My latest adventure is going to take me to sunny Barcelona, Spain, and I can’t wait to get to the airport. This time I wanted to share some tips with you on how to plan a great getaway to Barcelona if you’re taking off from Leeds Bradford Airport. I wanted to focus specifically on travelling from Yorkshire and Leeds Bradford, as it is my closest airport. Did you know you can find cheap, direct international flights from Leeds Bradford airport to Paris, Berlin or Barcelona? It’s super convenient when you are Yorkshire-based. Here is my overview on what to prepare.
The general planning obsession
For a successful trip a lot of planning is required, and that means more than just booking flights and a hotel room (or an Air B&B in our case).
Make sure your phone is travel-ready. For example, save your hotel’s address and phone number in case you need to access it when not connected to the internet. Also, download relevant travel apps or bookmark sites like TripAdvisor and Google Translate and add your destination to your weather app shortcuts.
Before you go, take out comprehensive travel insurance. This is more important for trips further afield, but it is also worth considering for shorter trips. If you are planning on travelling a lot in the coming months, why not take out a yearly cover? It’s peace of mind and, more importantly, a safety net you can fall back on. Also, don’t forget to take your NHS European Health Insurance Card. If you don’t have one, you can easily apply for one online.
Create a provisional plan before you set off. Barcelona, with all its suburbs, is a large city and not all of the must-see spots are near each other. If you only have a short weekend trip planned, take this into account. You probably won’t be able to see everything in one go, so make a list of what you don’t want to miss and plan your time accordingly. We all know I love a good itinerary, I’ve planned one for this trip too!
How to get to the airport
Leeds Bradford Airport is situated between Leeds (9 miles) and Bradford (8 miles). The airport itself is very compact (I like it a lot for this reason). Despite its small size, try to be there at least 90 minutes before your flight’s departure; this should leave enough time for any unforeseen circumstances, like long queues at the check-in desks.
If you’re driving then you can get to the airport from Leeds or Bradford city centres in around 30 minutes. There are plenty of parking options available at the airport as well. For the most convenient option why not consider a Meet & Greet service, so you won’t have to deal with the actual parking at all? There are onsite parking spaces available at Leeds Bradford Airport for fast and easy access to the terminal and for a tighter budget you can check out Park & Ride providers as well. Over at www.looking4parking.com they’ve made it easy to compare different long-term and short-term parking products at LBA, helping you decide which option suits you.
A taxi ride will cost you around £25 from Leeds city centre. You can ask your driver to drop you off at the one-hour free parking zone, which is located near the terminal building. I have previously got an Uber out to the airport which works out cheaper but it’s hard to get one back into the city.
If you live near Leeds city centre, there is a regular bus service (Service 757) leaving from the bus station and train station. They are every 20 minutes or so and It’s only £3.80. I usually get the bus out to the airport as it’s simple enough. You can also catch the 737 or 747 from Bradford Interchange.
Carrying luggage like a pro
Packing can be stressful, but here’s my top tip: for a short trip, only take hand luggage. It will speed up your check-in and you have less weight to carry around with you. Always double check the size of the cabin bag allowance. Each airline has different restrictions, so don’t just rely on the sticker on your trolley bag saying “guaranteed cabin size!”.
In terms of content – don’t forget your sealable, see-through plastic bag with your liquids and gels under 100ml. It’s best to always have one on you, so you can prepare it at home and not have to do so at the airport. Always check each pocket of your bag to make sure you haven’t forgotten your nail scissors or your emergency sewing kit somewhere. More importantly, ask yourself “do I really need this on this trip?”. If the answer is “maybe” or “not sure”, just leave it at home and it’ll save you space and weight.
What to do at the airport
Leeds Bradford Airport is a small airport, especially compared to Manchester or Birmingham. But it still has all the essentials! If you are an airport shopaholic like myself, Leeds Bradford might disappoint you. There is quite a small duty-free store with a few make-up counters and a lot’s of fragrances. Don’t be expecting a MAC or Urban Decay concession! If you have left your reading material at home, you can still buy magazines and books before your departure. There are also a few bistros and cafés dotted around the airport.
Barcelona, here I come!
And now, for some quick tips for a smooth holiday in Barcelona…
Try to learn a few words in Catalan (or at least Spanish, as long as you don’t assume or say that Catalan and Spanish are the same!). It’s a nice gesture towards the locals and it will make you feel less lost, when you have a small vocabulary to fall back on when asking for directions or opening times.
Take a handbag instead of a rucksack. Central areas in Barcelona tend to get really crowded. It’s much easier to keep an eye on your handbag without looking like a tourist. Something which will hopefully decreases the risk of being targeted by pickpockets.
Try and taste different things – You should definitely plan in some paella and tapas. For an authentic taste of Barcelona don’t miss La Boqueria, which is a busy market just off La Rambla.
Flying from Leeds Bradford can be a pleasant change to the hustle and bustle of busier airports. Thanks to the airport’s increasing popularity in recent years, there are loads of nice holiday destinations to discover with a direct flight from the heart of Yorkshire. For now, I am simply looking forward to having a lovely time in Barcelona! I’m sure there will be lot’s of Barcelona posts and maybe even a vlog coming soon. In the meantime, don’t forget to keep up with my adventures over on Instagram and Twitter!
Have you ever flown from Leeds Bradford Airport? Have you been to Barcelona?