Film is one of the greatest tools when it comes to the power to transport somewhere wonderful. Much like travel does physically, movies have the capacity to transport your mind anywhere in the world (and only in a matter of minutes or hours).
Whether you’re a lover of rom-coms, action-packed dramas or it’s a terrifying thriller that takes your fancy, it’s hard to deny that often times, the backdrop is the real star of the show.
So, without further ado, it’s time to feast your eyes upon the top 10 travel movies for your destination inspiration. Warning: This post may cause you to reach for your passport (and/or your TV remote).
The Talented Mr. Ripley – Italy
Yes, The Talented Mr. Ripley might be a bit of a twisted film (and an interesting place to start) given its murderous plot line, but it’s also one of the most intriguing and beautiful depictions of Italy on film. You’ll follow Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow as they holiday their way from the beaches of Lazio to the extravagant hotels of Venice (and you’ll be ready to book your next trip to Italy before the end of the opening credits).
Lord of the Rings – New Zealand
Being an Aussie, it’s easy to quickly associate New Zealand with winter and some pretty, fun-filled ski fields. But, Peter Jackson’s award-winning epic might leave you not only in awe of the glaciers and mountains, but ready to reach for your hiking boots and shorts to explore NZ’s rivers, forests and all kinds of natural scenery too. While die-hard fans can join a Lord of the Rings tour, and skiiers/snowboarders generally know where to look, there’s plenty to cater to all your travel desires.
In Bruges – Belgium
While it wasn’t exactly the box office smash in 2008 when it was released, over the years this dark comedy has taken on almost a cult classic status. After a failed assassination attempt in London, two hitmen (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) head to Bruges to hide out. With endless glimpses of the beautiful canals, medieval architecture and an insight into the local culinary scene – and not to mention one of the final scenes taking place in the Belfry; one of Bruges’ most touted landmarks – you’ll be bursting at the seams to book your next trip to this beautiful city.
The Sound of Music – Salzburg, Austria
While The Sound of Music is part myth and part true story and the only “holiday” per se happens off screen (when Maria and Captain Von Trapp honeymoon in Paris), the film itself is set in an inspiring destination itself – the beautiful Salzburg, Austria.
Salzburg is fairytale Austria – sitting beside the Salzach River, with mountains in the distance, the city is home to Mozart himself. The movie provides only hints of the now growing art scene, manicured parks, concert halls and the delicious food and wine on offer.
Lost in Translation – Tokyo
Lost in Translation follows the journey and friendship of two separate travelers, Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), visiting Tokyo at the same time. As the film portrays just how funny and interesting exploring a new country can be, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just one giant tourism ad for Tokyo. (And that’s credit to the bustling beauty of the city – and the way this movie is filmed of course).
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Germany
This one’s a little tricky – while the title would have you believe the location is Hungary, anyone who has watched the marvel that is the world of Gustave H, would be quick to note that The Grand Budapest Hotel was actually filmed in Gorlitz, Germany. The imaginative Republic of Zubrowka isn’t somewhere you can pick on a map, but rather an imaginary Eastern European country, courtesy of the brilliant mind of Wes Anderson (and with its own website to match).
However, standing in for the hotel itself is an abandoned, Art Nuoveau department store in Gorlitz, called Gorlitzer Warenhaus – and that’s where the real magic and destination inspiration happens.
Into the Wild – Alaska
The true story of Christopher McCandless’ disappearance and passing in the Alaskan wilderness, is considered poetic by some and confusing to others.
Regardless of your take on the film’s ending – or more so, the reason for his passing (was it intentional or a naïve mistake? We’ll leave you to be the judge of that) – you’d be forgiven for thinking that the real heroine of the movie was nature herself.
McCandless spends the film running the rails, kayaking the Colorado river, climbing snowy peaks and dipping in the pacific – a winning combination for a severe case of travel envy, no matter how you view the plot line.
Mamma Mia – Skopelos, Greece
First things first, it’s worth mentioning that this is a musical, so if a whole lot of singing and dancing isn’t your thing, this might not be the film for you. However, if you’re looking to preview a quiet – and achingly beautiful – holiday destination – to the sound of the 70’s, Mamma Mia has what you need. You’ll be ready to escape to Skopelos in no time (we can help with that by the way). While the location may seem too good to be true, you’ll be surprised, it might just live up to every expectation!
The Beach – Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
The beach follows an excited young Richard and his two newfound friends and backpackers as they set out to find a solitary beach paradise – and end up destroying it. Whether you’re looking for adventure or you’re in search of the awe-inspiring beauty that nature has to offer, The Beach will have you drooling over Thailand and itching to pack your bags.
The beaches, the scenery, the crisp blue water and the people – this movie is a great reflection of the hopes and realities of travelling.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India
As British retirees travel to India for a stay at what they believe is a newly restored hotel, a little less luxurious than hoped, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel gives a great cultural lesson to travellers. You’ll follow Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson as they’re transformed by their experiences in the interesting country that is India.
Jaipur, the busy capital of Rajasthan, is the chosen setting of the fictional Marigold Hotel, from which the cast enjoys the colourful rural villages and the incredible sites of the Golden Triangle.
Of course, no journey to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, however The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel begs the question – is it rural India that really seeks your attention?
As always, if you’re thinking about planning your next holiday, or you’re just looking for a little further inspiration, we’d be delighted to chat! You can always give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, call into the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury, or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents today.
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