Golfing in Afghanistan, tracking silverback gorillas in Rwanda, dominating the world’s highest bungee jump in South Africa: This is the day job of 35-year-old Lee Abbamonte, who calls himself a professional "global adventurer." He broke the world record in 2011, at age 32, to become “the youngest American to visit every country” (traveling on savings from a high-school landscaping business and post-college Wall Street stint), and has since parlayed his wanderlust into regular appearances on Fox News and the Travel Channel, as well as a website for aspiring Johnny Globetrotters. More under the radar is this West Village–based voyager's exclusive, if not surprising, side gig: planning epic bachelor parties for the one percent.
It started with a few blog posts, going back to 2008, about pre-wedding Vegas trips that he organized for his buddies, and gradually escalated into requests from strangers who wanted Abbamonte to help them live out their Hangover fantasies. Provided they can afford his exotic, $10,000-plus itineraries, he's been happy to oblige this niche — and Wall Street–centric—client base ever since (they contact him through his website and word of mouth). Abbamonte talked to the Cut about what Kiev has over Vegas, pairing clubbing with fighter-jet-flying, and seeking out “hot tour guides” instead of strippers.
What was the first bachelor party you ever planned for a client?
It was in Kiev. During the day, we went to a shooting range where we rode in Soviet-era tanks and shot arrows and machine guns; we also caught a Ukrainian football game and ate a ton of chicken Kiev. At night, we hired hot Ukrainian tour guides — it sounds sketchy but they’re not escorts — to show us around, which was a great idea because none of us knew the language or where to go. Plus, it’s much easier for 15 dudes to get into a club when you have a pretty local helping you. You can get bottle service in the clubs there for less than $50; when we got back to the Hyatt, we’d hit the sauna to sweat out the gallons of vodka we drank.
A night in Eastern Europe doesn’t end until 6 or 7 a.m. — the nightlife rivals Ibiza and Mykonos — plus, you can drive tanks. I’ve done a few in Kiev, another in Prague, and I’m planning a couple in Bulgaria and Prague this summer.
Who are your typical clients?
Mostly Wall Street guys who are looking for something more over-the-top than taking a party bus to Atlantic City — and can afford it. These will start at about $10,000 per person, including travel.
What about celebrity clients?
The No. 1 thing they want is anonymity, and they pay well, so I want them to keep coming back.
How expensive can these bachelor parties get?
I did one in Vegas at the Palms Hotel that cost more than $20,000 for the weekend. We stayed at the Sky Villa suite: 6,500 square feet, has its own exercise room, a pool that hangs over the street, beds that spin, and private butlers who bring you food and booze any time you need it. For the daytime, we did a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, raced non-street-legal Ferraris at 180 miles an hour, shot machine guns in the Mojave desert, BASE jumped 829 feet from the Stratosphere Hotel, and flew F-16 fighter jets — fighter pilots showed us how to do all kinds of stunts and low-level mountain flying.
What about strippers?
I actually think strippers are pretty cliché. The most outrageous requests I get are never from the groom — he just wants to get wasted and have fun — it’s the best man who wants strippers in the room at all times. I like to go for other kinds of shock value: zip lining, tank riding, ATV riding, bungee jumping — basically anything with an adrenaline rush that you probably wouldn’t do at home or with your significant other. But, of course, at night, you have to hit the town.
So a lot of bottle service is involved?
One guy only drank Red Bull and vodkas for 72 hours straight — with no sleep. When he got on the plane to leave Vegas, he started shaking and tripping out so badly that we had to help him get off the flight. He went to the gate, and kept telling security, “I can’t fly, I can’t fly!”
How many drinks do you think he had in total?
During these parties, you lose count. It’s even crazier in a place like Kiev, where bottles of vodka go for $20, as opposed to the $500 per bottle you can pay at a club in Vegas.
What other bachelor-party destinations do you have your sights on?
Another European city that has the right mix is Krakow, Poland, with more Soviet-era guns, plus paintballing, booze cruises, and girls oil-wrestling. And Medellín, Colombia, is another must: outrageous villas and mansions, Pablo Escobar tours, and obviously, the women.
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
The Will & Grace Reunion Was Intensely Documented for Social Media
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesAva DuVernay on Hollywood Racism, Modern-Day Slavery, and Why She’s Still an Optimist
The director, whose new documentary The 13th chronicles America’s history of racial subjugation, talks to Rebecca Traister about Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the modern criminal-justice system.What No One Tells Couples Trying to Conceive
It helps to be rich.The Hidden Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
A segregated unit of mathematicians born of desperation during World War II became the secret to NASA’s success.Slut-Shaming Squids Are Everywhere
The “Bermuda Square” comic strip is back.Santigold’s New Video Is the Result of a Spontaneous Run-in With Kara Walker
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Spotted Together Again, Love Might Be Real
They could be back together ahh!Teen, Forced to Go on Vacation With Her Family, Calls 911
The logical decision.Report: Hearst Fired Seventeen EIC Michelle Tan During Her Maternity Leave
Tan had been at the magazine for about two years.Good Morning America Host Amy Robach Apologizes for Saying ‘Colored People’ on Air
She quickly apologized.Unknown NFL Player Tries to Get Attention by Asking Aly Raisman Out in Video
That’s one way to do it.
Marissa Cooper is poised for a comeback ... maybe.California Votes to Remove Time Limit on Prosecuting Rape Cases
In light of the Bill Cosby case.Beyoncé’s Behind-the-Scenes Lemonade Photos Belong in a Museum
She had the "Boycott Beyoncé" sign already in formation on set.The Rise of the Male Celebrity Full-Frontal
An ex-publicist explains.Gabby Douglas Will Be a Miss America Judge
The gold-medal gymnast will help choose the 2017 pageant winner.Camille Becerra’s Photo Diary of Rockaway Beach
An ideal trip to add and cross off your summer bucket list.Sorry Nerds, Ian McKellen Won’t Officiate Your Expensive Lord of the Rings–Themed Wedding
Not even for $1.5 million.Miles Teller Is Still Upset About Being Called a Dick
He wants to set the record straight.Why Parents Shouldn’t Talk About Weight With Their Teens
New guidelines seek to banish weight talk.UVA Student Assaulted at Knifepoint During Orientation Weekend
But some students weren't notified until 24 hours later.