Since the spring where coronavirus spread round the world, Estonians have discovered traveling round the Baltic states, often by caravan. According to caravan renters, this has become especially popular with families with children.
Whereas caravaning may traditionally have been associated more with the "western" European countries, it seems to have been picking up in popularity in Estonia, according to a report on ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK).
Üllar Tiit, staying at the Toila caravan park in Ida-Viru County, had more ambitious plans for the holiday originally, but due to the coronavirus, a passion for touring around the Czech Republic disappeared. Instead of traveling to Bohemia, he is now doing the same around his home country. Tiit told AK that this is the third trip this summer for the family, who have been on holiday with both friends and children.
Tiit said: "Maybe it is too late for us, but people Europe and England have been traveling in caravans for a long time. It's quite exciting, as in Estonia the summertime does not last for that long. We wish that summer was a bit longer."
Karol Kersna, one of the caravan renters, traveled all summer around forests owned by State Forest Management Centre (RMK) with his whole family during the spring. In May, they had to abandon the idea, though, as all the caravans were suddenly rented. Their main customers are families with children.
Kersna said: "One of the main advantages of the caravan is that you can pack together with your own stuff, drive to the destination, put up your tent, travel around with the vehicle and don't have to nothing else."
According to Kersna, Estonians will predominantly hire caravans for traveling around their home country this year. Instead of at official caravan parks, Estonians prefer wandering around RMK's resting spots, as it is free and everything necessary is available there, except electricity.
According to Prorex CEO Margus Pihlak, renting a caravan has become more popular, with about a tenth of customers choosing to do so. While the interest of Estonians is higher than usual, this business will not bring much income this year.
Pihlak said: "A European customer is better for us because local people take one, two, three days for the weekend, but it is more common in Europe for seven days or even 14 days. It is more labor-intensive if we give this weekend, as it is not profitable."
While the rental season usually ends in August, this year the greatest demand is on the first weekend of September, when the WRC rally takes place in Southern Estonia. For this weekend, mobile accommodation was booked immediately after the news became public.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein