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Have Miles Will Travel

Vacation on “Mars” for a Few Thousand Dollars

Vacation on “Mars” for a Few Thousand Dollars
Jennifer Billock

Have frequent flier miles burning a hole in your pocket and need new ideas for where to go? Check out our weekly Have Miles Will Travel column for strange, wonderful and unique destinations around the world. 

So you’ve already visited Have Miles Will Travel’s capybara spa, glowing China coast, and swirling caves? How about heading to space next? The Mars One mission may be about to die out (just like all of its participants would have…), but luckily you can go to Mars without ever having to leave Planet Earth.

Tucked into the mountains in northern Spain is the TripAdvisor Astroland experience, where 10 participants on a “mission to Mars” live in a cave together to test the technology needs and human limitations of life on the Red Planet.


How Much Does it Cost to Go to Mars?

This TripAdvisor trip to Mars costs just about $6,894 in US dollars, but you’ll have to spend 30 days‘ time to prepare.

Phase One, Work From Home:

  • A three-week remote training course with actual astronaut instructors and aerospace psychologists to train for the experience.
  • The course includes health, fitness, technical, and community training, and you must pass this phase to go n to the next.

Phase Two, Space Center training in Spain:

  • After you pass the in-home course, you’ll next travel to the Astroland Space Center in Santander, Spain. At the center, you’ll undergo three days of physical and psychological training, including caving instruction, anti-gravity experiences, and emergency situation preparation.


Your Mars Vacation

The TripAdvisor trip to Mars lasts three days and takes place in the otherworldly environment of Ares Station, a cave in Spain that closely replicates the environment on Mars.

What Will I Do on Mars?

  • In your own personal sequel to The Martian (2015), you’ll spend the entire time in isolation with your team, working on daily schedules just as you would if you were headed to the real Red Planet.
  • There’s also a gym where you’ll exercise according to your schedule.

What Will I Eat on Mars?

  • You’ll receive astronaut food and water rations.

What If I Get Into Trouble on Mars?

  • Ares Station is monitored remotely in case of a serious emergency, but it’ll take first responders 30 minutes to get there. Your training will prepare you for smaller emergencies, so you’ll be expected to deal with those on your own.

Congratulations, You’re an Astronaut

  • At the end of the mission, you launch out of Mars and back to your hotel, where there’s a gala dinner and awards ceremony.


Do I Need a Passport to Go to Mars?

For the remote training portion, you’ll be in your own home. Just make sure you have a reliable internet connection. To get to the second phase at the Astroland Space Center, you can either fly into Seve Ballesteros–Santander Airport in Cantabria or take the train into Santander, Spain.

The Astroland folks will then pick you up and take you to your hotel (included in the price) and will provide transportation to and from the center. They’ll also transport you to the cave and pick you up after the mission.


Scheduling Your Interstellar Excursion

If you want to go to almost-Mars, you’ll have to book on the TripAdvisor site. Missions begin every other Sunday. Keep in mind there’s a max of 10 people and a minimum as well, so gather some friends with you to ensure it doesn’t get canceled or rescheduled.

If you’re still up for a vacation after you return to Earth, check out the FlyerTalk forum thread on travel to Spain to ask any questions like how to travel in Spain when you don’t know any Spanish,

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. rickg523

    January 12, 2020 at 11:13 am

    “You’ll kill the bad guy, save the planet, and get the girl! And with ReKall you never have to leave Earth!”

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