Let’s run: Two years into the pandemic, everyone is probably longing for a vacation. But what should you think about? Where can you find a bargain? We explain.
The Pentecost holiday is approaching, the summer vacation is approaching, and more than two years after the outbreak of the epidemic, the desire to go on vacation is huge. But there are also many questions: what should you consider when booking? How can you get affordable flights and rent cars despite the high prices? Experts provide information on this.
1. Should you book a rental car immediately on vacation or better in advance?
“Due to the lack of car rentals this year, I strongly advise against looking for a car after you arrive at your holiday destination. Because then there is a good chance that you will be left empty-handed. Or you are delving into your wallet,” said Thorsten Lehmann, Managing Director of Sunny Cars operator Car rental in Munich.
Due to Corona and the Russian-Ukrainian war, the auto industry has significantly reduced production. There are fewer cars on the market, which also affects car rental providers. Since the supply is much smaller than the height of the demand, prices have exploded. According to Lyman, there is no relaxation in sight. Hence his advice: “Book as soon as possible – especially if you’re heading to a popular travel destination.” Even in normal times, the expert sees only flaws in booking the site: “Very few of them feel the detailed contractual terms in a holiday destination to study. Especially since there may be communication problems.”
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2. What insurance do I need as a rental car user?
“In principle, a service package that is as comprehensive as possible is recommended for all those interested in renting a car, just in case. Because the best deal is worthless even if the smallest scratch causes high follow-up costs. Not to mention serious damage,” says Thorsten Lehmann. The expert recommends fully comprehensive insurance including deductible reimbursement, car theft protection and customary liability coverage of €2 million. “That’s the bare minimum. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that insurance also covers damage to the glass, roof, tires, underbody and clutch.” Great overall packages go one step further. They also cover, for example, towing costs and claims processing fees or the loss of car keys and paperwork.
3. How do you find a cheap flight?
Skyscanner’s flight comparison portal Izabella Meczykowski offers different advice: “If you’re looking at multiple airports, you stand a good chance of finding a bargain,” says the travel expert. Tip two: “The smart option is to combine flights from different airlines. If you don’t book flights as a round-trip package, but instead fly with one airline and return with another, or choose a return flight from another airport, you can often save.” , says Isabella Mikzykowski.
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Since flight prices depend on supply and demand, and some dates are more popular than others, prices vary by date. So you can save a lot of money if you’re flexible about your exact travel date: “Because flights are always cheaper on less popular days of the week.”
Skyscanner has launched a search feature called All Places, says Izabella Meczykowski, explaining, “It’s a great way for vacationers to see what’s available, sorted by price.” According to Skyscanner surveys, this is 54 percent.
4. Should you completely avoid air travel in the interest of the environment?
Many realize that air travel is not good for the environment. For short trips, it makes sense to switch to the train where possible. There is a more environmentally friendly option, for example, direct flights instead of connecting flights. Sonia Karl, founder of Faircations, an online portal for sustainable travel, says that most greenhouse gases are emitted during take-off and landing.
The expert advises offsetting carbon dioxide emissions. “Backpackers should definitely be sure that they choose a reputable provider for this,” says Sonia Karl, referring to Atmosphere, a non-profit climate protection company.
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5. Where can I go on the cheap this summer?
“The most booked summer tourist destinations last month were Spain, Turkey, Greece, Italy and the USA. In terms of cities, Palma de Mallorca, Istanbul and Barcelona are the most popular,” says Isabella Mikickowski of Skyscanner. According to the data collected by the flight comparison portal, the demand for travel continues to rise this year and travel planning is in full swing. “Germans are ready for the holidays and have the adventure. A lot of people are open about when and where they travel to find the best deals,” says Izabella Meczykowski, “For more than half (51 percent), price is one of the most important factors when booking a flight to abroad.” Her advice: “Holiday makers can find offers to destinations like Zagreb and Girona for less than €30 there and back in July. Holiday favorites like Mallorca are available for as little as €40.”
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6. What is the best place to book a guided tour?
“The best advice is done at a travel agency,” says Anke Budde, Vice President of the Alliance of Independent Travel Companies (ASR). “Regardless of whether you book online or at a travel agency: the prices for package trips are always the same in both cases. Thus the customer can save hours of searching on all kinds of websites without any risk and trust the advice of the travel agency.”
7. How do you find a sustainable hotel?
“Important factors that characterize a sustainable hotel are, for example, responsible resource management – ie energy savings, waste avoidance and social and economic commitment, for example by paying fair wages,” says Sonia Karl of Faircations. Suitable providers and addresses can be found on the Faircations online portal.
But it’s not just about where you book. Travelers can help the environment through their on-site behavior: “Many accommodation providers now dispense with full daily room cleaning or daily towel changes, both of which protect the environment,” says Sonia Karl.
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8. When it comes to the holidays, should we worry about the war in Ukraine?
“With package tours, you don’t have to worry. As with Corona, the tour operator will always take care of its guests and act discreetly,” says ASR’s Anke Budde. “So in the event of an emergency, guests can be confident that tour operators and travel agencies will take care of guests and get them home safely.”
9. Where are there still vacation homes and free vacation apartments?
“Basically, there’s still free housing just about everywhere – if you’re flexible and also looking in the area,” says Jonas Upmann of Hometogo, an online marketplace for vacation homes. “Famous places on the Baltic Sea, such as Sharbatz, Rügen or Usedom, or the islands and coastal towns on the North Sea, will be in great demand again in Whitsun as well in summer,” says the travel expert.
His advice: only look a few kilometers from the coast. Then you can still find free housing. “Deals can still be done at short notice for the Pentecost holiday, since holiday accommodations regularly return to the market due to cancellations. So it’s worth a little research,” says Jonas Upman.
10. Should I refrain from traveling abroad because of monkeypox?
“A small number of travelers remain uneasy due to the current monkeypox outbreak, but the topic may become more relevant in the next few days,” says Dominique Manal. by A3M. Tübingen has developed an early warning and information system for travelers and knows where the dangers lie in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not believe travel restrictions are necessary at the moment, but the first countries have already responded: Thailand, Bangladesh and India have announced increased health checks at border crossings and airports. After Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, monkeypox could be another obstacle in the way of summer vacation,” explains Dominic Manal.