In the UK alone, you only need to switch on the news to hear about the latest disruptions to travel. Airports are in chaos, Arriva bus drivers are on strike, and you can forget about unpredictable British Rail. So, here are some tips for less stressful UK travel as you head out.
Keep Your Luggage Safe
First, luggage is a vital part of ensuring you have what you need when travelling across any country. Even for a short break, you can end up taking a little more than you need. Typically, you would pack clothing and fresh underwear. And losing these is a nightmare. But you might also pack crucial documents and expensive electronics. Then the weight alone means it isn’t feasible to pull a heavy case around. Fortunately, you can store your cases. Services like London Radical Storage let you safely and securely store your luggage from just £5 per bag per day.
Sign Up for Travel Alerts
Travelling can be unpredictable, even if you use the best services. The recent woes of British Airways and Heathrow airport are a perfect example. And a holiday operator may not inform you of a problem until the last minute. Then there are the railways and public roads. So whether you are planning an exotic getaway or a UK road trip, you need to stay ahead of any travel news. Fortunately, like everything, there are apps for travel alerts. Waze is excellent for local public travel information, while Flightradar24 will alert you to flight cancellations and delays.
Use Weather Apps for Less Stressful UK Travel
Of course, the British weather is by far the most unpredictable part of travelling the nation. At the drop of a hat, UK weather can shift from glorious sunshine across glorious meadows to terrifying storms that seem to herald the end of days, no matter what the MET Office says. The official BBC Weather website is updated regularly with the latest changes from official sources. So check it regularly before leaving. However, you can sign up for alerts while travelling through different regions with apps like BBC Weather, AccuWeather and Dark Sky Weather.
Pack Your Clothing a Few Days Before Leaving
Nobody enjoys packing. But it’s necessary. And more often than not, there’s a lot more than you initially think, especially if you have kids. Therefore, leaving packing to the last minute is never a good idea. Packing a few days before leaving means you have time to make last-minute checks and changes. Additionally, it’s another task you can check off your list so you can focus on more important things like planning your trip around travel and weather restrictions. But you should also plan packing around clothes, important documents, underwear and toiletries.
The pandemic has been a modern plague of biblical proportions, and like nothing, anyone alive in the UK has seen before. In the UK alone, COVID-19 has killed 186,000 people. And even though the UK government’s efforts to vaccinate everyone have been astonishing, you are still at risk of contracting COVID. There are still lingering cases in the UK, and other nations, like France, Portugal and Italy, are still suffering a high number of COVID cases. So, no matter where you are going, ensure you wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance.
Arrange Documentation Well in Advance
We live in a world that relies on documents. And travelling is no exception. Travelling anywhere without specific documentation can be a nightmare. And even if it’s in your own country, there are particular documents you will need. Here are some of the most vital when holidaying:
- Passports and travel visas are essential for crossing into other nations.
- Travel insurance will protect you in all eventualities such as COVID, theft and loss.
- COVID-19 proof of vaccination will help prevent problems entering some places.
- A full and valid UK or EU driving licence is required for driving across Britain.
- Ensure you pack all tickets for pre-arranged travel such as flight, coaches and rail.
Your passport is the most official ID you can carry. But you should also pack travel insurance documents just in case anything goes wrong. Further, proof of a COVID jab will help you access public spaces and don’t forget your driving licence for car hire or in case of a police stop.
Know How to Get to Your Accommodation
Nothing can put a downer on a family holiday like having trouble finding your accommodation. Of course, when booking with a holiday operator, this is taken care of for you. But if you plan on a road trip or driving to a destination, you need to know where you are going. Otherwise, taking wrong turns and driving through an unfamiliar town can turn a three-hour drive into a five-hour one. And at the end of it all, you will be deflated and frustrated. Fortunately, apps such as Google Maps provide free GPS routing. They will also alert you to traffic news and weather.
Keep an Eye on the News
If you aren’t a news watcher, you need to become one when planning a holiday. The pandemic saw millions of holidays ruined for over two years. Which couldn’t be helped. Yet today, even after the worst of COVID, there is still massive travel disruption all over the world, and especially in the UK. Heathrow airport is having a nightmare with Brexit-related staff shortages, and public services like bus and rail are being affected by strikes across the nation. So it’s a good idea to regularly check the news for travel disruptions in the two weeks leading up to your holiday.
Keep the Kids Entertained for Less Stressful UK Travel
Travelling can be stressful enough. But taking the children along can potentially and exponentially increase your problems. Kids just don’t like being bored for too long, especially in the modern world. Luckily, you can alleviate the boredom of children when travelling with some simple games and entertainment. Classics like I-Spy are still a family favourite for younger kids. However, older children such as teens will probably prefer something more substantial. In-car Wi-Fi or dongles ensure a stable internet connection for accessing apps, the web and games.
Check Where You Can Buy Essentials
Unless you plan on staying in a remote location, you’re never really too far from a supermarket or store for essentials. Yet even a three-mile distance between your accommodation and the nearest town can take a while depending on the roads. For example, the winding and steep roads of Monmouth’s surrounding areas are a navigational nightmare for out-of-towners. So a good tip is to make a note of any services as you approach your destination. Or you can use apps like Google Maps to find the nearest supermarkets or pharmacies for essential supplies.
Use the Right Vehicle
Taking a road trip or driving cross-country to accommodation is a great way to see beautiful parts of a country such as Britain. Yet the family hatchback might not be the best vehicle for the job. First, there will be a ton of extra weight from luggage. And your family will be packed in like sardines. So consider vehicle hire when travelling to find a more suitable car. For example, visiting rural areas will require a powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive to handle hills and valleys. Or you might need a larger people carrier if you have lots of luggage and a large family.
Going on holiday each summer is a Great British tradition. Yet many things can go wrong when taking a trip this summer. Fortunately, there are some things you can do for less stressful UK travel, such as storing luggage, arranging documents, and hiring a suitable car.