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How To Vacation Like A Billionaire

Lauren Lyster
Daily Ticker

For Conde Nast Traveler’s March issue the magazine sent a reporter to stay in the Caribbean on the private Calivigny Island where accommodations run a guest $45,000 a night.

So what exactly does shelling out a sum close to the yearly median household income of a U.S. family get a vacationer on Calivigny Island?

“The better question is ‘what don’t you get?’” Lisa Gill, Conde Nast Traveler contributing editor tells The Daily Ticker. “You really get everything your heart desires.”

In tangible terms, Gill says, the reporter vacationing on this island off the coast of Grenada enjoyed a 20,000 square foot house, four hot tubs, a yacht, a private chef, and unlimited spa treatments.

It may sound exorbitant, but the facts suggest there is growing demand for this type of extravagance. Conde Nast Traveler reports there were more than 2,000 billionaires on the planet in 2012, which is 185 more than in 2011, according to WealthX.

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In addition, despite a financial crisis that has affected many in the U.S. and across the globe, the super-rich haven’t reined in their travel spending. According to the travel magazine, luxury hotel companies are actually expanding at a record pace to meet the demand.

Related: Fiscal Cliff Deal Redefines What It Means to Be “Rich”

And that demand is driven by a short list of top travel priorities.

“When money is no object, money’s expected to get a few key things,” Gill explains. Privacy, convenience, control of who you’re traveling with and how you get there, all make the list. “No” basically doesn’t exist when it comes to travel requests, Gill says, and there are travel specialists who make sure those requests are fulfilled.

Gill reports yachts and private islands are favorites for celebs trying to escape the paparazzi. Rihanna, for example, chartered an 170-foot yacht that costs $300,000 per week, which included a glass elevator, sun deck gym, and a DJ.

Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg took his friends, plus a chef, cook, two maids and two bodyguards, to a beach house in Punta del Este, Uruguay for New Years Eve.

Gill says vacation villa rentals like Zuckerberg’s are one of the fastest growing segments of travel. Better yet, she says they’re an accessible way for folks on a budget to travel like the rich and famous (in spirit, at least).

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For example, travel specialists can help arrange villa vacations in Buenos Aires for $450 a week, and Gill notes, these homes sometimes come with luxurious amenities such as a cook and housekeeping.

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