Holidays abroad might be the norm for many Britons, but with strict travel rules currently in place, no one knows for sure when foreign holidays will be allowed again. Consequently, many British holidaymakers are planning to staycation in the UK this summer. So, with a certain level of uncertainty still in place, what’s the best way to go about planning your getaway?
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Express.co.uk spoke to travel blogger and industry insider Tom Bourlet from Spaghetti Traveller for his travel advice.
The impact of coronavirus means you should check a number of factors you previously wouldn’t have considered.
“Check with the local council before heading over to ensure they are welcoming travellers or whether they have any specific rules in place for when you arrive,” advised Bourlet.
“Many hotels are available to book online, however, they are only available for key workers, so make sure you’re allowed to book for a holiday.
“Considering restaurants may have a heavily reduced capacity [due to social distancing measures], it could be worth contacting a few in the week before your visit to reserve a table for dinner.”
Bourlet recommended giving careful thought to transport when planning a holiday.
It may well be best to travel by car if possible. Britons are still being discouraged from using public transport for the time being and face masks are compulsory. However, these measures will change in time.
It’s also a time to stray away from the madding crowd when it comes to your destination.
“Considering the need for social distancing, you may want to avoid key tourist traps, which can easily be achieved in any city,” said Bourlet.
“With Brighton as an example, if you were to head straight down from the station to the beach you would find a beach filled with people sitting right next to each other.
“But walk for 15-20 minutes along the seafront towards the Marina and you will find beautiful beaches with almost no people on them.
“This is the perfect time to explore hidden gems dotted around the country that tend not to get the most attention.”
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Bourlet continued: “I’d recommend avoiding city centres when possible.
“If you like country walks then there are a huge number of brilliant options, but be careful to avoid popular spots, many people will be heading to Snowden [in Wales], for instance, and if you’re following a set path, you may struggle to avoid the crowds.”
So what about those who are hoping to bag cheap deals post-pandemic?
“Travel companies are desperately trying to make any sales at the moment, with many sales team still working from home,” said Bourlet.
“They’re also offering free cancellations and refunds, so you can book without fear.
“Once the country is completely out of lockdown, there will be an increase in people booking UK holidays, but if you beat them to the punch you will find a number of hotels that are desperate for customer bookings and are willing to offer great deals.
“You can try contacting the hotel to see if they can directly offer you a discounted price. If not, look elsewhere.”
The travel blogger also pointed out the importance of travel insurance, “but double-check it covers issues around Coronavirus, as many of the insurance companies stopped allowing it to be protected against,” he said.
“You should also opt for a hotel that offers refunds on cancellations, as many will do.”
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