The staycation has become the holiday of choice for Britons wishing to make the most of the stunning landscapes and coastline that we have right here on our doorstep. Removing the cost and stress of flights and ferry transfers also appeals to many holiday makers, in particular those with children.
Despite the benefits of holidaying in the UK, there is one element of staycations that remains to be a bug bear for holiday makers – the drive to and from their holiday destination. With this in mind, boot liner manufacturer Hatchbag carried out a survey to work out exactly why Brits find this element of the holiday so stressful. Here’s what they discovered:
Over a third said bad weather was the most stressful factor of a UK holiday.
21% of people found that they became stressed packing and unpacking the car.
A further 11.1% were vexed by cramped conditions in the car.
The good news is the car journey to and from British staycations is only a small part of the holiday, and there are several simple measures that can be put into place to ensure your car travel is as stress free as possible.
Be realistic with your packing
Packing the car for a family holiday can be like a large scale game of Tetris. The space available in the car rarely matches the amount of luggage you want to take, so it pays to be brutal with what you choose to pack and what you leave behind. Reducing the ‘just in case’ items not only makes packing and unpacking the car easier, it also makes the journey much more comfortable.
Mix up your space
Holiday essentials can be bulky so have a play around with the seating arrangement to create more space. Depending on the number — and size — of your passengers, you can free up additional space by dropping one of the back seats to create a better boot configuration. Also, make the most of the rear foot-wells, especially if your rear-seat passengers don’t require much leg room.
Protect your car
Dragging heavy luggage in and out of the car can take its toll on your car’s interior, as can the mud and sand synonymous with family holidays. Minimise scratches and scrapes when packing and unpacking the car by investing in a wipe-clean padded boot liner — it will also create the perfect storage space for wet weather gear and sand-coated play equipment during the staycation, minimising the amount of mess and clutter created in your holiday accommodation.
Rain can certainly add additional stress to a journey, especially as it often contributes to traffic jams. This is where in-car entertainment can be a real sanity saver. Arm yourself with some child-friendly movies on tablets or in car DVD players to help distract the kids — prevent travel sickness by attaching the screens to the front head rests. Volume restricted headphones will also allow all family members to listen to their own choice of entertainment. Family-friendly guessing games and ‘would you rather’ dilemmas will also help while away the journey.
Avoid the traffic
If possible, time your journey to avoid peak travel times — leaving before or after the rush hour can shave hours off your journey. Some families choose to travel through the night when there is barely any traffic on the roads. This has the added benefit of passengers being able to sleep through the journey.
Food to go
‘Hangriness’ will undoubtedly make a bad journey worse! Take plenty of snacks that are easy to eat on the go. Pre-packed mini picnics provide a great distraction for kids and ensure that every one is fed if the journey takes longer than anticipated.
Once you finally arrive at your holiday destination and drink in the sights and sounds of the glorious British coastline or countryside, all the stress of packing the car and the hours in transit will soon be forgotten… for a few days at least, until it is time to come home!