With the Oscar nominations announced this week and the Golden Globes airing on Sunday, we’ve chosen our own awards … for the most travel-inspiring films of the year.
And just in time. Set-jetting, the global phenomenon of film (and TV) fans flocking to movie locations around the globe, is one of forecasted travel trends for 2013. Travelers are now, more than ever, reliving their favorite films all over the world.
Here are some of our favorite wanderlust-stirring flicks from 2012:
While this film version shows very little of Russia or its famous landmarks (much of the action takes place on a theatre stage), it still inspires opulent travel of the old world sort. The scenes of Anna Karenina traveling in a lavish train car through the snow-covered open landscapes of Russia leave us dreaming of a similar trip: a luxury train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, touring historic St. Petersburg and dynamic Moscow.
This latest installment of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy created a huge surge of tourism in New Zealand, where bout 150 locations were used for Lord of the Rings’ scenes. The mecca of all Hobbit tourism is Hobbiton, private-farmland-turned-movie-set. You can tour the 44 hobbit holes set in the picturesque rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside to see how the furry-footed creatures live.
History buffs and the Academy Awards alike can’t get enough of this film about our 16th president. Capturing the renewed interest in Lincoln destinations, this year tours are popping up in key cities such as Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA, retracing Lincoln’s steps and revealing history-rich locations.
Life of Pi
Praised as the next Avatar due its stunning cinematography and special effects, this film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy-adventure novel has sparked renewed interest in Taiwan. With mesmerizing scenes filmed at Kenting White Banyan Garden, Kenting National Park and Taipei Zoo, Taiwan is likely to be on many lists for top destinations in 2013.
For more travel-inspiring films, check out our full list of movies that moved us in 2012.
And take a look back at what films made us want to pack our packs in 2011.
It’s the busiest travel day of the year! We want to know: Where are you headed for Thanksgiving? Tweet or Instagram your Thanksgiving travel photos with the hashtag #TurkeyTravel and we’ll feature our favorites on our blog. Whether it’s long lines at the airport, crazy traffic on I-95, or just a photo of your final destination — we want to see them!
If you’re not in the mood to stand in line with a bunch of Twihards tonight to see Breaking Dawn: Part II, escape to the evocative world of 19th-century Russia in Anna Karenina, which also opens this weekend. Though some would be horrified that we are putting the 2 films in the same sentence, there are some similarities between the 2 stories: both are based on love affairs with the forbidden; one between a vampire and a human, the other between a married socialite and a young cavalry officer. And both are set in romantic, but equally dark settings — rainy Pacific Northwest and snow-covered Russia. And both make us want to travel.
St. Basil’s Cathedral Photography by Getty Images
This cinematic take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, Anna Karenina — the story of a married St. Petersburg socialite embarking on a passionate and disastrous love affair — is a visual masterpiece, already garnering Oscar buzz. As with all film adaptions, this version takes creative liberties and scenes are set on a theater stage, showing very little of Russia or its famous landmarks. Being the travel junkies we are, it’s inspiring us to embark on our own Russian adventure.
We recently partnered with Schemer, a new social network designed to help you discover and share activities you want to try! You can follow Travel Channel on Schemer here to find Schemes from Travel Channel shows and hosts such as:
Go on an ice cream flavor adventure at Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream, inspired by Andrew Zimmern
Ride shotgun at Richard Petty’s Driving Experience, inspired by Samantha Brown
Give the traditional milkshake a twist at with the Bacon Shake, inspired by Andrew Zimmern
Hang out and peruse North Beach in San Francisco
That’s just a taste — there are lots more travel ideas and schemes on Travel Channel’s page on Schemer (http://schemer.com/travelchannel).
Plus: try our schemes and you could win an autographed No Reservations poster! All you have to do is:
1) Sign up for Schemer
2) Follow Travel Channel on Schemer
3) Browse our schemes, find one that you want to try, and save it to your own Scheme list.
4) After saving the scheme, share it via Twitter using the hashtag #SchemeTravelChannel.
The contest is open from today, May 30, at noon ET until midnight ET on Wednesday, June 6. You can enter once per day! Remember, for your entry to count, your tweet MUST include a scheme you’re interested in, and the hashtag #SchemeTravelChannel.
Read all official rules here. Happy scheming!
Aspiring travelers flocked to the Convention Center in Washington, DC, for the Travel & Adventure Show this weekend, and today is the last day to catch Travel Channel host Sam Brown chat about her travel mishaps. Former Taste of America host, Mark DeCarlo, will be signing his new book, “A Fork on the Road,” and hosting an Interactive Cooking Class on the Culinary Stage.
The annual event has dozens of booths to inspire travelers to visit specific destinations and to tap into their sense of adventure by offering people with an opportunity to experience diving in a Scuba Dive Pool, experience the rock climbing wall, strap up for a zip-lining adventure and feel the motors revving with a NASCAR video game. A few tour companies are on hand to help you plan your wildlife safari, whitewater rafting trip and more.
And there’s not a shortage of destinations to plan your next fun-filled getaway. The Show has reps from popular destinations, both near and far, including Fiji, Maryland, Tibet, Spain, US Virgin Islands, Australia, Orlando, Belize, South Africa, Hawaii, West Virginia, Singapore, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
So plan your next water park trip now, and don’t miss the last day of the Travel & Adventure Show in DC or check it out in a city near you.
In honor of Leap Day (and after seeing those motivating Honda CR-V commercials), we’re inspired to make our own “leap list.” We find it more optimistic to think of taking a leap, rather than to think of our dwindling lifespan, aka The Bucket List. Here are 10 ideas to get you started — take a chance, take the plunge, or take a trip:
1.) Dare to Bare It All.
Toss the cover-up AND the bathing suit for the bravest walk of your life on one these nude beaches.
2.) Learn New Dance Moves.
Try the tango in Argentina. The booty-shaking Samba in Brazil. Or learn Capoiera without leaving your city.
3.) Say “I Love You” (or Put a Ring on It).
Find the perfect moment and the best place to say “I love you” or propose.
4.) Sleep in a Tree House.
Forget about free Wi-Fi and continental breakfasts. Pretend you’re a kid again and take refuge in the trees. If you’re lucky, you might just get up close and personal with the monkeys.
5.) Tap into Your Spiritual Side.
Or at least find some peace and quiet. Taking yoga at the gym just doesn’t cut it. Unplug and escape from the daily grind to see the best spots to renew the spirit. No matter what you do (or don’t) believe in, the beauty of these places will leave you speechless.
With the Oscars this Sunday, we’ve pulled together our own awards list: 2011′s Most Travel-Worthy Flicks. The Descendants is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t daydream about walking barefoot on a beach in Hawaii (and with George Clooney)?
But we were equally inspired to pack our bags for the City of Lights to find the “Lost Generation” in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Even the dark thriller Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had us eying Stockholm to see where the stories took place.
Postcard-perfect scenes in movies we saw years ago still influence our travel plans. Even though it’s been years since we saw The Beach, we still have Maya Bay in Thailand on our bucket list. And its cinematic merits aside, Twilight couldn’t help but make us want to see the town of Forks, WA, for some of them most stunning scenery on the Olympic Peninsula.
Has a movie ever inspired one of your vacations?
You May Also Like:
Movies That Moved Us
Romantic Movie Destinations
Horror Movie Destinations
Despite a troubled economy and high gas prices, more Americans will hit the road for Thanksgiving weekend this year, according to American Automobile Association.
This means that you or someone you know will join more than 38 million Americans on the road. AAA officials said that’s up 4 percent from last year and the highest increase in holiday traffic since 2007.
Over the last 3 years, families, who resisted traveling during the busiest travel season of the year, are more likely to rethink their decisions this year.
A recent AAA forecast said some 3.4 million — up 1.8 percent year-over-year — would fly over the Thanksgiving weekend, bringing the total number of holiday travelers to 42.5 million.
So before you hit the road or take to the friendly skies, be sure to check out our tips and info to help you prepare for Thanksgiving and the shopping crowds on Black Friday.
More Holiday Content:
Top 10 Survival Tips for Holiday Travel
Thanksgiving Travel Tips
Macy’s Parade Hotels
10 Luxury Shopping Spots
Top 10 US Shopping Malls
Looking for the best travel apps to download to your smartphone? Check out Travel App of the Week on TravelChannel.com. Each week we feature a travel app that provides useful information about airline flights, places to eat, ways to navigate around an unfamiliar city and much more.
We’ve compiled travel app lists based on 3 main categories: utility apps, navigation apps and entertainment apps. Our goal is to help you cut through the clutter to find the apps that help make traveling easier for you.
We’ve enlisted Bob Tedeschi to review the most recent travel apps available. Bob has written about e-commerce, technology and travel for the “New York Times” since 1998. He has also written for “Wired” and “Money Magazine,” among others.
So check out Travel Channel’s feature Travel App of the Week, and get the download on the hottest apps for travelers!
Over 2,597 dogs to be exact. Giant Schnauzers. Terriers. Bloodhounds. Chihuahuas. Chinese Cresteds. They were all let out today for the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden.
The Westminster Dog Show is America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby, and in our opinion, the number one most “aww” inspiring sporting event.
We went behind the scenes to see what it takes to get these pups pampered to perfection. And it’s no easy feat to get a Boston Terrier on a treadmill or to give a Great Pyrenees’ a precision blow-dry.
Want to let your pooch out for a vacation? Champion dog handlers gave us pet travel advice and tips.
Tell us: What are your tips for bringing pets on the road with you?