In 2010, discover a new way to travel; discover Grantourismo

HomeAway Holiday-Rentals partners with writers Lara Dunston & Terence Carter to show travellers a more authentic, enriching way to travel
 
In 2010, globetrotting travel writers Terence Carter and Lara Dunston, in partnership with HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, will swap hotel rooms for holiday homes and embark on a contemporary grand tour of sorts they’re calling Grantourismo. The aim is to slow down, learn and do things, live like locals, and give something back to the places they visit, as they search for a more authentic and enriching way to travel.
 
Not only will Lara and Terence be chronicling their experiences via a dedicated blog and Twitter page that travellers can interact with (see www.grantourismotravels.com and http://twitter.com/gran_tourismo), they will also be available to produce independent articles as they go. Get in touch and read on to find out more.
 
A huge number of Brits already favour holiday homes over hotels, enjoying the space, privacy, flexibility and authenticity they provide. According to industry analyst Mintel, around one in five people currently holiday in this way and self-catering holidays are rising every year. In 2009, self-catering holidays were forecast to represent over 60% of all overseas holidays and Mintel expects the self catering market to continue to outstrip general holiday growth and exceed 34.3 million breaks by 2011.*
 
Thanks to the millions of people who own holiday homes worldwide, the choice of rentals is huge, with over 425,000 properties available on the HomeAway sites alone. With this choice, HomeAway rivals the largest hotel chains in the world. The InterContinental Hotel Group, for instance, recently ranked as the worlds largest, with 619,851 rooms. Whatever type of holiday you’re looking for, and whatever type of accommodation, there’s a holiday home to suit.
 
With Grantourismo, Lara, Terence and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals aim to show how holiday homes provide the perfect solution to today’s travellers’ desires, and the perfect alternative to hotel rooms and resorts. Travellers today are no longer just after a ‘holiday’ of sun, sea and sand, but rather a ‘journey’ where they learn about the local culture, arts, language and people of the places they travel too. A holiday rental is the natural choice for such a trip.
 
For Lara and Terence, the idea of a ‘grand tour’, a slow, extended journey where they would immerse themselves in the destination had always been appealing. Having already been on the road for over three years, they have called hundreds of hotel rooms ‘home’. But while they have much appreciation for hotels, at every opportunity they were quick to trade their swipe cards for door keys and check in to a real ‘home’, albeit a rented one, for a change.
 
Lara comments, “The contrast between hotels and holiday rentals couldn’t be greater – the chance to really slow down, relax, and take it easy at a holiday rental being the obvious one. There are no breakfast buffet times to wake for, no cocktails to scramble to, and no need to worry about when the kitchen closes. Plus by travelling more slowly, people are also travelling more sustainably – from taking the time to discover local markets and small neighbourhood businesses, to buying and eating local produce instead of expensive imported products. Not only is this kind of travel more sustainable, travellers are also able to learn how to live like locals; which is one of our key aims on this trip.”
 
Courtney Wylie, General Manager for HomeAway Holiday-Rentals comments, “Here at HomeAway Holiday-Rentals we have stayed in an impressive number of properties between us, discovering for ourselves the benefits of staying in a private home instead of a hotel. Therefore, in 2010 it is our mission, along with Lara and Terry, to help more people discover this unique and liberating way of travelling. Although many people have been holidaying in rentals for years, many are still to try it and yet it caters so well for the millions of travellers today who are looking for a more experiential, more involving holiday, not to mention better value for money.”
 
Throughout their trip, travellers will be able to interact with Lara and Terence and share their experiences via the Grantourismo blog and Twitter page, as well as on www.HomeAway.co.uk and the company’s Twitter, Flickr and Facebook pages.
 
To learn more about how you can get involved, if you are interested in interviewing, commissioning or featuring articles from Lara and Terry, please get in touch.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
 
* Source of statistics: Mintel Self Catering Holiday Report 2007 and 2009
 
Sarah Chambers
PR Manager, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals
+44 (0) 20 8846 3430 / +44 (0) 7739 033132
schambers@homeaway.co.uk
www.HomeAway.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HomeAwayUK
Flickr: www.flickr.com/homeawayuk
Skype: sarah_chambers
 
Lara Dunston & Terence Carter
+61 8 7798 6864 (Australian mobile: until 31st January)
+971 50 720 8690 (Dubai mobile: after 31st January)
laradunston@mac.com
www.grantourismotravels.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/gran_tourismo
Skype: laradunston
Hotmail/Messenger: grantourismo@live.com