What Is Set-Jetting And Why Are So Many Travelers Trying It?

Set-jetting is the quintessential experience for movie and television buffs. Whether it's a beach town or a city, travelers get the chance to visit the sites of their favorite shows and films. An increasingly popular pursuit, 39% of travelers have booked vacations to places after viewing them in movies or streamed shows, according to Expedia's 2023 travel trends report. When it comes to set-jetting, there is a myriad of exciting destinations tourists can head to. Simon Hudson, a University of South Carolina tourism professor, told Travel Weekly, "A benefit of the set-jetting phenomenon is that it attracts a wide demographic of tourists [who are] drawn to a range of locations, including heritage buildings, small villages or the countryside."

After binging shows during the COVID-19 pandemic, people were eager to shed their cabin fever and go set-jetting. Lily Szemplinski, owner of Passport Stamps in Connecticut, said, "Ever since Covid, TV shows act as inspiration for things to do. With these amazing shows came people wanting to travel." The activity offers lots of versatility and stimulation. But why else is it such a hit among travelers?

Travelers enjoy immersive experiences in the U.S.

The appeal of set-jetting comes as no surprise. Georgette Blau, CEO and founder of New York's On Location Tours, told Travel Weekly visitors get a kick out of stepping into the worlds of beloved on-screen characters. And New York City is a popular destination for some immersive adventures. One outing gives "Sex and the City" aficionados a peek inside Carrie Bradshaw's life. The actual owners of Bradshaw's West Village brownstone allow tourists to take pictures in front of their apartment.

Fans of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" can explore the series' settings on a unique sightseeing tour. To enhance the experience, a regular background actor guides tourists in the character's wardrobe. Katherine Winter, who plays a flight attendant, told Travel Weekly, "I get to go gallivanting around in pretty clothes from a different time, and you get transported back in time." The tour's stops include Greenwich Village's La Bonbonniere, known as the City Spoon in the 1950s-set series. Winter even re-enacted a moment at Little Italy's Albanese Meats and Poultry (aka the fictional Lutzi's).

Of course, The Big Apple isn't the only spot for set-jetting in the United States. For more adventure, "Stranger Things" lovers can check out the show's skating rink, Skate-O-Mania, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Travelers who watch "Outer Banks" can head to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, to see filming locations such as the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the Morris Island Lighthouse.

Travelers get to see some beautiful global sites

Set-jetting offers travelers the best of both worlds, as one can see remarkable sites while entering the reality of their favorite television shows and movies. An international excursion can fulfill those desires for exploration, as productions are filmed in plenty of breathtaking countries. Italy is a go-to destination for set-jetting. 

The James Bond film "Casino Royale" features the magnificent Lake Como. In the beginning, Bond recovers at Villa del Balbianello in Lenno, which is lauded for its spellbinding views. "Ocean's Twelve" and "Succession" also feature Lake Como. The acclaimed HBO series "The White Lotus" has inspired tourists to spend some time at the San Domenico Palace in Sicily. Season 2 of the show occurred at the pricey, lavish hotel resort.

England is another desirable location for set-jetting. Numerous films have featured The Chatsworth House, a historic manor with a garden and farm animals. The site is known as Mr. Darcy's estate in the 2005 film "Pride & Prejudice." Additionally, Hampton Court Palace is a popular landmark in period shows like "Downton Abbey" and "Bridgerton." The palace where Henry VII lived has glorious gardens and stunning architecture. There is no shortage of striking places for travelers interested in set-jetting.