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February 24, 2024

Armchair travel: Movies, TV shows and podcasts that will take you places

Ruhi Gilder
When that urge to travel really hits, there’s no better solution that sitting in front of the TV popping chocolates while you watch Raj and Simran romance in Switzerland. Snow-capped mountains, opulent hotel rooms and sky-blue beaches, you can have it all with just a click of a button. Those who are social distancing from their passports, this list is for you.  


Sex and the City 2
Four best friends travel to Abu Dhabi, roam the city in limos stay in suites with personal butlers. It’s the epitome of luxury. The film was actually filmed in Morocco not Abu Dhabi, and the grand hotel they feature is Sahara Palace Marrakech. Curl up with Carrie anytime and imagine the wonderful fragrances of the souk surround you. 
Photo Courtesy: Sahara Palace Hotel Marrakech / Instagram
Watch on Netflix.
Crazy Rich Asians
It’s wild, it’s opulent, it’s Crazy Rich Asians. The book turned movie is about an ordinary American-born Chinese girl Rachel, and her introduction to the rich-as-sin Nick. Follow their travels through scenic spots in Asia, like the Marina Bay Sands towers, Gardens by the Bay, a futuristic urban park and the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore. Even the islands of Langkawi are superbly shot, showing its clear waters and fancy resorts. 
Marina Bay Sands
Watch on Netflix.
Dil Dhadakne Do
This Bollywood film is everything you want from a luxury cruise. Stylish outfits, a great cast, and fantastic locations, all in a 2 hour 53 minute sneak peek into the life of the fabulously wealthy. Shot in different locations in Turkey including Hagia Sofia, Galata Towers, gorgeous Ruins of Ephesus and a traditional Turkish Hamam, this one goes high up in the list of entertaining Bollywood travel movies.  
Ruins of Ephesus
Watch on Netflix.
Murder on the Orient Express 
A 2017 film based in a different era, this mystery is an adaptation of the 1934 Agatha Christie novel of the same name. Locations include London, Malta, Valle d’Aosta (between France and Switzerland), the Alps and New Zealand. The Orient Express train service in the 1930s is the crux of the story and was known for being synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. With a plot full of twists and turns, this one is sure to intrigue you and want you to board the next train.   
Photo Courtesy: Murder on the Orient Express / Instagram
Watch on Disney + Hotstar.
Murder Mystery
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler star in this comedy thriller replete with exotic locations in Europe. When a glamorous evening on a yacht goes awry, a billionaire is killed, and thus begins a journey featuring expensive houses and picturesque squares. The film is principally shot in Montreal and in Milan and Lake Como in Italy.   
Photo Courtesy: Villa Erba / Instagram
Watch on Netflix.

TV Shows 

Emily in Paris


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This popular Netflix 2020 show released at a time when people’s cabin fever had reached an all-time high. The show’s protagonist is living the life, couture style. With an enviable Chanel-filled closet, Louboutins clacking with every step, Emily roams around Paris attending glamorous events for her marketing job. This TV series prompts an image of croissants in a café accompanied by a bottle of French wine, overlooking the Seine.  
Watch on Netflix.
Downtown Abbey
Set in the early 20th century, Downtown Abbey’s episodes about the England elite will make you crave a cup of steaming hot tea with a side of crumpets. Following an aristocratic family living in the post-Edwardian era, the sprawling Highclere Castle in Hampshire acts as the seat of the household. The film is shot in countryside England, in Oxfordshire and Yorkshire. It’s the setting you have imagined for many a historical romance.  
Highclere Castle
Watch on Prime Video. 
Game of Thrones
This fantasy magnum opus takes you on a journey across different terrains. Start with the historical King’s Landing, which is Dubrovnik, a city in Croatia. While some of the show is shot on a huge set in Belfast. GOT takes you across Europe to Spain, Northern Ireland, Malta and even Iceland, where kings and queens fight for control. Plus, the eight-season show is wonderfully addictive, so get ready to become a couch potato.   
King’s Road, Ireland
Watch on Disney + Hotstar. 
The popular TV show Outlander, now in its fifth season, is based on a series of historical novels written by Diana Gabaldon. Shot mainly in Scotland, this show transports you back to 1743. Picture perfect brooks, medieval castles, lush gardens, grand libraries and old cities add to the wonder of this period drama.  
Watch on Netflix.
Gossip Girl
Hello New York City! The elite Upper East Siders in this 2007 TV Show are the embodiment of wealth. Solely focused on the island of Manhattan, interspersed with holidays in Paris, LA and, of course, the Hamptons. Teenagers who travel by private jet, go to private school, and thrive on drama, Gossip Girl is luxury lifestyle at its most opulent. 

Buy on Amazon.


Citizen Femme
Exploring the world from the point of view of luxury female traveller, Citizen Femme provides a unique perspective. Founder, Sheena Bhattessa consults with brands on luxury travel and has established a community of women in over 30 destinations worldwide. Discussions revolve around wellness retreats, sustainability, travel trends with women who understand.   
Listen now. 
Luxury Travel Insider
Sarah Groen, the host of the podcast, which is about luxury travel, interviews the management of ancestral castles, Maldivian islands, and extravagant boutique hotels. A traveller who has been to all 7 continents and 100 countries, Sarah sure makes you book that first flight out. 
Listen now. 
The Luxury Travel Marketer
An in-depth understanding of the luxury travel market presents itself in this podcast by Jadewolf. A digital marketing company with 10+ years of experience, listen to insider tips and how-tos that a consummate luxe traveller must know. Bonus is that it also doubles as a guide for trends and updates.  
Listen now. 
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Ruhi Gilder


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