Vacation home vacation: pros and cons

Summer, sun, protective mask: after weeks of restrictions, many feel the need to relax. Vacation homes are in high demand this season for good reasons. But are they suitable for everyone?

Into the full plane and off to a mass hotel with hundreds of rooms and the much-vaunted battle at the buffet? Many holidaymakers are unlikely to want to get involved this summer in view of Corona.

Tourism researcher Prof. Claudia Brözel assumes that this year more people will choose self-sufficient forms of vacation - that is, campers, holiday homes and holiday apartments. A house in the middle of nowhere, that sounds pretty ideal at first. But travelers should carefully weigh up whether this type of vacation is actually something for them.

Safe arrival and few contacts

"A vacation home vacation is a classic self-travel vacation", says Torge Petersen, managing director of the organizer Wolters Reisen. Most guests come in their own car - and unlike on the plane or train, they don't spend time with strangers in a confined space. Of course there are also holiday apartments on Mallorca or in Greece, but most holiday apartments stay in Germany or drive across the border to one of the neighboring countries.

The German Vacation Home Association (DFV) explains: Vacation in one's own country is currently very popular. The shorter journey, good medical care and the familiar environment created a greater sense of security, says DFV branch manager Michelle Schwefel. You are not more at risk in the holiday home than at home and you can get supplies in the supermarket.

Lots of freedom of movement on site

The mouth and nose protection can still not stay at home. In order to protect the health of holidaymakers and employees, the tourism industry has developed hygiene concepts. In many holiday homes it is possible to hand over the keys without personal contact. Or there is a re-occupancy period between guests' stays.

The country-specific regulations determine what is going on locally in terms of leisure activities. "It is best to keep in close contact with the holiday home owner," recommends Schwefel. In Germany, the rules are sometimes very inconsistent.

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Restrictions cannot be avoided due to the corona pandemic. Apart from that, according to Torge Petersen, a holiday home offers "maximum freedom and freedom of design". The vacationers are undisturbed in their privacy and do not have to adhere to predetermined meal times. "Families in particular get their money's worth here, as children can move around freely."

In a Germany-wide online survey by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung from early to mid-May, 27 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a holiday apartment or holiday home for their next vacation. 36 percent named hotels, the interest in large houses was lowest at nine percent.

Relaxation without service?

But there are also disadvantages. For families who have already spent a lot of time in a confined space during the contact restrictions and because of the home office, Ferienhaus Urlaub may not sound very tempting: everyone in the same house again, cooking for themselves again. Of course, travelers in the holiday apartment cannot expect all-round service like in a hotel.

However, one does not have to do without service completely, says Petersen. In some holiday home complexes, for example, you can book breakfast.

So that the vacation brings the longed-for relaxation and does not become a stress trap, you should think about your needs in advance. The travel constellation plays a major role here. Not only do you need special planning when there are children or people at risk - larger tour groups also have to pay attention to local regulations, such as how many people are allowed to visit a restaurant or a sight together.

Our video provides a good overview of what you should consider when choosing your vacation.

Discover unknown regions in your own country

The choice of location is also crucial: Those who enjoy hiking should travel to the Eifel, Harz or Allgäu regions. Water sports fans are drawn to the North and Baltic Seas, and for cyclists and wine lovers, Wolters Reisen recommends the Moselle. Some regions that have so far been less developed by tourism have also upgraded. Anyone who otherwise prefers to go to the hotel may discover places through a holiday apartment that they would otherwise never have looked at.

When looking for suitable accommodation, families and other holidaymakers have to show patience. It's worth looking around, says Michelle Schwefel. If the favorite place is fully booked, there are often still attractive offers in the area with a suitable price-performance ratio.

Overall, Prof. Brözel from the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde observes significant efforts by the tourism industry to enable holidaymakers to take a relaxing break. Strong price increases are currently not to be feared. In the long term, however, the new quality requirements, for example in terms of hygiene, require a lot of investments - which could mean a price increase.

Some accommodations, mobile homes and campsites in Germany are likely to be fully booked quickly, because the demand is high: "Many holidaymakers are already in the starting blocks," says Brözel.

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