Even though many countries have now reopened to tourists, there’s still a risk with travelling abroad at the moment – especially with self-quarantining required when travelling to and from certain destinations. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck at home for the rest of the year.
While our customers use their equity release money for lots of different reasons – such as home improvements, repaying debts or helping their children out financially – many also use a small amount to treat themselves with a well- deserved luxury holiday. While that dream trip abroad may be on hold for the moment, there’s no stopping you from enjoying the UK.
To stay safe on your home-grown holiday, read our top tips, below.
1. Avoid tourist hotspots
While the busy beaches of Brighton or Blackpool are tempting holiday destinations, it’s important to avoid crowds on your getaway.
Instead, opt for quieter locales that are off the beaten track. Think sleepy country villages, peaceful city suburbs and hidden coastal coves; locations that make it easier to follow social distancing guidelines and reduce the risk of infection. You still enjoy a relaxing break, just without the throngs of tourists.
If you’re stuck for staycation inspiration, read our five best places to visit in the UK for seniors blog post.
2. Travel wisely
With your secluded staycation booked and confirmed, the next step is to get there safely.
Travelling by car poses the lowest risk, especially if you’re only accompanied by people from your household or established social bubble. For long haul journeys, limit the stops at motorways services and try to avoid touching any surfaces when using the facilities. Even though petrol station pumps are being regularly cleaned, also ensure that you sanitise your hands before and after refilling the car with fuel.
For those travelling by public transport, wear a mask or face covering throughout the entire journey, as per government guidelines. Also avoid seats directly facing other passengers – sit side by side or behind other people instead to reduce the risk of infection.
TOP TIP: Not feeling 100% confident? Either call up or book online to reserve a seat before travelling to ensure that social distancing is maintained.
3. Take responsibility for cleanliness
Whether you’re staying in a luxury hotel or a rural cottage, there is no guarantee that your space is entirely COVID-19-proofed, despite the business’s best efforts.
To be certain you’re being careful, take along hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes. While many will be following new UK Hospitality guidelines for cleanliness, it's still a good idea to wipe down your accommodation upon arrival (even if it looks clean) and wash your hands as often as possible. It might seem overly cautious, but it’s a very small price to pay for safety.
If in doubt, phone, email or visit the website of your accommodation ahead of time to ensure they are taking the proper precautions.
4. Wear a mask
Already mandatory on public transport and within enclosed indoor settings, you can reduce risk further by making masks a part of your everyday holiday wardrobe.
Even if you’re staying in a secluded area with a relatively low rate of infection, it’s good practice to wear your mask in public places. Not only will it discourage you from touching your face (a common cause of contamination), but it shows concern for locals and other tourists when you interact with them.
Wearing a mask is a simple and painless way to protect you and others, while still enjoying your getaway.
5. Stay informed and plan ahead
Coronavirus advice and regulations can change at the drop of a hat – and this unpredictability could affect your staycation plans.
As different parts of the UK are operating under different rules, you’ll want to stay up to date with the latest government information. Local lockdowns can be imposed at very short notice so always check before you travel at Visit Britain.
We also recommend preparing your finances, so you’re ready for the world when it opens back up. And with record-low interest rates and flexible features, there’s never been a better time to release equity from your home; money that can secure your financial future in these uncertain times.
To find out more about equity release, simply call the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 802 1051, or email [email protected].