In the first lockdown, we carried out a survey of 16,000 Staysure customers to gain an insight into their thoughts and feelings about travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Understandably, we learned that 41% of people were not planning on going on holiday abroad in 2020. Around the same time, Google Trends was reporting an 800% increase in searches for ‘staycation UK’.
So, what better time to start planning your next staycation? Have a watch of Dr Dawn Harper’s advice in the video below, or keep reading to find out everything you need to get prepared!
Speaking of planning, it’s always important to plan your holidays but this year it might just be more important than ever.
For example, keep in mind how changes in restrictions and guidelines could affect you, which might mean being aware of your holiday provider’s policy on deposits and payments if anything crops up before you take your trip.
Check your local guidance
Before you can take your staycation, you’ll need to make sure your local guidelines allow for travel within the UK. This information changes frequently (for example, we’re currently in a national lockdown that restricts all travel) so be prepared for things to change and stay up to date.
Pick your destination carefully
We all have our favourite UK staycation destinations, and there are always the popular options to choose from as well, but this year you might want to look for something a little off the beaten track.
You might also want a holiday that feels a bit more ‘normal’, so if you don’t want to have to be constantly reminded of things like social distancing then quieter locations will give you a bit of respite, if they have lower footfall.
Looking for inspiration? Check out our top 50 beautiful places to visit in the UK.
Check destination’s local guidelines
As well as the guidelines for wherever you’re travelling from, make sure to check the rules for the local area you’re travelling to.
Again, we’re currently in national lockdown but when you’re able to travel they might differ between where you live and where you’re going on your staycation.
Plan activities in advance
Again, planning ahead is the name of the game. Rigorously plan all of your activities ahead and be sure to make allowances for any Covid-related issues that might come up.
Book where you can
As businesses endeavour to make themselves more Covid-safe, many are asking customers to book in advance so they can be better prepared and try to keep everyone safe.
This even applies to doing things that used to feel so simple, like going to the pub for a drink.
If you have to cancel a booking for any reason, please also remember to let the business know. They’re under a lot of pressure at the moment and it’s really helpful for them to know exact numbers, plus it usually only takes a phone call.
Bring extra medication
Make sure to bring extra of any medication you take. This will come in especially handy as lockdown/guideline changes have been announced at pretty short notice so far.
If you’re unable to travel home or you need to extend your stay for whatever reason, having enough of your medication is going to be essential.
Packing should remain pretty much unchanged for your staycation in the UK, but there are a few extra things you might want to consider.
Talking about packing for a staycation, Dr Dawn Harper says you should always be prepared: “with your normal first aid kit.”
Add onto that plenty of hand sanitiser for the times when you can’t get to a sink.
And finally, pack face masks for everyone on your trip – making sure to account for changes and any unexpected extensions to your staycation.
Check your insurance
Understandably, 80% of the people involved in our survey said they thought travel insurance was more important now than ever.
Of course, during your staycation you’ll be covered for emergency healthcare by our excellent NHS. You can also see a GP away from home without re-registering, you’ll just need to fill in a ‘temporary resident’ form or speak to the local practice.
The key with travel insurance for your staycation in the UK is that it covers things beyond healthcare, such as cancellations and travel plans. 70% of people surveyed said they had to cancel or change their travel plans due to coronavirus.