Top 10 Most Expensive Places to Travel in the World and Why


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Places-to-Travel

The international travel industry is worth billions of dollars, and post-pandemic travel rates are set to hit pre-pandemic levels by 2023. As such, many people are looking to spend their hard-earned money on a luxurious vacation at expensive destinations. But what are the most expensive places to travel to?

Musha Cay, an island in The Bahamas, is the most expensive place to travel in the world. It’s incredibly exclusive, as it’s privately owned. Consequently, visitors can’t book a hotel room, though they can spend $50,000 per day to stay in a rental home. Still, there’s a five-day stay minimum.

If you’re looking to enjoy the highest level of sophistication and relaxation, you’ll want to consider one of the most expensive travel destinations listed in this guide.

Top 10 Most Expensive Places to Travel in the World:

  1. Musha Cay, The Bahamas
  2. Wolf’s Fang Camp, Antarctica
  3. Ile du Nord, Seychelles
  4. Laucala Island, Fiji
  5. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
  6. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  7. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
  8. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  9. Reykjavik, Iceland
  10. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

10. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Cayman-Islands

Though Oslo, Norway, is often lauded as the most expensive travel destination, Grand Cayman gives it a run for its money. The largest of the Cayman Islands, this tropical paradise is home to several hotels, restaurants, and one-of-kind activities.

Depending on your current location, you can expect to spend between $200 and $700 to fly to Grand Cayman, and hotel prices start at about $160 per night. When you include dining and activity costs, the per-day total to stay here averages at about $300.

Naturally, you can expect to spend far more if you arrive at Grand Cayman via one of the world’s most expensive cruise ships!

Why It’s Expensive

There are several reasons why Grand Cayman is one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world. Firstly, it’s relatively remote, sitting in the north region of the Caribbean Sea. As a result, getting to this island can be costly.

But the range of activities, resorts, and fine dining restaurants also make Grand Cayman comparatively expensive. That said, it’s not the most exclusive place to visit, with hundreds of thousands of people (sometimes more than a million) visiting each year.

9. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik-Iceland

Iceland is home to volcanoes, hot springs, and dramatic landscapes that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is one of the only developed areas, making it a go-to destination for visitors looking to experience some of the island’s natural beauty while still enjoying modern amenities.

While Reykjavik does have a few hostels and several hotels, prices for these rooms are well above average. For example, a stay in a hostel might cost you between $10 and $20 in most European cities, but you’ll need to invest about $80 to stay in a shared room in Reykjavik!

Food costs are also comparatively high, as ingredients are often imported. It’s also worth noting that traveling to Reykjavik is pretty pricey. Because Iceland’s closest geographic neighbor is Greenland, planes must carry an astounding amount of fuel to reach this island nation.

You can expect to spend $500 to $800 on a roundtrip flight to Reykjavik and between $100 and $500 per night on accommodation. You can add another $100 for food (per person, per day) and several hundred dollars for exploration activities.

This brings the total average vacation price to $600+ per day!

Why It’s Expensive

Iceland is remote, relatively barren, and a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. Its natural wonders are breathtaking, but its nonarable land makes agricultural pursuits almost impossible.

As such, many of the foods and materials you’ll find in Reykjavik feature higher prices that reflect the cost of importing such goods. Hotels and hostels are also expensive, as demand for such spaces is high while supply is minimal.

8. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres-del-Paine-National-Park

The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is one of Earth’s most celebrated natural destinations. It’s home to expansive rocky landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and unique wildlife. Those looking to get far away from bustling metropolitan cityscapes or droll small towns may want to make a beeline for this park.

However, it can be challenging to find a place to stay in Torres del Paine due to its remoteness. The Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa is one of the few hotels available to guests, but staying here isn’t cheap.

Visitors looking to enjoy a balance of rugged natural landscapes and modern amenities can expect to spend about $17,000 for a one-week stay ($2,400 per day). Choosing a Patagonia vacation package is the best way to save a little money while also enjoying the highest-quality excursions into the park.

Why It’s Expensive

There are few hotels within Torres del Paine National Park, making the few existing accommodations pretty pricey. Additionally, Torres del Paine National Park is relatively remote, lying more than 1,700 miles south of Chile’s capital city of Santiago.

Visitors will need to fly to a port city (like Punta Arenas) and take a few ferry rides or an hours-long bus ride to reach the park. Traveling to Torres del Paine National Park is challenging and time-consuming, raising the overall price to visit this unique destination.

7. Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Burj-Al-Arab-Dubai

Dubai is one of the most expensive places to visit, but it does have a few budget-friendly hotels available to travelers. However, the Burj Al Arab isn’t one of them.

The Burj Al Arab is the most expensive hotel in Dubai and a destination unto itself. That’s because many of the rooms are covered in gold and refined materials, include butler services, and offer breathtaking views of the Persian Gulf.

Guests here also have access to terrace beaches, spas, yacht charters, and luxury car rides—the wealthiest people on the planet frequent Burj Al Arab due to its luxurious decor and outstanding services.

This hotel also has several restaurants, many of which feature dishes made with the most expensive spices in the world. Its rooms are gilded and covered floor-to-ceiling in costly materials like mahogany wood and velvet fabrics.

If you’d like to stay here, you’ll need to pay for a flight to Dubai, which averages about $1,000 for those departing from North America. You’ll also need to be prepared to spend between $2,000 and $24,000 per night on your hotel room.

Those looking to spend the least amount of money may be able to get away with paying a minimum of $2,500 per day while staying here (including dining and activities).

Why It’s Expensive

The Burj Al Arab ensures that each guest receives the finest possible experiences, utilizing precious materials in each room, offering world-class dining experiences, and catering to each person’s specific needs. For these reasons, prices here are astounding.

6. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora-Bora-French-Polynesia

When you need to get away from it all, it’s challenging to find a better travel destination than Bora Bora. This tiny French Polynesian island is incredibly remote and full of opportunities to kick back and relax.

Whether you’d like to swim in bright blue ocean waters or soak up some sun in privacy, Bora Bora has everything you’re looking for. But you’ll need to pay a high price to stay here.

While there are many hotels in Bora Bora that charge affordable per-night room prices (less than $200), there are also luxurious resorts that charge about $2,000 per night! Additionally, you’ll need to take more than one plane ride to reach this island, totaling $1,500 to $2,500.

When you add fun experiences (snorkeling, diving) and dining expenses to this initial total, you’ll end up with an average per-day vacation price of about $2,600.

Why It’s Expensive

Bora Bora is incredibly remote and hard to get to. It lies in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, lying more than 2,600 miles away from the nearest major landmass (New Zealand).

You’ll need to catch several planes to reach this island paradise. And once you arrive, you can expect higher-than-average food prices, as all goods are imported. You can also anticipate paying extraordinary fees for hotel rooms, as most accommodations here are designed for wealthy visitors and include exceptional services like private ocean access and butler services.

5. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Volcanoes-National-Park-Rwanda

Anyone who’s ever wanted to walk with gorillas and experience the raw beauty of Africa will want to consider vacationing at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. This lush park is home to golden monkeys, elephants, spotted hyenas, and gorillas.

However, airfare to Kigali International Airport (plus the cost to travel to the park) will set you back about $2,000. And if you’re keen to stay within the park boundaries, you can expect to spend between $1,800 and $2,800 per night.

When you add exploration activities, food, and beverages to these initial costs, you’re looking at a per-day vacation cost of $3,000 or more.

Why It’s Expensive

Staying in Volcanoes National Park is an exclusive experience, as there’s only one resort hotel located within the park’s boundaries: Bisate Lodge. Due to its one-of-kind location, the resort can charge premium prices that dwarf the high costs associated with other nearby lodges and hotels.

4. Laucala Island, Fiji

Laucala-Island-Fiji
photo source: flickr

Laucala Island is privately owned, making it one of the most exclusive island destinations in the world. If you’d like to see the bright blue ocean waters and lush greenery of this island, you’ll need to book a room at the COMO Laucala Island Resort.

This resort has a three-day or five-day minimum stay policy, and rooms start at about $5,600 per night. While this price does include standard amenities like WiFi, it doesn’t include resort activities like jet skiing, kayaking, or snorkeling. Room prices also don’t include dining, which will increase the per-day cost of staying here.

Overall, visitors can expect to spend about $6,000 per day while visiting Laucala Island. But while you’re here, be sure to make the most of your experience by trying some of the most expensive seafood dishes at the Plantation House restaurant!

Why It’s Expensive

Fiji often ranks highly as one of the priciest and most luxurious destinations in the world. Many of its islands are privately owned, and some are home to the most expensive resorts on the planet.

The primary reason why Fiji is such an expensive place to visit is that it’s so remote. The closest major landmass, Australia, is more than 2,800 miles away.

Consequently, building materials, high-quality foods, and top-notch beverages are all imported to these islands. Luxurious amenities also drive prices up, with many resorts and hotels in Fiji featuring in-room dining, butler services, and private pools.

3. Ile du Nord, Seychelles

Villa-North-Island-in-Seychelles
photo source: flickr

Ile du Nord (commonly called North Island) is an unspoiled island paradise covered in dense green vegetation and bordered on all sides by bright blue ocean waters. It’s a popular vacation destination among celebrities and royals, making it an exclusive and desirable place to visit.

Getting to and staying at this island is incredibly expensive, with most guests needing a helicopter to arrive at its granite shorelines. You’ll need to spend about $870 for this helicopter ride and about $9,000 per night to stay in a North Island villa.

There’s often a three-night minimum stay, so you’ll need about $30,000 to $40,000 (includes dining and airfare) to enjoy this holiday spot.

2. Wolf’s Fang Camp, Antarctica

Wolfs-Fang-Runway
photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Many of the most expensive travel destinations are warm, tropical environments. But a handful of destinations are found in the coldest parts of the world. White Desert, Antarctica, is a fantastic example.

The White Desert “The Greatest Day” package costs $14,500 and includes a private flight to Wolf’s Fang Runway. It also includes a champagne picnic, a mountain ridge climb (called a nunatak hike), and private excursions in a 4×4 vehicle.

Not including flight time, this experience lasts only three hours, so you’ll be spending almost $5,000 per hour to experience the icy conditions here. This price doesn’t include airfare to Cape Town, South Africa, where the White Desert flight departs.

A roundtrip flight to and from Cape Town (from North America) averages at about $1,000, so the actual total for this unique vacation is $15,500+, not including hotel stays in Cape Town or food and drink.

Why It’s Expensive

Antarctica is one of the most remote places on the planet, and it’s covered in thick layers of ice. These qualities make it exceptionally challenging to reach by airplane, which is most travelers’ primary means of transport.

Additionally, there aren’t lots of accommodation options in Antarctica. Instead, there are a handful of base camps, few of which are outfitted with luxurious amenities.

Visiting the White Desert is one of the most expensive single-day travel experiences because it’s reachable via private jet and includes several unique experiences, including a champagne picnic. This makes The Greatest Day package incredibly expensive.

1. Musha Cay, The Bahamas

highview-island-house
photo source: mushacay.com

Though we’ve explored some of the most expensive island destinations in the world, nothing quite compares to Musha Cay, a privately-owned island in The Bahamas. This island has zero hotels, instead featuring five decadent rental homes.

These rental homes vary in size, with the largest being 10,000 square feet. Called Highview, this multi-story home has two kitchens and a private sauna. It’s only a short stroll away from the shoreline.

The smallest rental home is a one-bedroom cottage situated directly on the sandy shores, making it a perfect romantic destination for couples or beach-loving visitors.

However, you’ll need to spend $50,000 per day to stay in one of these homes. Additionally, there’s a five-night minimum stay requirement, bringing your stay total to a whopping $250,000. This price doesn’t include airfare to the island or some special activities (like massage or deep-sea fishing).

Why It’s Expensive

Not only is Musha Cay a tropical paradise, but it’s a privately owned destination. Corporations aren’t permitted to build low-cost hotels and restaurants here.

Additionally, the home rental price includes food, beverages, and access to high-class amenities. These features contribute to the overall cost of staying on this island.

Musha Cay attracts the world’s wealthiest and most elite families and individuals due to its exclusive nature, relatively remote location, and exceptional prices.

Visit These Expensive Destinations

Island destinations tend to be the most expensive places to travel, as they’re remote, exclusive, and priced for the highest-paying customers. For example, Musha Cay, a privately-owned island in The Bahamas, tops the list as the most expensive place to travel in the world.

Of course, your ideal expensive vacation depends on your personal preferences and budget. If you’re looking to save, you could also choose to visit Grand Cayman, Reykjavik, or Torres del Paine National Park.

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Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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