Got piles of spare cash and looking to quench some seriously exclusive wanderlust? Then worry not because there are plenty of divine destinations throughout the world where you won’t have to rub shoulders with raucous and unruly budget travelers.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Those after a ritzy tropical island escape need look no further than Bora Bora, a picturesque French Polynesian island considered by many to be the finest in the South Pacific. Here, all-inclusive US$1000-a-night overwater bungalows are pretty much the norm.
Let’s face it: one-week cruises are the plaything of the proletariat. Those with real money would surely prefer to circumnavigate the entire globe on an epic journey lasting three months or more. With a typical voyage taking in dozens of port calls across six continents, an RTW cruise is the only way to travel the world in style.
The Russian Space Agency has already taken a handful of billionaire tourists to explore the final frontier, while American company SpaceX is planning to be the first private venture to offer trips around the moon in 2018. Although SpaceX is remaining quiet about exactly how much their interstellar journey will cost, some estimates are as high as US$175 million. It’s just as well since money is no object.
Only accessible on a multi-day cruise from Ushuaia in southern Argentina, a trip to the world’s most isolated continent will typically add up to US$10,000 or more. For this reason, those who do make it to this incredible winter wonderland will be surrounded by little more than penguins, icebergs, and fellow millionaire tourists.
A small fishing village just a few decades ago, Dubai has undergone a miraculous transformation to become the international epitome of wealth and affluence. Stay in the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab for a truly opulent seven-star hotel experience.
We’ve all heard of the ancient sites of Rome and the picturesque canals of Venice, but Tuscany in central Italy is where the millionaires go to holiday. With extravagant country manors to rent and endless rolling hills to explore (preferably in a Ferrari), Tuscany is a decidedly upmarket destination best enjoyed with huge sums of excess cash.
Leading the way in the upmarket safari industry is South Africa, home to a myriad of elegant lodgings that cater to the world’s economic elite. The best of the lot may well be Richard Branson’s very own Ulusaba, which charges a cool US$6,000 per night for what one would hope to be a truly unforgettable wildlife-spotting experience.
There are plenty of stock standard resorts in Fiji offering shabby accommodation to the economically challenged. And then there’s Laucala, a private island owned by Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, which has become a lavish playground for the rich and famous. A favorite of many celebs is their in-house submarine, which allows guests to explore under the sea without the hassle of having to learn how to SCUBA dive.
Nepal might be an extremely cheap travel destination for the Average Joe, but those looking scale the world’s highest mountain could fork out up to $100,000 for the most expensive package. They’d need to be pretty fit too, obviously.
Overwater bungalows are synonymous with the Maldives, the best of which are on the Cocoa Islands, where opulent rooms lie just meters away from the aquatic life below. But get in quick: if climate change predictions are correct, these tropical digs might be fully submerged in the not-too-distant future.
For a unique and decidedly upmarket perspective of the old continent, hop on a river cruise down the Rhine or the Danube. With packages stretching into the tens of thousands of dollars, river cruising is a luxurious alternative to traveling Europe, which feels a world away from those stuffy bus tours.
Built as a summer escape for royalty in the 18th century, Udaipur’s famous Lake Palace was converted into a fancy hotel back in the ’60s. This elegant floating palace, which covers every square inch of an island just a short boat ride from the city center, is the epitome of regal decadence.
Las Vegas is pretty lame if you’re broke. But for the wealthy and reckless, this “Disneyland for adults” is chock-full of fancy hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, glamorous clubs and non-stop 24-hour gambling. Just remember the old saying, “What happens in Vegas…”
Sailing around the Mediterranean is a favorite pastime of Europe’s financial elite who dine on lobster for breakfast while exploring the region’s crystal clear waters. Don’t have your own super yacht? No worries, just rent one for a mere US$646,000 per week.
The southern coast of France is extravagant, to say the least. Well-to-do socialites descend on the region during the warmer months in droves, seeking sun and fun as part of their endless luxurious lifestyle. While you can visit the Côte d’Azur on a modest budget, a few extra million in spending money certainly wouldn’t go astray.
Ever tried booking a hotel in New York? Then you’ll understand why it’s on this list. Thankfully, the Big Apple’s energetic vibe and countless attractions make such outrageous hotel prices seem almost worth it in the end. Almost.
Okay, we might be jumping the gun a little here. But give it a few more decades and Mars may well be the solar system’s hottest travel destination. Of course, a trip to our red neighbor is going to be pretty expensive, so best start saving ASAP.