Early to Bed, Early to Rise?

I seem incapable of finding a flight leaves at a reasonable hour; they’re either hideously early, or very late. It must just be my luck, or the destinations I choose, but when you add on the check-in times, it generally means I’m heading to terminal at stupid o’clock. This is not a good recipe – sleep deprivation and travel do not go together well, especially when you throw tired children into the mix and grumpy travellers in general.


By the time I arrive at my destination, check into my hotel, and unpack my suitcase, I have eyes down to my knees and look, quite frankly, hideous. Is this really the best way to start a well-earned holiday?

I put some research into ways to avoid this, and whilst there’s no way I can manipulate flight times to suit my sleep pattern, I can make sure I get some extra sleep.

How do I do that?

I’m not talking about falling asleep at the wheel; no, I discovered AirportHotels.com.

My first thought was that this would be an expensive luxury, and in these times of belt-tightening, could I really justify it, on top of an expensive holiday already? Well, it turns out there was no need to justify it, because it was surprisingly cheap, and turned out to be the best thing I could’ve done.


My 6am flight, with a 4am check-in time, no longer meant gritty eyes and constant yawning, because thanks to my comfy hotel bed, I was able to grab a few extra hours shut-eye and have a very relaxing evening with a nice meal beforehand. This is what holidays are about!

My research surprised me, as I will admit to being a little ignorant to this whole airport extras business before, but now I’m a firm fan, and have saved money by combining travel plans with airport parking and hotels. Most large UK airports have a wide range of hotels available, to suit all budgets. I stayed at one of the Manchester Airport hotels combining it with an early 7am flight, and I credit my pre-holiday hotel stay for the bright and bushy-tailed start to my holiday. I actually enjoyed the airport experience, with much more energy to hit duty free with gusto, which is never a bad thing!

Birmingham is a major airport for short haul and long haul flights, so if you’re heading out of the Midlands and want to try the hotel idea for yourself, search for hotels Birmingham Airport and see what fantastic deals you can find.

You might have noticed that a lot of the cheaper flights tend to leave the London airports, when compared to regional prices, such as those found at Manchester and East Midlands for example. I decided to take advantage of this lower price, and although it cost me to get down to London, I was still saving money on the flight price. The downside to this was of course an early flight time – my nemesis. So I booked one of the Heathrow Airport hotels for the night, and surprisingly, the flight, travel and hotel still came up cheaper than the flight rom East Midlands. If you’re trying to find the cheapest possible way to travel this summer, I’d certainly look into this idea, as I was surprised how much I managed to save.

Early flight times might be a pain, but I managed to turn the experience into a positive with the help of airport hotels – check out what’s available near you and head off to the sun without the exhaustion!