I recall one from almost every trip I’ve taken. During a weekend in Mexico with my mom when I was 18, I was angsty over missing my boyfriend. We found “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on TV and watched it cuddled up close together from a small, Cozumel hotel.
It may not be a popular option, but there is an underrated joy to be found in this activity. Both my husband and I are film buffs, and early on, cinema was one of our love languages. In 2012, almost a year into our relationship, we took our first overseas trip together. It was the first time I’d ever traveled with a boyfriend — or man that wasn’t my father. Upon our arrival, however, he felt sick and we spent our first night in London inside. We devoured fish and chips from our fancy hotel room as we watched the terrible Dane Cook comedy, “Good Luck Chuck.” When we reflect on that vacation 11 years later, we don’t talk about Buckingham Palace or the London Bridge as much as we do that initial night when we essentially did nothing.
Five years later, we wandered the streets of Paris on our honeymoon and explored tiny corners of the city. Despite each special discovery, I affectionately hold space for a quieter moment. The night we returned to our suite at 3 a.m., warm from celebratory red wine, and turned on the TV for background noise. Instead, we stumbled upon the 1979 German film “The Tin Drum” and became so engrossed in it we stayed up for two more hours entranced in every subtitled word. I couldn’t forget the movie if I tried.
The thought of opting to remain in the confines of a room rental may sound unfathomable — that’s not the point of travel, right? It’s about maximizing every moment while away. But maybe taking a vacation — no matter where — isn’t solely about the exploration of the great outdoors, but about finding luxuries that you wouldn’t typically enjoy in ordinary life.
There’s an underappreciated comfort in indulging in a movie in a bed that isn’t your own, in a fashion that’s not typical, without worrying about the daily responsibilities of normal life. Perhaps on a premium channel, while wearing a hotel robe and basking on a luxurious, white bed with the extra fluffy pillows. It’s a singular experience, different from home and unlike a movie theater — even ones that offer in-dining options. To me, room service and a movie are the perfect duo.
Excursions and adventure guides aren’t the only way to immerse yourself in a new locale. Disappearing into a film can be its own adventure. A short escape in the midst of a bigger escape.
Staying still, surrendering to time, relaxation, and the constant need continually put upon ourselves to stay busy isn’t just a release of pure bliss. It’s also a healthy choice with real benefits, and one I urge everyone to try on their next vacation.
Blake Turck is a freelance writer based in New York City. You can follow her on X at @styleisland.