If the government roadmap out of the current lockdown goes to plan, then those of us in England will be able to stay in self-contained accommodation as of 12th April 2021 and on sites such as campsites with shared facilities by the end of May.
It’s certainly exciting and we have already began to look at UK hotels and accommodation, book some campsites and Airbnb, and at least pencil dates and ideas in depending on if the government sticks to their proposed dates.
Whilst some of us are eager to get back to travel as normal, others might be feeling anxious about the whole thing and not yet ready to travel. Of course, that’s absolutely fine and everyone needs to do what feels safe for them personally. If you don’t feel safe, then virtually travel to these places from the comfort of your own couch!
However, if you are ready to get back out there and explore, then I have put together some tips and thoughts on how to stay healthy and safe whilst travelling.
Try a staycation
There is so much uncertainty around whether the lockdown rules will be eased on time for us to travel, and then even if we are allowed, we might not be able to go abroad. It’s not just a matter of our country allowing us to travel abroad, but every other country allowing us to enter.
Rules are changing all the time from country to country, so it might be wiser to skip the holidays abroad this year and play it safer with a staycation instead.
There are lots of amazing places to explore in our own country which is exactly what we have planned. We’ll be exploring Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District and staying in Airbnbs and camping in our Bongo campervan.
We’re also hoping to go to Snowdonia in Wales and to do the North Coast 500 at the top of Scotland, but we’re waiting to see whether we can travel across the nations before booking these.
We’re pretty aware that the whole of England will likely be travelling to Devon and Cornwall once allowed, so we’re also considering some city breaks too. There are lots of amazing cities to visit in the UK and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. We had a very budget friendly city break in London before and kept ourselves fit by walking everywhere!
Sightseeing on foot is really easy in most cities as there’s so many landmarks to see outdoors.
Take your own transport
Not really the most eco-friendly option, unless you have an electric car already, but taking your own transport is much easier if you do opt for a staycation and will stop you coming into contact with so many other people.
If you have your own transport, the travelling in car means you’re much less likely to catch or pass on a virus compared to being in an enclosed space for hours with many other people such as on an aeroplane, coach or train, unless a fly private jet cost is within your reach!
If you do have to take public transport then make sure you are aware of the rules and current laws around social distancing and wearing masks and comply at all times.
By taking your own transport you can choose the best route instead of it potentially taking much longer with multiple stops and diversions as on public transport. There are apps that help you to plan the best route with multiple stops along the way if it’s a long journey.
If you’re anxious about travelling again for the first time, given everything that’s happened and still happening, then planning your exact route with stops on an app in advance can give you peace of mind.
Consider self-catering accommodation
Staying in self-contained accommodation is also a great way to stop the spread. The accommodation will be cleaned before your arrival and as you are the only ones staying there, it’s less likely that the virus will be spread compared to staying in a hotel where you all eat in the same buffet hall with hundreds of other guests three times a day.
Check the latest government guidance on travel
As I already mentioned, and you probably already know, the government guidelines, rules and laws are constantly changing at the moment. There are no guarantees that travel will be allowed over the coming months and even if it is, we are all aware just how quickly they might change their mind!
The best way to check the latest rules is on the government website at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Ensure you have valid travel insurance with COVID cover
This is especially important if you are going abroad as some travel insurers may not cover you for travelling during a global pandemic and others might not cover you for anything COVID related. Check the policy of your travel insurance and see if you are covered.
If you don’t already have insurance then make sure you search for a travel insurance with COVID cover included so you are covered for any medical expenses incurred if you catch COVID and need medical assistance or trip cancellation costs.
Remember, if you travel against government guidelines then you’ll probably not be covered even if you have the COVID cover. So only travel when countries allow it.
Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
If you are travelling within the European Union then apply for a free Global Health Insurance Card. This will give you the right to access state-provided healthcare on your holiday. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but it will give you peace of mind if you have any health issues or emergency on your holiday.
The NHS says it covers necessary healthcare only that cannot wait until you are back in the UK such as:
- “emergency treatment and visits to A&E
- treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition
- routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
- routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth
- oxygen and kidney dialysis”
Make the most of the great outdoors
Many crowded indoor places won’t be open anyway, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy holidays in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature or taking walking tours of cities outdoors. Wear your mask when required to and respect other people’s space.
Even if you are not worried about catching COVID personally, be aware that others are and stick to the current recommended social distancing guidelines.
Don’t forget to wash your hands, take hand sanitiser and have a mask ready at all times
Of course, personal hygiene is still super important and you must continue to wash your hands, especially after using public restrooms and being in other crowded places.
Keep hand sanitiser in your pocket. If you hate that they’re chemical filled then I recommend the Neal’s Yard hand sanitisers with organic ingredients and natural essential oils. Click here for the latest cashback and vouchers for Neal’s Yard.
In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.