Wanna Date Like You’re On The Bachelor? It’s Going To Cost A Small Fortune

- The Bachelor -
Wanna Date Like You’re On The Bachelor? It’s Going To Cost A Small Fortune

We can’t all be reality TV show stars — but that doesn’t mean we can’t date like we’re on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. After all, with the Bachelor Mansion now available to rent on Airbnb, what’s stopping us from hosting our own season?

Well, for one thing, finances. As it turns out, it just might be kiiiiiiind of expensive to whisk your loved one off to all manner of different romantic destinations to find out if your love is the real deal. But how expensive is it, exactly? It's easy to find out what a stay at Nemacolin costs, but I decided to find out what a regular season will run you. First, I had a few parameters I had to set up.

Step number one? Casting. Sure, if you’re single, you might actually be interested in the prospect of dating ~30 different people all at once, narrowing them down through a series of rose ceremonies as you travel from city to city. But how many plane tickets are you really ready to splurge on? If you want to fall in love like you’re the lead on the ABC series, you’re better off doing all your swiping on dating apps ahead of time and picking just one person to meet up with as they step out of the limo on Night One of your incredible journey.

If you’re already dating someone but want to put the relationship to the test, I’ve got good news — this system can work for you, too. Ask your partner to pack their bags (with several black tie options available to them, natch) so you can sweep them off their feet as you hop from country to country, engaging in incredible one-on-one dates.

Picking just one person also helps you save when it comes to your bottom line. Instead of having to spend several days in each city as you schedule out group dates and two-on-ones and rose ceremonies, you can tighten up your itinerary and cut out several nights spent in hotels, special dinners, and unpaid time off work. After all, this is a whirlwind process, but it still takes at least three weeks to fit everything in.

Other caveats include the fact that I haven’t factored in the cost of roses across the globe, any meals or snacks you wouldn’t be seen eating on screen, or the cost of your wardrobe. That’s on you, pal. But if you’re ready to get into the official Bachelor dating bill, let’s break it all down.

Night One

Because it’s important to plan ahead, I’m starting our take on the reality show on March 1. Like all seasons, let’s begin at the Bachelor Mansion in Agoura Hills, California. For the sake of convenience, let’s say both you and your boo are both currently living locally, so you don’t need to worry about any flights into the city. However, you do still want to arrive in style just like they do on the series.

Whether you plan to hop in an Uber and wait in the driveway as your lucky contestant comes up with a creative one-liner or if you two hope to make the trek together, you’re going to need a limo. LosAngelesLimo.com rents out your basic 6-person Lincoln Limo for about $175.95 an hour to drive you from the city out to the Mansion. Sure, it’s a little pricier than a ride share — but you want to do your season up right, don’t you?

Once you’re both on location, go ahead and kick your night off with a traditional cocktail party. Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you decide to bring a bottle of champagne you had waiting at home for a special occasion. I won’t count it against your tab for now. But there is one other thing you’ll need, and that’s a pep talk from Chris Harrison himself.

Unfortunately, considering you’re not actually on The Bachelor, the TV host is not obligated to show up and share quippy love advice with you. But if you fork over a cool $475, he will record a Cameo for you full of all kinds of words of wisdom. Considering his actual appearance fee is probably a lot higher, I’m going to go ahead and call that a bargain. Thanks, Chris!

Once the cocktail party is over (ideally you’ll have stayed up until sunrise worrying about whether or not this will work out before the process has even started, as any good Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant does), it’s finally time to hit the hay in the Bachelor Mansion, which is all yours for $6,000 each night.

Total: $6,650.95

The First One-on-One

Since the cocktail party was technically just a warm up for the whole show, you won’t have your first official date until day two. Once again, you might not have the connections on your own to rent out a whole theater and have a standup comedian teach you how to tell a joke, but it’s still important to have some kind of big name be part of the process before you hightail it out of Hollywood. So for this date, you and your paramour will be attending a romantic cooking class and receiving some expert advice from another celebrity cameo.

Before you head out to work on your culinary skills at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, where classes can run about $85 per person, make sure to book a video from a star like Graham Elliot. A recognizable personality from MasterChef Junior (and very affordable at only $35 for a cameo), he’s the perfect person to tease the two of you about how to ~spice things up~ in your love life. If you really want to splurge, you can even drop $125 for a 10-minute Zoom where you can have an actual, live conversation with him. Wow!

If all goes well, the cooking class will set you up with your dinner free of (additional) charge, and you’ll be putting those pinched pennies to use later. After all, you’re about to spend another night in the Bachelor Mansion, and we all know now that it’s far from easily affordable.

Total: $6,120 (or $6,210 if you spring for the Zoom!)

The Bachelor Pool Party

Of course, it’s also important that you’re not just whisking your partner away for all kinds of elaborate fantasy dates. During plenty of seasons, contestants also find themselves engaged in some kind of pool party or tailgate with the lead, so I thought it was important that you have at least one more day in the Mansion before you get kicked out, and considering the cost you’d better make it worth it.

Ideally, you'd have some other people there to stir the pot, but since it's just the two of you, you'll have to pick a fight that leaves one of you walking around saying, "I just don't know what to believe right now..." If that doesn't sound up your alley (understandable), you can instead use this free day to get to know each other better before you’re emotionally exhausted from hopping from city to city, because that adventure starts tomorrow.

Total: $6,000

The First Leg of the Trip

Once you’re ready to leave LA behind, it’s important you pick a random city in the U.S. that you might not normally be interested to visit. This way, you can recreate the experience of forcing all the contestants to pretend they’re out-of-their-minds excited to go to Ohio. On your trip, you’ll be following in the footsteps of Chris Soules' suitors and heading to Deadwood, South Dakota, which looks like a cool, cozy little town where you can have a little cowboy moment (something they love over on The Bachelor) or cuddle up together in your winter wonderland. According to Kayak, which we'll be using to estimate all our travel needs, the flight will cost you about $169 per person — and that’s economy with one stop. If you want to spring for a slightly bougier seat (while still not putting yourself in a first class cabin), it’ll be more like $253 per person.

You’ll only be sticking around for a few nights, but it’s important to find a cool hotel where you can get some great B-roll for the show or, in this case, content for your Instagram Story. Using Hotels.com, I found the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, which will run you about $110 per night.

Now, it’s March 5, and I hope you’re ready for your first out-of-town date. How about a walk around town for the morning so you can wander in an out of all the cool shops and saloons in the area? For the second of half of the day, it’s time to feel the wind in your hair. Since it’s not yet spring, the lodge is still offering snowmobile rentals, and I saved you a four-hour appointment for $170.

If you were really thrifty you might have packed a winter picnic to eat somewhere up the mountains — but considering the fact that you don’t want to go over your time (and the fact that you don’t have a whole production crew to go location scouting ahead of time), you’re probably better off returning to the hotel for dinner. Thankfully, the lodge has a restaurant where you can find something tasty. Let’s say you spend $30 on appetizers and salads, $70 on some fancy entrees, and maybe $50 for a nice bottle or two of wine. Make sure you just barely touch the food, however, unless you’re willing to pull an Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and be one of the only Bachelor Nation personalities snacking and smacking their lips on camera. Frankly, Bachelor in Paradise star Tahzjuan Hawkins would disapprove.

Total: $878 if you bought the cheaper flights, and $1,046 if you wanted to fly in comfort.

The International Installment of the Trip

Now that you’ve spent some time in a random U.S. city, it’s time to visit a new country. If you’re not ready to head to Europe just yet, U.S. News & World Report suggests that Québec City in Canada could be a great alternative. Filled with plenty of old world charm but on a slightly less traveling-to-a-new-continent budget, this could be the place you truly fall in love. The flight from South Dakota is pretty reasonable, too. While you’ll have to fly economy with two stops, a seat will only run you about $194 per person.

Once you’re in the city, head over to the Auberge Place D'Armes where you’ll be staying. The hotel is gorgeous, and also TripAdvisor says you can get a room for just $109 a night. It’ll also have you in a great position to explore the city as soon as you rest up and get ready for the next day.

After your travel day, your one-on-one is set for March 7, and you’ll be kicking it off by visiting Old Québec. Once you’re tired of walking around, however, you’ll want to do another classic Bachelor activity — a bike tour, which Viator says will cost about $60 per person. Just make sure you save some time to sit down next to a random old couple and ask them to tell you their love story and how long they’ve been together.

For the evening portion of your date, of course you’ll want to indulge in another sort of tour — a gourmet, 5-course meal in which you’ll be introduced to French-Canadian history and culture. That includes a tasting menu featuring “amuse-bouche, charcuterie and flambé with wine pairings.” Delicious! And just $152 per person.

Total: $1,030

Heading Somewhere Tropical

You just came from South Dakota and Canada, so now it’s time to warm things up. How about hopping a flight to Nassau in the Bahamas? The travel is going to be a bitch, but it’ll be worth it to soak up the sun and sea, don’t you think? Flights will run you about $1,476 per person, and that’s in economy class with two stops. Tough break.

Once you get there, however, you’ll be delighted to spend two nights at the Sandyport Beach Resort, where a room will run you $325 a night. Here’s another bit of a good news: Your grueling travel slog had you flying out of Canada on March 8 but not landing in the Bahamas until March 9, which means that’s one night you didn’t have to pay for lodging. Ka-ching! But that also means you’re probably exhausted, so why don’t you take the day to rest and recuperate once you’ve checked in.

On March 10, you’ve got your next one-on-one set up, and it’s as romantic as can be featuring some horseback riding on the beach. Happy Trails Stables offers a two-person package for $350, and once you’re done trotting through the waves as you hold hands while atop two magnificent beasts, it’s time for something a little more low-key. Next, you’ll head to the Graycliff Chocolatier where a factory tour will cost you just $10 per person. Head back to the hotel where you’ll drop $145 on dinner for appetizers, salads, entrees and wine and you’ll have a whole day of romance.

Total: $4,117

Packing Your Bags For Another Flight

Getting exhausted from traveling internationally yet? Don’t worry, you’ll be heading back to the States soon enough. But first, you’re on your way to Guanajuato, Mexico, snagging flights for $666 per person. That might seem like a bad omen, but I promise the trip will be worth it.

Once you’ve landed, you’ll be staying at the gorgeous Villa Maria Cristina, where eDreams says a room will cost you about $150 per night. When you wake up in your hotel on March 12, you’ll be ready to spend the whole day out and about, which is good because you’ve got quite the schedule ahead of you.

Considering how gorgeously scenic the city is, you won’t want to miss getting some pictures taken with it — and since you don’t actually have a camera crew following you around to document everything, I went ahead and booked you a photo session with Guanajuato that costs you $47 per person. That’ll take up the morning portion of your date, and then you’ve got a surprise awaiting you in the afternoon.

Ready to get sporty again? You and your partner will be riding ATVs through the mountains and city — just try to make sure you don’t accidentally flip them like Matt James and Bri Springs did on the latest episode of The Bachelor. Without a hot tub waiting for you and a production team nearby with baby wipes on hand, we doubt your partner will be quite as forgiving as Bri was. And with this little excursion costing you $202 for the two of you to share a single ATV, you’ll want to be focusing on enjoying yourself instead of how it feels having mud drip down the back of your shirt.

After a long day out and about, you’ll want to go ahead and shower as soon as you get back. Instead of heading out to dinner, how about a night in? While your partner is washing up, splurge on some room service for you both. The hotel doesn’t list a menu online, so I’ll go ahead and estimate that we’ll be spending roughly the same amount as usual — $150 if you get a salad and appetizer to share, two entrees, wine to wash it all down, and maybe even a little dessert if you’re feeling up to the challenge. After all, you’ve probably worked up quite the appetite.

Total: $2,078

Who’s Ready for Hometowns?

By this point, you’ve probably discovered that you’re pretty serious about each other or that you hate each other and you want to go home. Either way, you’ll need to be booking some flights back to the U.S. For the sake of romance, let’s just say that your season is still charging forward towards that happy ending — which means it’s time for you to meet your partner’s parents. That’s right, baby, it’s hometowns week. Pack your bags once more, because you’re headed to Austin, Texas, to meet the family.

If you’re feeling you can manage, go ahead and book economy class seats on a trip that has just one stop for $387. However, if you’re hoping to actually be rested and at your best so you can make as good an impression as you can on your romantic partner’s relatives, you might want to upgrade to business class. You’ll still have to make one stop and deal with a layover, but at least you’ll be traveling in style for $464 per person.

When you get to the city, you’ll want a more homey touch — and, frankly, you’re probably sick of hotels at this point. I get it! You’ve been out and about a lot. But since you’re only allotted one 20 minute private conversation with each of your boo’s family members, you’re not allowed to stay at their place. Instead, why don’t you find a nice little Airbnb in the area for about $120 per night? You’ll need two nights there, but it’ll be worth it to have a whole house or apartment to yourself where you can stretch out a little more than you’ve been doing. Bonus? You’ll probably have access to a kitchen now, which means you can stop reheating your leftovers from those fancy nights out and actually cook something that can’t be made in a microwave.

Another bonus? You might be playing an away game, but your partner is on home turf, which means they can probably find all kinds of fun date activities to do for free. And when it’s time for a fancy dinner to roll around once more, it’s on their family to come up with the menu and go to the grocery store. Finally, someone is pampering you for a change and treating you to a nice, home-cooked meal. Doesn’t that sound great?

Total: $1,014 if you stick with economy — $1,168 if your trade up

You Know What Comes Next: Fantasy Suites

Here’s the thing about fantasy suite week. Technically, the two of you have had the option to have, uh, fantasy suite experiences this whole time. After all, for the sake of saving some coin, you’ve been staying together all along (can you imagine if I actually made you stay in separate rooms for the truly authentic experience? Now that would just be cruel). But after hometowns and having a second to breathe back on American soil, you’ll really want to do it up right. This is your opportunity to really sweep your boo off their feet and cement whether or not this is it, baby. So let’s really ball out and go somewhere incredible, like the Maldives.

A flight all the way out there is going to cost you, although surprisingly it won’t be the most expensive trip you’ve taken yet. Remember, this is your chance to have a honeymoon-adjacent experience, so you’ll want to secure economy ~comfort~ seats, natch. That’ll cost you about $1,006 per person. The good news? You’ll be flying out on March 15, but you won’t land until March 17. Look at that! You saved *two* nights on hotels. What a bargain.

Speaking of hotels, you’ll also want to stay somewhere incredible, so I booked you a single night at Naladhu for $1,201. That price is definitely steep compared to what you’ve usually been paying for a hotel, but trust me, it’s worth it. The Hotel Guru says that’ll get you “peace, tranquility, and privacy” with a private pool and a view of either the beach or the ocean. It’s also only reachable by boat, guaranteeing complete seclusion and the option to set up a private dinner on the beach. Hannah Brown and Peter Weber may have managed to go four rounds in a windmill, but that little hole in a wall is nothing compared to this. Let’s hope that stay is all-inclusive, however, because there’s not a lot of space left in the budget for meals. Maybe you can just order some chocolate strawberries, huh?

Total: $3,213

Now It’s Your Family’s Turn

You know what comes between fantasy suites and that final rose ceremony, and it’s flying out the lead’s family to meet the final suitors. That’s right, call up four of your closest kin and tell them to hop on a plane, because they’re coming to the Maldives, too. Flights from your hometown of Seattle, Washington, are pretty pricey already, and considering they’re coming on your dime, there’s no need for your relatives to fly in anything other than coach, but those seats will still run you about $1,346 per person. Ouch.

You’ll also all need somewhere to stay in the Maldives. The Hotel Guru suggests Lily Beach Resort & Spa, where you’ll need three rooms — one for you and your partner, one for your parents, and one for a sibling of your choice and their plus one. You’ll also need two nights to give your relatives a chance to get over their jet lag. Score a villa, though, and you might be able to cut costs by whipping up dinner for everyone in your rooms. And don’t worry. The price will be worth it when your sister-in-law takes your hand, looks you in the eye, and tearfully tells you that they’re not sure your partner is the one.

Wait, what? Oh yeah, don’t forget that you really can get this far and discover that your family doesn’t actually love the person that you thought you might be proposing to at the end of ~this process.~ Check out Hannah B.’s season of The Bachelorette and Arie’s season of The Bachelor and you don’t need any other reminders that this has happened to more than one lead in the past. Hopefully, you can power through — but it’s up to you to see if you can just see yourself falling in love one day or if you’re already head over heels.

Total: $14,804. Phew! Hope your family is worth it.

Time for the Final Rose

Have you decided yet if you’re going to get down on one knee? That’s your business, not mine, but make sure either way you’ve got a beautiful place to stay. I went ahead and found the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa for you, where you can get a room for just $525 per night that stretches out over the water and has platforms connecting all of them where you can share a dramatic moment as each of you recites a prepared speech about your feelings. And if all goes well, you’ll only need one night before you’re engaged and happily headed home. If all doesn’t go well, well, you’ll still only need one night so that you can make it to morning, hop on a flight, and then go your separate ways forever (or at least until you come up with your own version of After the Final Rose).

I have one last piece of bad news for you, though: I’m not providing any Neil Lane jewelry. If you want a piece, the cheapest engagement ring currently listed on his website is $15,500 — and the most expensive is $110,000. Maybe just stick with a ring pop or something, yeah? After all, you’ve still got those flights home to cover.

With your life of luxury behind you and fantasy suites over and done with, however, you’ll be good to go with economy seats, and your journey will end when you fly out on March 21 for $1,096 per person. If you’re lucky, your Instagram coverage of all this craziness might just nab you a gig as an influencer, however — in which case you may be expected to do this all over again, but hopefully with some sponsors footing the bill. Best of luck!

Total: $2,717

So What’s the Grand Total?

After a whirlwind trek that lasts just over three weeks from start to finish, you’ve had the time of your life, and you didn’t even need to pay a staff of at least forty people to capture everything on camera, manipulate you into saying something bad about one of your friends, and make a blooper reel for everyone to giggle at after your exes have the opportunity to shit talk you. Frankly, it sounds like a bargain to me — but it might not feel that way when you see the grand total. So just how much will it set you back to date someone like you’re on The Bachelor?

Grand Total: $48,706.95, and that’s if you’re going with the cheapest options possible. If you’re ready to truly ball out with slightly more leg room, it’ll be more like $49,118.95. But considering the fact that these are pandemic prices — and the costs of flights and hotel rooms will surely go up once we're back to living in ~precedented times~ again — that is practically a steal. And when you put it like that, why not go for the best of the best? You’ve got a spare $50k laying around the house that you weren’t planning to use for anything else, right? And you know what they say: Finding love is priceless. Congratulations!

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Images: ABC; Unsplash

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