Why fly abroad for your holidays? It might seem an odd question for an airport parking focused business to pose, but we’re human too and we sometimes find air travel less than a pleasure.
Security issues, crowds and delays seem to be becoming more of an issue as time passes and with IS up to more dirty tricks than ever, being 30,000 feet up in the air doesn’t feel particularly safe. As someone famous once said, there are only two emotions involved in flying: terror and relief.
If you’re feeling too farty to fly these days, what awaits holidaymakers in good old Blighty, on our own familiar shores? And what about travelling Europe by train instead of flying? We thought it’d be interesting to take a look at the alternatives. If you’re perfectly happy flying, well done you. Walk this way for excellent value, easy-to-arrange airport parking. If not and you’re planning to take your holiday in the UK or travel to Europe a different way, read on.
1. Flying is fabulous… as long as there aren’t any delays
We took a trip to Amsterdam last week. The journey there was seamless and smooth without a single delay. The return flight was a different matter, with our plane delayed at least two hours and yet more delays on the trains home from Gatwick. A journey that should have taken around two and a half hours door to door took an awful lot longer, and by the time we got home we were exhausted.
Like any other kind of journey, flights are only enjoyable and convenient when everything works like clockwork. Otherwise it’s just a matter of gritting your teeth, putting a stiff upper lip in place and getting through it somehow. Not the best start to a holiday, and certainly not the best ending. When you’re flying long haul delays can be an absolute nightmare, especially if you’re traveling with the kids.
2. Airport security gets even more onerous
On one hand, you know it’s for your own safety. On the other hand it’s horrible being searched, having to take your shoes and belt off, decanting your belongings out of your pockets for x-raying, having to leave stuff behind because the rules say you can’t take it through security. It doesn’t exactly make you feel safe. Instead, it tends to make you even more aware of the risks.
Last time we flew, in 2012, security wasn’t this strict. And there’s no real reason it shouldn’t get even more strict if the terrorists scale up their antics.
3. The fear factor
The crazier the terror attacks become, the more widespread their reach, the more of us they kill, the less safe it feels being on board a plane. We might all know that flying is a lot safer than driving on a motorway or crossing the road but once you’re up there above the clouds, the facts start to feel a bit hollow.
No wonder Britain’s amazing home-grown wonders are attracting more stay-at-home vacations than ever. The new craze for glamping and staying at home for holidays is becoming a seriously cool option.
4. The wonders of a holiday in Britain
Every county in our green and pleasant land is stuffed with attractions, things to do, stuff to see and experience. Our nation is absolutely tiny, roughly 700 miles at its longest and 300 at its widest. You can fit the entire landmass into some American states several times over. But at the same time our geology is incredibly complex, which means the landscapes change frequently and you experience several completely different types of countryside in one tiny area.
Take Cumbria, home to the majestic Lake District. Scotland is over the border to the north, the county has oodles of beautiful coastline and also includes a big chunk of the Pennines, backing onto the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Or what about Sussex with its numerous beach holiday towns, vibrant cities, chalky South Downs, ancient history and fabulous shopping.
The same goes with our weather. OK, it might not be Mediterranean but it’s usually fairly reliable: cool in spring and autumn, warm in summer, chilly in winter. At least we’re used to it – the British weather isn’t going to deliver too many surprises. And because we’re such a teeny, weeny country, travelling the length and breadth of it in search of the best of the sunshine isn’t that much of a challenge.
5. Europe by train
The Channel Tunnel means rail travel in Europe is an excellent alternative. It tends to be more expensive than flying but it’s a great deal greener and if you book early there are some great deals to be had. It takes longer to get from A to B too, but all it takes is one delayed flight and the train suddenly becomes a viable and enjoyable option.
No hanging around in airports. No battling the fear of flying. You just get on your train and you’re off. Better still, when you travel by train the journey itself becomes part of the holiday, part of the fun, part of the experience as a whole rather than something you just want to get over with as soon as possible.
You zoom through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany or wherever, a great way to find out more about how people live, the kinds of houses they build, the way the land is farmed and more. Instead of thousands of feet of clouds and empty air beneath you, you’re surrounded by fascinating countryside. European trains are splendidly comfortable and almost alarmingly efficient. You arrive feeling serene and mellow instead of bedraggled, cramped and scared half witless by the turbulence you encountered during landing. That’s more like it!
6. Europe by ferry
Ferries are another way to experience a journey to the full and welcome the travelling aspect of things into the holiday fold. Like the train it’s more leisurely, with epic views of the sea to enjoy whether you’rer travelling from Hull to Rotterdam, Newhaven to Dieppe, the Isle of Wight to Spain or Folkestone to Calais.
You can take your car, or leave it behind and hire a vehicle at the other end, or travel the rest of the way by train. Either way it’s much more of an adventure – and more laid back – than sitting on a plane without any views, after a cattle market of an airport experience, with someone’s whiny child kicking the back of your chair for the entire journey.
7. Experience days in the UK
We do much more than airport parking, of course, which brings us to our experience days. Wherever you go for your staycation, there’s something thrilling to experience. And we offer a vast choice of briulliant things to do and see via our website, everything from a comprehensive theatre ticket offering access to the finest shows in the West End to a bunch of strange, weird and definitely wonderful activities and experiences to set the seal on one of the best holidays ever.
If that dings your bell, what kind of experience days do we have on offer? You’ll love the sheer variety of great British fun and games you can book through our site. Here are just three of the different types of sactivity we offer, just to whet your appetite. And here’s a link to the experiences page.
303 driving experiences to choose from
Our driving experiences include off road buggy racing, quad biking, Star in a Car, extreme supercar, junior Ferrari experiences and a whole lot more, involving every kind of vehicle you can imagine.
Our Supreme Supercar Experience is a popular choice, exciting, exhilarating and very fast, packed with thrills. You’ll spend an entire day tearing up the tarmac in ten of the planet’s most pwerful and desirable vehicles including a Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. At the end of the day you’ll be presented with a certificate as a memento of your big day. Will your heart race? Yes, it will… and in a much nicer way than the way it races when your ‘plane rocks and bucks its way through a load of turbulence – at least you’re in control of your own fate.
500 superb pampering experiences
Choose from more than 500 papmering experiences including luxurious face and body treatments, spa retreats and deep tissue massages. For example our Moroccan Rasul and Elemis Deep Tissue Massage, a brilliant way to cleanse and detox your skin through the ancient ritual of Rasul.
The smooth, rich mud used is famous for its healing properties, nourishing the skin and leaving you feeling fantastic. Then there’s an hour-long Elemis Deep Tissue Massage to enjoy, which restores your sense of wellbeing much more than being squashed onto a bargain basement flight for several hours of nervous discomfort.
2268 short breaks to treat yourself to
A weekend break somewhere gorgeous might be just what you need to chill out and feel fabulous about life again, much more relaxing than a long haul flight and without the slightest trace of jet lag.
Take our two night break at magnificent Cabra Castle, dating back to the 1800s and set in 100 acres of stunning parkland deep in the lush Irish countryside. Ireland, of course, is just a ferry ride away from either Swansea (to Cork) or Holyhead (to Dublin), and it’s so beautiful there you might as well be on a different planet… even though you’re close to home.
What about you?
If you’re going to take your holiday in the UK this year, what drove your decision and what are you going to do? We’d love to share your inspiration with our readers.