The hidden benefits of airport parking revealed

Jumping in your car and heading the airport should be a joyous release… yet between double-locking the front door and taking your place on the sun lounger lies the unspeakable horror that is – the airport. Don’t panic, though; we’ve got the answers right here…

Make the airport a haven of calm

Make the airport a haven of calm

 

So why should getting to your plane seat be so traumatic – and can something as mundane as airport parking really ease the agony and break the circle of pleasure and pain that airports and holidays are seemingly destined to orbit throughout eternity? Find the answers right here…

We all need holidays – the more the better, in fact – with research suggesting hardworking Brits require six week-long breaks to fully rejuvenate body and soul. The problem is, this means those wanting to swerve the rain-sodden misery of UK staycations would be forced to endure airport stress at least 24 times. Reason enough for another holiday and the continuation of that ‘circle of pleasure and pain’.

With a study revealing a quarter of travellers found negotiating airports more stressful than moving house, it’s not surprising many fun-seekers believe holidays don’t start until the plane’s wheels leave the runway. Travelling with kids, flight delays, lost luggage and making it to the gate on time are just a few of reasons we find getting on a plane such a traumatic event.

Heathrow’s named as the UK’s most stressful airport, with Gatwick snapping at its heels, but slashing stress levels as you transit the terminals certainly isn’t an impossible dream. Plan your strategy properly and the humble airport car park could help deplete stress hormones, cut costs and ensure the good times start the moment you leave home.

Getting to the airport is the first pinch-point for pain. The best value flights usually leave early in the morning or late at night; making travel plans especially painful for those with a young family or long journeys to make. This is where forward planning and a parking plan can ease airport anxiety.

Meet and greet offers the ultimate airport parking experience

Meet and greet offers the ultimate airport parking experience

It might be tempting to put off booking a space and simply head for an on-airport multi-storey, but you should also be ready to receive a bill that’ll send your blood pressure soaring like the jets overhead.

In fact, parking a six-seater Piper PA-46 light aircraft – which weighs about the same as a family car – at Manchester Airport costs around £25 for 24 hours, while a turn-up-and-park space in the official multi-storey car park comes in at a staggering £37.00. Buying a plane might not be feasible for everyone, but booking ahead with an airport parking firm certainly is. Find a reputable provider such as APH.com, reserve your space in its car park and cut the cost from £37.00 to around £15.00 for the same duration.

Swapping roads for rails won’t necessarily reduce costs or stress, either. Aside from the fact that petrol and diesel prices are plunging, while rail fares have rocketed by around 20% over the life of the previous Parliament, there’s also poor punctuality to shred your nerves as you battle crowds on your way to check in. Rail travellers chancing the Gatwick Express, for example, will be playing departure gate roulette, with the service managing average punctuality of just 74.1% in 2014.

Anyone who really wants to take control and minimise journey times to the airport, should choose to benefit from meet and greet parking. It’s the ‘first-class’ option of the airport-parking world, where you simply drive to the terminal, meet a fully insured chauffeur then head to the check-in desks while your car’s parked for you in a security-controlled compound. It really is the ultimate in stress-free travel.

It’s not just car parking where firms such as APH.com can help ease anxiety. Nervous flyers and those who suffer from air sickness should consider the airport parking and hotel packages on offer – in the interest of protecting their licence.

Using medication to beat stress or insomnia and travel sickness... consider new driving laws

Using medication to beat stress or insomnia and travel sickness… consider new drug driving laws

New drug-driving legislation came into force on March 2, which will – and rightly so – make it easier for police to prosecute drivers rendered unsafe by both illicit drugs and a collection of prescription medicines. Included in the list of eight prescribed medications is Valium (and medications of the same type) which are routinely prescribed to nervous flyers by GPs.

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The new law works in the same way as current drink-driving laws and sets a maximum level of the drug or medication allowed in a person’s system. Too much anxiety bashing Valium from your flight and you could inadvertently be risking a ban. Stick to the dosage prescribed by your doc and give serious consideration to booking an airport parking and hotel package.

Additionally, existing law where cops need to prove your driving’s impaired by the use of any drug – illegal, prescribed or over the counter – can also result in disqualification, a large fine, or even imprisonment. Travellers need to be careful here, too, because some air sickness pills and cold remedies can make you drowsy and dangerous behind the wheel – especially after a long, tiring flight.

Parking and hotel packages are commonly just a few pounds more than booking parking alone, making a sensible and cost-effective solution for responsible motorists.

It might not be the most glamorous aspect of your holiday, or the part that gets top billing in your Facebook posts from the beach – but it can provide a helping hand when you need it most. So, as you’re reclining on the veranda enjoying a stunning sunset somewhere in the world, why not raise a glass of something chilled to that unsung hero of stress-free holidays… your humble airport parking space back home in Blighty.

 

Airport parking revealed

Know your airport parking with our instant guide to what’s on offer…

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Secured off-airport parking: Fully manned car parks located at secure sites near the airport. Drive to the facility, leave your keys at reception and jump on a free shuttle bus to the terminal. Transfer times are typically no more than 20 minutes. Your car will remain in a secure compound with 24-hour security patrols. Look for holders of the police-approved Park Mark® Safer Parking Award.
Best for: Price. These car parks mostly operate 24 hours a day, so make a great solution for all types of trips.
Get a quote for off-airport parking here

On-airport parking: These facilities are usually located within the airport complex, with transfers typically taking less than five minutes. Some are even within walking distance of the terminal. Along with the handy location, most offer the ease of self-park operation.
Best for: Convenience. Users benefit from minimal transfer times to the terminal. Great for trips where you’re running to a tight schedule and want to save as much times as possible. Will cost more than off-airport sites.
Get a quote for on-airport parking here

Meet and greet (valet airport car parking): The ultimate airport parking service. Drive to the terminal where you’ll be met by a chauffeur who’ll transfer your car to a secure compound – while you head to the check-in desk. On your return to the airport, your car will be ready and waiting for you to drive it away.
Best for: From travellers on a strict timetable, to anyone who simply wants to enjoy the luxury of arrive-and-go air travel – meet and greet is the service to choose.
Get a quote for meet and greet parking here


Stress-busting at airports

Wander one of the gardens at Changi Airport in Singapore

Wander through one of the stress-busting gardens at Changi Airport in Singapore: image credit

It’s not just parking that can help ease the stress of airports, here are some more initiatives from around the world.

Gardens: Taking a stroll through a Butterfly Garden, or Enchanted Garden sounds likely to ease anxiety and stress for the most uptight of air travellers. Depart from Changi Airport in Singapore and you’ll have these and more within the terminals.
Zen room:
Find your inner peace with a new yoga area in the terminal. Helsinki Airport is just one place you’ll find them.
Stress puppies: Therapy dogs wander Miami Airport for anxious travellers to pet.
Nap pods: Many airports offer sleep pods – including Yotel at Gatwick where ‘guests’ can get their head down for a few hours.
Fast-track security lanes: Check your airport’s website for these fast-track lanes which often cost less than £3.00 to use but can save up to an hour of queuing. Check with your airline, too – some tickets include it for free.
Airport lounges: Swerve the hordes and the free drinks, snacks and Wi-Fi could actually make it cheaper than slumming it on the ‘outside’ as you wait to fly.
Rock away the stress: Airports in the States are installing rocking chairs to help flyers with anxiety. Find them at Boston Logan, Charlotte Douglas, Philadelphia and Seattle-Tacoma airports.

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