When your daily life already involves travelling the globe for business, the question of where to go on holiday must be less exciting than it is for the rest of us. For many famous business entrepreneurs, most major airports must seem like part of the office.
So, where do the most successful business brains go when they want to take things easy and put work worries away for a few days?
Close to home
I'm sure Warren Buffett isn't alone in preferring quiet holidays in familiar surroundings every year. Why seek out variety every vacation when business provides more than enough? Buffett owned two holiday homes in Laguna Beach, California, selling one in 2005. The billionaire is still a familiar sight in the area during the summer months. Laguna Beach is located in Orange County, one of the richest counties in the USA, and nearby Newport Beach has the highest concentration of billionaires in the country. So the neighbours would be used to famous business entrepreneur residents like Buffett.
Off the beaten track
Bill Gates also has a favourite holiday spot, having returned to Croatia each year for almost a decade.1 Often arriving in his mega yacht, Gates and his family spend time around the small town of Skradin (population: 4,000). This quiet refuge is also close to spectacular national parks, ruined fortresses, waterfalls and a 15th century monastery. Gates' relationship with Croatia extends to his charitable work as well, having agreed to donate money to assist in the removal of land mines left over from the 1991-95 war for independence.
Just because you have billions in the bank doesn't mean you can't still appreciate the simple life. Mark Zuckerberg obviously thinks so. Never one to let his financial success change him, the creator of Facebook recently holidayed in Hawaii where he and his wife have taken up surfing.2 No lavish restaurants and five star hotels though. The couple stayed in a beach house and shared Bubba's Burgers (a legendary local fast food) with friends at beachside picnic tables. After all, a holiday is just that — a chance to get away from thoughts of work and money and instead enjoy simple comforts and relaxation.
Buy an island
Still can't find the perfect spot? Why not buy an island instead? Most of us will buy a souvenir or two while on vacation, but Richard Branson may have gone one better. While holidaying in the British Virgin Islands in 1979, he bought the uninhabited Necker Island.3 Branson spent three years turning his new purchase into a private island retreat and holiday resort, accommodating up to 28 people. Famous guests include Larry Page, co-founder of Google, who married his girlfriend on the island in 2007. Branson now lives on Necker Island full-time, which begs the question: "Where does he go on holiday these days?"
It may be interesting to note that the world's most famous business entrepreneurs choose to spend their vacation time in a manner that isn't all too different to most of us (well, except maybe Branson). The point isn't where they go, but that they go places where work can fade into the background for a few days or weeks. Now, that's something we can all appreciate.
1 Bill Gates and his family spending holidays in Croatia, again. Croatian News (2013). http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/Panorama/2013-08-08/34426/Bill_Gates_and_his_family_spending_holidays_in_Croatia,_again
2 Sandals, burgers and picnic table lunches. Lydia Warren (2013).
3 Sir Richard Branson's travelling life. Lisa Grainger (2013).
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Jonathan has worked within, and written about, the technology industry for many years. Before going freelance as a writer in 2012, Jonathan had worked for Netregistry (web hosting) and Ninefold (cloud computing). Jonathan has won awards for his articles on online business for Nett Magazine and his over-opinionated blog Atomik Soapbox. He continues to write for Chief Content Officer magazine.