Travel expert's top tips for planning stress-free staycations during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on holiday plans, so it’s no surprise that most Brits are opting for a staycation this year. However, even a UK holiday can feel tricky to plan amidst the pandemic uncertainty – but the good news is that there are ways to make the process a little easier for yourself. We’ve teamed up exclusively with Neena Jivraj Stevenson, Chief Culture Officer at Point A Hotels to get her top tips on what Brits need to know when staycation planning.

Whatever you plan, make sure to keep up to date with government travel advice should there be local lockdowns or restrictions which may affect your trip. Check out Neena’s top tips below…

Celebrate the staycation

If you’re missing a holiday abroad or your trip was cancelled, a staycation may not feel like much of a consolation prize. However, put these feelings aside and embrace the new trip you’re planning.

Focus on positives (no long airport queues or long travel times), and look for somewhere you haven’t been before. Once you’re there, you can seek out hidden gems and local delicacies to make it a bit of an adventure.

A family on a camping holiday (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Embrace all things off-peak

Travel at off-peak times whether by car or opting for a midday train, and plan meals at slightly later times – most restaurants can be full around 6.30pm, so why not try dining later like our European friends? Not only could this help you avoid the crowds and stay safe, but you might be in with the chance of saving a few pounds in the process.

The stunning city skyline of Edinburgh

Plan, plan, and then plan some more

Covid-19 means that simple trips such as going to the pub or for a meal have changed – but a bit of planning means the experience doesn’t need to be dampened.

Ring ahead to book a table at the restaurant you want to try, or the attraction you want to visit. Many tourist attractions no longer accept walk-ins so make sure to check online or call ahead to avoid disappointment. Booking in advance has the advantage that you’ll have a better idea of what each day will look like – no more wasting time when a museum queue is longer than expected, or being forced to alter dinner plans because you can’t get a table at a local hotspot.

Call ahead and book a table so you know your meals are sorted (Image: E+)

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Be flexible

Keep a steady supply of sanitiser and masks in your bag and prepare for things to change last minute.

Make a Plan B or even C to avoid disappointment and to ensure your trip is one to remember for all the right reasons.

If you’re nervous, speak to staff

Research from Point A Hotels showed that nearly half of Brits are ‘anxious travellers’. It’s understandable, but the good news is that the tourism industry has adapted quickly in line with official to ensure that people can still enjoy their time away safely. Rather than worrying, why not pick up the phone and have a chat with the staff where you are staying so they can put your mind at rest.

Check the small print

Travel insurance is a must at the moment.

It’s not the most thrilling task, but it really pays to check the finer details of your policy (the same goes for flight and accommodation cancellation terms).

Many insurers and businesses are changing how and when they will pay out as a result of Covid-19 so do your homework beforehand.

  • Point A Hotels has nine UK hotels across London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Find out more on the official website.

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