16 Expensive Hobbies Only the Rich and Famous Can Afford

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While most people with average earnings go on an occasional trip to another state or visit Disneyland with their families, rich people sail around the world in their luxurious yachts, fly all across the globe to dine in a high-end restaurant and admire Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ while petting their exotic pet.

It’s not an exaggeration! The lives of the wealthy are very different from the lives of us, normal people. From collecting million-dollar antiques to playing golf on the best courses in the world, here are some of the hobbies that only rich people can afford.

 

Yachting

Yachts have always been associated with wealth and luxury. After all, not many people can afford a yacht, so those who do, clearly don’t compromise on money. Most normal people just go on a cruise with hundreds of people they don’t know, if they raise enough money, that is.

People with a large bank account sail in a yacht equipped with a captain and crew to attend to their every needs and whims. And I do mean large bank account because the yachting experience doesn’t come cheap at all. Renting a yacht can start from $5,000 a day, according to TheRichest, while for the purchase of a 170-foot yacht, one might need to pay as much as $50 million, according to Forbes. surprising or not, this is not even the most expensive sailing vessel out there!

 

Polo

Polo is considered the Godfather of wealthy people sports. It is a sport played by the royals, like Prince William and Prince Harry of the British royal family. It should come as no surprise that it is quite expensive, – a full membership in the Detroit Polo Club is $3,000 a year – and it involves quite the logistics. Just think about the fact that polo players have to switch horses after each period, or chukka in polo terms. That means 8 horses per rider per game! Let me tell you that horses come with a hefty price tag. According to the Boston Globe, a polo pony can cost as much as $250,000.

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Race Car Driving

If you have a passion for cars and for daredevil stunts, then you will find car racing extremely thrilling and exhilarating. If you also have the money for it, that is. Because race car driving is not affordable to just about anyone with a need for speed. As a matter of fact, you’d have to be pretty rich to afford going for a spin in such a vehicle, considering that a three to eight-minutes driving session can cost as high as $950, according to Nascar Racing Experience.

 

Big-Game Hunting

Hunting is not exactly reserved only for the rich. But if you want to take part in high-end expeditions and impressive hunting trips, don’t be surprised if you have no money left in your wallet before all is said and done.

For example, a simple hunting safari to Mozambique can cost around $20,000 but that’s only a fraction of the money thrill-seekers are willing to pay to hunt a lion, elephant, rhino, or any of the other big game animals. According to USA Today, some hunters shell out as much as $70,000 for a hunting excursion.

 

Collecting Exotic Animals

Some like to hunt animals, others like collecting them. By some, we mean the rich and wealthy people who find it boring to have something as common as a dog or cat as a pet and collect exotic and expensive animals instead. This exotic preference does not come cheap, though.

According to Big Cat Rescue, the average price of a cheetah cub ranges between $15,000 and $25,000, a lion cub’s price varies between $1,500 to $15,000 while a tiger cub can cost $3,200. For an adult tiger, “collectors” have to shell out around $50,000. Facilities for exotic animals can go as high as $94,000 while for care services, exotic animal owners have to pay more than $8,000 a year.

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Collecting Antiques

Despite being a sign of wealth, some rich people don’t find any pleasure in “collecting” rare and exotic animals. They do like to collect something even better…antiques. Wealthy people with lots of money to spend have no problem financing this expensive hobby and are willing to pay your house’s worth or more to get their hands on a rare collectible. For instance, a collector of handmade rugs paid $257,000 for a 150-year-old Persian silk rug.

Luckily, you don’t have to be extremely rich to collect antiques. You might even have high-value items hidden somewhere in your house. To know what to look for, check out these 25 Valuable Things Lying in Your House.

 

Horse Racing

Going to a horse racing track to enjoy the show doesn’t usually end with you going bankrupt. On the other hand, breeding, training and racing your own horses in competitions is not for everyone. After all, not everyone can afford to invest millions in the “Sport of Kings”, just for the pleasure of it.

According to The Jockey Club, the largest commercial horse racing group in the United Kingdom, the costs of owning a racehorse can easily go as high as $65,000 per year. But the investment doesn’t stop there.  The costs for maintaining a racehorse, including feeding, grooming and housing, can easily run up to $50,000 a year. Add the training costs at mid to high-level racetrack of $30,000 and $50,000 per year and you’ve got an investment equivalent to a race car, according to NBC New York.

 

Hot Air Ballooning

A hot air balloon ride can become the experience of a lifetime. It offers amazing experiences and breathtaking views. The good news is that a 90-minute weekend ride costs around $250 per person, so it’s not a real budget-buster.

However, if you want to turn an unforgettable experience into a long-term hobby, you’ll need to open your wallet more. That’s because flight classes cost around $2,750 while for the balloon itself, you’ll have to pay another $20,000 or more.

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Golfing

Swinging a golf club does not require exceptional skills if all you’re interested in is having fun. But when playing golf is more than just an entertaining activity, some are willing to pay serious money for the privilege of playing on the best courses, with the best equipment.

Becoming a member of the most exclusive clubs in the world comes with a hefty price tag. For instance, membership at Trump National in Westchester ranges between $30,000 to $50,000 while the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey requires a joining fee of $300,000, with annual contributions of $29,000 per family.

 

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is another pricey activity that only wealthy people can afford on a regular basis. You might not be thrown off balance by the cost of scuba diving certification and equipment of about $500 each. But once you include transportation and lodging at some of the best scuba locations in the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kimbe Bay in Papua, New Guinea, and Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt, it becomes quite expensive and out of many people’s league.

 

Collecting Art

Collecting high-end art is one of the most expensive hobbies of the rich and wealthy, if not the most expensive one. Collectors are willing to pay millions for impressive works of art, such as Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which was bought in 2015 by an anonymous bidder for $179 million. Also, in 2015, Qatar Museums purchased the famous “When Will You Marry?” by Paul Gauguin, for $300 million.

Among the celebrities with valuable art on their walls, Money Inc listed Sean Combs, Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna.

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High-Stakes Poker

Rich people with plenty of money to bust take poker night to a whole new level. The limits are so high, they are called “nosebleeds”, and for some games, players have to pay as much as $1 million buy-ins in events like the World Series of Poker.

Those who take regular trips to places like Las Vegas to spend thousands (if not millions) of dollars at the poker tables are known as the ‘high rollers’. Casino’s will go out of there way to provide them with free accommodation, food and drinks, just so the player will choose to spend their money at that particular casino.

 

World travel

If you’re like most people, you go on your occasional vacations in other countries and trips across the U.S. But for rich people, traveling is a different matter entirely. They don’t just visit a country, they visit the entire world, book the best accommodations, enjoy first-class travel, high-end excursions and food and so much more. Just to get an idea of how expensive traveling in style can be to us, mortal people, a round-trip excursion around the world could reach as high as $1 million.

 

Winemaking

Winemaking can be as enthralling and interesting as it can be expensive. The rich spend a lot of money to grow and promote their wines, according to Jim Wang, founder of personal finance website Wallet Hacks.

“I have a business acquaintance who is very wealthy, and one of his hobbies is winemaking,” he said. “We’re not talking about going to a winery, mixing their vintages and calling it your own blend — that’s actually quite fun and affordable — with your own label. My friend bought land, hired a staff and it was a couple of years until he was actually able to bottle anything.”

Of course, there are plenty of people who make wine without spending piles of cash in the process. But if you want to take winemaking to a completely different level and open a winery in Napa, you’ll be paying no more no less than $100,000 per acre, according to Forbes.

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Collecting Vintage Cars

Speaking of cars, the ultra-rich people who are not avid, car racing thrill-seekers like to spend their money on cars as well, but vintage ones instead. Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld are among the wealthy and famous people who boast impressive vintage car collections. This hobby is definitely not cheap, with rare cars such as the 1954 Mercedes Formula One race car costing around $29.6 million.

 

Flying planes

If you dream of flying your own plane, don’t let us stop you from pursuing your dream. But you should know flying doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it can cost as much as $12,000 to get a private pilot license while the price of a used plane, such as a six-seat Cessna Citation CJ3, can go as high as $2.5 million. Not everyone can afford that kind of money. Except for rich people.

Take actor Harrison Ford for example. He started seriously flying at 52 and has amassed an impressive (and expensive) aircraft collection, which includes a 1929 Waco Taperwing open-top biplane, an Aviat Husky, which is a two-seat fabric-covered bush plane, and a Bell 407 helicopter, just to name a few.

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