Where digital meets travel + lifestyle … A collection of can’t-miss news from this week, including spring travel trends. Sign up to get the TURNER Weekly Download in your inbox every Friday.
How the Rich Travel Now
Luxury used to be about lavish displays of wealth. Material goods were the most important status symbols. But things have changed, according to Travel + Leisure. “Intangible concepts like health and wellness are replacing Louis Vuitton handbags and high-end education is replacing a fancy set of wheels,” writes Hillary Hoffower. “That’s because the ultra-rich are investing in immaterial means instead of material goods as a new way to signify their status.” Luxury travel is a big part of this trend. “These trips range from extreme adventures to luxurious getaways,” Hoffower says. “They can also take shape in wellness escapes and educational excursions.”
The ultimate luxury travel experience? Space travel, of course. This dream may become a reality as soon as next year. NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business “so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.” That means that you could take a 30-day trip up to the space station! But you’re going to need cash — $35,000 to begin with. Then, according to Forbes, you’ll have to pay for “the time and labor of a NASA astronaut who would be coordinating the commercial activities—$17,500 an hour.” All in all, the total cost to get into orbit and back could run around $50 million. Start saving for space travel!
The Nuclear Option
People have dreamed of going to space for a vacation for quite some time. They haven’t really been dreaming of going to Chernobyl, however. Until now! The hit HBO miniseries is apparently attracting tourists to the Ukrainian site of what was the worst nuclear accident in history in 1986. Summer bookings are up 40 percent. Is it a safe place to visit? LiveScience reports: “Chernobyl Tour’s website describes the exclusion zone as ‘safe for visitors,’ though the company acknowledges that some places in the exclusion zone still have elevated radiation, which could pose some risk.” They don’t recommend staying for a prolonged amount of time.
Chernobyl is famous as an already-ruined landscape. But are travelers ruining other popular destinations? The Atlantic has the latest on the problem of overtourism. “A confluence of macroeconomic factors and changing business trends have led more tourists crowding to popular destinations,” writes Annie Lowrey. “That has led to environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, and the immiseration and pricing-out of locals in many places. And it has cities around the world asking one question: Is there anything to be done about being too popular?” A must-read deep-dive!