Why is flying such a stressful experience for so many tourists? For a few there is simply the anxiety of flying. For the rest this travel stress is the result of poor planning and a failure to accept that flying is just another part of your holiday. Not everyone can afford to travel business class and sip cocktails in the executive lounge but that doesn’t mean the travel experience can’t be a treat, even if you are travelling in economy. From booking affordable meet and greet parking at your chosen airport to hand luggage essentials, planning ahead will save you a lot of unnecessary stress.
Before you Leave: A Night at the Hotel
There are a few things you need to accept. You have to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight leaves. If you live a long way from the airport this may mean travelling through the night. If you are relying on trains or coaches to get to the airport, you need to ensure that they will get you there in plenty of time for your flight and you have to be responsible for allowing plenty of time for hold-ups, even if they aren’t your fault as the flight will not wait for you.
If you struggle in the early hours, book a night at a hotel airport and accept that this night is just a part of your holiday. Alternatively you could spend the night in a more attractive hotel a little further from the airport and treat yourself and your companions to a nice meal to start your holiday off well.
At the Airport: Meet and Greet
The least stressful why to deal with your arrival at the airport is to arrange meet and greet parking. Here you can drop your car off at, or close to the terminal and simply walk with your luggage into the airport. The company will park your car at a secure offsite location, meaning that you will save money compared to the extortionate onsite prices. Many companies also offer a valeting service so that your car will be sparkling clean when you return.
Be a Priority
If you hate queuing at airports then why not purchase a priority pass for check-in and boarding; for a few extra pounds you can simply jump the queue. To avoid hassle with your luggage ensure that you pack as lightly as possible by putting a lot of thought into exactly what you need and consider what could be bought easily at the other end. When you pack ensure that you leave whatever you need most on arrival at the top of your case. Checking in early and getting priority boarding ensures that you will get your pick of the seats.
Once you have checked in your luggage and passed through security, you can relax. Enjoy yourself at the airport as this is the start of your holiday. Find a nice place to eat as the food at the airport is bound to be of a better quality than what is available on the plane. Indulge in some shopping, browse in duty-free and maybe buy a few treats for your holiday such as perfume or aftershave. It’s always good to have something pleasant to smell on the aeroplane. This is also an important time to buy water for your trip: it is expensive in departures but still much cheaper than it will be on board.
On the Flight
Packing your hand luggage is very important. You can’t take anything on board that contains more than 100 ml of liquid and all these must it into a 2 liter clear plastic bag. This leaves scope for taking the essentials that you will need on your flight, including a mini-deodorant and refreshing wipes. The recycled air on the plane can really dry out your skin and eyes. Therefore you should consider taking a mini-moisturizer, a small spray toner and a lip balm. Make sure you have plenty of things to occupy your time. Listening to an MP3 player is a great way to block out the cabin noise, or if you want to sleep, make sure you take some ear plugs. A kindle or digital-tablet also provides a great distraction on long flights.
When You Arrive
Finally, make sure you have a transfer booked to your hotel at the other end to complete your stress free travel experience. Most importantly of all, don’t forget to collect your luggage!
Frankie Hughes is a writer who understands that air travel can be a stressful ordeal. Therefore she recommends researching and booking affordable meet and greet parking at Gatwick Airport in advance to make your trip as stress-free as possible.