Image by Cecilia Harvard used under the Creative Commons license.
It’s important to consider the most convenient way to travel to the airport when the big day comes. Depending on the distance to your chosen airport, it can be advisable to drive and pre-book a parking space online. This will avoid expensive taxi charges or the use of unreliable public transport.
Early morning flights can also be a problem. A 6:00am flight means little sleep and you’re guaranteed to be rushed. To have a more relaxed start to your vacation, it can be good to book a night in a hotel airport. Many affordable deals can be found online if you book in advance.
Are you travelling to a destination with foreign currency? If you answered yes, it can be good to pre-order this currency before you leave. Although you will have the use of ATM transactions, it can be helpful to arrive with some cash. To save money on exchange rates, you can check price comparison sites for the best vendors.
It’s now time for that dreaded task that we all hate…packing the suitcases. Be sure to get this done a few days in advance. This will give you plenty of time to remember everything that’s needed. As it gets closer to the flight, you’ll likely see more items that need adding. Don’t be tempted to over pack - a mistake many of us make. It’s not only pointless, it could also cost you a fortune in excess baggage fees. You can also purchase suitcases from retailers like Tesco that meet the size requirements if you just want to travel with a carry on. Finally, for anything that can’t be packed, such as a phone or passport, add to a check list covering everything to be included on the final day.
At the airport
Checking all the latest airport requirements and security procedures before leaving the house can avoid unnecessary stress. These can include restrictions on liquids and other items. Prepare your carry on the night before, only taking the essentials. Another great way to relax before that long haul flight is to enjoy one of the many airport lounges. These can also be booked in advance and some are surprisingly affordable. Enjoying complimentary food and drink is a great alternative to the crowded departure lounge.
You’ll want to be quick departing the plane, preferably one of the first passengers to disembark. This will save time at passport control avoiding a slow moving queue. It’s also worth planning your transport to your hotel before leaving. Car hire can be planned in advance with the car waiting on arrival. Alternatively, your hotel may provide a transfer service that can be booked for your arrival time. You won’t have to haggle with a local taxi driver or worry about public transport.
Your planning and preparation will now be rewarded. It’s time to relax, enjoy that cocktail and soak up the sun.