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How to avoid Stress When Travelling Abroad?
A recent report by a life insurance highlighted that travellers are finding flying abroad increasingly stressful especially from the busier UK airports. Indeed the trauma for some has got so bad that 9% of those interviewed vowed they would never fly abroad again likening the experience to being more stressful than work and up there with moving house.
Holidays are supposed to be about chilling out and re-charging the batteries but the journey to the airport and the process through check-in and security makes stress levels climb and is seen more as an ordeal rather than what should be part of the build to your vacation.
Where possible choose smaller regional airports
Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports are the busiest UK airports and were picked out by regular flyers as the ones they felt created the most stress. These airports have the widest choice of flights and hence the largest catchment areas meaning that as a percentage journey times will be longer.
Unfortunately, driving on UK motorways always carries a risk of being delayed for a multiple of reasons and it is fear of what might happen that starts racking up the stress levels. This is with good reason, because a small percentage fails to make it to the airport in time for check-in on almost every flight. Indeed airlines often oversell the number of seats after making an allowance for those who will miss their flights.
Allow more time or drive down the day before
If you have a long journey simply allow yourself a healthy margin to avoid driving against the clock or even better book an airport hotel and drive down the day before and really start to chill out.
Have Paperwork and luggage weights checked
The two areas that are catching passengers out are having incorrect online boarding passes and breaching baggage limits. Airlines see both these as a new source of revenue and if I did not know better, sure that staff are on incentives because they work right to the letter. Being charged for excess baggage or to have new paperwork printed out is expensive and leads to tension with the poor person responsible feeling guilty.
Same goes for liquids with most airlines allowing 10 items up to 100 ml in hand luggage and if these limits are breeched they will simply go in a bin. If it is expensive perfume it will again hurt the pocket.
Fast Track Security and Lounge Passes
Paying for fast track security will save on the endless queuing and if you have paid for lounge passes not only will you set off earlier to make the most of your time, it will give you a chance to unwind in a quieter environment.
Check out Airline delay Statistics
The CAA keep statistics of all UK airlines and produces a list of the best and worst offenders for flights being delayed and if you have a choice part of your decision take into account airline performance in this area.
The problem with travelling abroad is that unlike holidaying in the UK , it is loss of control and fear about all the things that can go wrong that cranks up the stress levels.
Two eyes are better than one and make sure your paper work, passports, luggage etc all comply so you can mentally tick these off.
Giving yourself plenty of time regains a great deal of that control because if things do go wrong you have time to put things right. It’s when you are racing against the clock, driving to the airport, checking-in, going through security or making your way to the gate that you will make mistakes and set the pulse climbing.
The best way to beat the clock is to book a Heathrow Hotels with parking package and travel down the day before and arrive at the airport in a serene state of mind and make the most of your holiday.
If the plane is delayed on a positive note at least you have a better chance of not missing it.
By David Cook