Travel has become the new currency of status. No longer are Jimmy Choo shoes or a shiny Rolex enough to turn heads among the elite. Today it’s about where you’ve been and what you’ve experienced, whether it’s swimming with whale sharks in the Maldives or conquering Everest.
When you’re ultra wealthy, the world really is your oyster; travel becomes a whole lot less stressful and there is no end to how luxurious your holidays can be.
Whether you’ve just won the lottery, scored a massive inheritance, or earned your fortune through years of hard work and dedication, chances are you’re looking to tap into your bank accounts to enjoy some world travel.
From world-class ski resorts to private beaches, there are countless luxury destinations that cater to the elite, and the rich aren’t booking an economy plane ticket to get there.
From sailing the seas on a superyacht to solely dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, the wealthy know how to splurge on travel. Here are seven ways you can enjoy a luxury vacation like the rich and famous.
Ways to Enjoy a Deluxue Vacation, like the Rich & Famous
Whether they’re flying to Monaco, Lake Como, St. Tropez, or Bora Bora, the wealthy aren’t going online to browse cheap flight search engines for the best deals. But no longer is flying First-Class enough for the super-rich!
If you want to travel like a millionaire, then it’s all about the private jet.
When you’re rich, it’s less about collecting souvenirs when you travel and instead dishing out cash on intangible things like privacy and escaping the often massive crowds of airports. Chartering a private jet equates to ditching the long airport lines and breezing through customs.
You could of course buy your own jet if you have several million sitting around and around a half million a year to pay for fuel costs, pilots, and landing fees, or you can opt for one of the many other cheaper options of flying in a private jet.
Cheaper Options for Private Jets
You can now connect with private jet charter operators straight from your smartphone and book surprisingly affordable private flights in just minutes.
Some companies operate on a pay-per-flight basis with no membership or commission fees while others make you become a member with high signup fees and ongoing annual dues.
Fly-share companies allow you to book a seat on a private jet where you may only have to share the space with a few others which is still better than sharing a 747 with hundreds of passengers. Then there is also fractional ownership where you purchase a portion of a private jet determined by flying hours, much like a timeshare property.
While private jets exude comfort and luxury, one area to research when it comes to flying private jets is what the onboard bathroom situation is.
While some larger private jets may have a decent bathroom, smaller turboprop planes may be void of one or simply have an emergency chemical toilet with little to no privacy. By hey, if you’re the only one on the plane, who really gives a s*%t where and how you go to the bathroom in the air!!
High Rolling at World Class Casinos
For the wealthy, gambling at casinos is less about actually winning money and more about showcasing or flaunting your wealth in front of other high rollers.
Of course rich people don’t exactly enjoy losing money and therefore are well aware of what games offer the best odds or the lowest house edge. You won’t find them on the dollar slots, rather they’ll be at the table games playing baccarat, black jack, and roulette.
Roulette has long been a traditional game of choice for the wealthy and continues to be the most popular casino game in places like Monaco’s Monte Carlo. Roulette offers great odds and there’s quite literally no skill involved.
The odds of roulette are easy to learn in terms of what bets will give you the greatest chance of continuous wins, with the French Roulette version offering up the lowest house edge.
Casinos almost always give cashed-up high rollers the VIP treatment as well. This may include giving them access to private jets and exclusive hotel suites. It may also mean getting picked up from the airport in a limo.
Additional benefits of being rich in a casino may include being given a personal account manager, ability to access higher table limits, free tournament entries, and extended credit.
Safety and Service
While rich travelers may like to take risks at the casinos, they don’t like gambling with their health and safety while traveling. This often means traveling with bodyguards or private security personnel and possibly even their very own doctor.
If you’re a very important person, important enough to be a target let’s say, that may mean getting a police escort to your hotel or riding in an armored vehicle.
Hotel rooms are chosen very carefully from a security standpoint and rooms may even be thoroughly sweeped for bugs and hidden cameras. After all, you don’t want any sex tapes being leaked online!
If you’re wealthy and staying at a hotel, you’re likely choosing a hotel that offers a very strict confidentiality agreement, with employees that are highly vetted. Better yet is booking a private villa which has a security guard posted at the entrance and a personal chef to cook to your every dietary requirement.
Other services that wealthy travelers utilize are shipping their luggage, as why lug it around yourself, and having a nanny travel with you if you have small kids. You’ll also want to check if the hotel you’ve booked offers a private entrance and check-in to avoid getting noticed by the public.
Of course yachts are the epitome of luxury and more and more rich travelers are utilizing them as a way to safely travel with their families and escape the paparazzi. Boarding a yacht in style can be done by either purchasing or renting one.
Tens of billions of dollars are spent by the wealthy on yachts every year, with last year proving to be one of the most popular years for yacht sales and rentals due to the rich and famous wanting to enjoy socially distanced travel away from the masses.
Shelling out big bucks on a yacht, or better yet a superyacht, can come with some pretty nice perks which may include onboard swimming pools, fireplaces, private submarines for exploring the reefs and underwater wildlife, sports courts, gyms, and possibly even a helicopter pad for making your way to shore excursions.
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, you name it, pretty much every billionaire has a yacht. However, as rich as you may be, you may fail to secure a yacht as impressive as the wealthiest in the world, who don’t settle for a simple yacht, rather splurge for a superyacht or gigayacht.
And as for where you take your yacht, more and more wealthy travelers are sailing their yachts to more exotic destinations like Borneo, New Guinea, and Antarctica as opposed to the usual rich and famous hideouts like the French Riviera or Caribbean.
Privacy and Exclusivity
I’ve already touched on the importance of privacy to rich travelers who opt for private jets and private villas, but the privacy doesn’t stop at transport and accommodation. If you’re super wealthy, that often means being able to book out attractions so you can enjoy them all to yourself instead having to mingle with the general public.
Being wealthy having the right contacts means you can score exclusive or hard-to-obtain tickets to major events like the Grand Prix in Monaco or Cannes Film Festival. And you’ll likely be given the most prime seats.
If you’re a golfer, as many wealthy men seem to be, you’ll be teeing it up at private clubs like Augusta National, Shinnecock Hills, or Golf de Morfontaine in France. If heading to an overseas concert, being wealthy means gaining access to backstage where you can shake hands with the world’s top musicians.
Even Disney, the happiest place on earth for the average folk, becomes a whole lot happier and more enjoyable when you’re rich. Having a large bank account means you can avoid the usual Disney crowds and skip the long lines by boarding rides discreetly through secret ride entrances.
You’ll also likely be escorted by special Disney tour guides, gain unlimited FastPasses, and possibly be part of the exclusive and secretive Club 33 members-only dining experience.
No longer is the world enough for wealthy travelers who have seen it all including all the world’s oceans, beaches, and luxury getaways. So where do you go when you’ve seen it all on earth? The answer of course is literally out of this world.
In the next few years, your saved-up cash that’s sitting idle in bank accounts or stocks simply collecting interest and dividends, making you even wealthier, will be able to take you into space.
Both Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic have already opened ticket sales to take wealthy passengers with upwards of a half million to burn up into space.
Virgin Galactic has already performed its first fully crewed flight to the edge of space this year and commercial flights will likely commence in 2022. Even Elon Musk is jumping on the space tourism shuttle with SpaceX.
The Future of Wealthy Travel
While I may mock the rich and the way they travel, the actual fact is that many of the world’s wealthiest people are actually leading the charge for sustainable travel and giving back to the places they visit.
The truth is that wealthy luxury travel isn’t always like what is portrayed in the TV series White Lotus, where it seems to embody cultural appropriation, colonialism, and white privilege.
We have actually seen the rise of philanthropy tourism recently where wealthy travelers are actually traveling to various destinations to offer assistance or bring awareness to issues that need the world’s attention.
This philanthropic travel style is showcased by people like Angelina Jolie or Prince Harry who has teamed up with businesses like Tripadvisor, Skyscanner, and Booking.com to launch the sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst.
Many of the world’s richest travelers actually want to protect the destinations they visit and are attempting to relieve the pressure of overcrowded destinations by promoting lesser-known travel spots that could really use our tourism dollars while allowing mass tourism destinations a chance to heal.
If you’re a wealthy traveler, consider joining one of the many other rich world explorers who are spending a great deal of their holidays volunteering their time and donating their money to important causes.
After all, most travelers whether rich or poor are simply looking for a great story to come with and want to know that they did their part to leave this world a little better off than they found it.