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Set-Jetting: How to See the World Through Popular On-Screen Locations

Set-Jetting: How to See the World Through Popular On-Screen Locations

Have you ever wished you could step into the scenes of your favorite films? Set-jetting is a growing travel trend that takes you on a journey to real-life locations around the world that have been featured in popular movies and television. 

What’s more, set-jetting doesn’t require anything beyond what an American tourist would normally need to travel internationally. With a passport and a plane ticket (and possibly a travel visa), you can step through the big screen and retrace the cinematic footsteps of your favorite characters.

What is Set-Jetting?

Set-jetting is a travel trend that involves visiting real-world locations featured in movies or television shows. Set-jetting has become increasingly popular as more people are looking for unique and interesting travel experiences.

Set-jetting can be a fun way to connect with your favorite movies and TV shows. It can also be a great way to see the world and learn about different cultures.

How to Get Started as an International Set-Jetter

There are many different ways to find out where to set-jet:

  • Find lists of filming locations online. There are plenty of websites that list filming locations for movies and TV shows. You can also find information about filming locations on the websites of production companies.
  • Contact the production companies of your favorite movies or TV shows. Production companies are happy to share information about filming locations with fans. You can usually find contact information for production companies on their websites.
  • Follow production companies on social media. Production companies often use social media to share information about filming locations. Add them to your feed to stay up-to-date on the latest news about filming locations.
  • Book a set-jetting tour. Many travel companies offer specialized tours for film and TV buffs. These tours take you to the filming locations of some of the most popular movies and TV shows.
  • Watch behind-the-scenes footage. Most movies and TV shows release behind-the-scenes footage that shows the filming locations. This is an excellent way to see the places where your favorite movies and TV shows were made.
  • Read interviews with cast and crew. Cast and crew members usually talk about the filming locations in interviews. This is a great way to learn more about the places where your favorite movies and TV shows were filmed.

Once you have found a location you want to visit, you can book a flight and accommodations. Many sites now offer AI-assisted travel planning tools that can help you get started planning your perfect set-jetting itinerary.

Pro Traveler Tip: Be Sure to Check Travel Document Requirements

When traveling abroad as a setjetter, you will need a valid U.S. passport. If you don’t have one, check out our guide to obtaining a new passport. If you have a passport, you need to be sure it isn’t expired and that it also has enough validity remaining for your trip abroad. Many countries require you to have at least 3 months or 6 months of remaining validity beyond the date you plan to leave their country.

In addition to a passport, you may also need to apply for a tourist visa. Whether you need one or not will depend on the country you are visiting and the planned duration of your stay.

Use the tool below to determine if your dream set-jetting vacation requires a visa.

5 Amazing International Set-Jetting Destinations

Still not sure where to start? Here are 5 worthwhile international set-jetting locations that let you live out your film fantasies, plus the travel document requirements for each:

1. New Zealand

This stunning country was the backdrop for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Wander through the picturesque landscapes of Hobbiton, where the Shire comes to life.

You can also visit the filming locations of other famous movies, such as The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong.

  • Passport Requirements: To visit New Zealand, U.S. citizens will need a valid passport. It must be valid for at least 3 months after the date of your intended return to the United States.
  • Visa Requirements: If you plan to visit New Zealand for a short period, you need to request a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel.

2. Croatia

The ancient city of Dubrovnik took center stage in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Visit this impressive historical destination and walk the same streets as your favorite characters from Westeros. You can also explore the city’s many other popular tourist attractions, such as the Walls of Dubrovnik, the Stradun, and the Rector’s Palace.

  • Passport Requirements: To visit Croatia, U.S. citizens will need a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of your planned departure from Croatia.
  • Visa Requirements: A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders for temporary tourist and business trips up to 90 days.

3. Thailand

The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, showcases the natural beauty of Maya Bay in Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands. Experience this pristine tropical paradise for yourself! You can also visit other beautiful islands in Thailand, such as Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi Leh, and Koh Lanta.

  • Passport Requirements: To visit Thailand, American citizens will need a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of departure from Thailand.
  • Visa Requirements: U.S. citizens carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. However, you may need a visa, depending on the length of your stay.

4. Morocco

Films like Gladiator and Casablanca have immortalized Morocco for generations of movie enthusiasts. Discover the enchantment of its cities, markets, and desert landscapes. You can visit the medina (old city) of Fez, the souks (markets) of Marrakech, and the Sahara Desert.

  • Passport Requirements: To visit Morocco, U.S. citizens will need a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of departure from Morocco. 
  • Visa Requirements: Americans only need a visa if they are staying in Morocco for 90 days or more.

5. India

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel highlighted the charm of Rajasthan’s cities and palaces, while Slumdog Millionaire captured the vibrant spirit of Mumbai. You can visit the forts and palaces of Rajasthan, such as the Amber Fort, the Hawa Mahal, and the City Palace. You can also explore attractions in Mumbai like Chandni Chowk and Colaba Causeway.

  • Travel Document Requirements: To visit India, U.S. citizens will need a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of departure from India.
  • Visa Requirements: All Americans entering India must also have a valid visa from an Indian Mission/Post or eVisa from India’s Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Helpful Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Set-Jetting Trip Abroad

Just like with any international trip, there are several factors to consider beyond finding a destination and booking the trip. Based on our over 20 years of helping Americans with successful international travel, here is some of our best advice for set-jetters:

  • Check the calendar The time of year you travel can affect the weather and activities available at your destination.
  • Get your travel documents early Ask anyone who has tried to get a U.S. Passport recently—it can take a while! If you know you are traveling abroad, we always recommend starting the process of getting your passport and visa in order as far in advance as possible. If time is short, and the current passport wait times are cutting it too close for your travel plans, contact a passport expediting service or try to schedule an appointment at a regional passport agency to get your passport as quickly as possible.
  • Learn the local customs It’s important to be aware of the local customs and etiquette when traveling abroad. Take time to read up on what is expected in terms of dress, behavior, tipping, and general behavior before you depart.
  • Pack appropriately A lot depends on the weather. Be sure to consider your destination, the season, and the activities you plan to do when filling your suitcase!
  • Set realistic expectations – Just because a destination looks one way on film, doesn’t mean it will look the same when you get there. Seasons change. Set pieces are almost always removed once the filming of a movie or TV show ends. Your favorite characters won’t be strolling the streets. Period-specific accents may no longer be part of the local scenery.
  • Do your research Popular set-jetting locations may have signage or other indications of a filming location, but many will not. You may have to do some research to find the exact spots you are most interested in visiting.
  • Respect the locals – The people you encounter on your trip may embrace their cinematic fame, but many may be oblivious to it or otherwise unwilling to serve as tour guides for set-jetting tourists. The more information you can find on your own, the more likely you will have a successful and enjoyable visit to the sites on your must-see list.
  • Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. A lot can go wrong between when you book your trip and when you arrive safely back home. There are travel insurance options to cover just about everything, from last-minute cancellations to medical emergencies to international crises.

With the right planning, international setjetters and film enthusiasts can ensure a fun and memorable experience abroad. 

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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