Forget Sri Lanka, Marrakech, or Positano. Of all the far-flung places to go this year, the true pioneers are looking up. In 2018, SpaceX plans to send two “tourists” out into the great beyond in the Crew Dragon, a small spaceship resembling an oversize mushroom cap. Inside a little capsule for an entire week, the duo will loop around the moon before heading back to Earth, giving them just enough time to miss the luxuries of home—including bathrooms, matcha tea lattes, and gravity, in no particular order. With limited outfit choices (a spacesuit eradicates the need for a suitcase full of clothes), this list offers a creative guide to galactic travel.
Just because you’ll know your fellow billionaire—er, passenger—thanks to months of pre-blastoff training, doesn’t mean awkward small talk won’t be problematic on a multiday capsule flight. For maximum bonding in the tight quarters, pack The Book of Questions, which will prompt enough conversation to keep you from going “Wow, totally, the Earth is so blue” for hours on end.
See the Sights
Like any vacation, this one requires a bit of advance planning. Consider timing your launch to coincide with natural outer Earth-entertainment like meteor showers for an unbeatable photo-op. (We recommend syncing up to the Eta Aquariids meteor showers in early May, Southern Delta Aquariids at the very end of July, Perseids in mid-August, or Orionids in October.) If they’re visible from Earth, the view from your ship is guaranteed to be stellar—and you don’t want to arrive back home having missed the action you were front row for.
Ships and Giggles
This isn’t a melatonin-popping journey through the clouds; it’s a relentless week of orbiting in outer space, so you’ll need ways to create your own fun once the wonderment of being away from your home planet wears off. Consider bringing a handful of confetti or inflatable balls to keep the ship’s atmosphere light, plus a few window crayons to doodle “We did it!” or “HELP” on the spacecraft’s portholes to shock and delight SpaceX employees upon your return. Prefer to toy with the sanity of your travel companion for extra yucks while trapped in your bubble? Memorize that Netflix password to cue up the episode from “Black Mirror” named “U.S.S. Callister” and let the mental games begin.
With an escape hatch hyped as one of the spacecraft’s best features, SpaceX is all but begging you to take a day trip to the sweet, low-gravity craters of the moon despite its nonstop flight plan. If you indeed convince the pilots to make a pit stop, bring a basketball and hoop (dunking will look really cool up here), and fancy crackers in case NASA is full of liars and it is, in fact, made of spreadable party cheese.
Orbiting Earth may be the ultimate adventure, but every vacation requires a little down time. Self-righteous types should watch films such as “Gravity” and “Armageddon” so they can yell about those unrealistic portrayals of space travel, while thrill seekers who can’t come down from the trip’s adrenaline high should stick to films like “Earth Girls Are Easy” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” After the film, be sure to play an album by leading man David Bowie—this is probably the closest you’ll ever be to his home planet.
Space Camp is for chumps; this is the real deal. Though the mission won’t require any real labor on the part of the guests, you’ll need to make sure your mind, body, and bowels are prepared for what’s to come. You’ll spend time in the zero-gravity KC-135 airplane used by astronauts before an expedition—a vessel that NASA itself has nicknamed the “Vomit Comet.” For your own variation, queue up episode 3 of the 21st season of “The Bachelor,” which sees Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi in the center of the upchuck action on their first date. The SparkNotes version: She pukes, they get engaged, then they eventually break it off—giving you another reason to journey far, far away from this planet.
Hot Eats, Lunar Treats
Even in first class, space food leaves something to be desired. Chances are, you’ll be forced to enjoy a strange assemblage of dehydrated American-style grub, but fake a dietary restriction to get what’s good: international eats. Japan is killing it in the realm of interplanetary cuisine, creating foods such as seafood ramen and chicken curry for its astronauts. The Italians, meanwhile, have invented a way to brew a fresh cup of espresso in space. For a multimillion dollar journey, you’d better get at least one good meal out of it!