Flights of fancy: 8 of the world’s most expensive travel destinations

By: Tom Bright

Budget travellers look away now. Here’s some of the biggest ways you can spend your hard earned cash on travel. Because it’s okay to go overboard once in a while.

Travelling is cheaper and easier for Australians than it’s ever been. A strong dollar, a bounty of flying routes and the proliferation of budget airlines means we have greater opportunities to fulfil our ‘wanderlust’ than at any time in history.

But even with the average Aussie income sitting at a healthy $80,000, low airfares and good exchange rates - there are still plenty of places you can visit if you’re hell-bent on breaking the bank. One night on Richard Branson’s paradisiacal Necker Island, for example, costs a cool $60,000. Think you’ll be able to find someone to go halves?

1

Oslo, Norway

According to the UBS Prices and Earnings report, Oslo is the most expensive city in the world. It’s a city where a pint of beer is likely to set you back close to $15 and where some goods and services are nearly 70% higher than the global average. Which means you’re going to need a 70% bigger wallet.

2

Zurich, Switzerland

Planning a weekend in Zurich? You’re going to have to pay to play: the Prices and Earnings report places Zurich at #1 as the most expensive spot in the world for a weekend break. An average McDonalds meal will set you back nearly $18, while a regular cappuccino comes in at around $6.60.

3

London, England

Brexit or no Brexit – London isn’t cheap. According to research conducted by airport transfer company Hoppa, an average meal for two will cost around $80. The average cost for a night in a hotel comes in at around $207.20. God save our gracious pennies.

4

New York, United States

A visit to the Big Apple requires a big bank balance. Even the mid-range hotels in New York are out to get you – how does around US$370 per night sound? And if you want to give yourself brain freeze in more ways than one, you’d do well to take a bite of the $1000 ice cream sundae at restaurant Serendipity 3.

5

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

You know all those photographs you’ve seen of those gorgeous stilted bungalows sitting just feet above some of the clearest blue water imaginable? There’s a 96% chance those photographs were taken in Bora Bora. This is – according to the U.S. News and World Report’s list – one of the world’s best islands. It’s also around $1000 a night. So, you know, there’s that.

6

Las Vegas, United States

A miniature world of opulence, decadence and countless other fancy words besides – Vegas is where money goes to disappear. With some hotels charging tens of thousands of dollars per night, some burgers costing more than a deposit on a small house and some blackjack hands worth more than $1000 a finger, it’s best to keep your wallet close.

7

Hong Kong, China

A major financial centre and the most visited city in the world (wait until that one comes up at the pub quiz), Hong Kong was this year named the ‘Most Expensive City in the World to live’ by investment consultancy firm Mercer.

8

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Made by the rich for the rich, it’s no surprise that Dubai comes in at the higher end of the price tag. The main pastime here is spending cash – and there’s no shortage of places to do it. From the excessively luxurious shopping malls to man-made islands, superyachts and helicopter rides – this is the opposite of travelling on a shoestring.

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