When the lockdown is lifted and life begins to return to some form of normality, it’s fair to say the one thing we’re all going to need is some time away with family and friends.

While travel may remain difficult for some time to come, a staycation could be the perfect solution for 2020. So why not look at hiring a minibus or people carrier, rounding up the gang and getting some much-needed time together?

People carrier car hire looks set to be popular, especially for young families, while with minibus rental, Bristol is simply the tip of the iceberg for your next adventure.

Here are three great places within an easy drive from Bristol which are perfect for groups of family or friends to get away.

1) Forest of Dean

Just a 45-minute drive north of Bristol is the beautiful Forest of Dean. It’s the perfect place for a staycation, with woodland lodges and log cabins giving you the chance to get back to nature. Alternatively, there are plenty of AirBnB and hotel options for something a little more luxurious.

With so much to do in the local area, the Forest of Dean is ideal for numerous occasions. Take the lads there for an outdoorsy stag do, have a girly spa weekend with a few bottles of bubbly, or round up the kids and dogs for a great family wilderness adventure.

Around the immediate vicinity, activities include a Go Ape course, sculpture trail and plenty of hiking and cycling routes. A bit further afield, you’ll find Puzzlewood which is believed to have been the woodland area that inspired Middle Earth in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. You can also jump in your hired minibus or people carrier for a trip to Clearwell Caves, where 4,500 years of history are waiting to be uncovered, and the International Centre of Birds of Prey. Alternatively, if you’d like a break from the driving, hop aboard the Dean Forest Railway to explore the area by steam train.

2) Bournemouth

If we’re lucky enough to have lockdown lifted while the weather is still good, take advantage and head to the seaside for a weekend. Bournemouth and its glorious seven miles of sandy beaches are just a two-hour drive from Bristol and make for a great few days away with friends or family.

Young children will love the beach and the Oceanarium, while nearby for the kids you’ll also find Paultons Park – home of Peppa Pig World – and Monkey World.

Older children might appreciate a tour of the stunning Jurassic Coast, where you can explore Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry Rocks.

With the advantage of a rental vehicle at your disposal, you can also easily visit other local sights including Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island too, to really make the most of your staycation.

3) Cardiff

In under an hour you can be in a whole different country, with a road trip to the Welsh capital of Cardiff. It might not be the lads weekend away in Ibiza you had planned, but Cardiff is a great place to visit with a group of friends.

Hiring a minibus is a great way to do the trip, making it a cheap journey and giving you the chance to get out and about while you’re away.

For a bit of culture, start with a trip to Cardiff Castle and then you can take on something more active, perhaps with white water rafting at Cardiff International White Water.

Depending on when you go, you might even be able to catch a sporting fixture or concert at the Principality Stadium.

And it goes without saying that a city like Cardiff will have great nightlife for you to enjoy as well.