13 Ways to Live Like a Millionaire for a Day
There are plenty of ways average people can experience what it's like to be among the planet's millionaires and billionaires -- thanks in large part to the sharing economy, ecommerce, and travel technology. They make it possible to rent, rather than buy, everything from diamond baubles worthy of an Oscars appearance to designer luggage or fashions straight from the runway. Here are 13 ways to live like a 1 percenter, if only for a short time.
Think of the website Rent the Runway as an opportunity to raid the closet of hundreds of fabulous designers and fashion models. The site offers clothing and accessories by nearly 500 famous names, from Diane von Furstenberg to Badgley Mischka and Tory Burch. Items can be rented for as little as $30 to $600 for four to eight days at a time.
Bag, Borrow or Steal solves handbag and luggage envy with rentals of goods by some of the trendiest makers, including Chanel, Tory Burch, Fendi, Prada, and Gucci. Louis Vuitton suitcases and duffel bags can be rented to head off on a business trip or vacation looking like royalty. Rent by the month from a low of around $45 to hundreds of dollars.
Spend a few days iced like an Oscars celeb. A handful of companies offer luxury jewelry rentals, including Haute Vault and Adorn, which rents out diamond drop earrings nearly identical to Kate Middleton's wedding jewelry. The almost two-carat earrings retail for $10,875, but rent for $160. Jewelry is insured while you have it, so you don't need to hire bodyguards.
Being able to bunk in mansions is practically commonplace thanks to sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Some rentals cost thousands per night (designer Donna Karan's Turks and Caicos retreat, for instance), others far less: Elizabeth Taylor's former three-bedroom Palm Springs home is about $600 per night and sleeps eight, so splitting the cost makes for an approachable night of luxury. A Malibu estate where Denzel Washington once lived sleeps 10 but lists on Airbnb for less than $500 per night.
A free app called Velocity lets you dine at the planet's hottest restaurants without having to be Beyoncé. Velocity includes everything from Michelin star classics to neighborhood gems, all restaurants not just anyone can get into whenever they want -- but Velocity boasts exclusive relationships that make it possible. Say hello to Bey for us.
Forget spending time between flights mingling with commoners by the boarding gate. The Lounge Buddy app allows instant access to more than 100 of the top airport lounges around the world for as little as $25 a stay, rather than the business- or first-class tickets or special credit cards usually needed. The lounges often have free food and drink, plush seating, even spas and showers.
Skip the airport lounge and depart when you want -- not on a plane you own, perhaps, but on a private plane. Lower-price options include jet card memberships or looking for "empty leg" repositioning flights (which can bring prices down as low as a few hundred dollars for an entire plane).
Designer Gianni Versace's 19,000-square-foot gated villa in Miami's South Beach shows the opulence that can be had when money is no object -- including a 54-foot outdoor pool lined with 24-karat gold. After Versace's death, the property was converted into a boutique hotel known as The Villa by Barton G., also known as the The Villa Casa Casuarina. Online deal sites can get you in for less than $700 a night.
Billionaire CNN founder Ted Turner is the second-largest landowner in the United States and owns dozens of homes in some of the world's most stunning locales. A few years ago he launched Ted Turner Expeditions to let travelers stay at a few of his massive reserves, such as locations in New Mexico or a pristine island off the South Carolina coast. Travelers can book hiking, biking, wildlife, and ranch tours starting at around $350 for two people -- as close as you'll come to feeling like you have your own private national park, which Turner practically does.
The rich and famous hire personal trainers to help them stay buff. The rest of us can use FitFusion, a website that streams workouts from dozens of well-known fitness gurus, including Jillian Michaels of "The Biggest Loser" and Andrea Orbeck, the "muscle whisperer" who works with such hardbodies as Julia Roberts, Gigi Hadid, and Heidi Klum. The service costs $10 a month, or down to $7.50 a month with an annual membership.
For some, staying fabulous involves regular facials, body wraps, and pedicures. Get pampered by booking a treatment or two at The Now, a trendy Los Angeles spa frequented by "It Girls" such as Minka Kelly and Lena Dunham, but charging as little as $25 for signature massages. On the East Coast, try the Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel, where a 50-minute massage is $200 -- but for a limited time comes $50 off.
No millionaire lifestyle would be complete without a flashy boat -- perhaps floating in the blue waters of the Caribbean. Get my Boat, which bills itself as the world's largest boat rental and charter marketplace, offers 67,000 listings in 171 countries, everything from yachts in Key Biscayne, Florida, to 42-foot catamarans in Portugal. Rentals can be as low as $40 an hour or cost hundreds of dollars, but when split among a group, it might not cost too much to cruise like a millionaire.
Sometimes feeling rich doesn't mean spending money at all -- just hanging out in the right place. This street in the heart of Beverly Hills is home to some of the planet's most expensive and exclusive stores, and a visit allows a glimpse of life for the fabulously rich and perhaps even a peek at a celeb or two. Designer stores here include Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Cartier, and Chanel, where you might decide to splurge on a pair of socks or a scarf after all.
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