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A landlady’s life: Planning is (only) half the vacation

In our new series “A landlady’s life” we turn the topic of vacation happiness around. How do you become a landlady, what do you have to consider and where are – yes, because that also exists – the pitfalls of the “business”?
Landlords and landladys from our network write what moves them – between exitement and sheer despair.

Vacation is the most beautiful time of the year, they say. For my family, it’s always a bit of an adventure, probably also because we’re bad vacation planners. For example, we once drove south on a camping vacation with a packed car and kids in the backseat. On the highway, we still didn’t know whether we should discover Croatia, which was unknown to us until then, or whether we should rather drive to familiar Italy. Shortly before Bavaria we had to make a decision. It became Croatia and a fantastically beautiful vacation completely without pre-planning.

From the landlady’s point of view, we are the sheer horror. How am I supposed to successfully run a business and coordinate employees if guests only decide on their vacation destination on the highway? I live from the fact that people decide long in advance not only for a place, but also quite concretely for an accommodation. They diligently sift through the wide range of options, weigh up the pros and cons, make inquiries – and book. With me. Even after many years, it’s still a little dance of joy. I’m particularly fascinated by guests who already know in January where they’re going next fall. Because this is so strange to me, I have already written cancellations, even though I didn’t even have a calendar for that year. If, on the other hand, someone makes an inquiry for two weeks from now during the high season and then asks specifically for a certain apartment, I get a pitying look and write a polite rejection, shaking my head at so much naivety. But when the question promptly follows, “Are you completely full for next year, too?” it’s me shaking my head at myself.

So vacation planning is important. For the guest, who can be sure where his vacation is going, and for me, so that I can sleep peacefully thanks to a well-filled occupancy calendar. But sometimes it gets a bit much with the planning. For example, when guests ask me what the weather will be like in the summer. I grew up in the city that is home to the German Weather Service, but unfortunately my clairvoyant abilities only extend to the next day – and not reliably. Just ask my family! People from southern Germany, on the other hand, as I can prove from my non-representative experience, often don’t want to leave anything to chance. Mails with at least ten dashes, the answer to which would make even the most experienced employee in the health resort administration sweat, are not uncommon. As a rental novice, I dutifully replied, did my own research, asked questions. I am a service provider, after all. Sometimes I didn’t even get a response to my loving mini-guides, let alone a booking. Meanwhile, I politely refer all general questions to the swarm intelligence of the Internet.

The right amount of planning seems to be a very individual thing, I’ve learned. And yet: vacations are supposed to be a bit of a surprise, to break through the usual daily routine – and that’s where a little lack of planning helps. We call it spontaneity in our family, it sounds more adventurous. And after every vacation we bring back many incredible stories. You are welcome to try it out. But please, do not forget to book in advance with me in time.

Published: March 2022


  1. Das kenne ich auch. Früher haben wir Anfang des Jahres den Sommer geplant, mittlerweile fragen wir uns im Sommer des Vorjahres während des Urlaubes, wo wir dann nächsten Sommer hinwollen. Uns nervt das sehr, da gerade hochwertige FeWos in D immer noch nur gering verfügbar sind. Aber bald sind wir nicht mehr
    von den Ferien abhängig und können wieder spontan los.
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  2. Gutes Schreiben! Sehr erkennbar. Ich habe jahrenlang Segelschiffe vermietet, da ist es das gleiche. Vom Wind und Wetter sich überraschen lassen, ist nicht jedermanns Sache.
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