What Recession? These Trips All Cost Over $250,000

While economists and analysts are predicting a recession and job cuts may be coming to Wall Street, companies selling luxury and experiential trips have yet to see any limits on how high they can push prices.

Disney’s round-the-world by private jet trip at $109,995 per person sold out just days after it was announced last month.

Earlier today, Virtuoso, a network comprising over 20,000 travel advisors, said it had inked a deal with Virgin Galactic providing clients of its travel agencies a limited number of the remaining first 1,000 seats.

The Richard Branson venture promises passengers to “experience weightlessness, breathtaking views of Earth, and a life-changing transformation through our unique and innovative spaceflight system, all in unparalleled comfort.”

The 90-minute flights are priced at $450,000 per seat. Reservations, which opened in February, entail a $150,000 deposit.

“As a future astronaut myself, I can speak firsthand to the curated, high-touch, and one-of-a-kind journey Virgin Galactic offers, as well as the community it cultivates. Travel transforms us and pushes us out of our comfort zone. For our advisors who have clients seeking pioneering, transformational travel, a Virgin Galactic spaceflight is the ultimate experience,” said Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch.

Also, today, TCS World Travel said it is expanding its roster of private jet itineraries for 2023. Seven of the nine trips are priced at over $250,000 per couple and all run into the six figures.

According to a press release, it’s “the largest number of TCS group jet expeditions added in a single year in the company’s history.”

“The pent-up demand for travel is like nothing we have seen before. In 2023, we have added five departure dates alone for our Around the World itinerary and eight other unique journeys,” said Shelley Cline, President, TCS World Travel.

For around $300,000, guests on Wonders of the South Pacific will “marvel at the rugged beauty of Queenstown and Australia’s remote Wolgan Valley, escape to idyllic Polynesian islands, explore premier wine regions, sample the many offerings of Sydney and Christchurch, and experience bucket-list destinations like Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.”

If you are on a budget, a seven-day Sun and Seascape private jet trip over Thanksgiving visiting Costa Rica and St. Kitts is priced at just $54,590 per person. Children travel for $49,950.

It’s not just space travel and private jets that are raising the roof on prices. According to Luxury Travel Magazine, it found the starting price for at least 10 in-demand five-star resorts at over $4,000 per night for their entry-level accommodations. At Amangiri in Utah, the lowest cost room is $4,913 this summer. At North Island in the Seychelles, which requires a minimum stay of at least four nights, rates start at $6,851 per night.

And if you want to just book a private jet flight, that’s more expensive, too. The average hourly rate at the end of the second quarter increased from Q1 by 6% and is now $10,770. That’s 28% higher than the end of 2020.

Asked if there is any price relief in sight, Michael Holtz, CEO of SmartFlyer, an agency in the Virtuoso network, says, “There is certainly sufficient demand!”

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