There is no doubt about it, 2020 has been a strange year for us all and the first half of the year has disappeared into a haze of being careful, washing your hands, staying home and learning how to work and live within a new normal. Of course, a big part of this has been social distancing.
Social distancing has become part and parcel of life, and many of us have now got used to the idea of queuing in supermarkets, being patient and standing a little further apart than before. Now restrictions are easing slowly, and with summer looming fast, many thoughts are turning to how to make the best of the summer and holiday times.
Camping holidays are likely to be a consideration for many, which is no bad thing. It allows us to explore some beautiful countryside and the best way to see and explore? That is with a socially distanced camping holiday!
What Might A Socially Distant Camping Holiday Be Like?
The holiday and tourism industry are still waiting for restrictions to ease fully, but that date is looming fast, and many campsites are already planning how they can reopen their doors to the public but in a more socially distant way. You can expect that many facilities will have to remain closed or have limited usage, so swimming pools, play equipment and games rooms may have to change or close. This means that you'll maybe need to make your own entertainment, but at this stage, we are all well practised at that.
Pitches for tents and caravans will be more spaced out with plenty of space between them so there will be fewer people on the site at any one time. You are likely to have a different kind of holiday. One with fewer people, fewer distractions, less travelling and exploring, but that is just an opportunity to grab a good book or two, kick back and relax as you enjoy the view from your tent or caravan.
Social Distancing Camping Tips
With a situation like the current pandemic, everything has the potential to change. A good start is to make sure you are aware of and are following the latest Government guidelines for your area and for the area you are travelling to on holiday - add a few common-sense ideas to this, and you should be all set to have a socially distanced camping holiday that might be different to your usual holiday, but you can still have a great time.
Here are a few tips to have a successfully socially distanced holiday:
Check the guidelines regularly
The guidelines from the government are changing regularly and for good reason as they try and keep us a step ahead of the virus. With any luck, the restrictions will keep easing, and we can return to normal. Until then, it is essential to keep yourself aware of the current guidelines and what you need to do. One thing to watch out for is that the guidelines can be different depending on your area of the UK so make sure you check both the area you live in and the area you are going to. For advice in England, you can check here, and if you are travelling to Scotland or Wales, you should check their guidelines separately.
Choose your campsite carefully
Choosing your campsite is a crucial step, and the best way to go about this is to select your campsite, as usual, using our campsite search tool. Next, you can contact the campground to see if they can accept bookings. When you contact them, you can also check to see what guidelines they are setting that you need to be aware of while staying and you should also find out what they are doing to provide socially distanced holidays. Many caravan parks and campsites will have this information on their website so it shouldn't be too difficult to find out everything you need to know. You can also check our Coronavirus guidance page to keep up to date on current industry guidelines and information.
Be self-sufficient while on holiday
Camping is an excellent holiday for being self-sufficient, and if you have the camping and caravanning gear, then you are already most of the way there! You can go a step further and make sure you take everything you need with you, including food, drink, cleaning materials and your entertainment. This means you can limit going into local shops and facilities, helping everyone to avoid the transmission of the virus. If you do this well and pick a great campsite, then you can park up and have a completely relaxed holiday where you don't need to go anywhere. Don't forget to take anti-bacterial wipes and hand gels. These are fantastic for quick cleaning if you do need to go near or use equipment other people might have used,
Make yourself some face coverings
The current guidelines suggest that you should wear a face-covering if you can when inside places where social distancing is difficult. This makes masks handy to have around in case you need to pop into any shops or use any enclosed facilities. These are reasonably easy to make, and if you don't have the time or inclination to make them, you will be able to buy them now from many online stores. A simple Google search will pull up thousands of face mask patterns and designs, they're simple to make but you may find it easier to use a sewing machine. For information on how to make a mask take a look at the UK Government website or Hobbycraft's more creative take (recommended by our social team!).
Take anti-bacterial wipes and spray with and make sure you clean EVERYTHING!
Viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces like plastic and metals from anything from a few hours to several days, so make sure you always have some cleaning wipes with you and be ready to wipe down surfaces you touch in public facilities. This is for things like public toilets or cash machines but having wipes comes in handy for all sorts of situations. Make sure you clean before you touch anything and then afterwards too.
Wash your hands
It goes without saying that washing your hands is an important guideline to follow, but it's true and one that shouldn't be forgotten. Pop some anti-bacterial gel into your bag and your car too so that if you are unable to wash your hands, you can at least use this.
Limit your travel
When on holiday it can be tempting to travel to lots of towns and tourist attractions, but many of these won't be open yet, and the more people travel to busy locations then the more chance there is for viruses to spread. Instead, plan ahead some of the places you really want to go and stick to relaxing walks through remote areas and picnics in quiet parts of the country. This still makes for a fantastic holiday that is peaceful, quiet and very relaxing.
Don't forget to stand at least 2m apart
Possibly one of the most important things to remember is to stay socially distanced from anyone nearby who isn't part of your household. The guidance is two meters apart whenever you are around other people. This guidance applies when you are in queues, waiting in receptions and for when you are out and about walking.
Every year, our friends at Lonely Planet publish the ultimate list of countries, regions and cities which they deem must-visits for the year ahead. We're excited that more of the destinations that we offer have been chosen to represent 2022's Best in Travel than ever before.