Wednesday 31 July 2019

How I reduced flight stress

The hotel

I'm a nervous flyer. I hear every knock and vibration and truly believe that that is it for me. Down I go. For my recent trip to Spain I was looking for ways to help keep stress levels down beforehand, and someone mentioned a stay in a hotel close to the airport. Premier Inn then kindly agreed to gift me and my other half the room for the night and breakfast the next morn, but as our flight was so early, we'd be on the plane before the eggs are flipped and cereal was poured. Very sad.

Anyway on the Sunday night we got a lift down to the hotel, at our own pace. No rushing. No 'what if there's traffic', nothing of the sort. I think this was the bit that really helped me. Being able to just go, when we wanted. We arrived about 4pm, checked in at their Stansted hotel which has it's own restaurant and bar downstairs and a big foyer which was fab when there were a 50 of us waiting for the shuttle bus the next morning.

Our room was rather large, as all Premier Inns seem to be. I've stayed in hotels where the bed is almost attached to the bathroom door and unless you fancied sleeping with your suitcase, there is just simply no room. No here obviously, much room for activities. We had a bath too, perfect for a little relaxation if you're panicked like myself. In the evening we headed downstairs, booked a table at the restaurant, but if you're looking for a quick meal, there is a few fast food places a 5 minute walk away too. After a few drinks we sat down to order at the table. The food came quick enough, and I had CHURROS for dessert. A winner for me let me tell you.

We spent the rest of the night (until a 9pm bedtime) with an alcoholic beverage of our liking whilst watching my favourite island based tv show. Up at 2.30am with an aim to leave at half 3. We checked out and sat in the lobby waiting for our ride. The shuttle bus doesn't start until 3.45am and the queue can get quite long, and its £3 per head in cash, if you needed to hop on. Once away the bus only takes 10 mins max, and at that time of the morning, there were barely any cars on the road as it were.

Escape Lounge

We were then gifted the next morning in the Escape Lounge at Stansted Airport. Downstairs and away from the chaos, it was like walking into a spa. We were shown to our table and let loose on the unlimited teas, juices, breakfasts (fry up, cereal, fruit) as well as unlimited alcoholic drinks at the bar. A prosecco was a welcomed addition at 4am. We knew by this time that our flight was delayed so being able to sit in peace, charge our phones, and watch the planes go by was lovely. I honestly have not stopped going on about the experience since the trip, to anyone flying (and anyone who has ears). I felt VERY important may I add, and now it's an extra I intend to book for every flight. Click here for the website.

Once our gate was shown, we headed down to wait even longer to board, never mind once on the plane, sat for an hour to grab a slot on the runway. Staying at the airport hotel and popping to the lounge before my flight really did ease my nerves though. The thought of rushing to the airport is one of the main causes of stress for a lot of us, so being right there, 5 minutes away really helps. Plus being sat in a quiet place, full of unlimited tea was a welcomed bonus. I can't recommend either enough. Delays however will always happen, I was just far more prepared for them than I'd have ever been before.

Thanks to Premier Inn for the gifted stay and to Escape Lounge for the gifted experience. Very VIP.


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