It may come as a surprise to some, but rich people need vacations, too. Whether from the stress of managing their own business or from managing their profuse fortune, the wealthiest 1 percent need some R&R just like the regular working class person. However, rather than simply jetting off to a private resort to spend a week partying the days away, these multi-billionaires are looking for a vacation with a bit more substance, and want to get back to their roots and reconnect with their ancestors.
According to Newsweek, the London-based travel agency Original Travel specializes in helping some of the world's wealthiest people plan sabbatical-length vacations so that they might recharge and reconnect with their nearest and dearest. As reported in Newsweek, The Guardian recently released a profile on this London travel company and its wealthy clients who are searching for a break from the day-to-day to rediscover themselves.
"It's a huge trend," Original Travel founder Tom Barber told The Guardian. "The wealthy are looking for an escape. Often they want to get some sense of a back-to-basics lifestyle and learn the skills of our ancestors, like how to hunt and cook their own food."
According to Barber, those seeking out the agency to help plan their vacations are typically looking to get away for at least a month. In that time, these clients are opting for getaways that differ quite differently from what others might consider a holiday. In fact, some of the agency's most recent trips ranged from snow leopard spotting in India to diving with sharks in the "sardine run" off the coast of South Africa.
However, for one of Barber's elite clients, an entire month's vacation just simply wasn't good enough. This 45-year-old billionaire sold his startup and went on a year-long trip with his family, which cost him around £1 million, or about $1.3 million USD. The lengthy getaway included visits to 65 countries and saw the family partake in a number of brand new experiences that had been rather foreign to them beforehand.
"An overwhelming element is the super-rich want to learn new skills," Barber explained. "Sitting on a super-yacht in the sun is pretty old-school these days - people want to have adventures and learn new things."
Barber said his company alone has been responsible for a total of 80 month-long sabbatical trips over the last six years. There has also been a noticeable spike in bookings just last year, with some high-end American travel agencies also reporting a similar trend. According to Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Travel Group in New York, those looking to book such lengthy vacations are typically entrepreneurs who have just recently sold their businesses.
"It is often tech guys who have floated or sold their companies and are thinking 'I have a two-year non-compete clause, what am I going to do with my time?'" he told The Guardian. "For others, it is often when their kids are about to go on to college or high school, and they suddenly think 'I need to really be spending time with them.'"
Quite understandably, taking a month-long vacation usually costs these billionaires a fair amount of money, particularly considering their planned itineraries. But, as Buisness Insider reported, some CEOs don't have to worry about footing the bill for their own excursions. In fact, there are companies who will pay upwards of $25,000 to send their CEOs on "executive getaways" so that they might destress and come back to work as a healthier asset to the company.