There are plenty of critical things to mind when you’re planning to travel by plane. Passport? Check. Packed? Check. Wallet? Keys? Liquids in a clear plastic bag? Comfortable shoes? Check, check, check, check. But something equally important that is often overlooked is feeling energetic and fresh – if anything, most people travel stressed and poorly rested, which not only influences your journey but that of those around you.
Check what you need
In a post-pandemic London, there are a few extra things to add to your “Passport, wallet, keys” checklist. If you want your trip from Heathrow to be as seamless as possible and you want to feel fresh and confident walking onto the plane, make sure you know exactly what is needed from your side. This might include a face covering, which is mandatory in Heathrow Airport, a negative PCR or antigen Covid-19 test depending on your destination, proof of vaccination or natural immunity, a passenger locator form, or in some cases where country restrictions remain in place, a letter confirming your eligibility to fly. Don’t let admin catch you out – make sure you have got everything you need the night before while you are still connected to the hotel wifi and have time to think and arrange.
Why feel fresh?
You might be inclined to wonder why it matters whether you are fresh or tired, happy or sad, early or just-on-time when it comes to traveling. You all end up in the same place anyway, right? While that is technically not incorrect, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to feel fresh at Heathrow airport – and it is not just for the sake of the air steward serving your in-flight meal, or the stranger in front of you whose slow walk is driving you crazy.
A simple answer to this “why” is… Duty Free. The shopping opportunities at London Heathrow are incredibly impressive and the range of shops mirror those you would find on the highstreets of the UK and beyond. London Heathrow is the UK’s biggest, most popular airport as well as the UK’s leading travel retailer. It features over 17,000 products across its airport stores at the most reasonable, duty free value. If you are fresh and ready to fly, you are more likely to enjoy the expansive wares and fares that span the 1,227 hectares it covers. British luxury brands you will not want to miss include Burberry, Ted Baker and Paul Smith, and you will find international fragrances ranging from Chanel N°5 and Dolce & Gabbana to Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent.
How to feel fresh?
“All well and good”, you may be thinking, “but how?” Well, there are a few ways you can ensure you feel fresh and ready to fly from Heathrow, one of which is where you sleep the night before. Even if you have been staying in London’s centre during your trip so you can be close to everything from Hyde Park to Soho, it is worth considering spending your last night at a hotel near Heathrow Airport. You will feel the benefits when you wake up and your “commute” to the airport is pain free and, most importantly, quick. If you use hotels near Heathrow tube station as your search benchmark, you will find a flurry of results, including the Park Grand Heathrow. This leads on to the next step you can take to feel fresh…
Stay somewhere good. Again, this may seem like very general advice, but once you get to your last night somewhere, the impulse to simply stay somewhere cheap and plain – the holiday is over, right? – is tempting. Consider your last night as much a part of your holiday or work trip as the others, and do not skimp out and risk an uncomfortable night sleep that leaves you unprepared and groggy for the day of travel which lies ahead. The Park Grand Heathrow’s plush bedrooms, attentive staff and full breakfast service will make sure that you are armed with the mood and energy needed to get home safely, comfortably and happily.
Make a day of it
Keeping on the train of thought that your trip has not ended the moment you leave the center or the minute you arrive at your airport hotel, Heathrow has a lot going for it from a tourism perspective and instead of moping about the fact that the trip has nearly come to an end, use those last precious moments wisely.
This can be achieved from the comfort of your Park Grand hotel, for instance. Why not arrive early in the afternoon the day before your flight and see what the hype about Afternoon tea is all about? The restaurant at the Park Grand Heathrow serves a mean afternoon tea, with traditional fare and mouth watering treats to sink your teeth into. To quote the hotel: “William Gladstone’s who once said: “If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are exhausted, it will calm you””. What Mr Gladstone forgot to add was, “If you have a London holiday that is about to come to an end, tea will keep it going just a little bit longer”…
Your hotel is just one option of where to start when it comes to making a day of your remaining time in London while keeping close enough to the airport that you are stress-free and relaxed. If you want to feel ready to fly without hassle, why not dine at Heathrow Airport? Arriving early, checking your bag in and taking yourself runway-side is a sure-fire way to know you are where you need to be and ready to rumble when your boarding gate is announced, and Heathrow has some wonderful dining options that transcend a bag of crisps and a sandwich, or a takeaway. Restaurants worthy of a sit-down meal at Heathrow Airport include Big Smoke Tap House & Kitchen, Caviar House & Prunier, Giraffe World Kitchen, Kanishka Kitchen and more depending on what you feel like. Bon appetite and safe travels!