How to plan your staycation – the micro way
As we come out of lockdown, staycations are proving to be a popular choice. Before booking your holiday accommodation, read my top tips for planning your staycation – the micro way!
With the next milestone on the road out of lockdown in sight, holiday accommodation businesses in the UK are taking more bookings as public confidence increases.
On Monday 17th May a number of restrictions are set to be lifted. Changes include:
- The ‘rule of six’ will come into effect indoors
- Indoor seating can resume in pubs and restaurants
- People will be allowed to go on holiday in multiple household groups
- Remaining tourist accommodation,including hotels, can reopen
- International travel will resume under the traffic light system (subject to review)
Staycations are, perhaps unsurprisingly, looking to be a popular choice this year. A recent survey undertaken by hotel chain Best Western, found that 90% of the UK 6,000 customers surveyed said they would feel safer holidaying in Britain this summer rather than abroad.
This is welcome news for the tourism sector in the UK, especially for micro-business owners running holiday accommodation.
If you’re planning a staycation this year, there are many benefits to choosing micro – from finding better prices to having a better experience. You’ll also get that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes when you support a small business.
Here are my top tips for finding, booking and experiencing the best holiday accommodation the UK has to offer (spoiler: choose micro).
Booking direct with the accommodation owner, either via their website or over the phone, is likely to save you money.
While booking sites such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor can be a great tool for searching for accommodation, I recommend not booking your stay through them. You’re likely to end up spending more than you might need to, as independent owners may well have a price for you minus the fees charges by the OTA (Online Tourism Agency).
Instead, once you’ve found a place you like, a quick internet search should bring back their website, a social media page or Google listing. Yes this process may take slightly longer than booking via the booking site, but the cost savings (and other benefits) are usually worth it.
Even if booking through a booking site, it’s advisable to be diligent against potential scammers and research accommodation before you book. For extra peace of mind, book using a credit card whenever possible and get travel insurance before you book.
What’s more, the extra time it might take to book directly could end up saving you more time and hassle (and potentially money) later down the line.
For instance, I’ve heard from quite a few people who had negative experiences when cancelling holidays booked through booking sites, due to covid in spring 2020. The stories I’ve heard about cancelling holidays booked directly with the accommodation have been far more positive.
Certainly, all the holiday accommodation owners in the Simply club acted in the best interests of their guests, knowing that looking after their customers then would likely bring them back when able to re-book.
Get to know the owner
When you book direct, you have the opportunity to communicate with the owner and get to know them. This can add to your whole holiday experience.
You can find out more about the accommodation and the local area – specific to your interests and needs. If you have any special requirements, you can feel reassured that they can and will be catered for.
Simply knowing whose hospitality you’re enjoying can add a personal touch and make where you stay feel more familiar.
I’m willing to bet you have a more relaxing and enjoyable holiday as a result.
In these times of heightened concern about health, I recommend looking at the business’ website or contacting them to find out what they’re doing to ensure the accommodation is covid safe.
Look out for the We’re Good To Go logo for some extra reassurance that the business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
If you have any specific needs or concerns, have a conversation with the owner so that they can take any necessary extra precautions and set your mind at ease.
Check out the Simply Club directory of places to stay
We have a wonderful range of holiday accommodation in the Simply club. From homely B&Bs to quirky glamping pods, there’s something to suit every taste.
Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll receive the best experience if you book direct. Still want to try to go further afield? Why not engage an independent travel agent to help you navigate and plan without hiccups.