6 Movies That Will Inspire You to Travel - United Hub

6 movies that will inspire you to travel

By Nick Harper

Films transport you to a different time and place as they tell their tales. Sometimes they take you to the last place on earth you'd ever want to be. But sometimes, the backdrop you're watching ends up overshadowing the leading stars. They make you pine to be right there, wherever 'there' may be, soaking up the sun or sucking up the culture.

In celebration of those moments, allow us to present six of the most awe-inspiring movie locations around the globe. Our selections may not necessarily be movies on your watch-list, but all 6 should have you reaching straight for your passport. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed.

Naples, Italy

Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts plays just-divorced Liz Gilbert, who leaves a failed marriage behind and heads off on a journey of rediscovery, jetting off to a number of picturesque locations around the globe that include Bali in Indonesia and Pataudi Palace in India.

Perhaps the most inspirational stop-off of them all, however, saw the 'Pretty Woman' star in Naples, heading to the most important pizzeria on the planet – L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele

Touch down in Naples and head south along the coast to the unmissable tourist hot spots of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and Sorrento. And if you're up for a longer vacation, the Eternal City of Rome and its limitless attractions is within easy reach, a little more than an hour north of Naples. And you'll be able to get great pizza there, too.

Best time to go: Spring and autumn are traditionally the best times to visit Naples and its coast — it's warm but not yet as stiflingly hot as you can expect in July and August. March and October are typically quieter but can still offer some warmth.

Machu Picchu in Peru

The Motorcycle Diaries

For the traveler with a serious sense of adventure, let the 2004 film of Che Guevara's legendary road trip be your inspiration. Set in 1952, eight years before the Cuban Revolution, we join Marxist revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and boyhood amigo Alberto Granado as they travel 5,000 thousand miles into South America — from Argentina to Venezuela, heading up through Chile, Peru and Colombia.

Five-thousand miles is perhaps unrealistic, so it makes sense to cherry pick a few of the landmarks Guevara visited or passed and build your itinerary around them. Highlights are everywhere, from beautifully chaotic Buenos Aires early on, to the funicular railway at Valparaíso in Chile, and the barren but breathtaking Atacama Desert that stretches 621 miles from Chile into Peru.

Best of all, perhaps, is Machu Picchu, the legendary Inca citadel almost 8,000ft above sea level. The ascent and the altitude can be testing, but as the millions of tourists who make the pilgrimage every year will agree, it's worth every last step.

Best time to go: South America's summer is roughly November to February, its winter June to August. Peru and Machu Picchu are a year-round destination but be aware that January to March is its rainy season.

Before Sunrise takes place in Vienna, Austria

Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight

A handsome young Ethan Hawke (Jesse) and an attractive young Julie Delpy (Celine) meet on a train in Europe, and end up spending a single evening together in Vienna, surrounded by the culture of one of Europe's most aesthetic and educational cities.

Alas, they both know it will be their only night together. Until, nine years later, their paths cross again this time in Celine's home city of Paris, another of Europe's most essential destinations.

Eight years after that, in Before Midnight, the pair now have twin daughters and find themselves in rural Greece, still talking, analyzing and watching the sun set on their surroundings.

Richard Linklater's trilogy was rightly acclaimed for its ambition, subject and script, but the true star of each was the location. You couldn't help watch and wonder how much it would cost to head straight off to Vienna/Paris/Southern Peloponnese. If you've never made the journey, now's the time.

Best time to go: This being Europe, the weather is at its most reliable — i.e. hottest — in July and August, but the crowds and prices reflect that. Aim for slightly earlier (April, May) or slightly later (September, October) for cooler conditions and thinner crowds.

Phi Phi Leh Island near Phuket, Thailand

The Beach

Danny Boyle's movie adaptation of the gap-year classic saw a fresh-faced Leonardo DiCaprio running amok on the beaches and back tracks of an undiscovered Thailand — and reminded travelers the world over that 'The Land of Smiles' boasts many of the world's most beautiful beaches.

The location used was Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island, close to Phuket — featuring a beach of pristine white sand and translucent sea, framed for the postcards by vast, impenetrable cliffs. Initially overrun with paradise-seeking tourists inspired by the movie and devastated by the 2004 tsunami, Phi Phi is back on its feet and once again insanely — but understandably — popular. It should be on the bucket list of every traveler seeking sun, sand and warm, clear waters.

However, should the crowds there prove too much, rest assured that in this part of Thailand, you're never more than a short boat ride away from another, more peaceful island and beach on which to unwind.

Best time to go: Phi Phi is a year-round destination but the best weather is from November to March, when humidity is at its lowest. September and October bring the highest chance of monsoon rain.

Barcelona, Spain

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen's red-blooded rom-com saw Rebecca Hall (Vicky) and Scarlett Johansson (Christina) spend the summer at the Catalan hideaway of Vicky's friends, where both fall for the Latin charms of Lothario Juan Antonio, played by Javier Bardem.

But the star of the film is none of the above – the Catalan capital steals the show. A whirlwind tour of the city's most beloved landmarks help progress the plot and should inspire any traveler to pay Barcelona a visit.

Once there, should you somehow exhaust the city's myriad attractions, you could do as the plot does and head further afield, to the likes of Faro de Avilés and the Church of Santa Maria del Naranco at Calle de Enrique de Osso. You won't, of course, because by that point Barcelona will have you firmly under its spell. But you could.

Best time to go: Barcelona is busy year-round, but crowds, prices and temperatures hit a peak in July and August. Late spring and early summer are better options — the city is a touch quieter but still enjoys warm temperatures.

Skopelos, Greece

Mamma Mia!

What plot there is in the film version of the phenomenally successful stage show took second billing to the soundtrack of ABBA — the story is of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father, told using the hit tracks of the Swedish quartet. The real star of the movie though is the sun-drenched backdrop of Skopelos, a picture-postcard island that lent the movie many of its most memorable landmarks.

It was there too that the movie premiered in 2008, and the first sighting of the beautiful Agios Ioannis chapel received a louder cheer than the sight of Pierce Brosnan ripping off his shirt. “The world will see Skopelos now," chirped the mayor afterwards. “We are the Mamma Mia! Island."

The world has indeed seen Skopelos since then, with its beaches, tavernas, whitewashed villages and an altogether slower pace. Your life would be enriched by seeing and experiencing it too, at the earliest opportunity.

Best time to go: Skopelos' summers are hot and dry, its winters mild and wet. July and August are the hottest and busiest months, making the shoulder seasons of May and September a slightly quieter, mercifully cooler and generally better bet.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your getaway.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment, and to provide transparency and choice throughout the travel journey.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 10
    Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
  • 8
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
    • The cabin recirculated air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

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