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Saturday, December 4, 2010

You’re Just Like a Movie Star…Sort of. 12.4.10

Do you ever watch a movie or TV show and say “Hey! That looks familiar!” or see a place that looks so amazing that you want to go there? I think we all must do this. If you’re lucky, you might be somewhere when things are being filmed. If you’re luckier than me, you’ll actually stop and see something happening with the actual film star. I have been privileged enough to be in London during the filming of a Bourne movie with Matt Damon, but my husband and I were on our way to the aquarium and didn’t stop. Had we done so, we may have seen the actor running through Waterloo Station, instead of kicking ourselves months later when we saw Bourne Ultimatum and realized he was right where we were standing.
London has been the setting for many movies. One of the most popular film locations is Portabello Road Market. With hundreds of stalls, you can find almost anything you want there, from produce to antiques, and the memory of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the movie Notting Hill.
  • Let Travelocity take you to London with their advance purchase packages, including airfare and hotel, starting at just $908 per person. If you’d rather you’re your own airfare, just make hotel reservations.
  • You can find amazing airfare prices to Europe with Lufthansa, including London, from just $211 each way. Book by December 8 and complete your travel by April 30, 2011 

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My family and I took a trip to Las Vegas in 2000 and saw a film crew at the old Desert Inn on The Strip. When we asked what was going on, they said they were setting up for an action scene in Rush Hour 2, where the Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker jump out of a window and slide down a wire with Chinese lanterns on it. Unfortunately, we stood watching for quite a long time and nothing happened, so we wandered off to do some gambling. The next year we saw the actual scene when the movie came out. Take yourself on a tour of Vegas hot spots where movies like What Happens in VegasThe Hangover, Oceans Eleven, Casino and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and TV shows including Las Vegas and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation were shot.
  • Right now you can’t throw a rock without hitting a deal for Las Vegas, so it’s definitely the time to book a trip. Get amazing package deals from BookIt for all the major hotels.Aand if you need a rental car for your trip there, check out Hotwire’s Hot Rates that start at just $9.95 per day.
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It seems like every other movie you see is filmed in New York, from When Harry Met Sally to Sex and the City and Date Night. Do you have an inner “big city” personality itching to get out? Well, you can do it up Big Apple style with 40% off of Amsterdam Court near Times Square. You’ll be right down the street from Rockefeller Center, too. Rates start at just $125 per night for stays in January and February and you’ll be right in the heart of the city, which easy access to the Subway or a short walk to NYC iconic sites like Radio City Music Hall. You can even enjoy a complimentary espresso in the hotel lounge to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Book by December 8 for this amazing deal.
  • After you’ve played Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston on Friends) at Barneys, drag your carrier bags to nearby Mon Petit Café and enjoy a French dinner for two for just $49, including a glass of wine for you and your dinner partner. Rated 4-stars by diners on Yelp, Mon Petit Café has been serving delicious food on the Upper East Side for over 25 years. Choose any two entrees and any two appetizers or desserts, 2 glasses of house wine and coffee or tea for this deal. Normally, it would cost you around $100, but if you purchase this deal by December 9, you get up to half off! Certificate is valid for a year from purchase.

I’m not a big Woody Allen fan (please don’t stone me to death), but I did enjoy his latest film with Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. Vicky Christina Barcelona definitely had an interesting story, but even more so it had a beautiful backdrop for a setting in Spain. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery, people and food by going on a 6-night trip to Barcelona, including RT airfare, accommodations and daily continental breakfast from $849 per person. Make your own itinerary where you can visit the beaches, admire the architecture and find amazing restaurants. Add the Barcelona Card and/or the Gothic Quarter Walking Tour for an added cost to your package.

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The Northwest is getting some love from films and TV as well. We’ve had films like Sleepless in SeattleMr. Holland’s Opus,Burn After ReadingThe Ring and Swordfish and shows including Leverage (I can drive downtown and see them setting up for shots) and Portlandia. Why not come check out what else Portland, Seattle and everything in between has to offer with Hyatt Place Holiday offer and stay for as little as $79/night. Spend 2 nights and get the 3rd at 50% off! You must stay by January 17 and stay on consecutive nights. Plus, with their Best Rate Guarantee, you’ll never have to look elsewhere to see if the price is cheaper. If you DO find a cheaper rate on another site for the same room on the same travel date(s), call Hyatt and they will beat that lower price by 20%.

Want to find more places you can go that you saw in movies? Check out these cool books that give you location information for movies. Get all three for less than $40. Excellent gift for yourself, the traveler or movie buff on your holiday list. Get free super saver shipping with your purchase of $25 or more or upgrade to quicker shipping for not much more if you are still searching for a Hanukkah gift.


Don’t forget to take pictures to capture your movie memories after you’ve gone back home. You can make an entire “movie” scrapbook of all the places you’ve been and pull it out to show others when you watch movies! Or maybe NOT be a nerd, but still, in order to get those priceless memories, you’ll need a good camera. I recommend the Fuji Finepix that is good for everything! It's waterproof (not just resistant) and has 12MP with 5x optical zoom. It has a built-in instruction manual. When you scroll through the menu, each option gives you a description right on the screen. No more guessing which setting to use.


Here's another great gift idea, for yourself or another traveler on your list: Pack-It gift sets from Eagle Creek and TravelSmith. Pack like a pro with little effort. Both sets under $30. There's still time to get your gifts for Hanukkah if you upgrade to express shipping...and don't forget to use Ebates for cashback!

Don't forget to check the Ebates blog tomorrow for a special Shereen Travels Cheap post. And you can also view other articles I've done on these great websites below.

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