Top 5 Money is No Object Holidays
When choosing a holiday, there are usually two paths a traveller can take. Path one: a destination is chosen and there’s an intense period of living like a Trappist monk (without the fun ‘brewing beer’ part) in order to save up. Path two: the traveller looks at how much money she has and chooses a destination accordingly.
Either way you look at it, for most us, money is the critical factor in where we travel and for how long. Since most of us are not born to excessive privilege, let’s live vicariously, shall we? Here are five extraordinary experiences to embark on when money is no object.
Mount Everest base camp – Photo credit
Climb Mount Everest
Approximate cost: $55,000-$120,000* including training, gear and flights.
For many adventure travellers, making it to the roof of the world is the ultimate trip. Not only do you need to be a pretty tough sort to do this – supremely fit, good with heights and willing to eat freeze dried cardboard for a month – but you have to have a pretty sturdy bank balance too. With the inherent dangers involved of going into the ‘death zone’ and the growing number of shonky operators taking ill-prepared ‘tourist climbers’, the more money you spend on a good guide, the better chance you have of making it back alive.
Orbit the Earth
Approximate cost: $200,000
Star Wars fanatics well understand the appeal of a space adventure. And while Virgin Galactic can’t promise that you’ll discover who your real dad is or that the ‘Princess’ you had a crush on turns out to be your sister, they can take you up into orbit in SpaceShip Two. As well as being one of the first space tourists, passengers will also get to rub shoulders with stars such as Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher and Tom Hanks – all of whom have already signed on.
Retrace Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition
Approximate cost: $30,000
When most rich people go on cruises, it’s usually with a seat at the captain’s table and an unlimited shuffleboard pass. However, if you fancy something a little more epic – and by ‘epic’, I mean ‘not as luxurious, arduous and a lot colder’ – then a trip on the T.S. Pelican retracing Ernest Shackleton’s survival voyage to Antarctica might be for you. In fact, this isn’t a cruise at all; rather, a 56-day voyage on a replica tall ship following the route the intrepid explorer took across the Antarctic and South Georgia to save his frozen crew in 1916. If you have 30 grand burning a hole in your pocket, you’d better be quick – the trip sets sail January 2013.
Stay at the Four Seasons Ty Warner Penthouse
Approximate cost: $35,000 per night
With 360 degree views from the top floor of the tallest hotel in Manhattan, the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel New York is “less a suite, and more a multi-layered work of art”. The 400 square metre suite has nine rooms, including a library, gym and living room with a four-foot chandelier, and is the most expensive hotel suite in the world. However, the price tag does include a personal trainer, butler and Rolls Royce chauffeur. So you’ll save a little there…
Rent a Caribbean Island
Approximate cost: $42,500 per night
Either Richard Branson has got the luxury travel market cornered or he just likes fleecing other rich people for as much money as he can. As well as taking people into space and frequently making U.K. train travellers late for appointments, the Virgin magnate also rents out his own island – Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. For a touch more than 40 grand a night, you and 15 of your closest pals can have the run of the 74-acre private island, which includes eight luxurious huts, all food, drink and activities – including a resident tennis pro – and 60 members of staff at your beck and call.
* Prices in U.S. dollars