Here, Mark Barclay from GSF Car Parts offer his top tips for planning a road trip if you’re going to be taking a UK staycation this summer.
Although a lot of lockdown restrictions have now been lifted and we are able to travel to some popular tourist destinations, most of us are still likely to be spending this summer in the UK. Perhaps you summer holiday plans were cancelled at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, or you aren’t confident about getting back on a plane just yet. This doesn’t mean you have to miss out on that holiday feeling, though — there are plenty of places you’ll love visiting in the UK. So, why not plan a road trip?
There are a number of things you should consider before you go, though, as you’ll want your trip to go as smoothly as possible. So, here, I’m going to outline the five main things you should think about before setting off.
Choose your destination carefully
Of course, the first step in planning your road trip is to choose where you’re going to visit. You’ll have to put some extra thought into this right now, though, as there is still the risk of local lockdowns, and some areas have been slower to re-open than others.
I would recommend coming up with a shortlist of three to five places you’re interested in visiting, and then do plenty of research into each of them before making a decision. It’s also a good idea to think about what you’ve missed most in lockdown. Do you live in a city, so have missed being able to visit green spaces? Or, would you like to plan a trip that’s going to offer you plenty of arts and culture? You might have to get creative — for example, by planning a street art tour if art galleries are still closed — but it is possible to plan a trip that suits you.
Check your vehicle over
It’s a good idea to give your vehicle a health check before you set out on your road trip — especially if it’s been sitting mostly unused for the last few months. The last thing you want is for your car to fail your part-way through your trip, but some thorough checks and a bit of TLC can help to prevent this from happening.
At minimum, it’s important that you check your oil levels, that your lights are working as they should, and that your tyres are sufficiently inflated. You should also check their tread to ensure they’re suitable to be on the road. Most of these checks can easily be done at home or at your local petrol station.
Book your accommodation early
Understandably, this is expected to be the year of the staycation, as most people have had their summer holiday plans dashed. So, there are going to be a lot of people planning similar road trips and journeys around the UK. As a result, it’s important that you book your accommodation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
A lot of camping sites, hotels, and B&Bs are experiencing a huge influx of booking now that the lockdown restrictions have been lifted for the most part. So, once you’ve chosen your destination, don’t hesitate to find a place to stay or you could miss out.
Keep an eye on the news
As I’ve already mentioned, local lockdowns are still possible. And, as we’ve seen over the last few months, things can change very quickly. In the lead-up to your trip, and while you’re away, it’s very important that you regularly check the news. You might be looking for a break from everything that’s going on, but ignoring what’s happening could turn your road trip into a bit of a disaster. So, even if you just check the main coronavirus headlines every morning before you make plans for the day, make sure you stay informed the whole time.
Make sure you have a plan B
Because things can change at a moment’s notice where the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown is concerned, make sure you always have a plan B. Perhaps you could look into which cities are near to your chosen destination, just in case you get there and there are far fewer places open than you expected. Or you might choose not to venture too far from home if you’re nervous that the guidelines could be changed while you’re away and you can no longer enjoy your holiday as planned. Right now, it’s important that you’re prepared for all eventualities, and that you make sure your family are managing their expectations. Hopefully you’ll have the best possible time away — and it’s very likely you will. But, with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, many of us will be swapping our summer holiday abroad for a UK road trip this year. But there are some things you’ll need to consider to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. Take these tips on board and you and your family should have a wonderful time away.