We peons of the 99% faced pandemic restrictions on our vacation plans — Beaches closed, cruises canceled, flights eliminated, European tourism shut down. What of the 1%? One Kardashian used a dual citizenship loophole to get in a Paris shopping trip and another rented out a private island near Tahiti for her birthday.
The luxury travel company Brown & Hudson (retainer fee $100 K annually) changed its philosophy to “hedonic adaptation” during the pandemic. Apparently, one can get bored with even a very good thing. B&H changed their clients’ luxury accommodations every few days so that the same view does not become blase’.
Clients came with a “desired feeling” as opposed to a specific destination. “I want to feel energized.” “I want a sense of adventure.” B&H arranged a “luxpedition” across Madagascar for that “energy” and “adventure”. That’s the same Madagascar suffering a two-year drought with more than half its population starving. The populace must really love seeing some hedge fund manager whooshing by in air-conditioned comfort. Instead of the “billionaire’s calendar” of skiing in St Moritz or lounging on the beach at Cannes, B&H sent clients “heli-skiing” in Iceland or to a private island near Jeffrey Epstein’s in the Caribbean.
Recording one’s vacation is sometimes an ordeal. Those photos and videos don’t take themselves. B&H offered an unobtrusive “recorder” to follow its clients around gathering footage that can later be coupled with physical stimulation delivered by a “haptic bodysuit”. That was, of course, the Platinum Package. Still, how cool would it be to slip on that “haptic bodysuit” on a cold January day and re-experience July in St Tropez?
During the pandemic, B&H found it necessary to maintain extreme confidentiality about its clients’ vacation plans. “A lot of our clients are CEOs and a lot of their staff is either laid off or on part-time and struggling to make ends meet. CEOs don’t want to advertise how they are spending their money. That can lead to resentment.”
Resentment? Really? Thanks to Trump’s tax cuts and Joe Manchin’s scuttling the Build Back Better Plan, the 1% is doing better than ever. Why would the 99% resent one of the lesser Kardashians renting a private island in the South Pacific anyway?