Travel Lessons From Our Favorite Movies

Jamie Ditaranto, January 26, 2016
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    From Lawrence of Arabia to Lord of the Rings, movies have been inspiring us to travel smart for decades. Between exhilarating stories of adventure and stunning cinematography of faraway lands, movies have the power to ignite our wanderlust and broaden our bucket lists. Not only can films inspire us to travel, they can also teach us valuable lessons we can apply to our own adventures. Here our some of our favorite travel tips we've learned from movies.

    'Lord of The Rings': To find true adventure, you must abandon comforts of home "It's dangerous business going out your front door," Bilbo Baggins famously advises his nephew Frodo before he sets off on his heroic adventure. As much as we try to avoid the headaches of travel, there's no denying that to a certain extent, travel is about discomfort. However, our hardest moments are where we find our best stories and if you decide to venture out of your comfort zone, you'll find the adventure you've been dreaming of.

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    'Before Sunrise': Take chances, talk to strangers Before Sunrise is the story of two strangers who meet on a train and decide to get off together and spend a night roaming around the streets of Vienna. The whole movie is a conversation between Celine, a French woman, and Jessie, an American, getting to know each other and falling in love. They take a chance on each other and it pays off. Traveling is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, but sometimes you have to be the one to work up the courage to start a conversation. You never know what could happen.

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    'Eat, Pray, Love': Travel is a form of healing No story in recent history has inspired as many travelers as Elizabeth Gilbert's quest to find herself after her divorce. As she travels through Italy, India, and Bali in the course of a year, the audience stays with her for every revelation along the way. Eat, Pray, Love is a story about using experiences gained from travel to heal old wounds and find new meaning in life that will help you along on your journey.

    'Raiders of the Lost Ark': Anything that can go wrong, will. Learn to improvise Whether you're planning to steal an ancient artifact from an army of Nazis or just trying to visit as many museums as you can by the end of the day, you can't expect everything to go perfectly. Between delayed flights, bad weather, and straight-up bad luck, travel is full of variables and as hard as you might try, you can't be prepared for all of them. In cases like these, it's time to channel your inner Indiana Jones and start thinking on your feet.

    'Titanic': Invest in travel insurance

    As we learned from Titanic, even "unsinkable" ships can sink. Your dream vacation might be planned out down to the last restaurant reservation, but that doesn't mean much when Mother Nature decides to crash the party. Always be prepared for the worst.

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    'Wild': Traveling alone can be dangerous, but it can also lead to worthwhile self-discovery On her mission to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed suffers throughout and is never truly safe. But despite her overweight pack and blackened toes, she pushes on and braves the elements. She finds support in a friendly community of fellow thru-hikers, but for the most part she is on her own. Her story of solo travel and willpower teaches us that all it takes is a little bit of bravery to go out on your own and accomplish your goals.

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    'The Wizard of Oz': When you're lost, kindness towards others will go a long way Sometimes we get so caught up in taking in the sights and sounds of a new city, we find ourselves suddenly and totally lost. It's easy to feel scared, especially if you don't have Google Maps, but it's important to remember that little girl from Kansas who also once found herself in a strange new place. Dorothy was unafraid to ask for help and directions and she did it in the kindest, sweetest, most Judy Garland way possible, which is probably why she was able to befriend so many locals and find her way back home.

    What movies have inspired you to travel?

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    Read the original story: Travel Lessons From Our Favorite Movies by Jamie Ditaranto, who is a contributor to SmarterTravel.

    (Photo: Moviepix/Getty Images)
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