Since March last year, it has been hard to plan holidays with travel restrictions, post-arrival self-isolation and lockdowns. Even if you don’t plan to go away anytime soon, you can’t help but be prepared for travel beyond 2021. Here are my tips for how to plan your post lockdown family holiday!
According to the Express newspaper, it is still too early to book our summer holidays. We should stick to the covid-19 rules and that the travel restrictions could last for months. At the same time, this isn’t exactly what we wanted to hear. Maybe it’s time for us to consider travelling later in the year or early next year, although this can be complicated with school-age children. There are many things you could consider before booking your post lockdown holiday.
What Comes Next?
With the country currently in a national lockdown, it can be hard to consider what comes next. After the mess that was 2020 (I won’t even go there), there are many families and would-be travellers who are ready to search the internet for those fantastic trips, and we are all so desperate to go on a well-deserved adventure.
The lockdown restrictions and some travel restrictions are set to remain for many months. It can be frustrating that all our plans seem to be on hold! Brits seem desperate to know life after Covid-19, and who can blame them! It shouldn’t stop you from looking to plan a post lockdown family holiday, whether this is a staycation or an international trip.
Consider What a Holiday Means to You?
Do you see your holiday as spending quality time with the kids, no iPad or mobile phone insight, a fully inclusive holiday with wine on tap and enough entertainment that you barely see your kids for seven days? Do you prefer a glamping trip in the Cornish countryside where you spend nights counting the stars, cooking on an open fire and exploring mother nature? Both are appealing holidays but both very different.
The unique thing about holidays is that as consumers, we all see them; differently, some want to spend 14 days exploring Disneyworld, others wish to spend £20k on a luxury trip to the Maldives and chartering a private jet has never been more affordable and accessible, with this site offering a flexible and customer-centred approach to air travel. At the same time, others are happy for a lovely weekend break in Weymouth.
So when you are booking your next trip, whether it be for 2021 or 2022, are you prepared for how Covid-19 might still affect your travel experience?
Not all Businesses will be Open
While some restrictions might be slowly lifting, the way we spend our leisure time will likely continue to be very different. Hotels, bars, and restaurants have to limit bookings, bars allow take-out or outdoor seating, and restaurants half the capacity and only take bookings. Including no large group bookings! So booking a self-catering break in Greece might not be the best idea for 2021.
However, things will be changing, with things across Europe being very different for longer than we ever imagined. With talks of travel corridors, covid-19 testing, self-isolating requirements and covid-19 vaccine certificates being required even to attempt to board a plane, there will be masks, social distancing and each country having its own rules. However, the world is reopening, and we need to be ready for it.
So, before rushing off and booking your family into a self-catered villa in Spain, it might be worth considering the requirements for all family members. If the thought of heading abroad isn’t something you want to consider this year, perhaps a staycation is the perfect solution?
Considering a Staycation
Post lockdown, the UK will be far from the norm. Even financially, many businesses will never reopen; many families will be financially affected for months, if not years to come. And across social media, there are many articles telling people not to book trips, that it shouldn’t be a priority, wait until 2022 and if you have to consider staying closer to home.
However, planning a trip to the UK will be easier than navigating international restrictions and quarantine measures.
Staying in the UK could offer a great deal of freedom. With the use of a car or motorhome, you have a certain amount of flexibility about whom you come into contact with and minimal restrictions involving movement. It doesn’t even have to be far, maybe a quick stop at some fantastic lavender fields, and it makes the perfect photo opportunity.
There has yet to be an announcement from the government about holidays within the UK, as it is far too early to tell where we may be in the summer months, but we can only keep our fingers crossed!
After months of staying home and protecting the NHS, we also have to remember that some families may feel it’s okay to venture into the world again but still with social distancing measures. WHereare some suggestions for a post lockdown family holiday. with that in mind
- Camping/Glamping – Doesn’t have to be hours away; pitch up offer a comprehensive list of some of the best camping locations in the UK and Europe. You are in a tent, enjoying that one to one with nature, no fighting for tables at breakfast or queuing for the bar! Pack an electric cooler with drinks, snacks and spend a weekend or week enjoying the great outdoors. For those like me who hate camping with a passion, many locations offer more home from home glamping experiences with toilets, showers and duvets (heaven).
- Hire a motorhome/campervan/Caravan – When I was a child, my grandparents owned a caravan, the type you hook up to the back of your car and head off for a weekend by the sea. I loved it. I had a proper bed, no grass insight, and it had walls (kind of), and now I have my own family. I am saving for an RV or, to us Brits, a motorhome. The idea of having a mini home on wheels, with a shower, toilet and a fridge, is just perfect for me. It’s similar to camping, you would need to connect to an electricity point at a site, but many modern travellers have inverters so they can ‘wild’ camp and enjoy nature. However, I would suggest that you only stay at official wild campgrounds and not the side of the M5 as, unfortunately, bad things do happen.
- Holiday Parks – There are independent holiday parks and chains like Butlins, Pontins, Haven etc. They offer onsite facilities, take-aways, entertainment, leisure facilities, are usually located near a beach, and have various accommodation, including villas, caravans, yurts, dome tents and chalets. From personal experience, they typically aim towards families with younger children, but they are an excellent way to spend a week self-catering in the UK.
- Hotels – Sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com are still taking bookings for hotels. Stating that it’s risk-free as you can cancel at a later date for free. However, some hotels like Travelodge have been providing rooms for keyworkers and people who cannot stay with their family for whatever reason. NHS trusts have booked hotels for their staff until October! It is worth mentioning that some hotels are not taking bookings until the government has deemed it okay.
- Air BnB – There has long been a lot of controversy regarding Airbnb. With a few users siting concern that they have arrived at their accommodation to find another family staying, the contact doesn’t turn up to hand over keys. At last minute accommodation is unavailable. However, I hear many positive stories about how perfect this type of accommodation is for a quick getaway or night stopover. They aren’t currently allowing bookings for non-essential workers, but there are some fantastic finds on there.
- Cabins/Retreat/Cottage Holidays – Places like Center Parcs springs to mind when I think of cabins or holidays in the woods. Some independent places are offering that quiet retreat. Center Parcs are remaining closed until at least 5th July. There are other benefits to staying in a holiday cottage, with it usually being isolated and self-contained.
- Days Out/Home Holidays – Perhaps, you feel that a trip away during a pandemic isn’t something that you want right now. Maybe you like the idea of spending time at home exploring local attractions, picnicking in the park, building sandcastles on the beach (if commutable), having a BBQ with family and friends (social distancing) and save a little money for a bigger and better holiday next year.
Life After Covid-19
It is hard to imagine life after Covid-19. Will a post lockdown holiday even be possible? Will we find ourselves having to return home and self-isolate for ten days just like if we left the country? A Luxury BNB Magazine’s survey said 69% of Brits are ready to book their next trip, with 30% saying they would be looking to book a UK break. With key locations being Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Norfolk and Kent as the top choices for that post lockdown holiday.
Will the UK ever be ready?
Like many countries worldwide, we can’t stay hidden forever, and we will be returning to work. The hospitality and leisure industry will be opening for business. With many months of social distancing, the world will be very different, with extra hygiene measures and homeschooling to come.
The UK economy needs to allow for the return of ‘normal’ whatever that will be. Non-essential shops will open, beaches will more likely be busy, airports will allow international travel because we will need it, and people will be looking to book last-minute and cheap holidays.
It does appear that why we Brits are keen to go on holiday, travel restrictions are a significant cause for concern. I know where I’d love to visit after lockdown. There is also the risk to our tourism, with Cornwall and Wales wanting government support in keeping British tourists away. But could their tourism industry survive if they lockdown down until Covid-19 is no longer a threat? Hotels, tourist attractions and tourism hotspots seem keen to welcome back travellers, with some well-known places posting empty beaches on their Instagram accounts.
There is still a mix of emotions regarding travelling, with some stating we should be staying at home until this is over or when the vaccines have been fully rolled out, with others stating that it will cause a second or even multiple peaks. I think we can be pretty confident that Brits will opt to stay within the UK or at the very least wait until later in the year to see if restrictions regarding travel are lowered. Will you be rushing off to the travel agent? Scrolling through websites looking for a cheap deal? Staying at home? Or planning your 2022 holiday instead? Please leave a comment below and let me know your plans?