For most of us, traveling anywhere beyond a few miles is almost guaranteed to be an absolute nightmare, at least after a certain age. That age obviously isn’t fixed, but ultimately the world keeps delivering body blows until everyone is a miserable shell of their former selves.
Even the most enthusiastic travelers will eventually be worn down by traffic jams, know-nothing cab drivers, tarmac delays, crying babies, lost luggage and the seemingly endless number of horrible people employed by the airline industry.
That’s to say nothing about the cost associated with all of that, which is always a concern when money is definitely an object. While money is a concern for those living in the real world, athletes are generally operating on an entirely different plane of existence.
In terms of travel, it’s not only a part of their private lives because they have the money to go wherever they want, whenever they want, it’s also a major part of the job. All the back-and-forth would probably get tiresome if they were packed like sardines back in coach, but athletes get to travel everywhere in style.
Be it via land, air or water, let’s dig a little deeper into the swanky travel habits of some of the world’s most famous athletes. We'll start with the basics.
OK, well it’s safe to say there’s nothing basic about boxer Floyd Mayweather’s Ferrari Enzo, which he bought from the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi in January for $3.2 million—and then tried to sell in June for $3.8 million.
Apparently ridiculously overpriced sports cars appreciate in value after putting a few hundred miles on them. Yeah, that makes sense. Moving on.
Compared to Money’s Ferrari, Chicago Bears safety Antrel Rolle looks positively frugal with his Maserati. It's just a utilitarian set of wheels he uses to get him and his Louis Vuitton purse wherever they need to be.
NBA free agent J.R. Smith embraces the classic rich-guy vibe with a tricked-out red Bentley. Either that or he has a hobby of standing next to strangers' fancy cars at night. Hopefully it’s the former, since the latter would be extremely creepy.
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant and his boys obviously don’t have to see the sights on foot while traveling at home or abroad. The camo crew is about to board a Two Bear Air helicopter for a tour near Whitefish, Montana.
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and former teammate D.J. Williams both look mighty dapper on the helipad with that badass, jet-black helicopter.
Padres outfielder Matt Kemp may not be earning his bloated paycheck in San Diego, but he’s still going to be making over $20 million a year through 2019. Which means he doesn’t have to drive two hours when he wants to get back to Los Angeles.
Free-agent center Tristan Thompson is expected to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, likely receiving a nice raise that will keep him comfortably in the lifestyle of which he’s become accustom. After kicking back in those sweet leather seats, how could you ever go back to flying coach on a commercial jet?
Here's Oakland Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck about to board what may or may not be the team’s private jet. Either that jet belongs to Oakland or Tuck goes out of his way to match his plane to his uniform, which would be amazing…and an amazing waste of money.
Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk is ridiculously wealthy, but also impressively laid back. This crew definitely looks like they’d be more at home on a seaplane than a stuffy private jet.
On a Boat
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, recently spent a few weeks vacationing together in the Bahamas. Much of the time was spent relaxing on a very glorious boat.
In early July, Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst posted this epic photo of him sipping champagne on a yacht in France. Props to whoever instructed him to share it—this is the highlight of Whitehurst’s NFL career to date.
Last year. Washington Wizards superstar point guard John Wall celebrated his birthday in style, although it seems he may have celebrated it alone on a massive empty yacht. Hopefully Wall doesn’t have to wish himself a happy birthday this year.
Being picked up and carted around in a limousine is probably a pretty common occurrence for athletes. Of course, most of them are content with renting someone else’s, while boxer Floyd Mayweather has his own customized TMT limo.
Heat big man Chris Bosh decided to give his son a very early driving lesson while on his annual globetrotting family vacation. Hopefully that Cadillac golf cart had a seat belt, because that doesn’t look entirely safe for the little one.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather’s son turned 15 a few months ago, and since he’s not old enough to drive, he naturally shelled out an ungodly sum to get the boy a Bentley golf cart. Whatever though, at least it’ll have better resale value than the limo.
Tony Hawk obviously travels via skateboard whenever possible, including while touring the White House. Seriously, if you aren’t hatefully jealous of Hawk’s life, well, then you’re a better person than I.
Miami's Chris Bosh seems to have a Cadillac in every size! The golf cart was definitely too big for little boy Bosh to learn on, but that sweet set of wheels looks just right.
Free agent rabble-rouser J.R. Smith came up all kinds of small for the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. After tossing up so many bricks, the only positive memory most of us have is Smith zipping around on a PhunkeeDuck scooter prior to Game 4.
With Beats Headphones
Even though Bose is the official headphones sponsor of the NFL, and athletes can get fined for wearing anything else, many athletes remain loyal to Beats. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is among them.
Cavaliers superstar LeBron James doesn’t have to worry about getting fined by the NBA for wearing his Beats. Honestly though, he could probably give Adam Silver an atomic wedgie and not get fined for it. It’s good to be the King.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of Beats' most visible brand ambassadors, along with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. That’s why he gets customized Fendi-Beats headphones, which is the perfect transition into overpriced carrying cases.
With Overpriced Luggage
Athletes travel so often that investing in fancy luggage actually isn’t a completely unforgivable luxury. While the rest of us are best off settling for American Tourist suitcases on clearance, New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall actually went vintage luggage shopping on a recent trip to London.
What’s really annoying about this is not that the Heat’s Dwyane Wade has two sets of Prada suitcases—which cost upward of $10,000 each—it’s that he and his wife get them completely free of charge. The more money you make, the more people trip over themselves to give you free stuff. That just seems unfair.
Niners rookie running back Mike Davis’ studded carry-on is very popular among athletes, many of whom have the exact same backpack in either black or brown. Follow a few hundred athletes on Instagram, and that’s one of the weird things you’ll eventually pick up on.
With an Entourage
Boxer Floyd Mayweather is on this list several times because he makes and spends (wastes) more money than most athletes in the world. His travel habits would be expensive all alone, but the expenses must really add up when his entourage tags along.
Mayweather's entourage varies in size depending on why he's traveling. There are about two dozen people there, but there could be another 100 people on that massive plane for all we know.
With a Championship Trophy
This one really speaks for itself, and it's the only way to travel on this list that is exclusively limited to a select few athletes. It doesn’t matter how much money the rest of us have, the opportunity to travel with a championship trophy is just not something that presents itself very often.
After defeating the Cavaliers on the road in six games, the Larry O’Brien Trophy was the celebrated guest of honor on the Golden State Warriors’ flight back from Cleveland.
There will never be anything more stylish than winning.