We put a big map of the world on a wall, Douglas stuck a pin in everywhere he fancied going, I stuck a pin in where all the endangered animals were, and we made a journey out of every place that had two pins.Something's a hit, the production gets either more freedom or more money, and they decide for the next entry to make up an excuse to go to a vacation spot. This is heavily subjective, but if an actor signs onto a production that was already being shot in a vacation spot, that's a different trope (so, Bruce Campbell signing up for Congo doesn't count, even though he admitted he did it just because they needed him for a few days, and the studio would pay for him to tour the rest of the time). Also see Vacation Episode, Awesome, Dear Boy. Please note cases where actors have openly stated it, and cases that are based on speculation.
— Mark Carwardine, co-writer of Douglas Adams' Last Chance To See
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- Ocean's Twelve: Everyone involved has admitted they just wanted to get paid to party at George Clooney's villa. Brad Pitt said he thought it was funny that Catherine Zeta-Jones "thought we were making a movie."
- Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie: Not admitted, but c'mon, they have a bigger budget, and suddenly decide to head on vacation.
- Arguably, the Disney Channel movie Jumping Ship qualifies. What other reason could there be for the sequel to a modern-day western to be about people getting shipwrecked?
- A lot of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's later films are probably this as they are all generic teen films that involve the twins going to a foreign country.
- The Lizzie McGuire Movie took off for Rome. (Disney seems to do this a lot.)
- In the commentary track for Deep Blue Sea, both director Renny Harlin and Samuel L. Jackson admit that the only reason Jackson agreed to be in the movie was that he got to golf between his takes.
- In The Beatles movie Help!, the lads felt like hanging out on the beach and going skiing, so these were written into the script.
- Ray Harryhausen set the film 20 Million Miles to Earth in Rome for this very reason.
- Michael Caine admits he did Jaws: The Revenge because they were shooting it in the Caribbean. As it turns out, Caine couldn't leave the shoot to attend the Oscars, where he won Best Supporting Actor for Hannah and Her Sisters.
- One could speculate that this was a reason to film Jumper.
- What makes this even funnier is an interview with the cast and crew talking on and on about flying all over the world to do scenes that might be a minute long.
- Possibly the reason Peter O'Toole agreed to do Club Paradise.
- Heck, the entire movie for everyone in it, and that includes its star, Robin Williams.
- A large number of Adam Sandler's films, particularly Just Go With It and Jack and Jill are highly suspect to this, given the extravagant locations (Hawaii, a Royal Caribbean cruise) and the fact that the vacations themselves have little to do with the main plot and have flimsy explanations for their relevance. In fact, some such as RedLetterMedia have speculated that the vacations were also a chance for extra advertising revenue.
- The Lord of the Rings was actually filmed in New Zealand because it was the location that the producers thought looked most appropriate for Middle-earth (i.e. not just because people wanted to take a vacation)—and of course, let's not forget that the director was a Kiwi—but many of the cast members have talked about how much fun they had filming there. (Including an invocation of Everything's Better with Penguins.)
- After many years just in his beloved New York City, come the 21st century Woody Allen started to make a lot of movies in Europe. London earned four, and then there's Spain, France, and Italy.
- In a case "vacation" means "working near my summer home", A Good Year was born out of Ridley Scott's desire of a movie set near his house in Provence.
- Inverted for Night of the Lepus, where Janet Leigh took the role because it was near her home and meant less time away from her family.
- The only reason Christopher Plummer took a role in the Italian low-budget B-movie Starcrash? He really, really liked going to Rome. Really.
"Give me Rome any day. I'll do porno in Rome, as long as I can get to Rome. Getting to Rome was the greatest thing that happened in that for me. I think it was only about three days in Rome on that one. It was all shot at once."
- Ava Gardner starred in Mogambo for three reasons - Clark Gable, John Ford and a free trip to Africa.
- Oliver Reed's main motivation for taking the part of Proximo in Gladiator was because he fancied a "free trip to London to see a couple of shows". He ended up getting talked into a drinking contest and then died of a heart attack before shooting was complete.
- Bruce Campbell was out of running for the lead in Congo, but he was instead offered what he called the "the small, dead-in-five-minutes" role of the main character's doomed fiance. He happily took the role anyway because it meant a few days of work on set amid several weeks of awesome tropical vacation on the studio's nickel.
Live Action TV
- Episodes of Columbo were filmed on location in London, in Mexico and on a cruise ship.
- Many of the guest stars did The Love Boat was so they could go on the cruise that was inevitably taken for location shots.
- In one episode of Top Gear, Clarkson is supposed to do a relatively cheap review of the BMW X6. Instead, he ends up flying to the Swiss Alps, Hong Kong, and Australia, ostensibly to test various features. One imagines he did far more than the two minutes of filming that show up in the "review".
- In the early '70s, The Three Stooges filmed a pilot called Kooks' Tour. It was essentially a Travelogue Show, narrated by Moe, and intercut with skits of the Stooges' antics in that episode's setting. It was shelved prematurely due to Larry's declining health.
- By his own admission, Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner started setting stories in exotic locations purely because they had the budget to go there for location shoots. The first example, dating from his days as main production assistant rather than producer, was when he realised they had the budget to shoot "City of Death" in Paris so long as they rejigged the script for a modern-day setting. Douglas Adams did this in the space of a weekend despite his famous Ridiculous Procrastinator personality, knowing that to do so meant he could go to Paris and get apocalyptically drunk. "Planet of Fire" was a crew holiday in Lanzarote, and "The Two Doctors" had to switch from New Orleans to Seville when funding for the former fell through.
- According to various cast and crew members the only reason Anton Diffring accepted his role in "Silver Nemesis" is so he could watch Wimbledon.
- Inverted by Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, where the Rangers went on vacation in Australia because (in Real Life) the production went there to film Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie.
- This is how producers enticed a handful of series alums, including Mighty Morphin's Jason David Frank, to come to New Zealand to film brief cameos in the Power Rangers Super Megaforce finale. The production flew them all first class to Auckland, New Zealand for a few days.
- While it's not been offered as a reason he picked up the phone, Johnny Yong Bosch spent a month in New Zealand on Disney's dime waiting to do ADR for his two-episode appearance in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive.
- Germany's popular cruise ship soap opera "Das Traumschiff" is filmed aboard an actual cruise ship (e.g., from 1999-2015, this was MS Deutschland, but as that ship was aging it was replaced by MS Amadea in 2015). According to Harald Schmidt (who did a nine-episode stint in 2008), cruising the Caribbean while shooting a few hours a day is everyone's main motivation to sign up for the show.
- Natalie Scaheffer, who played Lovey Howell on Gilligan's Island, didn't think the show would take off, but it was filmed on location in Hawaii, so she considered it a working vacation.
- The show Death in Paradise is like this due to its setting. Many actors have made appearances merely because it gives them a chance to visit the Caribbean (series 3 guest star Tristan Gemmill described it as "winning the lottery for actors"). Joe Absolom said that he actually ended up going broke while shooting an episode because he brought along his family to enjoy a tropical getaway. He says he doesn't mind because he had a great time. Though averted by Ben Miller who (despite enjoying working on the show) suffered because his character Richard Poole wore wool suits despite the heat and humidity. He departed the show because he wanted to be with his family but his wife couldn't stand the tropical climate.
- Parodied by The Lonely Island in their song "Japan", clearly written as a list of expensive places and activities they want to do while in the titular country, so if their label wanted to make a video for the song, it would have to send them there.
- Kitty in Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race signed up for the titular race with her sister because she wanted to travel around the world (and take lots of selfies while doing so).
- Peggy in King of the Hill repeatedly tries to wrangle free trips out of the town newspaper editor by coming up with human-interest pieces on various vacation hotspots. She finally succeeds at this when she offers to write a story on Cotton agreeing to go to Japan to apologize to a war widow.
- As seen in the page quote, Douglas Adams' Last Chance To See, a radio broadcast and book about endangered wildlife. At one point Adams describes the Chinese authorities apparently seeing their visit as an official conservation event, with the result that he "tried desperately to think of some way of looking intelligent and not letting on that I was merely a science fiction comedy novelist on holiday."
- There's a car ad where an exec proposes having a car commercial take place in various vacation spots such as Maui. Everyone else on the board quickly realizes that this is what he's trying for.
- The Nostalgia Critic has evoked this trope to take a couple of shots at movies for laughs with no actual care for whether or not it's actually true. He claims that the opening of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie was done merely because the stars wanted to go skydiving on the film's dime and it explains why they couldn't afford better special effects, and remarks that the ending of Dunston Checks In only takes place in Bali because "[he thinks] the crew really wanted to vacation in Bali!" He also referenced this for North, wondering if the director was just simply yelling "cut" and "action" while lying down in a hammock during a part in the film that takes place in Aloha, Hawaii!.