As the cold snap kicks in, we know that many of you will be making your way to the airport for the perfect winter trip. But with winter comes snow, and it’s predicted that Britain will be a winter wonderland particularly early this year, with some reports suggesting first snowfall as early as November. So if you’re planning on travelling through the chilly season, it’s important to think about how you can avoid potential disruptions in your journey. Here are just a few tips.
As a story emerged in the Daily Mail that a man left his car in what he assumed were safe hands after booking with a valet service online, only to find out that the secure parking facility advertised was in fact a muddy field holding a host of other vehicles. The man was left shocked when his car’s tracking device showed him that it had been left in the field, which had no secure fencing or CCTV cameras onsite, leaving every one of the cars vulnerable to theft or defacement.
Over this frighteningly fun period, it’s a great idea to see the sights of another culture as they celebrate Halloween.
It’s an exciting time to travel, as every country gears up for this time of the year in their own unique and fascinatingly macabre way.
So why not leave your car in our safe hands and jet off to some of our favourite spooky destinations?
We’ve got a bundle of prizes and discounts on offer to anyone who would like us to meet and greet them at the forthcoming Ski and Snowboard Show.
Yes, we’d be delighted to see you at stand G2, near the main entrance of the show in Earls Court, London, running from the 30th October – 3rd November. This exhibition is the largest public winter sport event in the country, with all the major manufacturers displaying their latest kit including names such as Snow+Rock, Rossignol and Monarch.
It gives you and your family the chance to head off for a relaxing break, recharge the batteries and return ready to face work, school or nursery with renewed vigour.
But with many families seeking a week away, it’s important to make your arrangements as early as possible in order to beat the rush and receive the best deal.
Whether it’s airport parking, travel insurance or foreign currency, the more you prepare, the more time, money and hassle you’ll save…
But before you go, it’s important to make sure your children have everything they need to make the half term break as fun and enjoyable as possible.
Our list (below) details the essential items that kids tend to take on holiday, which should help make your family’s time away a more relaxing experience.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re jetting off abroad or staying close to home, there are plenty of ways to keep your brood’s boredom at bay.
If you’re anything like us, it’s likely be A LOT – but it’s important to make sure you’re aware of exactly what you’re paying for before you type in your credit card details.
Here at I Love meet and greet, we’re well aware of the importance of providing a first-class experience to our customers, which is why the majority of reviews for our airport valet parking service are overwhelmingly positive.
We all look forward to our holidays, giving us the chance to re-charge our batteries, spend time with our loved ones or simply as a break from working.
According to a recent survey by Aviva 35% of us choose to take a break with our extended families to make up for the lack of time spent together during the rest of the year.
We’ve all fantasised about living on our own desert island.
Far away from the stress and strain of modern life, the only concern on your island is how you dismount from the hammock after a few too many coconut cocktails.
Holidaymakers should carry out more research before choosing their meet and greet airport parking firm – that’s the view of Essex County Council’s Trading Standards after a number of complaints were lodged with their team about the service.
Astonishingly, according to Trading Standards, some travellers have returned from holiday to find their car had clocked up hundreds of additional miles, whilst, in some cases, certain unscrupulous meet and greet provider’s claims of “secure parking” were found to be a field or a street close to the airport.
The holiday season is in full swing – which means most travellers begin to rely on an assortment of people to ensure their trip runs as smoothly as possible.
Holidaymakers will put their faith in a house-sitter, pet-sitter and a valet parking firm to look after their most valuable possessions for the time they’re out of the country, while the roles of travel agents, airlines and hotel staff are as important as ever.
How many times do you check to make sure you have all of your belongings at the end of a holiday?
You dig through suitcases, check under beds and scan the room until you’re satisfied you’re not heading home without your passport/mobile phone/youngest child.
But still we leave things behind – and it’s not just a handful of foreign coins.
For many disabled people, the excitement of jetting off on holiday can be mixed with worries over adequate wheelchair access or additional assistance at the airport.
And with facilities likely to differ depending on where you travel from, it pays to find out if the airport has the amenities you require before you book.
Crucially, if you do need extra help once you reach the airport, it’s vital that you inform your airline about any disabilities at least 48 hours before departure.
Jetting off on holiday should be an enjoyable occasion, but ending up at the wrong airport car park can put the brakes on your relaxation time before it’s even started.
Take the case of Lorna and John Connor from Lanarkshire who accidentally parked in the short-stay instead of the long-stay car park.
After jetting back from a dream holiday in Las Vegas, they were met with a nightmarish £626 car park bill – despite paying for their parking SEVEN months in advance.
As a base for many of Europe’s low-cost airlines, London Stansted Airport is one of the busiest on the continent. Servicing flights to over 100 destinations (including the likes of Sharm el-Sheikh, Munich, Barcelona, Nice and Ibiza), the airport saw 17.5 million passengers pass through its doors last year.
The airport also serves as a landing point for many private trips to the country.
Gatwick might only be the second biggest airport in London, but that means it’s also the second busiest in the whole of the UK.
In fact, it’s home to the world’s busiest single-use runway, with last year seeing up to 53 take-offs and landings per hour to and from the likes of America, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and all the major European destinations.
While that might make flying from Gatwick seem like a daunting prospect, the truth is that it’s pretty easy to navigate, and there’s a lot to keep visitors entertained thanks to a recent multi-million pound overhaul.
A South Carolina policeman has left road users rubbing their eyes in disbelief when he takes to his local streets – in a converted aeroplane.
Jeff Bloch, 40, created his unlikely mishmash of transport, which can reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, by joining an abandoned Cessna aircraft with a Toyota van to compete in the 24 Hours of LeMons race in South Carolina.
Since then, the amateur mechanic has kitted out the craft, appropriately named Spirit of LeMons, with headlights, brake lights and indicators, making it legal to drive on the roads.
With all the stresses associated with it, sometimes it’s easy to forget that going on holiday is actually meant to be a relaxing experience!
Yes, it’s your excuse to have a bit of time to yourself and recharge those batteries, before returning home to face all the usual strains.
However, there’s nothing less relaxing than having an accident on holiday. Besides the fact that spending time in a hospital when you should be on a beach isn’t ideal, foreign hospitals can be expensive if you’re not adequately protected.
A consumer review study has revealed that 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% of those surveyed said that positive online reviews will make them more likely to use a local business.
The airport parking industry is no different.
The importance of looking at other customers’ experiences before booking your parking – via the provider’s website, Facebook, Twitter, or a meet and greet review on YouTube – cannot be overstated.
A recent Telegraph article has revealed that British holidaymakers who don’t book their parking solutions ahead of time could be left facing charges of up to £377 a week to park at the airport. That’s not just a whole heap of money, it’s enough to pay for a seven night break in Spain – including flights.
Demand for car parking at airports peaks at certain times of the year such as Easter, May half-term and the summer school holidays. Many airport car parks will be completely full during these periods, leaving the highly expensive short-term car park the only option if you have nothing pre-booked.
No matter how hard you try to travel light, it’s pretty hard to get everything you need in a suitcase without it overflowing! And of course, the bigger your family the more stuff you need for a holiday.
Getting all of it out the house and into the back of the car is one thing, but you’ll need to know the best way to fit it on your trolley when you arrive at the airport as well.
Going on holiday is supposed to be a joyous experience, but we all know that preparing for one isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In particular, packing can leave you tearing your hair out in the days running up to your departure.
However, there are ways and means of making it easier. For instance, giving yourself plenty of time to pack, and making a list of everything you’ll need (that you can reasonably take with you) well in advance can ease a lot of your mental strain.
With one bank holiday over and another just around the corner, thousands of sun seekers will jet off to top up their tans before the warmer weather reaches our own shores (maybe).
Of course, any type of holiday, but especially a long weekend, requires a large amount of organisation and patience – that’s why our airport parking service is ideal for time conscious travellers struggling with large amounts of luggage or excited children.
If you haven’t already, it’s almost time to book your summer holiday – and this is the year you promised to be organised, right?
That means not leaving your dog stranded in the back garden, and avoiding leaving your 8-year-old home alone like the film of the same name.
It also means following our essential holiday checklist to ensure your trip gets off to the smoothest of starts.
London’s Stansted Airport is one of the busiest in the UK, with more than 17m travellers passing through its single terminal last year – and since the 1st of April it’s been providing passengers free Wi-Fi in a bid to enhance the Stansted experience.
Available to all smartphone, tablet and laptop users who complete a simple online registration form, the convenience of free Wi-Fi at Stansted meets the demands of the modern traveller who is never far away from an internet-ready device.
Here at I Love meet and greet, we’re firm believers that our airport parking service is so easy to use that even a child could do it – and we’re not kidding around, we’ve even produced a video to prove it!
In the YouTube clip, I let my boys take centre stage as they dream of growing up to become fully fledged members of the meet and greet family.
Say what you like about the 80s, but it can never be accused of being drab – and when it comes to fashion trends, it’s hard to find a more infamous decade. From skin-tight leggings, miniskirts and jelly shoes, to fingerless gloves, stone washed jeans and moon boots, the 80s had it all.
This month at I Love Meet and Greet, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane by considering our ultimate 80s playlist and reflecting on our favourite 80s cars. In fact, we’ve been reminiscing fondly about ALL of the things that made the 80s such a great decade.
Back in 1980, the British population tried to figure out who shot JR, the Rubik’s Cube seemed destined for world domination, and British Leyland launched their puzzlingly popular Mini Metro.
The super small economy car was intended to complement the Mini, with sales regularly topping 100,000 per year up until its demise – nowadays, however, it is held up as a fairly poor example of 80s motoring.
The 1980s was a tumultuous decade.
Laying claim to some of the best music and fashion trends the world has ever seen (and some of the worst), the 80s style has exploded back into favour recently.
From streaky eyeliner, spiky hair and leg warmers, to headbands, shoulder pads and jelly shoes, those who remember the 80s are likely to laugh, cringe and reminisce fondly in equal measure.
Since its inception in 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £750 million for various charitable causes – and this year, the team I Love meet and greet is determined to play a part.
On Friday, we will be donating the difference between the current cost of parking and the price back in 1984, the year that our Managing Director, Sarah Anglim, became part of the team responsible for the first ever meet and greet parking company at Gatwick Airport.
Going on holiday might be one of the most exciting times of the year, but with the hassle of airport parking your enthusiasm can be drained before you’ve even checked in.
Actually finding an out-of-the-way airport park can be difficult, then once you’ve finally reached it you often have to fill out a bunch of forms, before waiting on a bus to take you to the airport itself.
What a hassle – and all before you’ve even checked in and experienced all the usual strains associated with an airport!
The report by Rebtel, a mobile voice over IP company, has linked users’ feelings to both heavy and light social media use, and found it keeps us entertained, connects us with friends and can even provoke bouts of jealousy and envy.
But here at I Love Meet and Greet, it’s the impact social media has over our holiday choices that is most thought-provoking.
Almost £1.7bn will be spent nationwide entertaining our children this half term.
On average, parents will shell out £230 over the holidays in an effort to prevent their kids climbing the walls with boredom – and Londoners are hit hardest, racking up a total half term spend of £469.
When planning a romantic trip away, it’s best not to leave it in the lap of the gods
Aphrodite and Venus, despite embodying love, beauty, pleasure and procreation, knew little about the logistics of arranging the perfect surprise trip.
Here at I Love meet and greet, we don’t claim to be gods – but our meet and greet parking is certainly close to heavenly.
More of that later, though.
Last year insurance giant AXA looked at the most stressful aspects of modern life and, unsurprisingly, parking was voted in the top five. Even experienced drivers will go out of their way to avoid parking in certain areas and some decide to leave the car and not park at all.
What shocks me, though, is that the parking industry is well aware of this.
Heading for the slopes at half term is becoming increasingly popular – and it’s well worth planning ahead to make sure you get the best deal.
Of course, organising your winter skiing holiday at the height of the summer might seem too organised, but it’s actually the ideal time to be thinking about snow.
The news that Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their first child sent shockwaves of delight around I Love meet and greet HQ as well as the mutual empathy that as parents and parkers we appreciate the logistics of travelling to the airport with a newborn in tow!
Alongside the happiness at the new arrival in the family, it can also be a stressful time having a baby – and the pressure is sure to rise when setting off on long journeys. Not only do you have the concern of making sure your baby is secure and comfortable (and taking enough supplies with you), you also have to contend with airport parking.
London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, is to suggest expanding the Essex airport into one of the biggest in the world – and a £3million practicality study to determine its capabilities is set to be carried out.
Currently Stansted welcomes around 18million travellers through its doors every year, and this figure, combined with latest developments, has led I Love meet and greet to carry out its own expansion…
There’s one thing we all dread at this time of year is that early morning de-icing of the car.
It’s a typical scene for drivers up and down the country – stepping out in the morning and coming face to face with an ice covered stranger.
You dig out the scraper and de-icer and get to work. It’s not backbreaking but it’s cold. And you have to do it before you get on your way to work. And it’s cold.