An autumn trip in the CaraCore: exploring the Alps with Olivia Marei

Olivia Marei swaps the big city for the outdoors and the TV studio for a family holiday: the actress known from „GZSZ‟ was on the road in the Alps with her husband Johannes and their young son. Her faithful travel companion: the WEINSBERG CaraCore, which safely carried the family through the autumnal south even before the new corona restrictions were in place. In the CaraBlog interview, Olivia gives us an exciting insight into travelling in a motorhome!

WEINSBERG: Thank you Olivia for taking the time for this interview. Many of our readers will know you from television. Who then is the actress behind your role on „GZSZ‟?

Olivia Marei: Thank you for the short introduction. My name is Olivia Marei, I’m an actress and have been a permanent member of the cast of, as you said, „Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten‟ („Good Times, Bad Times‟) for over 2 years. When I’m not filming, I love to travel, preferably with my husband Johannes and our son, who is almost 3 years old now.

Was it your love of travelling that prompted you to try camping or have you been an enthusiastic camper since you were a child?

Unfortunately I never went camping as a child, but it’s always fascinated me. In the past, my husband and I always travelled by car or rental car, going somewhere different every night, from hotel to hotel. We love the feeling of freedom on our road trips, just always being on the road. Being able to stay in the vehicle at night and not having to look for a place to stay first, intensifies this feeling of freedom even more. That’s how we finally ended up camping.

How did you first come into contact with WEINSBERG?

My job at GZSZ means that I am relatively present on social media, just like WEINSBERG. In the end, it was my social media agency that put me in touch with WEINSBERG. Right from the start, I jumped at the chance to explore the world – or at least part of it – in a WEINSBERG motorhome.

How did you plan your trip? Did you plan a lot in advance or was it more spontaneous? And how much did you have to revise your planning because of corona?

Basically, we had to throw our entire schedule out of the window. Originally, we were supposed to go to south‐eastern Europe, but corona threw a spanner in the works. In the end, we were very spontaneous and each morning we carefully studied the latest risk areas and avoided them on our new route.

Consequently, south‐eastern Europe eventually became Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. And I can only say that despite the many last‐minute changes we had to make, we spent a wonderful time on the road!

Speaking of wonderful times, what was your very first impression of the WEINSBERG CaraCore? Was it the right vehicle for you as a young family?

It certainly was! The CaraCore is perfect for a family of three or even four. It’s manoeuvrable and not too big, but it still has everything on board that you could wish for. We often played a little game when we were on the move: We had to find a motorhome among the ones we passed on the road that we would swap the CaraCore for. The CaraCore always won – and we really did encounter a lot of other motorhomes. (laughs)

We’re delighted to hear that! Let’s get back to your trip: What were some of the highlights on your route and where did you ultimately like it best?

I found Liechtenstein the most beautiful and surprising. I had never been to Liechtenstein before and was pleasantly taken aback by the beautiful mountains and hiking trails. We also found the most beautiful campsite there, right in the heart of the countryside. It was simply fantastic!

Have you got any insider tips for campsites or stops worth seeing along your route?

Well, we’re still pretty much camping novices ourselves, so we tend to be the ones relying on tips. That’s why we used the „Park4night‟ app, for example. This really does list a lot of campsites and it even includes one or two insider tips.

How did you enjoy travelling with the whole family? Is there anything you would do differently next time?

Next time we will definitely take our own water hose with us. Just being equipped with a watering can meant that it sometimes took a bit too long to fill up the water tank. But that’s really complaining about trivialities.

We only took a few wooden tracks and a train set for our son to play with. That was perfect; he could put them together in the campervan or outside, depending on the weather. And otherwise we just played with sticks, stones and whatever we found in the great outdoors. That’s the beauty of a camping trip: it proves once again that children really don’t need much to be happy, and the same holds true for adults. 

That must have been a very nice experience. I’m sure you’ve already got a few destinations planned for the new year – assuming, of course, that the situation around corona eases up a little.

You’re absolutely right! We definitely want to go to my old home country of Singapore. I lived there for several years and I would like to show my family its culture and the city state. Unfortunately, we can’t do that with a camper van. Other than that, we enjoyed our holiday in the CaraCore so much that we immediately bought a converted van. We would like to travel to Morocco in it. Hopefully the situation will have eased by then and we can all enjoy the feeling of freedom on four wheels again!

We hope so too. Finally, can you give us a review of the CaraCore and does your van offer you a real alternative to a fully integrated motorhome?

If I were to choose a proper motorhome, it would definitely be the CaraCore. The space has been used to perfection! When you sit in the vehicle, you are amazed at its size and comfort – and from outside, it is still compact and manoeuvrable. It mastered the most difficult mountain passes with flying colours and was reliable, which of course is extremely important if you want to relax on holiday. After all, we don’t want to stay just in one spot.

For me, the only alternative would be our van. It’s true that almost nothing about it functions as well as it should, and it’s been around for many years – but it’s ours and we can continue to tinker with it. I’m really looking forward to that!

Olivia, thank you very much for your time and your positive conclusion. We wish you lots of fun on your travels and with restoring your van!