a living room with a large glass door

Your grill, your food, your pool.

Last year, seeking a week of quiet relaxation with no one but family, we headed off to Portugal. It’s a wonderful destination, and although there’s usually culture to be discovered when you cross a border, that wasn’t the largest emphasis of the trip. It was getting away to somewhere beautiful, seeing the sun shine and taking dips in the pool, and at about $1000 for a villa with a pool and four bedrooms, it felt like an incredible bargain.

Looking at a post covid-19 world, it’s not hard to imagine how this sort of vacation may shine, and in many instances they’re nowhere near as expensive as one may think…

a living room with a large glass doorNatural Social Distancing

Villas are everywhere from the coast of Hawaii, California and South Carolina to Bali, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Brazil, Thailand, Greece and beyond. Quite often, they’re much cheaper than a hotel too, particularly if you’re traveling in small groups – and some offer even more stunning, or locally authentic locations.

With the world returning to the skies over the next few months, travelers are reconsidering old habits and for those seeking relaxation over a “culture” trip – though you could easily have both – villas solve many covid-19 challenges. At the best of times…

  • you have your own facility, with total control of who’s in, and who’s out.
  • you have your own pool, without battling for sun loungers and space.
  • you have a kitchen, which solves *some* restaurant distancing challenges.
  • you typically control your transportation, renting a private vehicle, or bikes.
  • you have easier access to do a full cleaning sweep on your terms.

a beach with rocks and waterPrice Will Matter More

There’s no way of dancing around the fact that the world is already in deep recession, and dangerously teetering upon the “d” word. While travel will never be possible for everyone, sharing a trip with family or friends matters even more after months in lockdown, and can also greatly curb costs.

The idea of spending a week on the beach, near a captivating viewpoint, or next to a golf course with friends or family eating, drinking, andplaying sports while making the most of a beautiful destination, without constantly worrying about who’s dining next to you is a pretty powerful idea right now.

Take this villa in Santorini, where prices for a single hotel room on the island often fetch $500+ per night. This brings a private pool, space for up to 4 guests and a professional kitchen to make your own Cycladic salads. Oh, and its’ got the highest vantage point on the island for $269 a night.

Platforms such as Airbnb will continue to be an excellent central resource for browsing such listings, but more than ever hosts and owners will look to cut direct deals, avoiding lofty commissions and booking fees for you the buyer, and them the owner.

If you find something that looks incredible, do your best to find contact details for the property and see if there’s any wiggle room to be had. Without Airbnb’s fees, there often is. Will you seek villa style travel more, in a post covid-19 world?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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