Top 10 Most Expensive Hobbies in the World

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Expensive hobbies


Hobbies are activities we choose to do because they bring us pleasure and help us de-stress. We’re also willing to spend for them in the blink of an eye.

Yet when money is not an issue and you have the freedom to spend it any way you want to, you’re faced with an incredible list of activities that would hardly be available for most people. Here’s how the rich folk splash their money for fun.

10. Mountain Climbing

Mountain climbing as an expensive hobby

Some people choose hobbies that challenge their physical, emotional and mental resilience. Such hobbies are usually within the financial reach of most people. However, there are others that require thousands of dollars to be attempted. An example of such a hobby is mountain climbing. Mountain climbing involves scaling the heights of towering mountains to reach the summit.

Also known as mountaineering, this hobby is among the most expensive in the world. Reaching the snowy peaks of the world’s highest mountains consumes time and money. First, you need to be in prime physical condition prior to attempting a climb and this means spending at least $1000. Mountaineering requires you to have specialized gear that can cost as much as $10,000. You also need to acquire a permit from local authorities, and these are not given for free. The permit required to climb Mt. Everest starts at $10,000. The expedition takes several days and so you will also need to buy enough food, water, and medical supplies to last the entire trip. The cumulative cost averages at over $100,000, not taking into account additional expenses such as airplane tickets.

While Everest remains the number-one destination for all mountaineers in the world, the mountain is not the most expensive peak to ascend. That distinction goes to the tallest mountain in Antarctica, Mt. Sidley. The remoteness of Antarctica makes traveling to scale its highest mountain quite expensive. Options include taking a cruise ship to the continent or taking a flight but both are pricey, fetching between $5,000 and $21,500. The logistical nightmare involved in traveling to Mt. Sidley is compounded by the freezing temperatures with the area around the mountain being in a constant freeze which only drives the cost upwards.

9. Car Racing

Car racing as an expensive hobby

Speed is one of the most thrilling stimuli that any human can experience. Perhaps this is why racing films have millions of fans around the world (with the fanatic popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise being one example). Driving your car is ordinary and can sometimes turn out to be a bore. However, there is a hobby that has its enthusiasts testing the speed limits of their cars; car racing.

Car racing is a dangerous but exciting hobby choice for many people around the world. But the costs involved to participate in a car race make it only available for the wealthy petrol heads. Let us crunch those numbers and see why this hobby is among the most expensive. The first hurdle one encounters is buying a good race car. While the price of a proper race car is dependent on numerous factors including safety features, specifications, and mileage to name just but a few, the price often ranges between $10,000 and $250,000.

Then comes the true money sponge; car maintenance. As you might have guessed, car racing pushes the car to its limits and obviously, some parts are bound to become faulty and require replacing. These frequent maintenance activities can suck up thousands of dollars. The sum goes higher if you choose to participate in the controversial crash derbies.

8. Skydiving

Skydiving as an expensive hobby

Skydiving often pops up when people are asked to name the activities on their bucket lists. The exhilaration that comes with jumping off a flying plane makes this hobby appealing to many people. However, despite the hobby only taking a few minutes to complete, this is among the most expensive hobbies that anyone can take up. It takes less than a minute to complete one jump and this is usually priced between $150 and $250. The figure snowballs as one make numerous jumps in a day, amounting to over $15,000 if one would make 10 jumps each week.

7. World Travel

World traveler as an expensive hobby

There is a phrase that states “the best way of spending money is buying experiences,” and there are few activities that describe this statement better than traveling the world. World travel is an excellent way of spending your free time due to the sheer excitement that comes from discovering new places, and it is also a perfect way of appreciating the vastness of the world. An extensive world tour can take years to complete and end up taking you to hundreds of different countries.

However, this beloved hobby is only achievable at a great cost. People have been known to save for decades to comfortably finance an extensive world tour. A proper world tour that takes you to all continents in the world costs at least $150,000. The reason behind the jaw-dropping figure is the endless logistics that are involved. Different countries have different accommodation and traveling rates so what would cost, say $100 in country A, would cost $1,000 in country B. Countless factors determine the total cost of a world tour, ranging from the mode of transport to the preferred destination.

6. Aircraft Flying

Aircraft flying as an expensive hobby

If you thought flying a plane as a career is costly, then you will be astonished at how expensive it is to have aircraft flying as a hobby. First, you need to acquire flight lessons from a certified instructor. The average cost for training in flight ranges between $7000 and $8000, with there being many instances where the costs are even higher than that. After spending the thousands of dollars (and dozens of hours) in flying training, you will obtain a pilot license.

The next step is the most expensive in the hobby, purchasing a plane to fly. A standard plane is priced at about $100,000 but there are more expensive options. Then comes the additional expenses including fuel, maintenance, hangar fees, and insurance.

5. Speed Boat Racing

Speed boat racing as an expensive hobby

The name says it all; a hobby where you take your powerful speedboat for a water race with a bunch of friends. Speedboats have been used as the poster of luxurious private coastal travel for years, a reputation that has been given fodder by the boats’ appearances in music videos and films. Unfortunately, these speedboats are beyond what most of your favorite pop stars can afford and can only hire one of these machines when shooting music videos.

Only the moneyed individuals being able to own one. The standard speedboat comes with a price tag of about $50,000. The crème-de-la-crème of speedboats has to be the exceptionally fast (and expensive) cigarette boat. Even the mere physical appearance of the cigarette boat shows that this is a vessel that demands attention. Buying one of these toys will leave a $600,000 dent in your pockets.

But buying is just part of the financial liability that is attached to these boats. To have them ready for races, you will also need to customize them and incorporate additional features to improve on the boat’s performance and safety which can gulp additional thousands of dollars.

4. Exotic Animals

Exotic animals as an expensive hobby

Dogs, cats, iguanas, and even mice make up the pets known to most people around the world. However, for many filthy rich individuals around the world, owning these animals as pets has become cliché. They have gone a notch higher and own exotic animals as pets. Why have a dog when you can have a majestic Tibetan Mastiff.

Celebrities represent the group of people that has become synonymous with this hobby. Some of them have even made weird choices for exotic animals such as Nicholas Cage who is remembered for buying an octopus for an astonishing $150,000. Buying an exotic animal is an expensive affair and some of these animals require monthly care that runs to thousands of dollars. Mike Tyson prefers big cats and particularly Bengal tigers, with the retired boxers once owning three of these majestic cats. The tigers do not come cheap and require about $4000 each month in upkeep.

Nonetheless, possession of exotic animals as pets has been a controversial topic for years, facing incessant condemnation from animal rights groups. These activists have been opposed to the pricey hobby of having exotic pets, stating that this act contravenes animal rights and limits their natural range. There have been numerous incidents where these animals have turned against their owners, sometimes leading to fatal injuries. One example is that of a Texas man who died after his 550-pound pet deer kicked him while he attempted to move it.

3. Collecting Cars

Car collection as an expensive hobby

Cars are the favorite toys for most adults, and one is never contented with having only one. Well, there is a way to transform the love for cars into a hobby by buying as many cars as you wish to make what is known as a car collection. The hobby is exciting as it is expensive but the great cost. To establish that this hobby is not suited to everybody, one has to only check out the people who have collecting cars as a hobby.

The royal families of the Middle East countries are known for their extravagance, a lifestyle made possible by their immense wealth. Some of these princes have some of the world’s biggest and most expensive car collections. The Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi has an insane car collection that is housed at the SBH Royal Auto Gallery. The collection features five Bugatti Veyrons each being worth over $1.5 million.

It is, therefore, obvious why this pricey hobby is a favorite among the world’s highest-paid athletes. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, David Beckham and Lionel Messi all boast of having impressive car collections. Floyd Mayweather Jr, the American boxing champion is notable for his absurd car collection that features over 100 cars.

 2. Collecting Art

Art collection as an expensive hobby

Any art enthusiast must have attended an art gallery in town at least once and perhaps bought an interesting piece of art. Collecting art is among the most popular hobbies around the world but it is also one of the most expensive hobbies. Some paintings done by renowned painters or sculptors made by respected artists fetch millions of dollars during auctions.

Take the “Salvator Mundi” painting as an example. This oil painting of the Christ, dating back to the 16th Century was the work of Leonardo da Vinci who is often described as “the greatest artist in history.” The painting features the usual 16th Century Italian Renaissance art. But what makes the “Salvator Mundi” extraordinary is the fact that it is the world’s most expensive painting, after being sold to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism for a whopping $450 million in November 2017.

Many billionaires around the globe have embraced art collection as their favorite hobby and are known to dish out millions to acquire art items. Ivanka Trump, daughter to US President Donald Trump is known for her million-dollar art collection that features numerous expensive paintings. Kenneth C. Griffin, an American billionaire investor leads as the private individual owning the most expensive paintings. Griffin owns both the “Interchange” and “Number 17A” paintings whose combined value is estimated at $0.5 billion.

1. Yacht Racing

Yacht racing as an expensive hobby

Yacht racing is the most expensive hobby in the world. Speedboats are often showcased on music videos and movies as the ultimate expression of wealth. A standard speedboat fetches anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000 which in itself is quite pricey. However, these speedboats are eclipsed in price and exclusivity by yachts. Some exceptionally huge luxurious yachts known as mega-yachts go for about $0.8 billion. It is due to its astronomical price that has made the yacht a must-have to many of the world’s ultra-rich individuals. Russian billionaire businessman, Rowan Abramovich made a statement in 2010 after buying the Eclipse, a mega-yacht that is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion.

However, these extremely pricey yachts are never used in racing. For that one needs to own a J-Class Yacht, which is not as expensive as the mega-yachts. The prices of this type of yacht averages between $10 million and $20 million which is still far from cheap. But buying one is just a tip of the iceberg in expenses that comes with yacht racing. And it is not like you can go to a store and purchase one; there only NINE of them in the world. Annual upkeep for a single J-Class yacht can be as much as $3 million. Making a yacht race ready can cost as much as $8 million. These snippets go to show you that this is one hobby that is only reserved for the dollar billionaires.