Most expensive places to visit in 2023 (and how to pay for them)

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The year 2023 is geared up to break all tourism records – as the post-COVID world emerges travellers are making up for lost time and spending all of that quantitatively eased cash like its going out of fashion (which it may well be). So the time is nigh to make big plans and visit those dream destinations.

If extravagance, indulgence and opulence is your thing, then these most expensive places to visit in the world are tailored for you.From islands in the middle of nowhere to indigenously-led wildlife experiences, here are some of the most expensive destinations to travel to in 2023.

Musha Cay, Bahamas

This privately owned island in the Bahamas is considered to be the most expensive place in the world to visit. This incredibly exclusive resort has long been known as a getaway for the rich and famous, and with a price tag of £50,000 per night to match (you have to pay a minimum rental for 5 nights), they must be right about it.

Up to eleven persons are allowed to stay in this Caribbean island escape tucked in a remote corner of the Copperfield Bay and while gourmet meals are included in the price, other activities like deep-sea fishing, a customized treasure hunt and a fireworks show can be enjoyed, by paying additional cash of course.

Antarctica by private yacht

© Cassie Matias from Unsplash

Most people are unaware that one can explore Antarctica on a cruise or by a private yacht. While excursions by yacht are becoming creative day by day, traveling in a boat, even if it is for one week, is the hallmark of this luxury travel voyage.

This superyacht excursion to Antarctica, will have allowed travelers to explore a new destination in a novel way, in a boatload of privacy for a fully custom-made experience. Those who prefer to undertake this trip, a weeklong private charter will set them back by $80,000, and that’s just the starting rate.

The Sand, Sea and City Safari, Dubai

If you can spare up to $165,000 you can pay for a limited space on an epic safari 17 nights excursion from Dubai to Namibia, South Africa and Madagascar, before flying back to the UAE, providing there are places available.

This itinerary will take you on a transformational journey across the stunning landscapes of Africa showcasing the country’s staggering topographic diversity.

Camels in Dubai
© Fredrik Ohlander from Unsplash

From take-off to landing, every element on this trip has been customized for the guest’s comfort. The Emirates private jet comes with private suites, flat beds, fine linen, a spacious lounge, not to forget a luxury spa.

What follows next is stay in the most luxurious lodges, hot-air balloon trips, helicopter rides, animal viewing, art gallery visits and even a luxury catamaran ride. Then back to Dubai in the Emirates private jet again.

Ile du Nord, Seychelles

Commonly referred to as North Island, Ile du Nord is a popular vacation destination among celebrities and the royals. This unspoilt piece of paradise in Seychelles is covered in dense vegetation and surrounded by the blue ocean waters.

Getting to Ile du Nord and staying there is extremely expensive as the only mode of transport is a helicopter which costs around $900 and the accommodation in the villa at $9,000 per night.

Since they offer a minimum three nights stay, expect to shell out $40,000 at least, which includes dining and airfare, to enjoy a holiday in this exclusive hot-spot.

Paying for your luxury holiday

Paying with card
© Towfiqu Barbhuiya from Unsplash

Holidays, though relaxing, can be expensive. From insurance, to flight tickets to insurance, within no time you are likely to rack up a hefty bill, even before take-off. As such, the last thing you want is to rack up extra fees and costs simply for paying, but with international banking and foreign exchange costs, you almost definitely will. Let’s take a closer look at this over the next section.

International Transaction Costs

If you have ever travelled before then you are hopefully aware that anytime you pay for something internationally or in a foreign currency, then there are foreign transaction and currency conversion costs associated with this. This applies regardless of whatever payment method you use although the exact details and finer points do vary.

International Bank Transfers

When you make payments to a foreign bank account there are 2 different sets of costs.

International transaction fees are (normally) a fixed amount levied by all banks involved in the transaction. That means that the sender’s bank will charge a fee as will the recipient’s bank. The fees for US banks run between $2.75 and $50.

Then, the sender’s bank will also apply a “foreign exchange mark up”. This means that they use a different foreign currency exchange rate than the prevailing market one and keep the difference as profit. The mark up is usually around 2% – 4%.

Using Debit Cards Abroad

Using a debit card abroad can prove very costly. Firstly, most banks charge an overseas card use fee (which can be a fixed amount or a percentage subject to a minimum amount) and then use the same foreign exchange markup that they use for bank transfers.

It is not usual for small items like drinks to end up costing twice as much because of fees when paid for on a debit card.

Using Credit Cards Abroad

The position with credit cards is slightly better than debit cards. Credit card companies tend to levy a percentage fee on any purchase. This is usually between 2.75% – 2.99%. There are zero-fee accounts available although they normally have some form of qualifying criteria. 


Changing cash abroad can be very cost effective as currency exchange bureaus often offer decent exchange rates with markups between 1% – 2%. Many are also open to negotiating if you change a large amount. The downside is that bringing large amounts of cash abroad presents a risk of theft and loss.

In the end

Woman in a pool
© Chelsea Gates from Unsplash

Your dream luxury vacation is around the corner, so why not make it happen? Sure, luxury comes at a premium and as you can see, premiums also come with an additional premium! However if you rely on the above information, then you can minimise your foreign payment costs, make the cost of your expenditure and plan for a fantastic getaway for yourself and your family.

Cover photo author: © Marvin Meyer from Unsplash

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