Awaycation vs. Staycation - vacation in times of coronavirus

The world wants to move again. But how will tourism look like in the future? This is shown by the three travel dimensions awaycation, staycation and digital wandering

By expert Julia Riedmeier "Neo Luxury"

Staycation, vacation in times of corona

Author: Julia Riedmeier

Deserted streets, hotels, airports. A picture like in the blockbuster, which suddenly became a reality in 2020. A look outside and also on Instagram shows that this scenario almost seems like a bad dream. With masks, distance and hygiene rules, the way back to the usual habitus is sought, to a next normal. What forms of Travel-Escapism is there in times of Corona? What do the developments mean for the travel industry in the light of NEO luxury? What is behind trend terms like staycation and awaycation?

Three travel dimensions - international, national, mental

When the lockdown ended and national borders reopened, it was clear that the world wanted to move again. Travel provider, hotels, Airlines resumed their direct marketing measures such as newsletters and sponsored posts on Instagram. Flexible booking and cancellation options, pictures of places of longing are the core criteria and meet the desire for Vitamin Sea. Now the question arises on an individual level: how great is the attraction of traveling? What about planning security, travel type and destination? So have three Travel-Dimensions developed in relation to your own mindset and travel desire:

  1. Awaycation - destination revival
  2. Staycation - local or national
  3. Mind and digital space wandering

In the former, escapism acts as a reward for getting through the lockdown, a remedy for the longing for variety and experiences. As the patterns seem to be anchored in our structure, we cannot and won‘t simply throw them overboard so easily. The New Luxury, experiential luxury, is particularly characterized by the travel industry and has been rising for years. It is characterized by collecting best-of moments in the form of experiences. With the second, the journey or time-out experiences a new form and quality in the sense of a turning towards the discovery of one's own living region, one's own country of residence. The third dimension is detached from physical space.

1. Awaycation - Destination Revival

The radius of possible summer travel destinations expanded from the home country to European destinations due to relaxed travel restrictions. Picturesque places like Capri, Côte d'Azur, Mykonos or glamorous seaside resorts are experiencing a revival and are satisfying the desire for new luxury in combination with nostalgia. Instagrammable places like Positano and Èze-sur-Mer dominate the news feed and arouse the desire to travel. Even if the mask is the must-need accessory, it rarely finds its way into the curated Instagram world.

Instead of following the credo of the last few years from ever more distant and exotic destinations, the focus is now on precisely these Europ’tean places-to-be, which can be reached as short or medium-haul destinations. Alternatively, the thirst for adventure is satisfied according to a Robinson Crusoe on a sailing boat in the Mediterranean or Atlantic, avoiding over-tourism. Digital platforms in the yachting sector offer solutions based on the sharing concept. Combined with individualized experiences on land, customers are picked up in their living environment and given exactly the kind of privacy that is so essential and necessary in this time.

2. Staycation - local or national

As a counterpoint to the European top destinations, there is also the targeted staycation at one‘s own place of residence or in the country. The latter is often found in refuges on one of the less crowded North Sea islands or in a mountain idyll. Hideaways that score with space, silence and nature become an insider tip. Especially in times of coronavirus. The hype surrounding these privately run holiday homes, which as luxury holiday homes do not count among the five-star hotels, but are in almost no way inferior to them, specially strikes at the heart of the NEO Luxury Aficiandos.

Furniture from manufactories, regional food, concierge service, pillow menu, private spa and beauty products from sustainable brands. The focus here is less on instagrammability, although this is definitely given, but rather on the private sphere, the quality and the silence that comes back to you. As the Norwegian adventurer Erling Kagge wrote: "There is a quality in silence that is more exclusive and permanent than any other luxury."


Source & Copyright by Wellness-Bio Hotel Stanglwirt 5 *

3. Mind and digital space wandering

The social and ecological component of sustainability is given at the local and national staycation on a meta level - because less long-distance travel reduces the ecological footprint and also supports the local community. If physical travel is too adventurous and the desire for international travel persists, a change of scenery can be taken literally. Digitized walls can bring the traveller’s desire home and create places of longing at the touch of a button.

Whether desert in Oman, beach in Hawaii or polar lights in Iceland. All without a carbon footprint. Certainly not the type of journey we are used to and how we would define it. But definitely a more inclusive, eco-friendly and focused kind. A virtual journey and especially one to yourself. Because: “You can only learn from within; everything outside is just an impulse, ”says Peter Handke. Travelling can therefore have a lot to do with escapism, but also contrary to that, with mindfulness and reflection.

virtual travel

Image source & copyright by SAMSUNG

The ahead of the travel industry - travel away from mass tourism

All in all, the question of the medium and long-term perspective is justifiably raised: Where will the ahead in the travel industry be? Will travel become more exclusive again - due to distance rules, regulated occupancy rates and the associated changes in price structures? In this context, travel would experience a return to its origin away from mass tourism, cheap airlines.

Thus an appreciation of the format per se: quality instead of quantity. Not to get from A to B, but to see the journey as such already as an experience. This also reinforces an orientation towards the private sphere, in the area of ​​mobility or property. In this sense, the move to local, national destinations. Especially if national borders should close again.

Holidays and experiences now also mean responsibility

What does the uncertainty of the pandemic development mean for the planning horizon, types of travel, offers and services? Will two weeks be the new long-term perspective? Short and medium-haul destinations the new travel zone? How will hygienic standards be integrated? When Naomi Campbell disinfected her first-class aircraft cabin in 2019, she was smiled at. Today we know better. Hygiene and health safety become the framework. How safe and comfortable do we feel when we travel?

How privately do we want to travel? To which circumstances, which spirit of adventure do we want to expose our greatest luxury good, our health? Questions like these will have a decisive influence on the design of travel and luxury experiences, because this also means responsibility. In dealing with oneself, with society and the environment. On the micro and macro level. Especially when the precious good is called health.



Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

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new Luxury

Text: Julia Riedmeier

Julia Riedmeier is managing partner of an owner-managed strategy consultancy with a focus on premium and luxury brands. As a millennial, Julia takes a critical look at established business models. In contact with start-ups in France, Switzerland and Germany, it is important to her to bring this spirit into her projects and to stimulate new ways of thinking. Especially in the area of ​​digital strategies and neo-luxury concepts. In addition to her consulting work, Julia holds a teaching position at the International University of Monaco as well as leading the luxury module at Munich Business School. Her doctoral thesis is dedicated to the topic of luxury brand management in times of co-creation.

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