provides a whirlwind, action-packed tour of some of the most unique sites across New York City. In addition, there's the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center, not to mention all the museums, Broadway shows, and fine dining. If you do decide to visit, don't worry-crime in New York is on the decline (and has been for two decades). So chances are, you won't end up in the same predicament as these two.
Price check: Going round-trip in the summer without any layovers will run you about $359 if you're coming from San Francisco (JetBlue) or $243 if you're coming from Chicago (American Airlines).
Where to stay: You can't leave New York without visiting Bloomingdale's, Central Park, or the Museum of Modern Art, and The Pod Hotel, in East Midtown, is close to all three (it's also not far from Rockefeller Plaza). The fact that it's young and hip, with funky murals, asymmetrical couches, and retro light fixtures is just a bonus. Thepodhotel.com, doubles from $139
- Related: Top 10 Best Beaches From the Movies
Verona and the Italian countryside: Letters to Juliet
The flick: While traveling with her fiancé in Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a fact-checker for The New Yorker (Amanda Seyfried) discovers a decades-old letter from a would-be Juliet to her own Romeo and sets off on an adventure to find its author. Along the way she finds love and a much happier ending than Juliet ever got. Key scene: The pivotal portrayal of the wall at the Casa di Giulietta, where people the world over come to post their amorous requests (and where the leading lady discovers the letter that changes her life). It's is an open invitation to all hopeless romantics.