March 12, 2014 at 7:31 PM ET
Imagine the following help wanted ad.
"Now Hiring: Candidate wanted to take a $1 million trip around the world — for free. The applicant will spend a year eating at the finest restaurants, sleeping at five-star hotels and enjoying the world's most elite nightclubs and resorts. Applicants should love good food, fine culture and 'exceeding extravagance.' Ability to write is a plus. Couples can also apply."
Sound like a fantasy? It's not. Two luxury travel companies — Luxury Travel Intelligence and VeryFirsttoKnow.com — are searching for someone to take a one-year, $1 million vacation around the world for free. The only requirement is that the traveler write detailed reports on all of their experiences.
"It's like a secret shopper," said Amar Thapen, editor in chief of VeryFirstToKnow.com, a website that gives members first looks at luxury experiences and trips when they launch. "But they have to be very discerning."
The job is all part of Luxury Travel Intelligence's fast-growing business of providing detailed, objective ratings on high-end travel. While the company relies on its own research team and reviews, it hopes the new luxury vacationer will improve its research. Getting people to review everyday trips and experiences on Trip Advisor and Yelp may be easy, but getting the rich to review top travel sites is more challenging.
"Some of these people don't like to rock the boat," Thapen said. "And they don't like to be out there publicly criticizing."The $1 million traveler will visit more than 50 "leading global travel destinations with particular focus on trending hotels, restaurants and nightlife," the companies said. They will do all of the visits incognito and write detailed reports on the service, quality and experience of each location.
Thapen said that just because someone likes to travel, doesn't mean they will be a good candidate. The ideal candidate would be well-versed in the world of high-end hotels, restaurants and experiences and be able to immediately tell a 1978 DRC from a 2001 Lafite.
"They should know exactly what to expect from the best restaurants and hotels," Thapen said. He added that they also need to look like they belong at a luxury hotel or restaurant "and be sociable."
If you think you're the perfect million-dollar vacationer, you can apply here.