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…
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.
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.
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.
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.