Simon Calder offers advice on booking staycations for 2021
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Travel “will be less turbulent this year”, according to Paul Hardingham, MD of Landal GreenParks UK, the UK’s fastest growing self-catering holiday brand. But nothing is certain, as Paul said he couldn’t “call it”.
Holidaymakers may be wondering when to book their holidays this year, with travel restrictions still a factor all over the world.
Paul Hardingham said: “I think you could go and gamble and wait until the last minute, but I would advise that you actually book early.”
He continued: “Book at least three to six months early.”
Pau’s advice was to “book with a company that has a Covid insurance promise. In the event of another lockdown or government restrictions on travel within the UK, then you can get your money back or switch your holiday to a different date.”
Booking early was the best bet for Paul, and he said booking under flexible terms was safest.
He explained: “Book early because if the summer ahead is anything like it has been in the past couple of years, we’ll see an influx of guests wanting to book the UK.
“You couldn’t call what happened with overseas travel this year and I think a lot of people were playing it safe with the UK.
“So that means a lot of people will leave it late. I think to get peace of mind, to get the property that you want, and also to get the best price, book as soon as possible.
“Because what will end up happening if we see a spike in demand, prices will be higher.”
The advice was for a UK holiday, with overseas travel “very different”, according to Paul.
He said: “Brexit is a factor as well, whether they let us in.
“Having had to travel to the Netherlands quite a bit for work, it’s been far more challenging travelling overseas being outside of the EU.”
Between Covid restrictions and the post-Brexit status of the UK as a “outside” country, a holiday overseas was “definitely harder” to plan for.
To be completely safe, Paul said the UK was a better bet, and Britons should “get as organised as they can”.
A UK holiday during the shoulder seasons will offer the best price and still some “relatively good weather”.
Paul said: “The weather in May, June and early July is relatively good, but you can never guarantee that.
“You don’t go on a UK holiday for the sun. You’re going for picturesque scenery, for local areas, you’re not going to top up your tan.
“If you want to weather-proof your holiday pick a resort product, a holiday park with an indoor pool, at least if it rains you have something for the kids to do.”
Britons still wanting to leave it to the last minute should look at off the beaten path areas.
Paul said: “If you want to leave it last minute, it’s more of a gamble. If you leave it late for August, then you will be challenged.
“The most popular areas are Cornwall and the Lake District. Everyone flocks to these destinations in their drove, and they get booked up first.
“If you do want to leave it later, there are hundreds of destinations in the UK that are equally superb in terms of setting but aren’t that kind of tourist hotspots.
“In the south west, Dorset, Somerset are still very good. And loads of places in the north, Northumberland is a really good place. South West Scotland, of course it’s not the Highlands but it’s beautiful.”
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