We all have our own ideas of what an outrageous luxury vacation would entail. If money were no object, only a lack of imagination would prevent the ultimate travel experience.

What would it be? A night spent in a pyramid? A deep water tour of the Titanic? Or, perhaps a trip into space? With yearly advances in technology and communications, these adventures, which once seemed ludicrous, are now becoming a reality.

Travel in space has captured the American psyche ever since we first placed a man on the moon. With the success of the space shuttle program, we have made space a frontier that is, if not well known, at least approachable.

Richard Branson has announced that his fledgling space company, Virgin Galactic, will commence its first commercial flights into space at the end of this year. Would you like to join the list of first passengers? For a deposit of only $250K you can reserve a seat aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two. Passengers aboard the six passenger vessel will be able to experience zero gravity 68 miles above the Earth during their two hour journey into sub-orbital space, with 600 people expected to fly in the first two years of service. Sign on now and you may fly with fellow passengers Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – who have supposedly already paid the deposit.

Singer Sarah Brightman, of “Phantom of the Opera” fame, will also be a space tourist sometime in 2014 or 2015. The soprano, who has sold 30 million CDs, is an UNESCO artist ambassador for peace. Fascinated with space travel since she was a young girl, Brightman outbid NASA to get her seat.  She had to pay the Russian space agency more than the $51M NASA budgets (on average) to send its astronauts to the station. Brightman, 52, has passed a series of psychological and physical tests to be officially recognized by the Russian space authorities as “a cosmonaut in training.”

Other luxury travel niches include “experience travel with merit.” Many with the means want a new life experience that requires discipline, dedication, and plain old hard work to earn the bragging rights of their adventures. Hiking, spelunking, and diving trips to remote and often uncharted parts of the earth are offered by many elite travel companies. One offers travelers the opportunity to descend into the magma chamber of a dormant Icelandic volcano. This experience is certainly not for those with claustrophobia…or fear of fire.

Private charter comes into play for those who want an ‘embedded’ experience with their favorite sports team or sports figure. Many golf celebrities have donated their time to their favorite charities in order to provide the intrepid golfer the chance to fly with, play with and be beaten by, their golf idol.

In Spain, Barcelona FC – one of the most famous football clubs in the world – is offering affluent fans an exclusive opportunity to travel as part of the team’s entourage. Imagine attending a highly publicized away game via private jet charter. On the return flight, fans schmooze with the players and talk plays and strategies–the dream of every soccer enthusiast.

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