Not everyone wants to go abroad for their family holidays, and as we’ve seen over the past few years, it’s not always going to be possible even if you do want to. The alternative is a ‘staycation’, but far from meaning you’ll have to stay at home and have a holiday where you usually live, it now means staying in the UK and exploring the many varied and wonderful places we have to offer.
Although the country might be small, it’s still more than big enough to provide an excellent at home holiday. One way you might want to do this – something that’s different and exciting – is to hire a narrowboat and explore the canals and waterways. If you do want to do this, there are some important tips you’ll need to bear in mind to make it the best holiday possible. Read on to find out more.
Plan Your Route
Did you know that Britain has over 7,000 miles of waterways to enjoy? This is why it’s so crucial for you to plan your route before you set off. If you don’t, you’ll easily get lost and go far out of your way without meaning to, or you might miss out on places you really wanted to go to.
The best tip when you’re planning your route is to be cautious. If you try to do too much, you’re sure to be disappointed, but if you plan just a few things and a short route, you can take your time and enjoy it all the more. Remember, the pace on a narrowboat is slow; that’s the point, as it allows you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you want to get somewhere fast and see a lot on your holiday, a car is a much better option.
When you hire a narrowboat or canal boat, you’ll be given an induction from the hiring company. After all, they want you to enjoy yourself, and they want their boat back in one piece, so it makes sense they would help you as much as possible.
However, this will usually only be a short introduction to the boating basics, and although that might suit some people perfectly, others would prefer to know a lot more before setting off on their journey. If that sounds like you, make sure you do your own reading before you arrive at the hire company. You’ll feel a lot more confident and secure when you get out on the water in this way. You might even love it so much you decide to research canal boats for sale when you get home!
Choose The Best Time
When you think of a holiday, summertime is probably the first thing you think of. Many people do take two or three weeks in the summer and have a lovely time, but if you’re going to hire a narrowboat, summer might not be best. It’s often more expensive between May and September as this is a popular time to hire a boat, plus that means it’s a lot busier on the water.
If you want to save money and have fewer people around you, wait until the end of September and into October (assuming the weather is good enough) or try the end of March and April if you want a springtime break. Just remember to check your chosen route for any maintenance that might be scheduled as you’ll want to avoid this to have a smooth journey.