A welcome return to going away

Taking our first long journey after March’s lockdown was an exciting yet daunting prospect, so the decision to take an overnight stay in a hotel almost felt adventurous!

The experience was a relaxed and familiar one. We received the usual warm welcome, perhaps warmer as the hotel staff were clearly pleased to have visitors staying again. The lower occupancy level meant that our room was away from other guests, hence nice and quiet and even a little bit exclusive.

So here are ten top tips for making your first trip away from home that little easier.

  1. Follow Visit Britain’s advice and Know Before you Go, it really does pay dividends
  2. Book direct. Support your chosen hotelier or guesthouse owner by paying 100% of your room rate direct to them
  3. Check and read the hotels cleaning policy and statement, you may be provided with a copy on arrival. Also look for the new assurance marks “We’re Good to Go” or the AA’s Covid Confident.
  4. Check in online before you leave home. This means that the hotel has all the information they need for the government’s Track and Trace policy. It also ensures fewer touch points on arrival.
  5. Download a QR code reader/scanner onto your phone. Track and Trace requires all hospitality establishments to keep your contact details for 21 days after your visit. If you want to eat out or visit anywhere, QR codes are one of the most common methods of capturing your contact information.
  6. Hotels are operating with reduced staffing and services. Their public bars and lounges may still be closed and only limited room service available. Find out what else is and isn’t open in your destination.
  7. Restrictions also mean that mugs, drinking glasses, magazines and menus have been removed from the rooms so you might want to pack a few of your own for a more home from home feeling.
  8. Your room won’t be cleaned until after your departure, so your room is your space to relax. If you want fresh towels you will need to leave them outside your room, together with any bagged rubbish for removal and replacement
  9. Expect to climb the stairs as the use of lifts is discouraged
  10. Leaving is quick and easy with express check out the only option and your invoice sent by email

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend away after almost four months of staying at home. I felt that everyone was looking out for my safety and well-being and I could relax and enjoy myself.

So much so that I have already booked another weekend break in the very near future.