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A $135K Around-the-World Private Jet Trip vs. Booking It Yourself

Private jet trip - Sunset in the Serengeti

Private Jet Journeys

The official tagline of my web site is “Take Your Kids Everywhere!” The unofficial continuation of that’s “…but never pay more than you have to.” I really like discovering the good experiences on the earth and determining the best way to do the identical issues for much less. With three youngsters, that’s the one approach I can present them the world.

Provided that I’m a journey planning geek with a backpacker mentality and a love of luxurious, each time I obtain a brochure for a personal jet journey within the mail I marvel how I might create an analogous journey for much less cash. In any case, the journeys run $50,000-$150,000 every, which is considerably outdoors of the typical household’s journey price range. That doesn’t imply that a mean household ought to forego a tremendous around-the-world journey, nevertheless. 

Earlier than I begin, should you haven’t acquired the brochures, you’re in all probability questioning what I’m speaking about. The three main corporations that run common jet journeys are Nationwide Geographic, 4 Seasons and Abercrombie & Kent. Nationwide Geographic‘s trips are theme-based (e.g. around Africa, major religious sites, human ingenuity, or amazing animals), run two to three weeks, and cost between $56,000 and $84,000 per person. Abercrombie & Kent‘s trips typically go around the world in 20-26 days and are priced between $92,000 and $147,000 per person. Four Seasons‘ trips are all about luxury. They’re centered round stays at 4 Seasons properties, criss-cross giant parts of the globe in 19-24 days, and are persistently priced at $135,000 per individual. 

The benefits to the personal jet journeys are:

  • You don’t need to cope with airports, safety, customs or immigration, and also you don’t should arrive two hours earlier than every flight. Hand in your passport if you depart – you’ll get it again on the finish of the journey.
  • You don’t have flight connections. The jets fly from one location to the subsequent on routes that sometimes aren’t flown commercially. 
  • You don’t have to attend on the airport for baggage or transport it your self – it’s ready for you at every lodge. 
  • There are specialists accompanying you. I do know photographers who’ve traveled on the NatGeo jet journeys, they usually go above and past at every cease to ensure the photographers on board get nice photographs. The opposite specialists on board speak about the tradition, historical past, geography and politics at every vacation spot. Having traveled to Antarctica with Nationwide Geographic, I can attest to the worth that these specialists add to a visit – you’re touring with a few of the most fascinating individuals on the earth.
  • There are excursions and actions deliberate all over the place, from hot-air balloon and helicopter rides to dogsledding and private-access to historic websites. You’re sort of packing a lifetime of cool experiences into three weeks. 

The disadvantages are:

  • The fee.
  • The shortage of flexibility. The itineraries are expertly-crafted, however for world vacationers in that revenue vary there’ll invariably be locations that they’ve already visited. And if you wish to substitute Bora Bora for Budapest, or keep within the Maldives for a couple of additional days, you possibly can’t make these modifications. 
  • They’re not kid-friendly. So few youngsters go on these journeys that nothing is optimized for them – they might be dragged alongside on an grownup trip.

My Questions

The questions I’ve all the time had behind my head are: 

  1. What wouldn’t it value to create a visit that’s nearly equivalent to one of many personal jet journeys talked about above?
  2. Is it value happening that less-expensive journey?
  3. How would I create a singular around-the-world journey as an alternative? 

I’ll reply them so as…

1. What Would It Value To Create A Private Jet Trip Utilizing Business Flights?

For this comparability, I’m taking a look at 4 Seasons’ Worldwide Intrigue journey. It’s an easy itinerary for $135,000/individual for 2 individuals, or $147,000 for a solo traveler, that travels to main cities. It’s not the costliest personal jet journey provided neither is it the most cost effective. And despite the fact that I haven’t been on the 4 Seasons personal jet, I’m very acquainted with 4 Seasons inns and resorts, having stayed at eight of their properties around the globe with my youngsters. It’s one of many solely manufacturers that persistently finds a good stability between luxurious and kid-friendliness. Plus the final jet brochure that I acquired (actually yesterday) was from 4 Seasons, which prompted me to lastly sit down with a pointy pencil (okay, spreadsheet) and do the maths. 

Airfare and Transfers

The precise routing of this journey can be Seattle-Osaka-Beijing-Male-Arusha/Serengeti-Budapest-St. Petersburg-Marrakech-Boston. To cost this itinerary, I appeared primarily at one-way tickets. There aren’t a number of planes/routes anymore with First Class cabins, so I eradicated that as a search choice regardless that it’s most instantly similar to the service degree on the personal jets. 

For coach and enterprise class itineraries, I calculated the airfare prices as follows:

Coach: $5,479

Enterprise: $13,023

In all instances I selected flights that have been the most effective worth, bearing in mind worth and journey period. This was a fast calculation. In actuality if I have been reserving a sophisticated itinerary like this, I might look into the around-the-world tickets provided by the three airline alliances, and play with different flight choices like multi-leg tickets when there’s an airline that flies a number of of the consecutive routes. That might take hours of labor nevertheless it might scale back the pricing by as a lot as 1/Three. Or I might simply use a journey agent. 

Different Transportation Prices

Along with the flights above, you’d require a practice ticket to get from Osaka to Kyoto and again. I’m pricing that at $250. You additionally require a flight from Arusha to the Serengeti at $500 round-trip and airport transportation in Seattle, Beijing, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Marrakech and Boston. For simplicity’s sake I’m going to cost that at $100 per vacation spot. In order that’s one other $600.

Sundown within the Serengeti


For lodge pricing I’m utilizing dates precisely one week after the personal jet journey, since the inns have already got giant blocks of rooms reserved for the jet individuals which tends to extend the costs of the remaining stock. In all instances I selected the refundable room fee for normal rooms and included breakfast and taxes. Lodge costs clearly fluctuate by day and season, and the way far prematurely you ebook, however these are correct as of February 2017 for journey in late September/early October. I’m changing to USD by way of the 4 Seasons checkout choice. 

4 Seasons Lodge Seattle (1 night time) = $890.96

4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto (Three nights) = $2,239.55

4 Seasons Lodge Beijing (Three nights) = $1,067.80

4 Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa (Three nights) = $Three,916.80

4 Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti (Three nights) = $four,770.00

4 Seasons Lodge Gresham Palace Budapest (Three nights) = $1,634.53

4 Seasons Lodge Lion Palace St. Petersburg (Three nights) = $1,781.92

4 Seasons Resort Marrakech (2 nights) = $1,097.65

4 Seasons Lodge Boston (1 night time) = $955.66

The whole for the inns for two individuals works out to $18,354.87, or $9,177.43 per individual. Should you’re a solo traveler there’s a de facto single complement of $9,177.43. 

Private jet trips - The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto


Clearly you’re going to eat (and drink) very properly on the 4 Seasons journey. Disregarding meals eaten on planes, for lunches, dinners and drinks I’m going to do a fast calculation of 22 nights at inns multiplied by $200/individual. That’s $four,400/individual. Clearly when you’re touring on a finances you possibly can eat for lots lower than that, however I’m making an attempt to match apples with apples.

Private jet trips - Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Excursions and Actions

Let’s assume that you simply’re not going to be reserving personal dinner experiences within the desert or helicopter rides, however that you really want educated guides all over the place and a few distinctive experiences the place potential. Throw in a few spa appointments and I’m budgeting this at $600/day per couple. That provides as much as $13,200 per couple, or $6,600 per individual. Once more that is extremely variable and meant to be a ballpark determine.

Private jet trips - The Great Wall near Beijing - easily bookable yourself

The Nice Wall close to Beijing – simply bookable your self

Backside Line

If you need to expertise the identical 4 Seasons properties however are prepared to fly business and have a slightly-less-unique journey, it’s bookable by yourself for:

Coach: $26,706

Enterprise Class: $34,250

Single Complement: $13,877

Private jet trips - Four Seasons Bora Bora. Well worth a stop!

4 Seasons Bora Bora. Nicely value a cease!

2. Is It Value Going On This Much less-Costly Trip?

So let’s say you’re enthusiastic about the financial savings you’d get reserving the journey your self, and you’d love to remain at those self same 4 Seasons properties. The query now is whether or not you’d need to e-book this actual journey. Brief reply: no – due to the flight routing. A few of these flights are simple and solely barely longer commercially than on a personal jet – Seattle-Osaka-Beijing and Budapest-St. Petersburg particularly. Others get more and more extra difficult, with a number of stops and lengthy layovers – particularly Beijing-Male, Male-Arusha, Arusha-Budapest and Marrakech-Boston. Brett Snyder of Cranky Concierge sums it up properly: “No sane person would do a luxury vacation on a route like this with commercial flights.” The second level that I made on the prime, underneath Benefits? That’s large. A personal jet is the solely option to fly these routes with out losing a number of time in transit. 

However an around-the world journey is an extremely cool factor to do as soon as in a lifetime. It provides you an opportunity to see a whole lot of your dream locations with your personal eyes, and see simply how small the world actually is. It’s not all the time possible, given restricted trip days and the price of journey, to fly to the Taj Mahal one yr, Bali the subsequent, the Serengeti the subsequent and Sydney the yr after. However to see all of them in a single multi-week trip, with little or no wasted time or expense, is a unprecedented expertise. 

Private jet trips - A decent stop between Beijing and Male would be Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai.

A respectable cease between Beijing and Male can be Chiang Mai, Thailand. That is on the 4 Seasons Chiang Mai.

Three. How I Would Guide It (With or With out Youngsters)

Final yr, partly impressed by these jet journeys, I traveled around the globe in two weeks with my ten-year-old. We flew in enterprise class nearly all of the time, we stayed at good lodges in all places (together with three 4 Seasons properties), and the ultimate tab got here in underneath $10,000 complete, or $5,000 every. That was shorter than the personal jet journeys, stopping seven locations in six nations – the personal around-the-world journeys hit anyplace between eight and 15 nations – however it was a tremendous journey. My daughter realizes now simply how straightforward it’s to journey anyplace on the planet, and she or he needs to see all of it. 

If I used to be crafting a brand new journey and had three weeks to play with as an alternative of two, that is what I might do:

  • Fly west. The extra I’ve considered our eastward routing final yr, the extra I understand we made a mistake. Most of those jet journeys head west – that means you lose a day crossing the date line however you achieve a pair hours at each cease. 
  • Select eight nations/locations on 5 continents and spend 2-Three days at every place. 
  • Fly in coach for daytime flights and enterprise class for in a single day flights – the higher you sleep on the aircraft, the much less time you waste on the subsequent vacation spot adjusting to the time change. I might guess I might create an itinerary of half-business, half-coach flights for $four,500 per individual, along with utilizing some miles for upgrades.
  • I might create the itinerary based mostly on straightforward flight choices. A connection on a number of of the routes is ok, however I might keep away from routes like Male-Arusha that simply can’t be executed in beneath 14 hours.
  • I’d be tempted to remain at plenty of these 4 Seasons properties, however I might need our common lodge pricing to return in beneath $500/night time – we might splurge at some superb locations (hiya, overwater bungalows!) so long as we have been balancing that out with moderately-priced metropolis properties.

Based mostly on previous expertise, meals and actions wouldn’t add as much as lots – perhaps $200/day complete. Including in transfers and misc, this can be a $12,350/individual journey with average luxurious and numerous journey. That’s not cheap, however it’s quite a bit lower than $135,000, it’s lower than a collection of particular person journeys to the identical locations can be, and it’s all customizable. For those who add one other individual to your journey, assuming which you can have three individuals in every room, it brings the typical value right down to $10,000/individual, and a fourth individual would get the typical under $9,000. And naturally it’s potential to spend much less on resorts, meals and actions, as we confirmed going around the globe for beneath $5,000 every final time. 

Private Jet Trips - Learning how to plant rice at Four Seasons Sayan in Bali on our around-the-world trip

Studying find out how to plant rice at 4 Seasons Sayan in Bali on our around-the-world journey

Word: I haven’t checked out pricing for manually piecing collectively any of the NatGeo or A&Okay itineraries, however I might anticipate that percentage-wise it’s roughly the identical because the 4 Seasons. And if I ever win the lottery and go on considered one of these journeys, I’ll replace this submit with extra execs and cons! 

How about you? What’s your dream journey? When you had $100,000+ to spend on a personal jet journey would you do it, or would you moderately plan a visit your self? 




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