When you’re getting ready for a relaxing holiday, the last thing you need is a stressful experience in the airport. As someone who frequently travels, I thought I would share my airport routine which I try and make as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. I really do think that being organised is one of the key things to a successful time at the airport. Once you’ve got a great holiday deal, it’s time to get yourself to the airport and fly away.
If you have an early flight, I always consider booking into a nearby hotel. That way you can wake up (even at 5am) feeling slightly more refreshed than if you had been up all night. Hopefully you don’t end up feeling too groggy on your first day of the holiday. Pretty much at every UK airport, you’ll find some nearby Airport hotels. I usually travel from Manchester and Leeds Bradford. I’d highly recommend the Clayton Hotel at Manchester Airport who offers a free car transfer service to the terminal. Alternatively, there’s the Radisson Blu Hotel which is linked directly to Manchester Airport.
Parking at the airport can be quite an expensive expense to your holiday but trust me, it’s even more expensive if you don’t pre-book. It’s always better to have these things pre-arranged so you can just show up, park and jet off on holiday. Earlier this year, we used the Meet and Greet service at Manchester Airport and it was so easy. We dropped the car off literally right outside of the terminal, dropped the keys off and that was it. When we returned from our holiday, the car was waiting for us. The whole process took no more than 10 minutes to drop off and pick up. I’d highly recommend the service for being super quick and easy.
Alternatively, we have also used the Jet Parks at Manchester Airport which are a short bus ride away from the Airport. Pick up and Drop off took around 20-30 minutes, it all just depends if you’ve timed it well with the buses. I did prefer the Meet and Greet service, however the Jet Parks are usually half the price!
We are now at the point where boarding passes are on our phone, in fact, everything is on our phone. I like to make sure that everything is printed and kept in a travel folder. It’s always better to be on the safe side and have the print offs with you in case anything happens with your phone.
To be honest, I find the security section of the airport the most stressful. You are standing in long qeues and when you finally get to the front, everything it is a mad rush. The more times I’ve been to the airport, the more I feel prepared. If I’m traveling hand luggage only, I will try and pre-organise my liquids so I’m not faffing. As I usually take my cameras, iPad and sometimes laptop, it can be a long process getting them all out. The Travel Hack suitcase is really ideal for being organised as there are different sections with easy access to lift out your electricals and liquids without having to unzip the whole suitcase.
When we went to Greece in May, we actually had Fast Track Security tickets and we whizzed through security. During peak holiday season, this would be a great way to beat the ques and avoid standing around when you could be treating yourself in Duty Free and relaxing in the Airport Lounge.
As I said, once you are through security, it’s the perfect time to relax before your holiday In the Airport Lounge. I’ve visited the Aspire lounge in Terminal 1 and recently we went to the 1903 Lounge in terminal 3. I’ve got to say it was a really lovely space to get away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal.
We visited the 1903 lounge around lunchtime where they had different sandwich’s, small plates and cakes available. The Chef’s special was the pulled pork Boa buns and they were absolutely delicious and cooked to order when we arrived. The lounge is equipped with a self-serve bar so we enjoyed a few cheeky G&T’s. They even had the local Manchester flavoured gin’s which were great to try.
It’s obligatory for a pre-flight pint, am I right? No matter what time it is in the airport, the bar is always open. Where’s the best airport bar? Well, there’s actually some pretty amazing bars from the Bubbles, Seafood and Wine Bar at Schiphol Airport to the Center Bar at Zurich Airport (which I’ve been to and it’s absolutely lovely), there’s so many options.
One of the most exciting things about being in an airport is checking out Duty Free. Once your holidays have begun, why not treat yourself to some new beauty items or a new pair of designer sunglasses. Usually you can always blag a great discount and I usually can’t resist picking up some of my staple beauty items from brands such as Urban Decay and MAC whilst they’ve got a little discount going.
Once you’ve gone through security, had a pre-flight pint and a little shop, before you know it, they will be calling your flight number. Just don’t get too comfortable in the airport lounge as you might miss your flight!
Do you have any tips for a stress-free airport visit?
*This is a collaborative post. I have also worked with Manchester Airport previously reviewing their parking, fast passes & lounges.