Can’t decide where to go on your next vacation? Look to Hollywood films for major inspiration. The movies on this list will feed anyone’s wanderlust and encourage you to book a flight to New Orleans — or maybe somewhere as far away as Tokyo.
These movies will make you want to travel. That’s why we’ve also included recommended things to do and places to eat — so it’s easier for you to imagine the adventure and envision the amazing possibilities.
Girls Trip follows four best friends who reunite and travel to New Orleans for the real-life Essence Music Festival. Their wild and hilarious adventure is full of dancing, drinking, romancing and even brawling. With so many beautiful shots of the Big Easy, it’s hard to resist catching the travel bug and booking a flight immediately with your crew.
Things To Do:The 2017 film featured the girls grooving down Bourbon Street, sipping hurricanes and zip-lining above tourists. If you’re looking to party, there are bars, live music venues and popular restaurants everywhere you turn in the French Quarter. A few famous bars include the Carousel Bar & Lounge and Erin Rose.
Want to escape the party culture? For a more laid-back experience, you can wander around the beautiful Jackson Square and gaze at the iconic St. Louis Cathedral. If you’re interested in the supernatural, take a haunting tour of the LaLaurie Mansion, the former residence of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and the current home of tortured spirits.
Where to Eat: A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without trying a beignet (a delicious fried pastry covered in powdered sugar). The hottest spots for beignets are Café du Monde and the aptly named Café Beignet.
Based on the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, this film is about a divorced and lost woman who embarks on a solo hiking trip for self-discovery. After watching her trek 1,100 miles along America’s West Coast, you’ll want to pack your bags and spend more time in nature.
Things to Do: If you’re planning to walk the entire Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), make sure you’re prepared for a six- to eight-month trip. The 2014 film takes you across the stunning Mojave Desert, Mount Hood, Mount Hood National Forest, Crater Lake, the Bridge of the Gods and Smith Rock State Park.
Where to Eat: If you want more than just trail food, there are some great restaurants along the PCT. According to The Trek and The Hiking Life, Alabama Hills Cafe, Stehekin Pastry Company and Timberline Lodge are a few popular places on the journey.
The Hangover follows four friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. The next morning, they wake up with no memory of the previous night — and the groom missing. Their hilarious journey is filled with crazy parties, dazzling hotels, luxurious casinos and (of course) booze.
Things to Do: Released in 2009, The Hangover was mostly filmed at Caesars Palace, one of the most beautiful and legendary properties on the Las Vegas strip. Located between the Bellagio and the Mirage, the palace brings Greco-Roman fantasy to life. You can spend hours admiring the exquisite architecture and browsing through high-end boutiques.
Where to Eat: There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas, including Lotus of Siam, Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen and Mon Ami Gabi. If you’ve worked up an appetite and want to feast inside of Caesars Palace, many visitors highly recommend the Bacchanal Buffet.
Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians gave the world a taste of the luxurious life in Singapore. The film follows a Chinese-American professor who finds out her boyfriend is basically the “Prince Harry of Asia” because he’s from one of the wealthiest families in Singapore.
Flashing the big screen with massive mansions, fancy cars and dazzling hotels, we can see why people had their hearts set on Singapore after watching the film. Following Crazy Rich Asians’ premiere, many travel sites saw a jump in searches for Singapore compared to the same period the year before. According to Kayak, searches for the country soared 41%.
Things to Do: The 2018 film flaunted many of Singapore’s breathtaking places, like Merlion Park, where the remarkable Merlion (half-lion and half-fish) statue sits and the Marina Bay Sands hotel stands. Marina Bay Sands is among the most Instagrammed hotels in the world. With a rooftop infinity pool and a jaw-dropping view of the Singapore skyline, it’s no surprise that the hotel is extremely popular. Other notable sites from the film include CHIJMES Hall and Gardens by the Bay.
Where to Eat: Looking for an exciting food scene? Many locals and tourists head to Newton Food Centre, a famous outdoor night market, for cheap, delicious food like barbecued seafood and black pepper crab.
Lost in Translation
Released in 2003, Lost in Translation focused on two lonely Americans (Bob and Charlotte) who formed an odd yet heartwarming relationship in Tokyo. Moviegoers couldn’t help but fall in love with the captivating and vibrant city in the film’s backdrop. Most of the film was shot in two incredible districts in Tokyo: Shinjuku and Shibuya.
Things to Do: The film fuels people’s desire to visit Tokyo and admire many places, like Shinjuku’s swanky Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel where Bob and Charlotte stayed. On the hotel’s 52nd floor, the New York Bar offers premium whiskeys and stunning views of the sparkling city.
Lost in Translation frequently featured the neon-filled streets and bars of Shinjuku’s entertainment hub Kabukicho. Want to sing your heart out? The film’s karaoke scene was captured at Shibuya’s Karaoke-kan.
Where to Eat: Located in Shibuya, Ichikan was the little restaurant where Bob and Charlotte munched on sushi. If you’d prefer to eat somewhere else, Japan Wireless magazine names Genki Sushi and Sushi No Midori as the top sushi restaurants in Shibuya.