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How travelling has changed since Freedom Day

Phoebe Simcock, 4th Aug 2021
Tags: Life Blog Culture Travel

The 19th of July brought us Freedom Day and the end to most restrictions in the UK. This obviously came with much speculation on how our holidays and trips out would be affected. I felt it was too soon for me to go abroad and be on a plane again, so I took a trip to Windermere in Cumbria the day after Freedom Day took place.

As we expected, it was odd but I have some tips if you’re thinking of heading for a staycation and you’re wondering about what life is like behind the masks.

Camera and masks


  • What feels right for you. Going abroad didn’t feel comfortable to me, we didn’t stay out late and avoided large crowds as much as we could. There are holiday destinations suited to everyone so research before you go. 
  • Check signs/websites/ social media. If you’re concerned about the set up now that things are changing again, keep an eye out for their social media. They may advertise their new routine, say they are sticking to their outdoor seating or have changed opening times and food completely. 
  • Expect change. I can’t pretend it wasn’t busy. It could have been the scenic area that we visited or the time of year, but there was lots of people enjoying the new found freedom. If you’re not ready for busy places, stick to more isolated and less tourist based areas. 
  • Book in advance. Some places are allowing walk-ins but not everyone. Places are booking up fast so don’t be disappointed. If you arrive for your meal and it’s much too busy for you, why not grab a takeaway instead until you’re more comfortable?
  • Keep a mask with you. I noticed an equal amount of people wearing masks and not, and it is still expected that you do on some public transport. You may still feel that you need it in certain situations. I didn’t notice any public signs that said we didn’t need to wear masks, the wording has just been altered. Instead of ‘please wear a mask’, some signs said it was encouraged or used a picture of a mask and said to respect others.
Keep safe wear a mask


  • Stop taking tests. Whether this is something you’re asked to do, you do by choice or you hardly ever do, make sure you make it a priority when travelling around. You can order them for free from the NHS website and we took a box with us, and did a test each evening. This may seem excessive, but you’re around thousands of new people every day and it gave us peace of mind taking them with us. 
  • Be afraid to ask. As previously mentioned, shops and restaurants all seem to be dealing with things differently because they’re all scared too. We were constantly asking what to do, where to stand, where to order and made sure that we respected the safety of others. If you’re armed with all the information, this will make you feel less anxious. 
  • Rush. Freedom Day was moved back and did make our trip slightly more difficult, we would have rearranged if we could. Aside from the vast amount of people, the uncertainty made us very aware and less relaxed. Some establishments are doing things different than others. If you’re not ready to leave the house yet, that’s fine too.

I hope these tips are useful to you on your next trip. Stay safe!

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