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Set-Jetting Is The Exciting New Travel Trend For 2023

Set-jetting has arrived.

Almost everyone has binge-watched a T.V. show like Game of Thrones or Yellowstone and completely fallen in love with the location.

Whether it’s the stunning scenery, the charming architecture, or just a cool scene in the film, something about the world of film and television can transport us to far-off places and inspire our wanderlust. 

But what if you could take that inspiration to the next level and actually visit the real-life locations where your favorite scenes were filmed? Welcome to the world of “set-jetting.”

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What Is “Set-Jetting?” 

In this blog post, I will explore the rise of set-jetting as a travel trend, provide tips for planning your set-jetting adventure, highlight top set-jetting destinations around the world, discuss set-jetting for fans of different genres, and examine the economic impact of set-jetting on local communities.

The Rise of Set-Jetting as a Travel Trend In 2023

The Rise of Set-Jetting as a Travel Trend In 2023

Set-jetting, the act of traveling to destinations made famous by movies and T.V. shows, has emerged as a new trend in the world of vacationing. 

This phenomenon is driven by the growing interest in streaming culture and the desire to experience the places that have captured our imagination on screen.

Set-jetting offers a unique dual opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of film and television while exploring new destinations at the same time.

The Evolution of Set-Jetting

Set-jetting isn’t entirely new—the concept has been around for decades—but its popularity has grown significantly in the past few years. 

Thanks to the increasing number of top-quality films and T.V. productions from outside the U.S., like Netflix’s Squid Game (South Korea) or Call My Agent! (France), set-jetting is set to become one of the hottest vacation choices for the foreseeable future. 

The Growing Popularity of Set-Jetting for Gen-Z

Set-jetting has become a favorite choice among millennial and Gen Z travelers when searching for things to do while on vacation. 

According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, 60% of vacationing millennials chose a travel destination because of its connection to a T.V. show or movie. Furthermore, as more productions ramp up after the pandemic lull, set-jetting for shows and films that are currently filming becomes more viable. Fans will be practically drooling over the selfies.

And, when you factor in how easy it is to research and plan trips—through remote bookings, vacation rentals, or guided tours—set-jetting’s popularity shows no signs of stopping.

Set-Jetting vs. Traditional Tourism

The various filming locations for Downton Abbey are popular set-jetting destinations.

Set-jetting doesn’t have to conflict with traditional tourism, which typically focuses on the area’s culture, landmarks, or natural wonders. Instead, set-jetting offers the local economy and the tourism industry another opportunity to attract visitors from around the world, in addition to their historical and traditional cultural jewels. 

It can easily become a win-win situation. The local economy can benefit from the production itself and attract more visitors both during and after filming. 

Tips for Planning Your Set-Jetting Adventure

Planning any set-jetting trip requires careful research and preparation to ensure you don’t miss out on iconic filming locations you’ve dreamt of visiting.

Researching Your Destination

Before booking your trip, look up the production’s filming locations and decide which ones are the most important to visit. Consider elements like significance to the story, location, and accessibility. 

The Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel Pool is a must-visit for Lost In Translation fans
The Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel Pool is a must-visit for Lost In Translation fans

Also, currently filming shows may offer behind-the-scenes tours and other relevant information. Websites such as IMDb often provide useful information on filming locations or useful tidbits. 

Pro Tip:  Check back here often. I’ll regularly post detailed set-jetting guides for some of your favorite franchises or streaming series!

Booking Your Accommodations

Consider booking accommodations close to the filming locations when planning your adventure.

Not only can you save time and money on transportation, but you’ll enjoy spending more time at the destination itself.

Additionally, some hotels or similar accommodations specifically book set-jetting tours as part of their offer!

Timing Your Trip Right

Timing is important when planning a set-jetting adventure. Consider the time of year that filming took place and try to plan your trip during the same season. 

This sort of careful scheduling can allow you to experience the locations in the same way that the characters did in the film or show. 

Pro Tip: Consider the weather and how it may impact your trip. You may want to see a particular castle from that scene in heavy rain. But are you prepared to be out in heavy rain during a vacation?

Planning Your Itinerary

When planning your set-jetting itinerary, consider the logistics of visiting multiple locations—especially if your time is tight. Some guided tours or transportation options can take you to different filming locations directly, saving you a lot of hassle. 

Pro Tip: Remember to factor in time for meals and rest. The last thing you want is to be hungry or tired when you travel.

Hiring a Guide

Hiring a guide can enhance your set-jetting experience. A knowledgeable guide can provide behind-the-scenes information and take you to locations away from the beaten path. These guides can also often provide insights into the local culture and history, deepening your experience even more.

Top Set-Jetting Destinations Around the World

New York City, USA

New York City is full of popular set-jetting destinations, with many iconic films and T.V. shows filmed here. 

Some of the more famous locations include the Empire State Building (An Affair to Remember), Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Ocean’s Eight, The Thomas Crown Affair).

Fans of Friends can visit the building used for exterior shots of the show’s apartment building, and fans of Sex and the City can take a tour of the city’s most famous locations.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture, but also a popular set-jetting destination due to its use as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.

Fans can visit locations like the Walls of Dubrovnik, Lovrijenac Fortress, and the Jesuit Staircase. 

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has been featured in many films and T.V. shows, including Lost in Translation and Kill Bill. Fans can visit icon spots such as the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower, and the Hachiko Statue.

While checking out the different film sites, you also get to explore Tokyo, one of the most dynamic cities in the world. 

Wellington, New Zealand

Non-movie fans already love New Zealand for its gorgeous vistas and natural wonders. But fanboys everywhere have also turned N.Z., particularly Wellington, into a wildly popular set-jetting destination because of its connection to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Locations such as Hobbiton, Mount Victoria, the Weta Workshop and more welcome set-jetters year round.

Suggested Reading:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Fans of Trainspotting trek to Edinburgh Scotland

Edinburgh’s connection to the Harry Potter franchise was not accidental. The city is home to numerous locations that will charm even the most jaded Slytherin acolyte. 

Visit spots like the Elephant House Cafe, Royal Mile, and Balmoral Hotel. 

Not into Harry Potter? Edinburgh has been the backdrop for countless other productions, including Trainspotting (1996 & 2017), Fast and Furious (2021), BBC’s Clique (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

Set-Jetting for Fans of Different Genres

Fans of Superhero Movies

Love superhero movies? You’ll want to book a trip to some locations featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like New York, City or Atlanta, Georgia. 

Alternatively, consider visiting places like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, which features the Batmobile, or Warner Bros. Studio in London, featuring their wildly popular tour: The Making of Harry Potter (not technically a superhero franchise—we know—no angry comments, please LOL).

Fans of Horror Films

The Exorcist Stairs Set Jetting

If you’re looking for a vacation big on chills, head to Estes Park at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where The Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King’s iconic creep-fest, The Shining.

Or, visit the infamous final scene of The Exorcist, where the heroic character Father Karras falls down these 75 steps to his death. The so-called “Exorcist Steps” are part of some tours in Georgetown, Washington, DC. 

Fans of Action & Thrillers

If you’re a fan of dinosaurs, you’ll be excited to know that you can visit the filming locations for the iconic movie Jurassic Park in Hawaii. The lush landscapes and breathtaking scenery that served as the backdrop for some of the most memorable scenes in the movie can be explored and admired in person. Hawaii’s natural environment perfectly captures the prehistoric era that the movie seeks to bring to life. Many visitors to Hawaii make it a point to visit these locations and experience the magic of Jurassic Park for themselves.

Michael Bay fans rejoice! If you’re planning a visit to Hawaii, you won’t want to miss the chance to see where part of his epic romance movie Pearl Harbor was filmed. The film garnered great success for its accurate portrayal of the infamous World War II attack on Pearl Harbor, and starred an impressive cast featuring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, and more. While the movie was shot in various locations across the world, Hawaii was among them, with popular film sites including Kualoa Ranch, Ford Island, and Pearl Harbor itself.

Fans of Rom-Coms

Ever wanted to visit the charming neighborhood of Julia Robert’s best rom-com?

Take a trip to London to visit the streets of Notting Hill, from the film of the same name. Fans can also visit Love Locks Bridge in Paris, from the film Now You See Me.

Fans of Historical Dramas

Historical drama aficionados can visit spectacular locations such as the Palace of Versailles in France, seen in dozens of films since motion pictures were invented, such as The King’s Daughter (2022) or Audrey Hepburn’s 1957 classic Funny Face.

Or stroll the grounds where the cast of Downton Abby strolled at the stunning Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England.

Set-Jetting: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between set-jetting and traditional tourism?

Traditional tourism typically focuses on visiting famous landmarks and attractions. Set-jetting involves the additional benefit of visiting the actual locations where films and T.V. shows were shot, like California and New York.

Is set-jetting only for hardcore fans of certain movies and T.V. shows?

Not at all! Set-jetting can be enjoyed by anyone who’s interested in exploring new destinations and uniquely experiencing the world of entertainment.

Are there any downsides to set-jetting?

Like any form of tourism, set-jetting can have an impact on local communities and the environment. It’s important to be mindful of these issues and strive to be a responsible traveler as you enjoy the wonderful locations of your favorite programs.

How can I practice eco-tourism while set-jetting? 

To adopt positive eco-tourism practices while set-jetting to your favorite film locations: 
✦ Research the environmental and cultural impact of tourism in these areas. 
✦ Choose sustainable accommodations and transportation options, such as eco-friendly hotels, public transit or ride-shares. 
✦ Support local businesses and buy from artisans rather than purchasing mass-produced souvenirs. 
✦ Engage in environmentally responsible activities like guided hikes or wildlife watching.
✦ Always respect local customs and regulations. 
✦Avoid contributing to overcrowding by visiting during off-peak seasons.

Set-Jetting: Get Ready To Travel

Set-jetting is a travel trend that’s here to stay, offering a unique and exciting way to explore the world of film and television. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of a certain movie or T.V. show or just looking for a new way to experience your favorite destinations, set-jetting can be a fun and rewarding adventure. 

By planning carefully, being mindful of local communities, and striving to be a responsible traveler, you can make the most of your set-jetting experience and create memories that last a lifetime.

[Image credit: Dave Catchpole, Billy Wilson, Rachelle Lucas, Gill GriffinBenedikte Vanderweeën, Will Siang]

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