Going to the airport can feel like a real chore sometimes, get up at an ungodly hour, sit in the car for ages and then spend a few hours in a crowded airport feeling restless to reach your destination! I hear you! That’s how I usually feel too but this time round I made sure that was not the case and my unwinding and relaxing started the second we arrived on the airport tarmac and I want to share my top tips with you guys too!
Before your trip download yourself the Gatwick airport app, it’s free to download and has so many handy features from where to eat and shop, live flight updates and reminders like on the day when its time to head to the gate so you don’t have to keep checking the boards, it has exclusive offers to take advantage of in and before the airport and links to book other airport services too!
I’m a bit of an obsessive planner as I hate stress and things not going right so I’m always one for being super organized when going away. I booked my parking way in advance and even got a discount code too. There’s often codes in the Gatwick app for parking discounts, allowing you to get the best parking for the best price! Of course we went for valet parking so all you have to do is drive in, drop off your car and jobs a good ‘un! It literally could not have been any more simple! Leaving the car for valet parking for 8 days and an add on of premium security only cost £62 with our discount code which I think was amazing value, so, top tip one- book in advance and look for discounts before booking anything- do your research! Ease and luxury does not need to break the bank when you’ve already shelled out for a holiday and if you are like me will be watching the pennies!
As I previously mentioned we added premium security as an add on in advance, for £5 per person we do this every time we travel anywhere, you can book this beforehand or do it on the day at the airport though if you just are not sure, you get more private and separate fast track lanes with little to no queue, it is much more swift and slick than normal security! An absolute must for the impatient and easily restless! There is also the option to do this for fast track passport control on the way home too so you can make an efficient airport experience go full circle. This too can be booked on the app and often has an offer active!
So once you’re through security what’s next? For some people its grabbing those Duty Free bargains, this airport has some lovely shops and shopping options with all the usual airport classics, Boots, Dune, Superdry and even a mini Harrods, but more me it’s getting a bite to eat and something to drink! There’s some kind of time/space continuum in the airport when you feel like you have no boundaries and anything goes regardless of time, all those travelers from over the world, it’s deffo 5 o’clock on someones watch! 6am, glass of wine? Totally acceptable.
You have your choice of eateries and watering holes here in the South Terminal, I had to narrow it down to a top 3 out of Nandos (they do a brekkie in the Airport alternate universe and it sounds awesome), Caviar House and Prunier (oysters and champagne are always a good idea) but I opted for pic number 1 – Grain Store. They have a really big and varied breakfast menu with so many options which spoke to my nutritionally conscious, gym bunny soul that I’m leaving on British soil so we decided to give it a go! NB- For all those ‘Spoons fans, the Wetherspoons app for table service works in the airport too so no queuing!
The service was amazing and the decor is lovely! It doesn’t feel like you’re in an airport with the rustic decor and low lighting! Add 2 Bloody Mary’s to the mix and we were feeling positively relaxed! (Just to add this was 44 minutes after pulling in to the car park! That’s how speedy a morning it was)
To eat I went for mushrooms on toast with poached eggs and J had the full english with added chorizo, the food came out really, really fast and was nicely presented and very tasty! I would recommend for a great spot to eat!
With all of our express services in tow and a 3 hour check in requirement we had quite a lot of time to kill so it was my good girlfriend to find my travel buddy and trusty chauffeur a good spot to rest his eyes so I went a did a little exploring or the airport lounges. I’d not used them before as I’m not usually traveling long haul but there are several different lounge options available for a charge and they a like a little piece of cosmopolitan luxury behind the scenes of the airport hustle and bustle. We looked at the No1 lounge and Clubrooms which has a couple of different options of £40 and £50 (less in advance online) and you get drinks, a beautiful setting, food and more, as we had already eaten this seemed like a waste on this occasion but the decor was extremely tasteful like boutique hotel bar and the Clubrooms brunch sounded lovely so this will be on our to do list for next time. Check out more info here
Instead we went to the My Lounge which was in a different area and had a little of a more relaxed vibe, with its scans-hygge style, it was cheaper which mades sense as we were using mainly for relaxing as we had full tummies and had a big empty squishy sofa with Jamie’s name on it. This one was £30 and you get to help yourself to a lovely breakfast buffet and bar, full equipped with the necessaries for Bloody Marys and Aperol Spritz’ in addition to all the classics from wine by the glass, draught beer and premium spirits to serve yourself with. I settled in with a cocktail and browsed the complimentary copy of Grazia and waited for my Gatwick app to tell me when it’s time to head to the gate!
Overall this was the most stress free airport experience I have ever had, easy parking, amazingly efficient service from the baggage check in with BA, speedy and security with a smile, a delicious meal, a morning washed in vodka and finished in the luxury of a premium lounge. If you have a holiday booked and you are traveling from Gatwick I hope some of these top tips help make you special experience start earlier and even more memorable.
Thanks for reading, safe travels and happy holidays, H x