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2021 is the year of the staycation. With the impact of the pandemic still in full swing, holidays certainly look a bit different. On the plus side, the UK is home to spectacular scenery, epic historical sites and attractions, and jam-packed with enough adrenaline-pumping activities for the whole family to enjoy. 

Whether you have a beach destination in mind or want to get lost in the majestic Highlands, there are a few essentials you need to have on your pre-travel checklist. Read on to see our roundup of 5 things you need for your UK staycation:

lady reading on the beach in the sun wearing wide brimmed hat

Suitable transport

You have several travel options when it comes to a staycation. Either you get behind the wheel of your own car, go by rail, plane or coach, but for most of us, the road trip option is the most obvious choice. 

But, you need to have a vehicle that not only is up to the task and won’t let you down on the road, but it needs to be able to fit in all of your luggage and passengers! 

First off, you may need to consider hiring a car if yours isn’t up to the job. But equally, maybe this is the nudge you needed to upgrade your motor. With a wealth of reputable car finance dealers online, you can bag yourself a bargain often within minutes. Rock up to your local dealership once you’re accepted, and away you go. 

But those of you who haven’t made the finance leap yet, or have a poor credit history, might want to check out bad credit car finance. Essentially, it’s one of the best tools you have at your disposal to build up your credit score. Where traditional lenders won’t give you the time of day, specialist lenders will cater your package to your individual circumstances. Win, win if you ask us. 

Dining ideas

Food makes the world go round, and if you have your family in tow or that one hangry friend who can’t cope until they get their fill, it’s worth checking out your dining options before you set off. 

Self-catering is a big trend with staycationing. You can either treat your holiday like a home from home kind of deal or get a delivery from one of the higher-end supermarkets straight to your door. Then there are the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats to think about offering a whole range of cuisines that you just can’t get anywhere else. 

But sometimes, holidays mean treats and eating out is all part of the charm. So get a feel for some of the local eateries ahead of your journey. You might find a hidden gem that will make you want to come back again and again. 

Don’t forget to pack for all seasons

Anyone who has lived in the UK for any amount of time knows how temperamental the weather can be. You can experience all four seasons in one day, have tropical-Esque thunderstorms in April, and that’s all before you’ve experienced the highs and lows of the British summer. 

Now you know yourself all the essentials you need for a stress-free holiday. But in case you need a bit of extra inspo, here are our must-haves:

  • Jumpers, tees and cardigans
  • Waterproof/snuggly coat/jacket
  • Underwear, pyjamas and a whole heap of socks (especially for those cold nights!)
  • Trousers, leggings, shorts
  • Swimming gear and all the accessories
  • Suncream and glasses
  • Electricals – everything from chargers to headphones, you name it, you need it!
  • Spare towels, unless you are confident in your accommodations ability to provide
  • Toiletries – all the works from toothbrushes to tweezers, makeup to shampoo
  • Medication and plasters

Entertainment 101

Keeping the kids entertained on long journeys can be a real eye-opener for parents and carers. Just when you think an epic game of eye spy will get you through the bulk of the trip, five minutes in and the classic “are we there yets” have begun, followed swiftly by “I’m hungry.” Stress levels quickly reach their peak, and suddenly, this whole staycation plan has gone up in flames. 

Pre-planning for all eventualities is part of the job. Not sure where to start? Here are a few handy things to include in your road trip survival pack:

  • Snacks. Don’t leave home without them. Whether you pack a small picnic with a few supermarket staples like pre-made sandwiches or grab a handful of share bags and fruit, the world is your oyster!
  • Drinks. Yes, you’ll inevitably hear “I need a wee” sooner than necessary, but a thirsty child is a timebomb waiting to go off, especially if you end up in idle motorway traffic
  • Books/magazines. General reading material is perfect for kids of all ages. Try and encourage your child to pick at least three books before you go to include in their travelling grab pile
  • Toys and cuddlys. If there is that one bedtime bear that your kiddo can’t leave home without, make sure it doesn’t get left behind. Plus, a small assortment of games or toys is perfect for any journey. Throw in a couple of board games for the whole family to enjoy during your stay too, and you’ve got yourself a party!
  • Road trip playlist. With an array of streamable music and content, creating an epic playlist before you set off can transform any journey
  • Tablets. From films to games, a tablet can keep idle hands, and busy minds occupied

Sights and attractions

All good trips are usually bursting with lasting, fond memories. So make sure you do a bit of research ahead of your journey, so you don’t miss out on some of the best treasures the UK has to offer. 

Whether you like water sports, castles, museums, escape rooms, art, culture or science, there really is something for everyone to enjoy if you know it’s there. Take a look at local recommendations, check out Tripadvisor and the works to see what takes your fancy. 

Plus, most places require pre-booking with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, even if the venue has free entry. So make sure you do a bit of pre-planning to avoid disappointment. 

Are you ready for your UK staycation? With a little bit of pre-planning, your time away can go from stressful to relaxing in no time. 

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