Thousands of families will be excitedly preparing to take to the road for a UK staycation next week.
But after months in lockdown, many of us will likely be out of practice when it comes to getting everything ready to go.
To help out, the travel experts at Sykes Holiday Cottages have shared some useful top tips which will help to ensure your May half-term staycation runs smoothly.
From a useful packing essentials list, to the best time to tackle your holiday food shop, here’s everything you need to know.
Essential items to take with you
There are a few items that in the past wouldn’t have made your holiday essentials list, but it would be wise for you to consider packing the following items alongside your toiletries and beach towels.
Lockdown might be easing, but don’t forget to pack the essentials like face masks, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.
You might also want to consider taking some warmer clothing, as even though restaurants are now allowed to open inside, demand is so high that you might need an extra layer or two.
Last but not least, don’t forget your walking boots or comfy shoes. Many of us have been reminded of how enjoyable a simple walk can be during lockdown, so why stop embracing that now?
Give your car some TLC
Chances are your car has been sat on your driveway or limited to short journeys over the past few months.
A full check of tyres, water and oil would be advisable before setting off on any long journeys to your chosen staycation destination.
If you don’t already have roadside assistance, this is another worthwhile consideration – particularly if you haven’t been using your car as much over the past year.
Plan and book ahead
There are some wonderful local places to explore across the UK, but now more than ever you need to make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Entrance numbers are currently reduced for a lot of local attractions to allow social distancing, so check before you leave and, if possible, book your slot in advance.
The same goes for restaurants. Although we can now eat indoors and outdoors, they’re still likely to be very busy, so book ahead to make sure you don’t go hungry!
Shop before you go
If your local shops are currently busy, then the ones in smaller towns and tourist destinations are likely to be even busier.
Many of the big supermarkets have more delivery slots opening up, particularly if you order in advance.
Why not consider having your food delivered for an hour or two after you arrive? Then all you have to do is unpack and then put your feet up.
When arranging key collection, you could also ask the owner about local farm shops which may be offering deliveries too. After having less tourists over the past year, they will likely appreciate the extra business.
Embrace the UK weather
The British weather has been very volatile recently, so try to ensure your packing and plans cover all eventualities.
As a nation, we’ve shown that we’re willing to go out and explore come rain or shine in recent months, so it doesn’t have to impact your staycation plans either!
If you are worried about the weather, don’t forget that attractions like cinemas, museums and play centres are now open so are there if you need them.
Or if you’re staying in a holiday let, you could speak to the owner to ask them if there are any activities they would recommend.
For a choice of more than 19,500 holiday cottages throughout the UK and Ireland, visit www.sykescottages.co.uk