Last year saw the joint hottest summer on record that the UK had ever experienced, which brought a wave of popularity for staycations and driving holidays. A study estimated that 93% of Brits have at least one staycation a year, contributing a whopping £13 billion to the UK’s tourist economy. A driving holiday gives you the freedom that relying on planes and airports simply can’t, as well as boasting some financial perks.

Crusader Vehicles have analysed some of the most popular locations both in and near to the UK and ranked them according to several factors. From petrol and toll costs to hotels and entertainment, you can start to plan your 2019 staycation here.

Local Staycations

Keeping your travel simple is often the most important part of any holiday planning. The increasingly popular staycation may be the best option for you and any fellow travellers, and here are some of the best options for UK road trips.

Hitting the Road – Essex’s only city, Chelmsford has become a hotspot for UK travel in recent years, with festivals, horse racing and other outstanding attractions pulling people in from across the nation. The drive can cost as little £6 for those coming from London, saving your pennies to spend on entertainment. Other conveniently located destinations that can keep petrol costs low include Oxford and Brighton.

What to Eat, Where to Stay – Last year, Coventry was ranked as one of the best staycation destinations for Brits and ranks high in our study for meals and the price of the stay. On average, you can expect to pay just over £100 for a night and dinner for two in the Midlands city. For a post-dinner drink, cities such as this, Southampton and Chelmsford all average under £4 for a pint.

The Joy of British Weather – 2018 proved that British weather has it’s perked, and in our rankings, the coastal city of Southampton boasts the least rainfall and most sunshine hours. In July, holidaymakers in Southampton can enjoy 222 hours of sunshine, narrowly outranking both Brighton and Bristol. Heatseekers can enjoy an average temperature of 18 degrees, with highs of 29 degrees last summer.

Keeping Occupied – Many cities have a lot to offer but are marred sometimes but huge amounts of tourists all venturing to the same place. When dividing attractions, pubs and restaurants by the population it is the historic city of Bath that comes out on top with over 400 restaurants all found in a relatively quiet setting. Famous university cities Cambridge and Oxford rank in 2nd and 3rd respectively for places to keep you entertained on your trip.

Crossing the Border

Through the Eurotunnel alone, 4.3 million vehicles went between the UK and France last year, a popular method of transport for many holidaymakers. Flexible driving laws and insurance premiums have made it simple for British families to enjoy trips on the continent, and we’ve looked at some of the best options for this year.

Trans-European Travel – If our capital was seen as the starting point for tourists, both Bruges, Belgium and Lille in Northern France would sit closer than cities such as Exeter. Travel to these locations is estimated at just under 3 hours and avoids the toll roads you would face venturing to places such as Paris.

Cost Efficient Cuisine – After time on the road, a good meal and a place to stay are crucial. In Lille, dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant comes at a cool £14 per head. For a cheap pint, make your way over to Ghent, Belgium to enjoy a fine beer at an average price of just over £1.50.

Paris for the Weather – Few places within a close distance to the UK offer weather as enjoyable as the French capital. With an average temperature of 20 degrees and nearly 250 sunshine hours, Paris tops the weather rankings by some distance. Luxembourg City and Rouen, France come in 2nd and 3rd in our European weather scores.   

Immersing in the Culture – Going on holiday is all about relaxation, and as a small city with a lot to offer, Bruges is a destination sure to occupy your time. Tripadvisor lists 76 sites and landmarks and nearly 600 restaurants putting the Belgian city high in our list for attractions among the likes of Luxembourg City, Paris and Amsterdam.

If you’re planning a getaway any time this year, then you can find more detailed information in the full infographic here. The study’s methodology was to collate public data sources to give individual indexes for travel, food and accommodation, weather and attractions.