Here at James Villas, we all love exploring new holiday destinations and really look forward to our own summer breaks. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I leave the house – instead of dreading the journey, I've learnt from experience that with a little extra preparation the travel side of things can go just as smoothly as the villa stay itself.
Speak to your James Villas Travel Adviser and make the most of the additional services we have at our fingertips that can make a huge difference to your journey:
If there's a choice of flights, consider the departure and arrival times. Do you like to get to your destination early with the day still ahead of you? If so, booking an airport hotel for the night before could really make a difference. Imagine a relaxed supper and a leisurely stroll onto the aircraft in the morning, feeling refreshed and relaxed (if a little smug!).
Book your airport parking at the earliest opportunity for the best rates and a wider choice of service – the Meet and Greet option is a particular favourite of mine, where I get to drive right up to the airport terminal and hand over my car to the waiting assistant. The car is then brought back for my return – it's fast and very convenient.
Airports can be busy, especially in the summer months – why not treat yourselves to the peace and quiet of an airport lounge while you wait for your flight? With free drinks and snacks and a quiet spot to read, I find it more relaxing than pacing around the terminal. If it's a special occasion, you might even want to check out if any champagne packages are available.
Ask your Travel Adviser to pre-book your flight seats so you know your whole party can sit together. While you're chatting, see if they can save you some money on certain flights by reducing your checked-in baggage amount, if you're happy to share cases.
Packing is an art (roll, fold or bundle?) but for a villa holiday I've learnt to halve what I'm tempted to take. Let's face it, we tend to spend most of our time in swimsuits, t-shirts and flip flops, and with a washing machine at most villas there's just no point over-doing it. Here are my packing top tips:
Weigh your checked baggage before you set off to avoid any last minute re-packing at the luggage drop (buy a portable weighing device or simply stand on the bathroom scales holding your case and deduct your own weight). Bear in mind that you're allowed a piece of cabin baggage each and some airlines have no weight restriction on them. You just have to stick to the required dimensions and be able to store your bag in the overhead locker without help. This means you can take along your walking boots, hair straighteners or even the 'Lord of the Rings' box set!
Remember the restrictions on liquids so you don't get held up at security. No container can hold more than 100ml and they must all be carried in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag no more than 20cm x 20cm, containing up to one litre
When departure day dawns, all that preparation will be worthwhile and you can set off to enjoy your well-earned holiday to the full. Just remember to:
- Leave extra time for your journey to the airport – it's better to arrive early than in a panic.
- Carry all your passports and boarding passes safely together with a print-out of your itinerary.
- Take some snacks with you, unless you prefer to buy food on the plane.
- Buy bottled water after passing through security so you stay hydrated on the flight.
- Keep an eye on the screens so you know when your flight is called – it can be as much as 20 minutes' walk to some departure gates, so allow plenty of time to get there.
- Keep your headphones, phone, tablet or e-reader handy so you can settle down quickly after take-off and drift happily into that holiday mood…
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