How to travel like a billionaire

Break-the-Bank Birthday

As part of a $2.5 million, two-week birthday romp through southern France that a Los Angeles man threw for his wife and 30 of her friends, 20 vintage cars from all over Europe were imported to Provence for a road rally through the Bandol wine region. The road was closed to the public for the 90-minute race, and at one of the pit stops the birthday girl’s favorite chef from Los Angeles served snacks. Other highlights included a six-night sailing on a luxury cruise ship and a private cooking lesson with a two-star Michelin chef. –Lia Batkin, In the Know Experiences (212-776-1784)

Copter Crazy
PRICE TAG $17,000

A traveler in Istanbul who wanted to visit Troy at the last minute insisted on a twin-engine helicopter for the trip. One was procured—along with two pilots and a noted historian—for a tour that lasted just a few hours. –Kevan Cowie, Exeter International (800-633-1008)

Bieber Fever
PRICE TAG $25,000

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Justin Bieber brings a girl onstage to serenade at every concert, so one client paid $25,000 for his daughter to be picked by the teen heartthrob. A New York couple paid close to $19,000 for a two-day trip to D.C. to attend President Obama’s second inauguration and inaugural ball. –Jim Zissler, Inside Sports & Entertainment Group (646-453-8821)

Politburo Par-tay!
PRICE TAG $1 Million

Six members of the Russian parliament, their wives, and adult children had planned a month-long, $1 million vacation in Canada fishing, hunting, and stopping in Montreal for plastic surgery. Sadly, visa setbacks forced them to cancel the trip. –Marc Telio, Entrée Destinations (604-408-1099)

It Takes a Village
PRICE TAG $1 Million

For a diversion during a $500,000 three-day holiday to Ireland, a family of five had a Celtic village, complete with thatched-roof roundhouses and silversmiths, constructed at Lismore Castle. Entertainment included jugglers, fiddle players, a sword fight, and a private fireworks show. –David Tobin, Dream Escapes (44-845-260-1085)

From Russia, with Rubles
PRICE TAG $800,000

A Russian tycoon took seven employees and their sons on a ten-day off-road trip in Mexico. They flew from Moscow to Chiapas in the client’s private 747, rented fifteen 4 x 4s directly from the owners (at $10,000 apiece), hired local police and private security for every leg of the trip, and had groceries imported from around the world—lobster from Maine, pheasant from England, and caviar from you know where. –Zachary Rabinor, Journey Mexico (800-513-1587)

Peak Experience
PRICE TAG $800,000

For a fiftieth-birthday celebration, a Canadian woman surprised her husband with a trip to Brazil. Birthday festivities—for some 30 guests—included a private dinner on Sugarloaf Mountain and joining in the winners’ parade during Carnaval. Price tag for the week: approximately $800,000. –Martin Frankenberg, Matueté (866-709-5952)

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