It’s felt so long since the last time we went away. February 2020 in fact, when we coordinated a visit to my best friend’s parents’ place, and met up with them during half term. Our camping that summer was cancelled and we’ve not really thought to book anything since.
But Easter was the time we were ready. To brave the crowds of everyone now more likely to holiday in the UK. To get out and back to more normality. To see somewhere new. And get away from home.
With the good weather and the farm, the OH wasn’t coming with us, so it was just N and myself going away as usual.
I did my usual mini break planning – with surprisingly advance timing. Quite often I book only a couple of days before we leave, but this time I knew places would be busier. Adding the bank holiday and Easter holidays onto everyone just wanting and needing to get away.
How did we find our first break post Covid?
Given we’re still wearing masks around town indoors or when it’s busy, I thought we’d be more wary while away. We arrived at the hotel and wore our masks through the corridor (staff were generally wearing masks still in both hotels we stayed in, and in many of the tourist attractions and restaurants). But out and about, and once we’d been in and out of the hotel a couple of times, we stopped.
It didn’t take much to feel like everything is totally back to normal. Very few people were wearing masks even indoors or in crowded places. Although apart from the streets in Tenby, nowhere was as busy as I’d expected. The hotels we stayed in were small so we didn’t crossover with people in the corridors. At breakfast everyone was well spread out.
N still wore his mask even when he wasn’t near people. I think he’s pretty much surgically attached to them as he likes the feel of them (they’re New Holland freebies a family friend gave him). But I felt totally fine walking around without mine in the hotel, and most places we visited. There were a few that were warmer and a bit stuffier, so I put one on. Otherwise it was nice to feel like normal.
Getting back to staying hotels, eating out a lot, visiting numerous places a day.
Our few days away reminded me how good hospitality can be.
I presume those working in hospitality are enjoying having customers back, being busy again, seeing where they work come to life and be enjoyed by everyone.
All the hotel staff we spoke to in Wales were lovely, friendly and welcoming, and helpful when we had questions.
At restaurants, staff were happy to chat, to make recommendations and answer questions. To offer alternatives without us asking. Nothing was too hard.
On the downside there are some things post Covid that don’t work as well for us.
The lack of breakfast buffets being one.
N loves a hotel breakfast. Being able to see what’s there and choose what you want, when you want it. There’s no pressure of deciding at one point in time, then being disappointed when it arrives. Being able to see the food means you can choose when you’re in front of it.
Being a bit of a piglet, you can help yourself without having to order it. With hotel breakfasts costing a lot of money, you feel like you get the value from a buffet, but less so when just ordering direct from the kitchen. You feel a bit cheeky asking for 2 sausages with your bacon and eggs. But only getting 1 with some eggs isn’t really going to fill you up til lunchtime.
Post Covid, a lot of attractions still need booking in advance, or are recommending it.
We usually have a vague plan of what we’re going to do and see when away. But as we tend to stop off at places to fit 2 or 3 visits in a day, we need timings to be flexible.
I had worried about places being booked up, or us not being able to get to places we wanted to visit on each day. But we were still able to go to everywhere we wanted to. We just booked the evening before, or even on the day in some cases. We also booked a couple of the restaurants for dinner in Tenby as we’d been told it was really busy. But in the end we didn’t really need to as we were eating out earlier when there were still tables free.
It might only have been a short break, but we needed it.
To get away.
To walk on the beach.
It might have taken us a while, but it certainly felt like we weren’t thinking about Covid all the time.
It wasn’t far off a normal UK holiday.
Roll on the summer. We’ll have to see if we can get away again (as long as we can find somewhere that’s not already booked up!).
Have you been for your first holiday away yet ? How have you found it now restrictions have relaxed?
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