Holiday Ideas for Post-Coronavirus Travel
The international lockdown has left many of us feeling a little stir-crazy and wondering if it’s safe to go on holiday – after all, there are only so many virtual tours to take before we’re all daydreaming of our favourite holiday destinations!
Perhaps you’re wondering where it is safe to travel in Europe right now, or maybe you’re planning a UK staycation and are looking for some inspiration on the best things to do on holiday.
Don’t let wanderlust get the better of you. If you feel ready for your first holiday abroad with your family since lockdown, a solo adventure or trips to Europe with friends, we have found some of the safest places to travel from the UK to make your holiday daydreams a reality.
- Remember to follow the WHO coronavirus guidelines and check out P&O Ferries hygiene page to keep safe on your travels. From social distancing to frequent hand washing, there are heaps of ways to protect yourself and others when going on holiday, while still having fun along the way.
- Check the coronavirus guidelines in the country you plan to visit before travelling
- Only travel with members of your own household
- Avoid hand shaking or touching people who are not in your own household
- Practise social distancing and keep a safe distance from other passengers, being mindful of international guidelines.
- Bring along a first aid kid & alcohol hand sanitiser in your travel gear
- Clean any food packaging or other items purchased when abroad with alcohol wipes
Taking an active holiday, where most time is spent outdoors, is also a great way to stay safe on your travels. This is because you’ll have more opportunity to stay a safe distance from others when outdoors, with less chance of touching an infected surface e.g a door handle. Fresh air can also help to dilute virus particles in your surroundings.
So, if you’re all about ‘glamping’ in the great outdoors or have got your heart set on a European cycling trip, check out our recommendations for safer holiday activities abroad.
Camping in France
Get ready to ‘pitch up’ with a summer camping trip to France, home to spectacular nature reserves, a wealth of French cuisine to try and of course, some of the best wine to be found across the world.
A camping trip to France is a great way to embrace the great outdoors (away from unpredictable English weather!) while keeping your social distancing in check. Driving from England to France is easy to do when you catch the ninety-minute P&O Dover to Calais ferry crossing, and it also means you’ll have the car for day trips to idyllic beaches, hiking trails and lakes in the French countryside.
If you love nature but think you’ll miss your home comforts, why not try a spot of ‘glamping’? Perfect for a romantic getaway or holidays with grandparents, glamping sites often have larger pitching spots, cosy yurts complete with fairy lights, king-size beds and access to private swimming pools or parks.
After all, glamour and camping go hand-in-hand when you go glamping! The rural meadows of France is the perfect setting to make your luxury holiday daydreams come true while keeping as safe as you can in the process.
Peaceful views, fishing spots and WW1 historical sites can be accessed from the 7 Valleys Glamping site, a mere one-hour drive from P&O Ferries’ Calais port. This glamping spot is all about the luxury, with a pool, inflatable spa and a selection of gorgeous yurts for up to six people.
The historical city of Lille is only one hour’s drive from 7 Valleys, with Lens and Arras even closer. Why not bring the bicycles along for a cycling trip through the countryside to soak up more French culture during your first holiday since lockdown? With P&O Ferries, you can put your car’s cycle rack to good use and bring your trusty road bike all across the English Channel for no extra charge.
Hiking in Scotland
Why not take a step into the Scottish countryside and breathe in some of the cleanest air to be found in the UK with a family hiking trip to Scotland?
Northern Scotland has the cleanest air across Great Britain according to the Telegraph, with a bounty of national parks, peaceful lochs and coastal views.
Knockan Crag National Park and Clyde Valley Woodlands in Lanark both offer terrific summer hiking experiences – but the rolling hills of Galloway Forest Park has to be our favourite. One of the best places to go stargazing in the world, Galloway Forest Park was the first UK site to be listed on the International Dark Sky list, with over 7,000 stars to be found in 300,000 sq miles of countryside.
If you’re travelling from Northern Ireland, you’re in for a treat. P&O Ferries’ port in Cairnryan is only an hour and a half drive from Galloway Forest Park, meaning you can head straight to stargazing heaven from your ferry to Scotland.
Why not bring your canine friend along for the trip, too? Up to four dogs per vehicle are allowed on our 2 hour Larne to Cairnryan crossing – and the wide open spaces of Galloway Forest Park are perfect for long walks with your loyal doggie pal.
Of course, it’s not just night-time when Galloway comes alive. Rock-climbing, cycling, flower sketching on woodland trails and an incredible range of wildlife can be enjoyed in this Scottish nature reserve. Look out for red deer and mountain buzzards on your hiking trip to Galloway and bring along a pair of binoculars for breath-taking views of Scottish wildlife.
Cycling in Belgium
Yes, you might have heard that Belgium’s countryside is notably flat – but that’s not the only reason UK cyclists catch our Dover to Calais ferry crossing and make their way to Belgium year after year!
Belgium’s long history of competitive bike sports dates back hundreds of years and has embedded cycling deep into Belgian culture. You’ll find a bounty of well mapped-out cycle routes across much of Bruges, Ypres and other large cities in northern Belgium – while the region of Limburg has been touted a ‘cycler’s paradise’ by locals and visitors who are looking to explore a new city.
The first across the world to adopt a junction-based cycle network, in Limburg you can ‘cycle by numbers’. To make your way over 2000km of mapped out cycle paths, you simply plan your route out by cycling from junction to junction, each made distinct with its own number and well-known blue signs. There is also a local app, called Limburg Cycling Paradise, which will guide you through the best parts of this unique cycling region.
The quiet town of Limburg is mostly car-free, the people friendly and the scenery beautiful, with meadows, lakes and dainty country houses decorating serene towns across the region. The council invests a significant amount each year to develop the cycling culture, with a number of unusual and attractive cycle paths to be found – including ‘Cycling through Water’ in Bokrijk! This unusual 200m cycling experience literally guides you through wetlands, which is just below head level so you can watch the dappled sunlight reflect off the waters as you pedal along as if you have parted the sea.
Limburg is a couple hour’s drive from P&O Ferries’ Zeebrugge port, passing the incredible architecture of Ghent along the way. Why not stop along the way to soak up more of the inventive Belgian culture on your cycling holiday abroad?
Kite Surfing in Holland
Perhaps you’ve heard of Amsterdam’s bounty of canals, but did you know that the North Sea beaches in Zeeland are favoured by budding water sports enthusiasts across the world?
Zeeland is the sunniest area in Holland, with good wind conditions for water sports, but relatively small wave sizes. The beaches of Vrouwenpolder and Brouwersdam make for great locations to try out water sports, including kite surfing, sailing, surfing and diving for the first time. With beaches now open to the public, a day trip to sunny Zeeland is one of the best things to do outdoors in Holland.
If you don’t have much experience, there are plenty of schools dotted along the beaches in Zeeland that help budding kite surfers and water sports enthusiasts catch their first wave. Try out Natural High, a water sports experience company in Brouwersdam and get ready to get your surf on! Experienced in a wide range of extreme sports, from wave surfing and sand yachting to kite surfing and kite buggying, the staff will help you decide on the perfect activity for your group, depending on age, experience and weather conditions.
Water sports are a great way to connect with beaches in a new way while learning a new skill on your holiday abroad to Holland. Zeeland is also the least populous region in Holland, meaning you’ll get the chance to avoid crowds and feel confident in your social distancing while you’re away.
You can drive to Zeeland in just over an hour, after catching the overnight P&O ferry from Hull to Rotterdam. Better yet, you won’t be charged a penny when bringing over water sports equipment on our ferries – it’s one of the top reasons sports enthusiasts choose P&O Ferries on their sporting holiday abroad, year after year.
So, if you’re tired of paying for extra baggage and waiting in airport queues, why not check out P&O Ferries’ operating routes today? Travelling to Holland, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland & France, we’ve navigated the seas for over 180 years, with a wealth of travel experience so you can plan the perfect holiday abroad, no matter the changing tides.