Beach vs. Pool

How to choose the ideal accommodation for your next vacation

Introduction

With the multitude of different holiday accommodations, with all their advantages and disadvantages – be it the facilities, the size, the price, the location, the general availability and many other aspects, I personally find another question pretty relevant: Do I want an accommodation with a private / communal pool or is it important to me to be close to the beach? The answer to this question often has a direct impact on the price. Maybe I even want to have both and I can accept a higher price for that, or perhaps I can confidently do without both and it matters to me more that there’s a golf course in the vicinity?

In order to bring some clarity to this question for your next vacation, here are – not all but – some advantages and disadvantages that will hopefully help you make a decision.

Ferienwohnung, Spanien, holiday apartment, Spain, Cabo Roig, Swimming Pool, vacation, rental

Privacy and Tranquility

To begin with, it is rather obvious that a pool – of whatever kind – usually offers more privacy than any beach ever could. Especially during the high season, popular beaches can get incredibly crowded and it is not uncommon for beach sports equipment to end up on your “own” sunbathing area. In most cases, this is not a major issue and can easily be tolerated with a little understanding and humor. However, if one specifically looks for some peace and quiet on their vacation, neither the beach nor the communal pool is the ideal place for this. In such cases, a private pool certainly offers the most privacy and the greatest possible tranquility.

The pool is usually a really great place to relax – with a pair of noise-canceling headphones in your ears if necessary – even if there is someone splashing around in the water. Personally, I’m one of those people who always enjoy reading a lot right next to the pool on their vacation – nowadays more often with a tablet or e-book reader. However, I don’t like taking either of them with me to the beach, so then the good old book has to do the job. 

The Fun Factor

On the other hand, the beach has significant advantages when it comes to the fun factor. Of course, a pool also offers a lot of water fun, and they are always extremely popular with families with children, as the kids can go into the pool as they please and then move on to other things. Especially with water toys, swimming and playing in a pool is usually very enjoyable and, conveniently, the toys can’t disappear somewhere in the waves. You can also often spend a lot of time diving in the water and some pools even offer slides, diving boards or similar, so boredom rarely arises.

However, none of this compares to all the different things that a beach has to offer. Just swimming in the sea and jumping around in the waves is already a real pleasure. Searching and diving for fish is particularly popular with younger children, but is also an experience for adults. Shells and special-looking stones are also always the target of search and dive activities, as the treasures found in this way always represent very special memories. In addition, simply playing with sand – whether in the water or on the beach – is often popular across all age groups. While the little ones love to build sandcastles or figures, dig themselves in or simply love to stir up the sand in the water, most adults also love to at least feel the sand between their toes and on their skin. It is simply a very special feeling and a wonderful memory for most people. 

What’s more, many sports and activities are only possible or particularly fun on the beach. If you think about beach volleyball, badminton, surfing, snorkelling, water skiing or jet skiing, for example, you quickly realise that it is the beach and the sea that make these things possible or turn them into a very special holiday experience.

Safety

When it comes to safety, there are certainly arguments in favour of both alternatives. I think everyone realises these days that valuables should never be left lying around unattended, be it on the beach, by the pool or generally speaking in any place where strangers have access. Even security-monitored facilities are unfortunately no guarantee that theft will not occur – you should therefore always keep an eye on your belongings or not leave them lying around in the first place.  

Apart from that, there are of course differences when it comes to safety in the water. While many beaches have lifeguards on site – at least on the more popular ones – this is not necessarily the case everywhere. Pools, on the other hand, are rarely supervised by lifeguards at all – the most you can perhaps expect is at a hotel. However, the fact that there are usually non-swimmer areas and, unlike in the sea, there are no natural currents or waves, speaks in favour of the pool. 

Ultimately, however, the safety factor should not play an overriding role when it comes to swimming fun or deciding between the pool and the beach, as most of us are aware that mindful and responsible behaviour in the water is always necessary, regardless of whether we or our kids are in the pool, the sea or the very own bathtub.

lifeguard, shack, stand-2098324.jpg

Amenities

Next, we turn our attention to the amenities. It is easy to argue that the pool at home usually offers all the necessary amenities, as it is located in the immediate vicinity of your holiday accommodation. Food and drinks are usually just a few steps away and are also available chilled. Sunshades and sunbeds are often available by the pool and you don’t have to look far for toilets and showers either. This makes the whole thing very convenient and uncomplicated, and after all, this is exactly what many people are looking for, while they’re on vacation.

Of course, there are also beaches where sunbeds and parasols are available, even if the providers often charge well for this service. If you want to make it easy for yourself, why not take your own parasol and otherwise just lie on your towel. Not a luxury, but sometimes you have to be pragmatic. Toilets can be found regularly, at least on popular beaches, and foot showers are also often available. Simple cool bags and cool packs help to prevent food and drinks from heating up in the sun, then that’s sorted out, too.

What’s more, for many people it is a particular pleasure to sample the local cuisine in (beach) restaurants or to toast their holiday at the beach bar (if available). One of the advantages of this is that you can socialise with people more quickly and sometimes develop very nice conversations.

Relaxation

In the end, we are left with the question of which location provides more relaxation, the pool at home or the beach / sea? As we’ve already talked about the “peace and quiet” factor, it won’t be mentioned again here. Another advantage of having a pool certainly is, not having to make a long journey to get there in the first place. Especially during holiday periods, particularly in summer, many tourists want to get to the beach early so that they can retire at midday. However, this often means not only crowded roads on the way there, searching for a parking space with sometimes long waiting times and, in the worst case, parking fees, but also a potentially hot car and another traffic jam plus waiting time on the way back. If you’re lucky and the beach isn’t far away, then you might “only” have to carry your luggage from A to B, which still shouldn’t be underestimated when you consider how many different things you need on a day at the beach.

It’s not far fetched to argue that a day at the beach, including travelling to and from the beach, can be stressful for some people – which is kind of the opposite of what you want if you’re actually looking for relaxation. Especially if your beloved offspring are also in your ears because of the next ice cream, the lack of internet or the growing boredom. So does that mean you should rather stay by the pool after all?

Well, let’s be honest, there’s always something and I’m personally someone who likes to see things in a positive light. Yes, sometimes the streets are full and so are the beaches. Sometimes you end up realising that you’ve forgotten something (sun lotion still in the bathroom, water bottle left in the fridge?) but once you’ve arrived and are enjoying the view, the sea air, the sand between your toes, the sound of the waves and the beauty of nature, the stress is usually history and the relaxation can begin.

Pricing

The question of whether to opt for an accommodation with a pool or with close proximity to the beach is often also of a financial nature. Of course, the price depends primarily on the location of the accommodation. Vacation homes and apartments on the seafront are generally much more expensive than those that are a little further away but still within walking distance of the sea. It is even cheaper if the accommodation is more than one kilometer from the sea. Here you have to decide for yourself how important it is to you personally to be able to walk to the beach or to have to drive. As a general rule of thumb, the further inland you go, the cheaper it is.

Resorts and accommodation with pools are usually more expensive than those without, as there are additional costs for construction and maintenance. Energy costs for heating, lighting and cleaning also have an impact on pricing. On the other hand, sun loungers and parasols can usually be used free of charge, whereas they have to be rented or brought along on the beach. What’s more, it’s easy to spend money at the beach bar or restaurant because for most people it’s simply part of the vacation. You can save yourself these expenses by stretching your legs by the pool at home.

In the end, it is therefore worth comparing and assessing the pricing of different accommodations based on factors such as location and your own needs and priorities in order to find the ideal holiday accommodation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no one right or wrong answer to the initial question of whether it is better to spend your holiday in accommodation with a pool or near the beach. 

While a holiday home with pool may have slight advantages when it comes to privacy, tranquility and safety, accommodations with close proximity to the beach can score points for aspects such as the fun factor and relaxation. For many holidaymakers, a beach is an indispensable part of a summer vacation so then it might be out of question that a beach is a definitive prerequisite. When it comes to amenities and pricing, there is no clear winner. This clearly depends on individual preferences and the location of your holiday home.

Ultimately, the choice of your ideal holiday accommodation depends on your personal wishes and individual character, what you expect from your holiday and how you want to spend it.

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