Readers of our travel spots such as our review of the Excellence Playa Mujeres, boutique Cornwall hotel The Beach at Bude or even the Fairmont Dubai will know that we love a bit of luxury here at Two Men About Town. Stained mattress in a seedy motel we are not.
We’re big fans of business or first class when travelling – who isn’t – but the travel budget doesn’t always stretch to warrant lavish excess. And by always stretch, I’m not sure about you, but I don’t have a spare few thousand readily sat in my bank account for an upgrade. Sadly.
Never you mind though you fellow fancy-pants traveller because it’s still entirely possible to enjoy some luxury when travelling at the fraction of a cost of a business-class ticket. “How you crazy madman?” I hear you ask. Well, here are a couple of top tips…
Getting to the airport in style
Start your holiday off with a bang and consider a chauffeur-driven ride straight to the terminal door; this sounds ostentatious, but many local airport transfer / private hire firms offer this service at a very reasonable fee, which depending on your location, can often be comparable to the cost of parking your car at the airport!
It’s quite pleasant letting somebody else do all the driving and relaxing in style as your whisked promptly to the airport, or at the end of a tiring flight home.
If you do drive, swift and easy parking – meet and greet
So chauffeur-driven rides to the airport aren’t for everybody – and that’s fine – you may choose to drive yourself to your airport of choice.
Another hack here is to find yourself a top-tier airport meet and greet service, taking all the queuing, parking and stinky airport transfer busses (because, eugh, people) out of the equation; drive straight to the terminal, meet your driver and unpack your bags, and let the hassle of parking be left to somebody else. Companies such as Holiday Extras offer this service, prices vary on location but worth checking.
Lounging at the airport
This is a great hack for enjoying some relative peace and quiet, away from the chaos of the main passenger terminal before your flight; at most major UK and international airports you’ll find a wide variety of airport lounges, which you can book yourself into. Most offer complimentary beverages and nibbles, whilst some such as my favourite No 1 Airport Lounge at Heathrow (pictured above), Gatwick, Edinburgh and Birmingham serve hot dishes, fresh fruit and juices, offer a spa and a cinema room to guests.
A lot of credit cards actually have deals with the companies behind the various airport lounges, but at £18-£30 per person, I personally think this is relatively good value for money when compared against the cost of buying snacks and drinks at the astronomically priced airport WH Smiths or warm plates from the likes of a Costa, plus the fact you have comfortable furnishings and a bit of peace and quiet before your flight.
This is by far my top travel tip.
Travelling tips for the airport
So there we have a few suggestions on how to breeze through the airport in true Mariah Carey fashion – well, as close as possible, perhaps without the Chihuahua – without the need to splash out on a business or first class ticket.
Do you have any top tips for travelling through the airport?