What to consider when planning your summer holidays

“Summer holidays? What, are you kidding me? But hang on, there’s only weeks to go.” When it hits you, it’s not long, so it pays to plan as much as you can in advance!

Holiday Money

Actually, if you’ve not booked your summer holidays yet, then it’s perhaps not surprising that it’ll cost you more. The mad rush post-Christmas, to wipe away the winter blues by knowing your summer sun is all organised is a well-needed boost, and there’s a smug satisfaction that it’s taken care of in advance and that you’ve got the best prices for accommodation and flights.

It stands to reason that pricing is skewed towards the high demand weeks on the calendar, when in some cases operators and accommodation owners could book up ten times over. Well, you would wouldn’t you? Pricing though, with the dwindling numbers of available flights and all but the least expensive weeks being booked up, leaves those that are less able to be able to advance-plan and possibly afford the higher prices stumped for what to do, but even then, for the fortunate ones, there’s often something missed.

There seems to be little point in stating the modes of transport, but people are motivated to use their chosen method by a number of things, yet private car seems still to be the most commonly used, due to convenience, but unless you’re local to the airport, or are familiar with it, the stress of getting there, which is more about unexpected traffic nightmares and unforeseen mechanical problems, than how to get there, means advance thinking is needed here too!

As a pre-cursor to travel, always advance plan for the unexpected, no matter how often you may have taken the journey:

Plan for traffic

Accidents can happen on any journey, but it’s how far ahead you are of schedule that determines how this affects your flight booking. Using AA Roadwatch can really help to identify problem locations, but if you can plan with an expectation that there’ll be delays, in spite of the roads being apparently clear, then you’re doing all you can. If you’ve booked your flight to be within rush hour times, then expect you’ll be stuck in that traffic, so instead try booking your flights for later in the delay, or REALLY early!

Plan for breakdown

It might not be traffic that’s the problem, but the nightmare of all journeys: breakdown. Catastrophic failure aside, many people set off on time-critical journeys without checking their cars’ basic vital signs in advance:

  • Fuel – sounds daft, but as thousands of drivers run out of fuel, make sure it’s not you and ensure there’s enough to get you there without stopping
  • Oil – dip and top-up
  • Water – check level and top-up
  • Tyres – check wear and pressures, but look out for nails, embedded objects, and bulges in all treads (and check depth), all the way round
  • Lights – check all bulbs and spares
  • Battery – best checked by a garage, but do at least one decent journey each week to prevent it losing voltage

Ensure you have hi vis vests, warning triangle, fire extinguisher, torch and spare tyre of course, just in case; regular car servicing is always best too!

If you just haven’t the time for any of the above and are travelling from Leeds Bradford airport this summer, then as well as booking your car in for airport parking at Sentinel, you can also book in a vehicle service during your car’s stay.

Plan for the weather

We know how changeable the British weather is, even in high summer, so ensure you have the right clothing in case of the above, but also that you’re considering the impact of a sudden deluge; weather has a massive impact on traffic, because of slippery conditions after a dry spell and because people often drive too fast (in a hurry to get somewhere 2 minutes quicker!) for the conditions. You really ought to check the forecast and drive according to that.

Plan for when you arrive

Have you checked your arrival point? Have you considered where you’ll be expected to park? It might not be near the airport! And then, is the car park even secure? That’s a whole other subject!

There’s little point turning up and expecting to park, and to not expect to pay a premium at most airports, if there’s space at all, but you could certainly help yourself by booking early enough to enjoy a discount for advance planning. Sentinel Secure Airport Car Parking, which covers Leeds Bradford Airport, has plenty of availability, but can get fully-booked at peak times, so to guarantee a place in our Police-vetted facilities, with free airport transfer and to pay 10% less, register your details and make your advance booking today.

New Car Park – All Moved In!

We are now operating from our new site and have had a great response from our customers who have used the new facilities!

Sentinel's New Check-in

Sentinel's New Reception

New Sentinel Car Park

If you haven’t been yet, why not book a nice holiday from LBIA just so you can sample the new car park?! ….maybe not, but when you do come back, you can rest assured that the parking side of your travels is now even more slick and straightforward than it was before.

Don’t forget, we have valeting and servicing facilities here at Sentinel as well, so any work that needs doing to your car can be carried out without the need for lifts to the garage or hire cars etc. Both the valeting and servicing centres complete their work to an extremely high standard and have long lists of loyal customers – give it a try if you haven’t already.


PalmaIt is testament to the smoothness of the changeover that one of the biggest issues we had to confront was the re-homing of Palma, the Sentinel cat.

Palma came to us in 1998 as a stray (or probably just lost) cat and we have been looking after her ever since. In 2000 she had 3 lovely kittens and they were relatively easy to find homes for, but re-homing the old girl herself at an age of anything over 15 wasn’t so easy!

A big thanks to one of our own Sentinel employees, Paul Greenhalf, who has now taken Palma home to live with his other 3 cats and the reports are that she has settled in very well!