Feb 9, 2012

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Hollywood holidays

Hollywood holidaysThe BAFTA winners have just been announced and the Oscars are only two weeks away, so why not take holiday inspiration from this year’s contenders in the Best Picture category?

Films are a great way of discovering a new destination and some travellers are even inspired to visit the places they have been transported to on screen.

Here we give a rundown of this year’s nominees, which are set in locations from Hollywood to Paris, and offer tips on how to create an Oscar-inspired holiday.

Hugo and Midnight in Paris: Paris

Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo follows the life of a young orphan (of the same name) who lives in Gare Montparnesse train station and stars Jude Law, Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen. In contrast, Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen in which Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter, dreams about living in Paris and the 1920s literary era.

If, like Gil, you love the romance of Paris and dream of visiting, spring is the perfect time of year to plan a trip as days start to get longer, the weather is mild and the city is in bloom. However, if you are after a bargain, some hotels drop their prices in August as many locals go on holiday and the city is at its quietest. Be warned though, in this month you may find that the restaurant you have planned to visit is closed.

And, Paris is easily reached from the UK with flights taking between one and two hours and Eurostar transporting passengers there in two-and-a-half hours. We found great return Eurostar fares to Paris at the end of March (28-30) for just £69 per person.

The Descendants: Hawaii

Hawaii is the exotic location for The Descendants which stars George Clooney as a Hawaiian lawyer who discovers that his wife has been having an affair after she is injured in a boating accident.

If the backdrop of The Descendants has inspired you to plan a Hawaiian break, take a look at our Hawaii holidays page where you can see what’s on, what the weather is like and learn more about what the different islands have to offer. There are also some great deals on holidays with a seven-night break in March costing as little as £781 per person. If you can squeeze a trip in before the end of April, you’ll even catch the end of the whale watching season.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: New York

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close follows 11-year-old Oskar whose father is killed in the 9/11 attacks. The young boy is convinced that his dad has left a message for him and travels across the five boroughs of New York City looking for the lock that fits a key he has found in his father’s wardrobe.

If the shots of the Big Apple have convinced you that you must go on an activity-packed break to New York this year, take a look at our New York holidays page for ideas on what to do and when to go. Spring and autumn are the best times to plan a trip to avoid any extremes in weather and to explore Central Park in its full beauty with blooming flowers or autumnal leaves. And, a trip to the city that never sleeps doesn’t have to break the bank with offers on seven-night packages from £508 per person.

War Horse: Devon

Set during the First World War, this Steven Spielberg film follows the lives of a horse named Joey and his trainer Albert. Starting in rural Dartmoor where farmer’s son Albert tames the horse, Joey is then sold to the cavalry and taken to France.

Research by TravelSupermarket found that 30 per cent of Brits plan to stay in the UK for their main holiday this year and War Horse’s setting, Devon, is a beautiful destination for a staycation. Once there, you can go on guided walks to locations from the film, visit Devon’s beautiful beaches such as Woolacombe and enjoy sampling Devon cream teas. And, depending on your budget, you can stay anywhere from five-star hotels such as the Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park to a self-catering holiday cottage.

If you are a War Horse devotee, you could also plan a theatre break in London to see the stage production or even take a ferry to some of the Battlefield locations in northern Europe.

The Artist and Moneyball: Los Angeles

The Artist takes viewers back to the glamorous world of 1920s Hollywood where silent film star, George Valentin, is feeling threatened as sound is being introduced to the cinema. He meets Peppy Miller, a young dancer with a blossoming career, and they fall in love. The film managed to sweep the board at the BAFTAs taking home seven awards including the coveted Best Film prize. Moneyball, on the other hand, is set on Long Beach, California in 2001 where baseball manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) and his assistant devise a statistical formula to pick the team.

Los Angeles and especially Hollywood are the ultimate film destinations, and fans of the silver screen will be in holiday heaven people watching the rich and famous and visiting the location of the most glamorous film awards. The Walk of Fame is a great place to start to for avid film fans while Los Angeles’ stunning beaches are excellent places to relax. The summer months are peak season in Los Angeles and, as the mercury rises, so too do prices. So, those on a budget may prefer to visit in spring or autumn when prices for a seven-night break drop to as little as £504 per person. And, if you book your flights and hotel separately, don’t forget to book in advance to find the best deal for you.

Other Oscar-inspired highlights

If you want to venture slightly further off the tourist trail, you could visit the locations of the final two Best Picture nominations – Tree of Life, which is set in Texas or The Help based in Mississippi.

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