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Travel safely this summer

With life gradually going back to normality, and UK staycations booming, many of us are packing our suitcases, loading up our vehicles and heading off on a well-deserved holiday. In all of the excitement of getting away, do remember the importance of planning ahead and travelling safely this summer.

colourful beach huts

How things may differ

Devolved UK Governments may be doing things differently

As we are all fully aware, different rules have been in place with varying different opening rules and schedules during the past few months, as set by the different Governments.  With this in mind, if you are travelling to a different country within the UK, whether that’s England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Island, do check for the most up to date rules applicable to that country prior to travelling, just in case anything differs or things have changed since your last update, making sure you are fully in the know.

Local lockdowns and restrictions 

It is likely that some parts of the UK will have an increased number of Covid-19 cases to other areas, and this may affect your decision as to whether to travel to certain areas. Keep yourself safe this summer and where possible try to avoid areas with high case rates.

Discover the undiscovered 

2021 for many is the year when they rediscover the gems that the UK has to offer in terms of holiday experiences.  When planning your trips, bear in mind that a lot of other people are planning similar trips.  It may prove beneficial to come up with some alternative options for your days out, trying to avoid the popular tourist locations, hopefully keeping you away from crowded beaches and busy hotspots.

If somewhere features highly on your ‘must-do’ list that may be popular, look at alternative timings for your visit to try and avoid the peak footfall rush allowing you to adhere to social distancing safely.

Read the small print 

Some hotels and accommodation providers have implemented restrictions on their facilities to meet government guidelines relating to operating during the pandemic.  In some instances, certain facilities may not be in use, and in others, the numbers are restricted on who can use them, in these instances you may need to book a place prior to arrival.  Find out in advance if you have such restrictions in place and allow yourself plenty of time to secure any additional reservations that are required, as there have been reports that opportunities such as swimming slots and restaurant reservations have been filling up weeks in advance.

If you are booked into self-catering or camping, you may find the check-in and out times may be later/earlier than you are used to.  Likewise, items that are normally included as part of your booking may not be this time, such as towels and basic kitchen cleaning equipment.  Do your research and go prepared!

Parking 

If you are driving or hiring a vehicle for your summer staycation, it may be worth checking if there are parking facilities available where you are heading. Some tourist hotspots only allow you to park for a few hours to manage the flow of cars, so if you are planning on staying a long time, it may be worth checking in advance for any parking restrictions.

Many car parks have also gone contactless due to the pandemic.  Therefore, download apps such as RingGo prior to heading out to make your parking experience a little smoother, or ensure you have a card payment method with you in case cash payments are not an option.

Of course, going armed with plenty of coinage for parking machines is also good practice, in case you are visiting areas that have not upgraded their machines to allow card payments.

Respect the local area 

It has been reported that local residents in some tourist areas, such as Cornwall, are worried that summer staycations will cause the infection rates to soar in their areas. While the UK economy welcomes the economic boost of everyone holidaying at home, and most are excited about the prospect of being able to holiday again, do be mindful that holiday destinations are also people’s hometowns. Follow these steps to keep everyone safe:

  • Adhere to government guidelines by wearing a mask where applicable, regularly wash and sanitise your hands in public areas.
  • Clean up after yourself and avoid leaving anything behind
  • Be respectful where you park your vehicle
  • Avoid overcrowded places
  • Try to keep your distance from other people or groups
  • Be patient with staff, especially in the hospitality industry, as measures have been put in place to allow them to open but it may mean that service is a little slower or different, due to such measures, what we were accustomed to pre-Covid

Journey considerations

Get your vehicle road-ready 

Checking your vehicle is a must before setting off on a long car journey, as a roadside breakdown is a sure way to ruin your summer holiday!  For more hints and tips read our article about preparing your car for a long journey here

No multitasking 

Multi-tasking behind the wheel takes your attention away from the road, so make sure you stay focused and limit the number of distractions as possible;  

  • Avoid eating or drinking on the go
  • Minimise road chat as studies have shown that talking to passengers can be as distracting as using your phone.
  • If you are travelling with children, equip them with activities to keep them busy during the journey.

Take a break 

You should take regular breaks if you are driving over a long period of time, ideally every two hours, and limit night-time driving. Tiredness and decreased visibility can make it harder to drive safely and may affect your reaction time when responding to sudden changes.

Likewise sitting still for long periods of time can cause health issues such as a DVT, so it is just as important for passengers as it is for the driver to have regular breaks to enable them to get out of the car and move about a little.

Prepare for the unexpected 

Unfortunately, things do not always go to plan.  It is recommended that even if you are taking a UK break that you have travel insurance in place much like you would if you were travelling abroad, as this type of insurance covers you for unfortunate events such as ‘loss of accommodation’ and ‘cancellation cover’.  Please do ensure prior to taking out any policies that the cover will meet your needs and what is covered should it be a Covid related incidence that you need to make a claim for.

Likewise, did you know that can also ensure your vehicle’s excess amount on both private and hired vehicles?  This is called vehicle excess insurance and is a reimbursement type insurance that covers the excess amount you are financially liable for should an incidence occur to the vehicle.  To find out more check out our useful guides:

Policies start from as little as £2.99 per day, to obtain a quick and easy quote or to purchase click here.

Heading overseas?

It is highly advised to check the government guidelines before booking international travel and before you depart for the trip as regulations can be changed at any time. Click here for the latest government updates on international travel.

Date Created: 24/06/2021


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