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Five dream vacation ideas for TV, film fanatics

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File

(Read caption) A visitor walks by San Felipe de Neri, the oldest church in Albuquerque, built in 1706. The cities and areas many TV shows and films are based in, such as the Albuquerque-based show "Breaking Bad," can be great vacation ideas.

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Having a hard time deciding on your next vacation destination? Try looking through your DVR or Netflix queue! These are some of the five cheapest TV and film fanatic vacation spots.

1. Breaking Bad: Albuquerque, NM

Got a hankering for an action-packed road trip on the cheap? Heisenberg-hat wearing fans of Breaking Bad will want to pack up and drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a few days. Not only are there tons of real-life standing locations where Vince Gilligan and crew shot Breaking Bad, but there are even self-guided and guided tours!

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Key Costs: Your biggest will likely be gasoline for driving to and from your place of origin, and prices vary across the U.S. Accommodations are cheap and plentiful in Albuquerque — try staying in the well-priced Hotel Andaluz. Meals at Los Pollos Hermanos are very cheap!

Recommended:Top 20 cities to save on hotels this summer

2. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Jaipur, India

This smash-hit movie (and sequel) has inspired lots of empty-nesters to visit India. While you may not be flush enough to retire there, you can probably afford a two-week trip to Jaipur, one of the most beautiful cities in India.

Key Costs: The biggest expense will be airfare from your nearest international airport to the Jaipur airport, which could be approximately $1,600. However, once you are in India, one can live quite comfortably for $20 a day, and extremely well for $50 a day. Food and entertainment are cheap enough so you can splurge on plush accommodations.

3. Game of Thrones: Northern Ireland

Addicted to the racy, bloody, and exciting land of Westeros? Much of Game of Thrones is shot in Northern Ireland, where they shoot much of "The North," from The Haunted Forest to Winterfell. Come to Ireland for gorgeous, scenic tours of the misty moors, then stay for nice B&Bs and authentic Irish food and drink. While you're there, soak in some real history by touring Belfast and seeing the birthplace of the Titanic and famous prison Crumlin Road Gaol.

Key Costs: Airfare will the the lion's share of the costs, approximately $1500 per person. This is a great time to visit anywhere in Europe because the euro is not as strong against the dollar: one euro is about $1.12. This means if you stay thrifty, lodging, food, and entertainment will be about as much as they would be in America.

4. The Hangover Part II: Thailand

One of the highest grossing films to have shot in Thailand, The Hangover Part II might inspire those looking for a raucous, indulgent trip. While a Hangover-themed tour is certainly possible, Thailand is also a great destination for nature exploring. Visit beautiful elephant reserves, enjoy the beaches, and hike a rainforest.

Key Costs: Your biggest expense here will also be airfare, as it can run approximately $1,200. Once you arrive, though, it's a bargain. One can live very comfortably for under $40 a day if staying on the mainland where the prices are generally cheaper than the surrounding islands.

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5. James Bond: Mexico City

So many great films were shot in Mexico: from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Y Tu Mama Tambien. The James Bond franchise has shot several of its films in Mexico, including License to KillTomorrow Never DiesQuantum of Solace, and the upcoming Spectre. The new movie highlights the Zocalo in historic and beautiful Mexico City, where the Aztecs once ruled and where one can now find very hip shopping and entertainment. If you travel to the coast, you can even enjoy a James Bond speedboat tour!

Key Costs: Mexico makes for a great, cheap vacation with its beautiful beaches (where many movies shoot instead of the Bahamas!), cheap hotels, and great food. Flights can be upwards of $700, but those living on west coast and southwest regions can manage an easy road trip. One dollar equals about 15 pesos, so your money will go very far.


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