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Vacation, Dear Boy

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"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."
Mark Carwardine, co-writer of Douglas Adams' Last Chance To See

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). More than one director has joked about using location scouting as a justification for taking vacations to exotic places.

Also see Sequel Goes Foreign, Vacation Episode, Awesome, Dear Boy.

Please note cases where actors have openly stated it, and cases that are based on speculation.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • An In-Universe example in MegaMan NT Warrior: During a world tour arc, Miyu and Sal are back at home talking with their boss Masa on the phone, trying to convince him that he could use their help on his current mission... in an expy of Hawaii. While they're talking on the speakerphone, they're also packing beach gear.
  • Aka Akasaka took a two week trip to India to study for chapter 161 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. It's even referred to as the greatest "research" expense in the series' history.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Giant Spider Invasion: A number of the people participating in the film were originally from Wisconsin and used their free time while making the film to visit family still living in the state.
  • Roger Moore only agreed to do Boat Trip so he could get a free cruise vacation.
  • Some James Bond films, unsurprisingly considering many of them take place in exotic locations. Several cast and crew went on to say they loved filming in such locations with the very caring producer Albert R. Broccoli.
    • Martine Beswick (Paula) said she greatly enjoyed being paid to get a nice suntan on the set of Thunderball, which was filmed in the Bahamas.
    • Moonraker: Several of the French models who played Hugo Drax's Master Race girls said they enjoyed being in Brazil in interviews.
  • Ocean's Twelve: Nearly everyone involved has admitted they just wanted to get paid to party at George Clooney's Italian villa. Brad Pitt said he thought it was funny that Catherine Zeta-Jones thought they 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.
  • The Disney Channel movie Jumping Ship. 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 this as most of them take place in foreign countries and one even has an ending gag with the two throwing a dart at a map of the world to see which country their next film would take place in.
  • 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.
  • In behind-the-scenes interviews for The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines, Australian actor Gavin Stenhouse and Chinese actress Jing Lu-si (they played a Roman Prince and a Han Dynasty Princess, respectively) cited this trope as to why they're willing to spend six months making a movie in Malaysia. Gavin even expressed how much he enjoyed the durian fruit during his stay in said country.
  • Michael Caine has admitted to doing this a couple of times:
    • He agreed to do Jaws: The Revenge because they were shooting it in the Caribbean (that and the money, which paid for his house note ). 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 if the reasons he agreed to do Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was that it was set in the French Riviera, not far from where his friend Roger Moore had a villa at the time.
  • 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. Sandler himself would later admit that he was choosing movies based on where he wanted to go on vacation rather than any interest in the script on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
    • Hilariously, he mentioned at one point that he learned this from Paul Thomas Anderson, who typically makes much more high-brow films than Sandler.
  • 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 it was the reason they accepted roles in the trilogy. Despite the difficult conditions of many of the locations (in many cases the crew had to either construct roads or fly in via helicopter) the DVD extras are full of the cast talking about how much fun they had and how much they loved New Zealand.
  • 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. She also agreed to appear in Earthquake so she could spend the summer in Los Angeles.
  • 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 dime.
  • James Earl Jones said he signed on for Allan Quatermain & The Lost City of Gold largely for the opportunity to spend a few weeks on location in Africa (along with Money, Dear Boy).
  • Buster Keaton, although he had visited Canada often, felt that he had not seen enough of it. So when National Film Board of Canada offered him the chance to see a lot of Canada by rail in the short The Railrodder he jumped at the job, which also had the benefit of indulging Buster Keaton in his Rail Enthusiast tendencies.
  • The 2021 Irish film Spears has segments taking place in Florence, London and Berlin. When scripting these portions, the cities were chosen partly based off how fun they'd be to visit. Rebecca Rose Flynn even celebrated her birthday while filming in Berlin, and took advantage of the chance to go out on the town.
  • You now know why Christopher Lee was in Police Academy: Mission To Moscow. In addition to his owing the producer, he also liked the idea of a paid holiday in Moscow.
  • Rian Johnson wrote Glass Onion during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he "wanted to be on a beach vacation more than anything." He would later direct the film on location at a Greek villa. Janelle Monáe already wanted to work with Johnson but the script and plans to film in Greece sealed the deal.
  • David Thewlis accepted The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) because it was a well-paid trip to Australia, working with Marlon Brando.

    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 so they could go on the cruise that was inevitably taken for location shots. It’s widely suspected that this was the whole point of making the show.
  • Similar to The Love Boat, 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—and again, knowing this is probably the reason the network makes it.
  • 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 realized they had the budget to shoot "City of Death" in Paris—and, in fact, it would be cheaper to actually shoot it there rather than do it in a studio—so long as they used a skeleton crew and rejiggered 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.
    • When he took over as producer, Nathan-Turner tried to include overseas filming in at least one serial per season: "Arc of Infinity" was partially set in Amsterdam, "Planet of Fire" was a crew holiday in Lanzarote (as itself and an alien planet), and "The Two Doctors" had to switch from New Orleans to Seville when funding for the former fell through.
      • Problems with overseas shooting in Sevillenote  for the last of these meant that overseas filming was subsequently abandoned, and Doctor Who would not shoot outside the UK again for the remainder of the Classic era.
      • Nathan-Turner and his partner did later take a vacation in Singapore on the pretext of reconnoitering for an unmade story for the scrubbed original Season 23 (the one with the working title "Yellow Fever and How to Cure It" by Robert Holmes). Whether any of that story would have actually been taped overseas was never resolved, as the program was put on hiatus and the Season 23 eventually broadcast was restructured around the "Trial of a Time Lord" concept.
      • Another story for the original season 23, "The Nightmare Fair", was to have been set and recorded on location in the seaside resort of Blackpool, with the rides and attractions there worked into the story. (When it became clear that that Season 23 would not be made, the end of the previous story, where the Doctor told Peri he was taking her to Blackpool, was notoriously edited with great clumsiness to have him say "I'll take you to B—".)
    • 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.
  • Natalie Schafer, who played Lovey Howell on Gilligan's Island, didn't think the show would take off, but the pilot 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.
  • Teletubbies only had one American appear on the show during its original run, a boy named Brennan Pilcher who appeared in the Tummy Tales segment in "Brennan's Moonwalk". He stated in his upload of the segment that he was enrolling at TASIS (The American School in Switzerland—presumably the UK branch) where the crew just so happened to be filming.

  • 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.
  • Paul McCartney intended this when he decided to record the Wings album Band on the Run at a studio in Lagos, Nigeria. This backfired spectacularly: upon their arrival, they discovered the studio was decrepit, with some pieces of equipment not functional. If that wasn't enough, one night Paul and wife Linda got robbed at knifepoint of all their valuables—including some songbooks and demo tapes—and Paul fainted during one recording session due to heatstroke. All of this took place amid general nationwide political tension in the country.
    • Played more straight four years later when Wings recorded part of London Town on a yacht anchored in the Virgin Islands.
  • The music video for Phil Collins' "Take Me Home" was filmed during the No Jacket Required world tour, where he hobnobs around famous city landmarks around the world - in particular, London, Paris, New York City, Tokyo, Stockholm, Moscow, Sydney, Memphis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Texas, and St. Louis. Collins revisited the concept in 2002 with "Can't Stop Loving You", this time with places 'off the beaten track'.

    Video Games 
  • Kinoko Nasu admitted in an interview that he set the Summer 2018 event of Fate/Grand Order in Hawaii because he was hoping that Aniplex would fund his writing team a vacation to Hawaii ostensibly for research purposes. Ironically, after he went to visit Mauna Kea in the middle of a blizzard on the first day, he got a fever and was not allowed to leave the hotel for health reasons for the entire trip.
  • Idol Manager has this happen in-story and gives the player the opportunity to point it out. One of the possible endings is tied to the recurring female journalist. One of the steps of her storyline is wanting to do a story about the Player Character's group going on a World Tour, but only if it "just happens" to stop at three specific locations she dreams of visiting. One of the possible responses is to have the Player Character point out that the journalist sounds like she's trying to get a free vacation, which she will confirm. Actually going on a World Tour with the right route is necessary to continue that storyline.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.

  • Douglas Adams' Last Chance To See, a radio broadcast and book about endangered wildlife, was set in places he wanted to visit. 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 Hawaii.
  • College basketball has several popular tournaments in the early part of the season (November and December) that take place in locations like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands.
  • Medical conferences and symposiums are notorious for taking place in scenic tropical locations during the winter months.
  • It's a longstanding tradition for business conferences to take place in resorts or otherwise scenic locations.