Camping and caravan holidays: Expert predicts when UK getaways can restart this year

The Camping and Caravanning Club detail virus safety measures

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Camping and caravan holidays have long been loved by Britons. However, more and more people turned to this traditional, alfresco style of getaway amid the Covid pandemic last year. And it’s hoped that holidays will make a return this year sooner rather than later.

The big question, though, is when? spoke exclusively to Ed Bassett, UK General Manager at Camptoo, the Airbnb of campervans, to find out his travel advice and verdict on when travel can resume.

Bassett explained he was optimistic that holidays could be back on in just two months in time for Easter.

“We are expecting an ongoing relaxation of travel rules from early March with a hope that Easter holidays are possible, but of course we need to see what’s announced by the government in February,” he said.

He’s even more hopeful for the summer season but urges the Government to be clearer on the plan of action.

“We are optimistic for a strong summer 2021 season, should the vaccination roll-out continue and restrictions begin to ease,” said Bassett.

“Ideally we’d like to see an out-of-lockdown roadmap from the Government that will help customers plan their travels with certainty.”

However, Bassett warned that demand is strong for camping and caravan holidays this year so there might be high competition for the top UK spots.

“Continued uncertainty around summer travel abroad means that Brits are looking to lock in their spring and summer travels now,” he said.

“Campsites around the country are seeing strong bookings for the summer period already, as there’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel.

“We’ve seen a 200 percent increase in Camptoo bookings over the last three weeks (to January 30) and that trajectory looks to continue.”

So what’s the best way to go about booking a spring or summer holiday for 2021?

“We advise everyone to ensure they are following the Government guidelines that are set out, and ensure that they are permitted to travel where they wish to go,” Bassett advised.

“Remember, rules vary across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, so it is important to double-check before travelling.”

He also warned of the importance of protecting yourself financially.

“We also advise only booking with companies that have a flexible booking policy, so that if your plans or the rules change, your trip can be changed to suit,” said Bassett.

“Camptoo has introduced a flexible booking policy which includes a cash refund, so you can book with confidence.”

As for where to go, Bassett said: “The top destinations that we’re already seeing bookings for are Scotland, Cornwall, and the Lake District, which are generally popular year-round” – but it’s worth trying out other areas of the UK, too.

“We encourage travellers to consider some of the lesser-known but equally great destinations around the UK, such as Norfolk, Somerset, Dorset, the Cotswolds, North Coast 500, Isle of Skye, Sandwood Bay, and Isle of Mull,” said the expert.

“There are hundreds of campsites across the UK, so we suggest looking at the Camping & Caravanning Club and Camptoo websites for inspiration and information.”

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