As a nervous flyer I could never understand it when people said ‘my holiday starts as soon as I get to the airport’. Hanging around in an airport for a couple of hours with a million and one scenarios of how the flight was going to go running through my head was certainly not relaxing. I fly a lot – usually a couple of times a month and only recently have I come to learn that you can chill out and actually enjoy being at an airport, which in turn relaxes me for the flight.
Meet & Greet Car Parking
I always try to use a meet & greet service when flying mid to long haul. Ain’t no-one got time to lug a massive suitcase or backpack across a car park, on to a bus and then through the airport to the departures hall. Yes, a meet & greet service is usually more expensive than a shuttle service but normally only by a few pounds. For me, the extra money is definitely worth it both for my nerves and my patience. It also takes some of the added pressure off and the biggest bonus for me is that your car is there and waiting for you the second you exit the airport on your return.
Sometimes the queues for airport security can be ridiculously long and stood in them can be quite stressful. It gives you added time for your imagination to run wild. If you have not left yourself enough time before your flight it can also send you into a panic, especially if you are stuck in the queue behind the person who has not adhered to ANY of the laws of packing. Last week we had priority security and from start to finish, including taking off and putting back on the most ridiculous boots in the world, it only took 5 minutes.
I love shopping, I could shop at any time, any where and I find it very relaxing. Now with a lot of major airport hubs being more like shopping malls than actual airports it’s easy to indulge whilst waiting for your flight. Most airports have a great mix of designer and high street shops, meaning there is something for everyone, especially if you need to pick up any list minute things for your trip or even a gift. My personal favourite though is World Duty Free – all the booze, perfume, chocolate and make up, it is always too hard to resist.
Jo Malone Massage
Seriously, what is more relaxing than a massage? I was lucky enough to receive a Jo Malone hand and arm massage* at Gatwick airport last week by the very friendly, and talented, Keren. If you are not familiar with Jo Malone please take it from me that the products are amazing and smell divine. With a mixture of one of Jo Malone’s signature scents – Lime, Basil and Mandarin and the latest scent – Myrrh and Tonka, Keren worked her magic, explaining the products she was using as she went. With every movement I felt tension being released plus the smell was amazing and latest all the way to New York.
Estée Lauder Beauty Treatment
Another great experience I had last week at Gatwick airport was a beauty treatment at the Estée Lauder counter*. As a fan of Estée Lauder I was really looking forward to the Fatigue Fighter treatment that I received from the lovely Debbie. Flying can really take its toll on my skin so this was perfect as a pre-flight treat. Debbie explained all the products that she was using and how they would help my skin and keep me refreshed during my journey and boy did they! As I mentioned before I love to shop, so couldn’t leave the concession without buying myself a little present – a Pure Color Envy Lip Lacquer!
Grab A Drink
I know you shouldn’t drink alcohol before flying as it can dehydrate you even more. However, as a nervous flyer, I always self prescribe a vodka or two to help settle my nerves. I do always try to counteract the booze with a big bottle of water too. If the strong stuff is not for you, why not take the time to sit and have a coffee or a juice and watch the world go by, have a chat with your travel companion or flick through your travel guide and plan what you are going to do when you reach your destination. Most, if not all airports have a cafe/bar so finding a drink shouldn’t prove a problem.
If your budget permits then I would highly recommend checking out an airport lounge. At Gatwick we tried out the No1 Airport Lounge*. It was the perfect way to spend three hours before our flight. With a tended bar, a la carte menu, magazines, library and sports bar, it really helped me relax before my 8 hour flight.
All in all, I can honestly say that for the first time my holiday did actually start the second I arrived at the airport! Does your holiday start when you arrive at the airport?
* provide on a complimentary basis in exchange for inclusion.