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On April 8, the U.S. will witness a celestial phenomenon that won’t be equaled until 2024—a total solar eclipse visible from a path that dissects the nation. It will be a priceless experience—or so they say.

For anyone passionate about nature, it’s an event not to be missed—but it often comes at a cost for those who don’t plan well ahead of time. Price-gouging is rife at every total solar eclipse, with even basic motels inside the path of totality— a 115-mile wide zone that you must be inside to experience darkness in the day and see the sun’s corona—going for top dollar.

But there’s a level above merely surge-pricing where unique experiences are possible. From packages costing $31,000 for extravagant accommodations to private jets and more, here’s a sample of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for April’s total solar eclipse.

A Seven-Minute Totality At 39,000 Feet

Where: Kerrville, Texas-Durango, Mexico

Time and duration of totality: 18:17 UT, 6 minutes and 60 seconds

More information ($9,750 per person)

If you want a guaranteed view of the totally eclipsed sun and a few extra minutes to gaze at it, the only way is to make sure you’ll be high above any clouds. Cue this ambitious “umbracept” adventure by a team of expert eclipse chasers. Plans involve two Cessna Citation X private jets that will fly to 39,000 feet and speed at 500+ knots above Mexico along with the moon’s shadow, extending totality by over two minutes compared to what observers will experience below.

Supercars, Helicoptors And A Luxury Camp Eclipse

Where: Commodore Perry, Austin; Texas Hill Country; Cibolo Creek Lodge, Big Bend

Time and duration of totality: TBC

More information ($31,000 per person)

There’s a big asking price for this luxury eclipse experience in Texas Hill Country. It’s seven nights, initially staying at Austin’s Commodore Perry before moving to a luxury camp in the path of totality, though the exact location will depend on the weather. This esoteric and unique package also includes a supercar driving experience at the city’s Circuit of The Americas F1 track, tomahawk throwing, an exclusive star party with astronomers and telescopes and, after the eclipse, a helicopter to Cibolo Creek Lodge for three nights in the heart of Big Bend country for horse riding experiences, ATV adventures, and clay pigeon shooting.

Totality From The Treetops

Where: The Missing Hotel, near Marble Falls, Texas Hill Country

Time and duration of totality: 1:35 p.m. CDT, 4 minutes 5 seconds

More information (from $2,675 per night on April 7 and 8)

West of Austin, just shy of the centerline, Marble Falls is in the heart of the Hill Country with a walkable downtown district full of restaurants, independent shops, and curated art galleries. It’s a pricey place to stay, not just because it’s in demand but because it’s got boutique properties galore. Missing Hotel just to its east has a treetop villa, cabins with a ‘moonroof’ and ‘luna glamping dome,’ most of them with a hot tub, grill, fire pit and deck.

Sleep Among The Stars

Where: Texas Star Party & Total Solar Eclipse, Latham Springs Camp and Retreat Center, Aquilla, Texas

Time and duration of totality: 1:38 p.m. CDT, 4 minutes and 24 seconds

More information and tickets ($2,734 for a double room)

If your idea of luxury is to spend the eclipse with the night sky and like-minded people, the Texas Star Party is where to be. Expect sky tours with telescopes at this star party close to Waco, along with talks, including from eclipse expert Dan McGlaun at, a movie marathon, and food available.

A Rooftop In Dallas

Where: Hôtel Swexan, Dallas, Texas

Time and duration of totality: 1:40 p.m. CDT, 3 minutes and 46 seconds

More information ($698 per night for two nights)

The 20th-floor rooftop of Hôtel Swexan in central Dallas will offer an unparalleled vantage point to witness the eclipse, complete with free branded eclipse glasses and specially crafted cocktails and mocktails.

Stay In An Observatory

Where: Observatory Residence At Stardust Ranch, near Mountain View, Arkansas

Time and duration of totality: 1:52 p.m. CDT, 4 minutes 11 seconds

More information ($5,000 total for April 5-9)

This ranch in north Arkansas has an amateur observatory and will host tent camping, RVs and overlanders together with food trucks and live music. But for those who want to sleep among the stars, there’s room for 14 guests to stay in a residence attached to the observatory. Includes an hour per night of guided observatory access and viewing privileges during the eclipse.

The Affordable Alternative

Is spending tens of thousands of dollars for a few minutes of darkness and a unique view of the sun worth it? Of course, you don’t have to spend anything to see this event. All you need to do is be within the path of totality and under a clear sky. Drive into the path on the day, arrive early and sleep in the car—whatever it takes. Any sacrifice is worth it for what could be the strangest, most unexpected and most memorable few minutes of your life. Just get to the path!

For the latest on all aspects of April 8’s total solar eclipse in North America, check my main feed for new articles each day.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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