There is a new luxury travel craze sweeping the nation called glouchsurfing. A fusion of glamour and couchsurfing, glouchsurfing is the brand new, uber-lux way to be accommodated while traveling.
There are several sites and digital platforms that offer travelers a temporary place to stay. Sleeping arrangements are usually impromptu and sometimes include swamping one’s apartment/home entirely or the host giving up a bed, but typically a couch. Examples of these sites are CouchSurfing.com and AirBnB.com. Normally, a host living arrangement is average, at best. However, today, the tides have turned and the trend is getting a luxurious update.
New communities of super wealthy homeowners are opening up their opulent mansions, penthouse apartments and other grand real estates to couchsurfers. Now, travelers have the opportunity to reside in the homes of the world’s elite for free. Of the world’s crème de la crème, billionaire heiress Avril Le Fou opened the doors of her plush residence, which lies on the outskirts of Paris, to writer Paul Johnson just last week so that he could get a better understanding of glouchsurfing.
According to Johnson, upon entering the palace he was greeted by the heiress’ butler. He writes, “I had been met at Paris CDG airport by Avril’s chauffeur and driven in a Phantom Rolls Royce through vineyards and beautiful French countryside before reaching the private wrought-iron gated entrance of Avril’s 12,000-acre estate. As we travelled up the driveway, I was presented with a beautiful property with a 17th Century French facade and greeted by the butler with a glass of the finest Champagne. My bags were taken to my room with a beautiful four poster bed built of late Medieval oak.”
There are several reasons the world’s privileged are participating in couchsurfing, but one common, as stated by Johnson, is loneliness. “Hosts might have grand homes but sometimes have nobody to share them with. Inviting travellers through the doors gives them company,” Johnson wrote.
An additional reason the world’s wealthiest individuals are opting for glouchsurfing: often they have various properties and like to keep their in-home staff busy when they are not home. For instance, he explains, the kitchen staff may have periods of time where they are left with no work and no one to prepare food for as well as clean the kitchen once dinner concludes.
(Photo via Butler Valet School)