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8 Celebrity Vacation Spots (And Their More Affordable Equivalents)
When you’re rich and famous, the world is your playground. You can jet from one corner of the globe to the other, stopping to enjoy the most lavish vacations that money can buy. As for the rest of us, the world isn’t so much a playground as it is a tiny, overcrowded sandbox. Our travel options are often limited by our budgets, and though we’d certainly prefer the celebrity treatment on our vacations, we can’t always afford to splurge. Luckily, Arabella Bowen, the executive editorial director of Fodor’s Travel, told us about eight equally amazing (yet more affordable) alternatives to the most popular celebrity hot-spots.
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Saint-Tropez / Budva

Thanks in part to French model and actress Brigitte Bardot, the beachy town of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera gained popularity as an extravagant vacation spot. Guests now include Victoria Beckham, Rihanna, Tom Cruise, Kate Hudson, Kate Moss and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The more affordable option: "Many are now mooring their yachts in Budva, Montenegro," says Bowen of this coastal town on the Adriatic. She explains that it's "the center of Montenegro’s emerging tourism, and is well known for its diverse nightlife and high-end dining." Best of all, it won't break the bank like a few nights on the French Riviera. As Bowen says, "Budva, which has Saint-Tropez-style beaches, climate and architecture, can be enjoyed at more wallet-friendly prices."

Bora Bora / Belize

Bora Bora has attracted celebrity guests such as Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, Quincy Jones, Christina Applegate, Rob Lowe and Sharon Stone. This French Polynesian island boasts several upscale resorts featuring over-the-water bungalows, which provide impeccable accommodations along with privacy. The more affordable option: According to Bowen, "Belize is a great alternative to Bora Bora, with its breathtaking beaches, stunning waterfalls, large coral reefs, and fantastic snorkeling and diving." She points out that resorts in this Central American country also feature over-the-water accommodations, and some, like those as The Inn at Robert's Grove, start at around $300 per night — much cheaper than Bora Bora. Bowen also recommends St. George's Caye Resort for an all-inclusive trip: "The thatch cottages, some of which are partly over the water, cost around $600 for a double room in-season including tax, including all meals, transfers to and from Belize City, and unlimited rum punch," she says.

Aspen / Sun Valley

Heidi Klum, Demi Moore and Mariah Carey have been known to frequent the resorts in Aspen, Colorado, a community that offers plenty of skiing, high-end boutiques and fine dining. Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson and Kurt Russell are just a few celebrities who own homes in the area. The more affordable equivalent: "Just like Aspen, Sun Valley in Idaho is a resort city where visitors can enjoy skiing, hiking, ice skating, trail riding, tennis and biking," Bowen says, adding that Sun Valley is a bit of a celebrity hot-spot itself. But even though big stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Hanks and Bill Gates have seasonal homes in the area, Bowen says you can save money by lodging at places like the Sun Valley Resort.

Maui / Big Island

Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Oprah Winfrey call Maui their home for at least part of the year, and it's not hard to see why. This Hawaiian getaway offers the perfect idyllic escape for the world traveler, a fact that's not overlooked by visitors such as Megan Fox, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. The more affordable equivalent: "For luxurious travel, shopping, restaurants and accommodations, travelers can’t beat the Big Island," notes Bowen, referring to the largest island in the state of Hawaii. "Many of the resorts offer better prices and deals than many of the properties in Maui, and the Mauna Kea and Hapuna golf courses rank among the top in the state." Bowen adds that "Gourmet dining and spa treatments are also readily available at friendlier prices than in Maui."

Lake Como / Lake District

Italy's Lake Como draws celebrity clientele including Madonna, Richard Branson and Tom Cruise. Others, such as Matt Damon, David Beckham and Brad Pitt, are often invited to stay at the lakeside villa of pal George Clooney when passing through. The more affordable equivalent: Bowen recommends the Lake District in England, where you can explore the stone-built villages nestled near jagged mountainsides and wooded valleys. She adds that it's a popular region for boating and hiking, so any outdoor enthusiast will be more than pleased with this getaway. "Visitors will also enjoy better prices than at Lake Como," she explains. "Hotels on the lakefront go from £105 a night."

Mallorca / Crete

Mallorca is the perfect place to party on a yacht — just ask Rod Stewart, Jennifer Aniston, Jim Carrey, Antonio Banderas or Paris Hilton. They're just a few of the rich and famous who relax in this Balearic island in the middle of the Mediterranean. The more affordable option: "Like Mallorca, Crete is known for its historic buildings, shopping, dining and entertainment. The landscape is also similar with its mountains, deep gorges and sandy beaches," outlines Bowen. She adds that travelers should look to stay in Hania or Rethymnon, where Venetian palaces and old mansions have been restored as small hotels.

Cabo San Lucas / Cancun

Situated on the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas offers a bevy of beaches, bars and spas. Fans of this Mexican haven include Cameron Diaz, Kim Kardashian, Sean Penn, Ryan Seacrest and, most recently, Justin Timberlake, who picked the spot for his bachelor party. The more affordable option: According to Bowen, vacationing in Cancun is a great way to experience much of what Mexico has to offer, including shopping, sports and spas. "There are five-star resorts that are more affordable than in Cabo San Lucas, exceptional food, Mexican culture and famous Mayan ruins," she says.

Anguilla / Providenciales

Anguilla, in the British West Indies, is home to some of the Caribbean's best beaches and boasts an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It has also become a retreat for A-list celebs, drawing the likes of Uma Thurman, Paul McCartney, Michael Jordan, Michael J. Fox and Liam Neeson. The more affordable option: "Providenciales in Turks and Caicos has the same glorious white-sand beaches and beautiful water as Anguilla, but isn’t as expensive," says Bowen, adding that it's also a much easier trip. "There are direct flights into Turks and Caicos from the East Coast, whereas there are none to Anguilla."

8 Celebrity Vacation Spots (And Their More Affordable Equivalents)

When you’re rich and famous, the world is your playground. You can jet from one corner of the globe to the other, stopping to enjoy the most lavish vacations that money can buy. As for the rest of us, the world isn’t so much a playground as it is a tiny, overcrowded sandbox. Our travel options are often limited by our budgets, and though we’d certainly prefer the celebrity treatment on our vacations, we can’t always afford to splurge. Luckily, Arabella Bowen, the executive editorial director of Fodor’s Travel, told us about eight equally amazing (yet more affordable) alternatives to the most popular celebrity hot-spots.

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