Many of us dream of getting away from it all but how many of us dream of getting away from ourselves?
With a similar concept to the ‘swap my wardrobe’ trend, whereby participants swap designer clothes for a designated period of time, a trend for swapping ones lifestyle is on the increase. Take for example the sudden abundance of ‘experience’ gift companies on the internet, similarly offering a novelty present package such as flying a small plane or an afternoon of wine tasting in a French vineyard. These are all examples of ‘fractional luxury’ which offer the consumer not just an experience but a new identity, albeit it a short lived one.
Stays Afloat, a company in southern England also offer a little escapism. For as little as £28 per night, you can rent accommodation on a luxury yacht; the same as you’d pay for a typical b&b on shore. Of course, chartering yachts is not new, but usually requires longer periods of time and for a hefty cost.
Perhaps owing to the current global economic meltdown, a new avenue for escapist services has transpired; allowing the consumer to slip into someone else’s shoes the day and experience a different lifestyle and even social class. Could it be that consumers are yearning for a more multifaceted existence? Or perhaps just a brief escape from the austerity of recessionary times. In a broader context, companies like Stays Afloat seem to be selling not just an accommodation service, but more profoundly a sense of well being and privilege. By making the luxury lifestyle more accessible to consumers, they are satisfying societies intrigue for how the other half live; another driving force behind the escapism industry. A gimmick maybe, yet companies like Stays Afloat are becoming more common and demonstrating how selling lifestyle as a product is fast becoming a profitable enterprise.