As lockdown rules ease in England and we emerge from months of hibernation and get to grips with being out and about again, we need to remember to look after ourselves, one another and the environment around us. So, to make sure we’re all doing our bit to tread lightly and travel responsibly, we’ve put together a few simple tips to help you get the most out of your days out and short breaks, and ensure they’re as safe and stress-free as possible.
1. Plan and book ahead
Holidays may be a bit different this year (no spontaneous trips to the zoo, for example), so to make sure your days out and weekend breaks run as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to plan ahead. Many attractions will require pre-booked tickets with allocated time slots. Some places may also be opening later than others, so be sure to check individual attraction websites to see where’s ready to welcome you before starting your journey.
If you’re not sure where you want to go on your short break, check out our Get Inspired section, full of post-lockdown trip inspiration, to get you started.
2. Find England’s hidden gems
Avoid the crowds and slink off the beaten path to discover some of the East of England’s hidden gems. That way, you’re more likely to get a spot on the beach or a table at a locally loved restaurant. Plus, you can brag to your friends about the next go-to place to visit they haven’t even heard of!
There’s plenty of them to choose from, too. Take a look at these hidden secrets of Unexplored England.
3. Respect, Protect and enjoy England
No one likes to live in a pigsty so let’s try our best to keep the East of England’s outdoor spaces looking and feeling beautiful by following the helpful tips in the Countryside Code. Make sure you put all your rubbish in nearby bins or, if they’re full, take it home with you – and remember to grab a bag before you leave home! And while you’re out and about exploring, try not to disturb wildlife or farm animals and keep your dog on a lead. Stick to designated footpaths, close gates behind you, follow local route signs and, where you can, leave the car behind and walk or cycle instead.
Find out more about what you can do when out and about by following #respectprotectenjoy on social media.
4. Be kind to one another
It’s been a tough old time for us all, so remember to be kind to everyone you meet on your travels, whether that’s the local farmer, your waitress or a ticket inspector on a train.
Small, independent businesses have also struggled during the pandemic, so why not show your love and support by shopping locally where you can – homemade, local produce is always top-notch anyway!
5. Follow government guidance
To make sure we’re keeping ourselves and each other safe (and so we can carry on enjoying the best East of England has to offer), continue to follow government COVID guidelines. That includes following social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or have a support bubble with and meeting out in the fresh air, wearing a face-covering where necessary (like indoor venues and on public transport) and washing your hands as regularly as possible. It’s always good to carry hand sanitiser with you too, just in case.
Check out the latest government COVID guidelines for more information.
6. Look out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark
Keep an eye out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark. Businesses with this mark have made necessary changes to their day-to-day workings in line with government and public health COVID guidance – including social distancing measures and staff training – in order to welcome you back safely.
The mark has been awarded to businesses across the country and it can be found on the business’ website and, in some cases, as a sign in a window.
You can also search for businesses with the green tick on VisitEngland’s interactive map.