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Top five tips for planning your May bank holiday

Cottages, villas, binoculars, tents, luggage and more


If you’re planning a last minute break this bank holiday or enjoying the spring sunshine at home, our tips will help you make the most of your free time.

For those already thinking ahead to the May half term and summer holidays, then make sure you travel with the best travel products and service providers as recommenced by the Which? experts and thousands of members.

We’ve chosen some top tips to get your planning started and our leisure website is packed full of advice and reviews on the best travel products and services.

1. Book a villa or cottage holiday

If you’re planning on taking a break in the UK or heading overseas, then renting a villa or holiday cottage is a popular holiday option, particularly for families or groups of friends. Think carefully about the location of your villa or holiday cottage, especially if you don’t want to rely on using a car to get around.

Our guide on how to book a villa has some helpful tips for renting a villa and our review of the best self-catering cottages and villas will help you choose the best company to book with.

2. Pack your binoculars

Spring is a great time to get out and see some UK wildlife, whether it’s in your back garden or at one of the many great wildlife and nature reserves dotted around the country.  

If you want to get closer to the action then why not invest in a pair of Best Buy binoculars? Our binoculars reviews compare 19 pairs of introductory-level standard-sized and compact binoculars. The great news is that two of our top-performing models can be picked up for less than £100 each.

Don’t worry if you want to break out from the confines of your garden; our Best Buy binoculars are the perfect travelling companion and are just as suitable to use on a countryside walk or on a day trip out.

3. Prepare for all weathers

While we’re hoping for nice weather this spring, there’s no harm in being prepared for an unexpected downpour. Stay dry by packing a Best Buy waterproof jacket.

Our testing assesses the key areas of a waterproof jackets performance to help you choose the best for you. The Which? experts look at how well the jacket keeps out water as well as how breathable it is.

Combine the results of our waterproof jackets reviews with a visit to an outdoor retailer. Trying on a waterproof jacket is the best way to achieve the best fit and to see how features such as pockets and zips suit your body shape.

4. Go camping

Camping is a great holiday option, particularly if you’re after a good value family holiday. Holidaymakers who have resisted a camping or caravanning holiday in the past will be pleased to know that, when it comes to facilities, things have moved on. Though good value campsites with basic facilities still exist there are plenty of options for those in search of a little extra luxury too

Before you buy a family tent it’s best to combine our family tent reviews – looking at 4 and 5-man tents from well-known tent manufacturers, including Coleman, Outwell and Vango – with a visit to a camping shop or tent exhibition with a good display of erected tents.  

Seeing a tent first-hand is a great way to get a sense of the size and space a tent will offer. It also allows you to see how features and storage options can help make your family camping trip more comfortable.

5. Choose the best luggage

Head to the high street to try out our Best Buy luggage in store. Trolley handle heights and grips vary, so this will help you choose one that suits your body frame.  See how easy the case is to lift using the top and side handles, ideally with some weight in the case. Four-wheeled cases tend to be easier to manoeuvre on smooth floors, while two-wheel cases tend to fare better on rougher ground.

If you’re packing light then travelling with Best Buy hand luggage is a great option, while our luggage reviews of larger cases are best suited to longer holidays.

More on this…

  •  Before booking your flights, find out how your airline fared in our airlines survey
  •  Book a holiday with a firm you can rely on using the results of our holiday companies survey
  •  Planning a self-catering break? Then see our tips on how to book a holiday villa
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