How to Travel Like the Rich: The Truth Behind What the Wealthy Really Want

Traveling, and traveling richly, sounds pretty good to all of us. I have never met a person who said they don’t really like vacationing abroad or even more so, just really don’t care for luxury. If we all had the resources, we would take advantage of lavish travel all the time. But the truth is – most of us won’t ever reach the place where this is a reality.

While writing the recent article 3 Alternative Ways to Find Time and Money to Travel, I cracked open the lid on the topic of what truly rich travel means, and I discovered that it may be a lot different than what our surface level expectations have dressed it up to be.

Jet setting to Tahiti to sip Mai Tai’s, swinging from your hammock on your secluded, over-water bungalow… before being swept away by a private yacht to enjoy the sunset. What makes this daydream so desirable?

When you break this luxurious jaunt into pieces, you discover that it’s the novelty we are after. Most travelers, from the simplest to the wealthiest, just want experiences that provide a change of scenery and sense of adventure, while matching their comfort-level gages. The levels are different for everyone. I have seen my fair share of traveler preferences. And let me tell you that wealth does not always equal opulence when it comes to travel.

The fact is that once you have “endless” wealth and options, it takes more and more to excite you. Soon enough, all experiences start to look similar and you revert back to simplicity over time.  Believe me, I have spent five years working directly for the ultra-wealthy and have seen this time and time again:

“True “luxury” becomes normal, and therefore boring. It takes more and more to excite and delight. Consequently, the ultra-wealthy’s goal is to see the “real” destination that is not fluffed by extravagance…but only as far as their comfort zone will allow them.”

I know that most of us will never have this “rich person problem” but there is a lesson to be learned here for all types of travelers. Look at the statement above. Do you see what has happened? The wealthy want the same travel experiences that you do and have redefined truly rich travel as authentic and not opulence.

In the end, you and the billionaires all want the same things, and it doesn’t take as much as you think to get it.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Setting a goal and meeting it

The first way to achieve great travel for ourselves is to strive for a trip we don’t think is possible and then work toward making it happen. Don’t pick something that you think is easily obtainable, because the trip will not leave a lasting impression on you. Pick that once-in-a-lifetime trip you don’t think is possible. Then, break it apart to see how to make it happen. Trust me – it’s easier than you think to get there. When we accomplish a trip of great magnitude, we come away feeling truly rich no matter if we hitch-hiked our way through.

Getting a little uncomfortable

The problem with the ultra-wealthy is that they experience the gritty world in a fluffy way. Their money makes it possible for them to escape the reality of how the world actually lives. Therefore, they never truly experience reality. Don’t be like this. View your thinning wallet as a blessing. You can skip over the lesson that the rich have to learn.  Always remain a little uncomfortable when visiting places different from your country.  Stay in local places, eat the food and spend time with the people. Don’t be an onlooker and treat the destination like an animal behind bars in a zoo. Engage and get uncomfortable. There are life-changing experiences waiting for you when you live like the locals do.

Disconnecting, then Reconnecting

One of the luxuries of travel is disconnecting from the daily grind. But what makes a trip truly rich is when you use this time to reconnect with the more important things. Make this a huge priority! Spend time connecting with the destination. Allow yourself to be changed by the experience. But more importantly, travel with loved ones and invest the much needed time into them. Being away from the chaos of daily life and setting our priorities back in focus is one of the greatest blessings of travel. Don’t forget this and even the smallest trips will feel rewarding.

Feature Photo Credit: Thinkstock/istock/anyaberkut

2 thoughts on “How to Travel Like the Rich: The Truth Behind What the Wealthy Really Want

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about getting “uncomfortable” when you are traveling…..we have made many trips with Overseas Adventure Travels and one of the things we love the most about this travel agency is that they always plan a home visit with a meal and school visit. Also when we have traveled on our own we have had small agencies arrange overnight visits in homes instead of hotels and these have turned out to be some of the most best trips, we loved staying in the home of a high ranking officer of the North Viet Nam Army, he was very gracious, and through our English interpreter we had an interesting conversation about the war and life. On another trip 10 years ago we met a tour guide in Cambodia that took us into a rural village and showed us how the people live without fresh drinking water and the problems that is causes and illnesses that it presents. From that visit our family and friends have drilled numerous water wells in Cambodia to give villages fresh drinking water and we also started a elementary with this same guide in this first village and we now have over 800 students in our Spitler School. So yes, if people will get uncomfortable ANYTHING can happen when you are traveling in these exciting new places, if you just open you mind and heart to the people and experience.
    Pam Spitler

    1. Hi Pam!
      Thank you so much for your insight! Your trips are truly what I call a Journey Beyond the Bucket List, leading you to eventually start the Spitler School in Cambodia! Traveling should open our eyes, teach us new things and help us connect with people unlike ourselves. Overseas Adventure Travels sounds like a great company, I love the fact that they give to Grand Circle Foundation. Definitely keeping them in mind for my clients. Thanks again and be sure to keep all of us on The Global Commute up-to-date on the exciting things happening at the Spitler School!

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