1st CENTRAL’s ultimate staycation guide 2020

Summer staycation road trip

The flights have been cancelled and your holiday plans are grounded. But that’s no reason to write off the summer.

Having surveyed more than 3,200 drivers, RAC found that over two-thirds (68%) of drivers are still planning a summer vacation, even if it’s right here in the UK.

To help you on your way to staycationing success, we’ve put together some top tips and essential COVID-advice (as well as name-dropping some of our favourite UK destinations).

Ready to hit the road? Let’s get the prep underway…

Preparing for a road trip

1. Carry out your summer car checks

Before making headway, it’s important to carry out some essential maintenance checks. Don’t know where to start? Use FLOWER to help you get your vehicle in order:

F is for fuel – Setting out with a full tank will save you unnecessary stops along the way

L is for lights – Give your front and rear headlights, indicators and hazard lights a quick flick to save being pulled over for a burnt-out bulb

O is for oil – Check the indicator markings on your dipstick to test if your engine oil is running low

W is for water – Don’t let your car go thirsty! Top up your coolant and screenwash before setting off

E is for electrics – Kids in the habit of leaving lights on in the back? You might want to invest in a pair of jump leads, just in case you need a boost from another vehicle

R is for rubber – Last but not least, check that tyre tread! Most garages and tyre outlets will recommend changing your tyres if the tread depth is less than 2mm – the legal requirement is 1.6mm. You should also check your tyre pressure before hitting the road

2. Pack for the road

Long car journeys can take their toll, especially on a hot day. Make sure you’re stocked up with water and snacks to keep you and your passengers content and hydrated.

Other essentials include a good pair of UV sunglasses and any hay fever and/or car sickness medication anyone might need to see out the ride.

3. Be breakdown-ready

Your insurance and breakdown cover is all up-to-date, but you’ll still need to keep yourself safe until help arrives.

Make sure you have a fully-charged mobile phone on hand, so you can save your summer vacation from stalling for longer than necessary.

It’s also a good idea to have a reflective warning triangle stowed away, to alert other drivers if you happen to stop on a busy road.

Staying safe during coronavirus

While many lockdown measures have now been eased, you should still stay aware of government guidelines to keep you and your passengers safe while you travel.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Face masks are a must for anyone over 11 year’s old – they’re currently compulsory in all shops and supermarkets up and down the country
  • Using hand sanitiser every time you get in and out of your car will stop you transferring any germs you pick up along the way
  • Driving through a lockdown area is allowed, but if you can, try to avoid stopping for petrol or toilet breaks until you’re out the other side

Staycation road trip destinations

Still searching for the ideal spot for your summer staycation? Strap in and make the most of the UK’s stunning scenery with our top 10 road trip destinations for 2020:

1. Snowdonia

Grab your hiking boots and head to North Wales to enjoy some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of the UK

2. Lake District

One of the country’s most beautiful national parks – from England’s highest peak at Scafell Pike, to Wastwater, its deepest lake. You’ll wonder why you ever holidayed anywhere else

3. Norfolk Broads

Set amongst the beautiful East Anglian countryside, treat yourself to a weekend on the water, exploring over 125 miles of lock-free waterways

4. York

The stunning Roman city makes for an ideal cultural alternative to your European city break

5. Edinburgh

Take the windy drive up to Scotland’s dramatic capital and be wowed by its centuries-old castle, perched on a hill over the city

6. Isle of Wight

Board the ferry at Portsmouth harbour to begin your vacation ‘overseas’. Boasting golden coastlines and winding roads, you’ll hardly notice the miles flying by

7. Scottish Highlands

Explore rugged beauty, with plenty of activities for all the family – think mountain biking, boating and clay pigeon shooting

8. Cornwall

Get a breath of sea air as you head south towards Cornwall’s golden sands, quaint villages and perhaps a Cornish pasty or two

9. Devon

The unspoilt coast and countryside of south Devon offers delights, from coastal walks to seafaring adventures – don’t forget to stop off for some proper Devonshire ice cream

10. Brighton

For a more lively seaside getaway, try a family trip to Brighton, making the most of Brighton Pier and all its funfair attractions

Check out our essential summer driving guide for more tips and advice on staying safe as the weather heats up.

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