Staycations are the holiday trend of 2020! We've never had a spring or summer quite like this year. We know that you have spent a disproportionate amount of time at home lately and you're raring to go on your first UK holiday of the summer. As the Prime Minister said, now is a better time than any to 'staycation' and holiday at home. There are still challenges to consider when travelling within the UK. Whether you're looking to go camping, glamping, or stay a touring caravan or self-catering accommodation, here are our top tips for how to navigate the new normal and have a fabulous time way at one of our Best of British holiday parks.
1. Your Destination - Make It 'Good To Go'
Choosing your holiday spot is part of the excitement of going away. Something you're likely to consider for the first time, is whether or not your choice of destination is Covid-19 compliant. Luckily, there is a new standard that has been created by all the national tourism organisations of Great Britain, with a view to assuring customers that parks are following industry and Government guidance on cleanliness and social distancing. Look for the 'Good To Go' logo when you book your break. A great example is Old Oaks in Glastonbury who are proudly displaying their 'Good To Go' logo on their Facebook page.
2. Your Journey
Service stations, on the whole, remained open for basic services during lockdown and are still open now. However, you will find there are restrictions in place. These will relate to wearing a face covering, eating in, a one way system and using the facilities (although toilets are open) for example. Be sure to check the website of the service stations before leaving home, it will make the process quicker and you'll know exactly what to expect. There are slight variations between England, Scotland and Wales at the time of writing. Moto and Roadchef both provide updates on their websites regarding changes as a result of Covid-19.
3. Changes To Your Holiday Park
Photo credit: Polmanter Touring Park
It is inevitable that things will be different when you arrive on holiday, so be prepared for those changes as they will be apparent from the moment you arrive at the park. These may be minor, such as booking to use swimming pools or check in changes, but forewarned is forearmed! The Best of British member parks have worked hard to put in place measures identified by the Government. For example, many have:
- Contactless check in
- Cash-less payments
- Food ordering online
- Reduced occupancy
- Restaurants (if available) with limited capacity
It is important that you consider facilities that are essential to your stay. The parks have been excellent at updating customers through their websites and social media, so we advise familiarising yourself with the measures your holiday park of choice have put in place. Check if there are any major park changes you need to be aware of, such as access to shared facilities such as toilets and shower blocks and bookable swimming slots. The parks are very familiar with the requirements the Government have in place, so do call or send an email to clarify.
4. Changes to Local Attractions
You will likely find that local tourist attractions are having to operate differently. Here are some websites you could check before visiting:
- National Trust
- National Trust for Scotland
- English Heritage
- Historic Houses
- The National Garden Scheme
- The Royal Horticultural Society Gardens
- Museums.co.uk - a resource website which will direct you to your chosen museum
- Visit Isle of Wight
You may find you'll need to book a time to visit, refreshments and/or facilities may not be available, there will likely be restrictions on visitor numbers and you will be asked to observe social distancing measures.
5. Discover Open Spaces
You may wish for a holiday with 'fresh air' as your theme! Now is the time to experience the countryside like never before and discover those special spots you may hot have previously considered. If you're not ready to go off piste, country parks might be the place for you! They house well established routes for leisurely walks, the ability to bird spot, pathways for cycling and picnic areas. The chances are you won't see a soul. Country parks are often run by the Local Authority (County or Borough Council), so do check online for further details.
6. Local Customs
While areas of outstanding natural beauty and those of historical interest are used to tourists enjoying the attractions, it would be wise to be sensitive and aware that the country is only just opening up again. There is natural hesitation in inviting lots of people in, when we have spent so long apart. So, be aware of the local communities that you are visiting. Our top tips would be:
- Use designated parking areas and don't impede the normal day to day lives of local residents
- Be seen to be adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures. Wear your face covering in the places you should
- Stick to local footpaths and don't stray onto farmland
- Ask your holiday park if they have any current advice about the local area in light of Covid-19
- Support local business; the local shops, the local pubs. They will appreciate it more than you realise
7. 'Leave It As You Found It'
Photo credit: Bath Chew Valley
As ever, the best thing visitors can do is to leave their holiday location as they found it. Hopefully, neat and tidy and picture perfect ready for the next visitor.
We sincerely hope you're able to enjoy a UK staycation at one of our Best of British holiday parks by the coast or countryside this year. Whilst holidays abroad remain largely off limits, now is the perfect time to explore your local area and see the wonderful places that make the UK so special. Don't forget you can search availability and book a holiday park stay on the Best of British booking page.