Holidays abroad are looking a little less desirable this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get away from it all for a few days. A family vacation or romantic retreat can be just as fun and relaxing right here in the UK. You’ll save money, get to explore new parts of the country, and avoid the current uncertainty around flights, border restrictions and quarantine periods. Here are some tips to get you started:
Choosing where to stay
The UK is full of beautiful options for every type of holiday-goer, including the sandy beaches of Cornwall, the ragged wilderness of the Scottish Highlands and the hustle and bustle of cities like Edinburgh and London. Don’t forget that it can take longer than expected to drive across country, so think about how long you’re willing to spend cooped up in the car.
You can often get a better deal by avoiding tourist traps – the most popular beach areas, for instance – in exchange for somewhere that’s off the beaten track. The trade off, of course, is that you’ll have fewer options for entertainment. That’s fine if you just want to relax in the sun, but not so good if you’re planning to pack every day full of activity.
The other financial factor to consider is the fact that some cities and other popular tourist spots charge a premium for things like meals out and tickets to local attractions. If you’re staying in London then you can expect to add a couple of hundred pounds to your budget just for these luxuries, and other popular destinations are similar. You might find it cheaper to go somewhere less familiar (but no less beautiful) such as Northern England or the Scottish countryside.
What type of accommodation will you need?
Self-catering cottages (or apartments if you’re planning a city break) are the most flexible option of you’re staying for an extended period, since you’ll be able to take charge of your meals and create a cosy home base. They’re also a great option if you’re booking with a large group, since the cost of big houses tends to become very reasonable when split between multiple people.
Camping and caravan parks are more budget friendly, while a hotel takes the stress out of planning but can leave you longing for a little extra space and freedom.
How to get there
If you’re driving, then be sure to factor in the cost of petrol and any comfort breaks that you may need along the way. Alternatively, you can catch a train or even fly to your destination – but if you do then consider how you’re going to get around once you reach your destination. If you’re holiday is way out in the sticks then you might need to hire a car once you arrive, putting the overall price way up.
When to book
As soon as possible! After months spent inside, people are desperate for a short break and bookings are flying out the door. Even if you’re planning a trip in the autumn, when things are likely to be quieter and cheaper, you should be booking now to avoid disappointment.
Planning your activities
You know best when it comes to what activities your family will enjoy. The important thing for us to tell you is that you need to plan ahead, now more than ever. Due to social distancing, a lot of places are now accepting visits by pre-booked appointments only – even places like museums and galleries. A rough itinerary can help you to make the most of your trip, so be sure to do your research and make the required bookings. You’ll often get a discount by booking ahead, too.