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Old 15 Jul 19, 04:24 PM  
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#61
Thorpy
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Originally Posted by DreamDisney View Post
No, sadly, when things happen on the roads there is just no telling how long the delay will be. It could be half an hour, it could be 3, or the worst I have seen here locally on the M5 was over 12 hours in the summer of 2017! Fuel tanker overturned just past the sliproad at about 5.30am, I think it was. Closed all three lanes. All had to be resurfaced, didn't reopen until about 10pm I think it was!
Alternatively you could be having breakfast in the hotel and they evacuate leaving your luggage and/or passports upstairs. If they don't let you back in for an hour you could very well be worse off than if you'd driven. you car coul get stolen from the hotel. You could slip in the unfamiliar hotel shower and break a leg. There are all kinds of ways to miss a flight.

I agree there is no way to know for sure if you drive, but then that's the same whatever you do. It's all about reducing the risk to a point where you are comfortable with it. You can use google to show the typical traffic at any time of any day. So people can make sensible decisions in terms of traffic and contingency time that will mean an accident has to be a real freak one to delay them enough to miss the flight... and then it has to be on your route.

When we drove regularly we used to allow enough time to know that an accident would have to be the worst accident for a number of years, before we stood a chance of missing our flight.
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Old 16 Jul 19, 10:11 AM  
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#62
DreamDisney
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Unfortunately the M5 is notorious for accidents that typically cause delays of 1-2 hours on a frequent basis (once a week usually, and more in the summer months as people head to the south west for holidays). And the M25 is not jokingly referred to as Britain's largest car park without good reason! So, personally, I feel that the chances of a traffic delay causing us to miss a flight is far more likely to happen than any of the other scenarios that you mentioned (though I acknowledge they are a possibility).

Our car won't be parked at the hotel. We are parking at Gatwick and keeping the keys. So once we've arrived the night before, theft of that old banger would not affect our holiday (they'd be doing us a favour! lol).

Yes, I could slip in the shower, but as it has never happened to me so far I think the chance is far less likely than traffic causing an issue. Possible, but improbable. It's also one that I can't really take much action to mitigate, other than to be careful. Whereas, I can take (and have taken) action to mitigate traffic being an issue.

We will be doing twilight check in once we arrive at the hotel, so luggage won't be an issue. Just hand luggage and passports, and we would have those with us at breakfast as our flight is at 10.10am. So the plan is to check out early morning, eat breakfast and stroll into Gatwick. Should there be an evacuation, we'd just grab the hand luggage and handbag and go. It is possible, and I think more likely than slipping in the shower seeing as I've been evacuated a few times from hotels (all false alarms, luckily). But this is an issue that is fairly easily mitigated by taking the action I've described, and still less likely than traffic to cause an issue.

Sadly, Google traffic can only show the current situation. It might be fine when you set off, and change very quickly. Luckily, it is live data and so you can make real time decisions to divert, but there are days when this doesn't help. Our journey back home after visiting my parents last year was hell. It's roughly a 4 hour journey with good traffic, and allowing for a pee break. It took over 7 hours this time. Every time we came across an accident, we'd divert and 10 minutes later there would be accident on that route! Eugh! It was hell! But it has just shown me that even allowing extra time wouldn't be enough in that instance.

I agree, it is all about reducing risk. Traffic, in my opinion, is the most likely obstacle to come up against and one that is easily mitigated by an overnight stay at the premier inn the night before. So that is what we are doing.
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Old 16 Jul 19, 12:09 PM  
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#63
Thorpy
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Google defaults to live traffic but it can be used to show typical traffic as well, or at least it can in a desktop browser. So yuo can predict how long it can be expected to take.

You describe the most hellish journey, and you arrived 3 hours late. So by that reckoning allowing 3 hours to spare will account for the most hellish of journeys. We are not in disagreement here, we both know traffic can cause much stress and discomfort, it's just that you seem to have a zero risk approach to it, whereas I say there is point where you're early enough to have sensibly mitigated the vast majority of the risk. It's opinion, not right and wrong. I can certainly see why you think your way.

We also like to stay over, but we don't do it just for the traffic risk. We never used to feel we could justify the cost, but once we tried it, the benefit of not having to get up so early and the better quality hotel breakfast than airside, swing it for us. Anyone driving on the day, I always say if you set off half an hour earlier than you plan to, will that make you feel more comfortable about the traffic risk or will that make you think it's getting ridiculously early. For me the right time to leave is when you start to think the latter.

Between us we must have helped someone else make a decision by now
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Old 16 Jul 19, 12:15 PM  
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#64
Scaramouche
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Hotel every time. It’s not worth the risk of traffic issues!
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Old 16 Jul 19, 12:33 PM  
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willow
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Originally Posted by Gemini157 View Post
It seems most of you would opt for the hotel the night before, which is what we have always done. It is only because others are in the mix that I am undecided.

We shall have a couple of family meetings to iron out all this sort of stuff soon, then we can make a decision
Thanks everyone for your input.
There where three party’s on our holiday last year. Two coming from Barnsley and one from Leeds. We all set out early and got to Manchester for just after 6.30am We had looked at getting a mini bus or staying overnight but decided that setting of around 5.00am was better for us.
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Old 16 Jul 19, 12:40 PM  
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traceyt
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If im flying from a london airport I always stay over the night before. Other airports I drive on the day. Bristol this year so only 90 mins away, however will allow 2 and a half hrs to be on the safe side.
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Old 16 Jul 19, 01:29 PM  
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#67
DreamDisney
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Originally Posted by Thorpy View Post
Google defaults to live traffic but it can be used to show typical traffic as well, or at least it can in a desktop browser. So yuo can predict how long it can be expected to take.

You describe the most hellish journey, and you arrived 3 hours late. So by that reckoning allowing 3 hours to spare will account for the most hellish of journeys. We are not in disagreement here, we both know traffic can cause much stress and discomfort, it's just that you seem to have a zero risk approach to it, whereas I say there is point where you're early enough to have sensibly mitigated the vast majority of the risk. It's opinion, not right and wrong. I can certainly see why you think your way.

We also like to stay over, but we don't do it just for the traffic risk. We never used to feel we could justify the cost, but once we tried it, the benefit of not having to get up so early and the better quality hotel breakfast than airside, swing it for us. Anyone driving on the day, I always say if you set off half an hour earlier than you plan to, will that make you feel more comfortable about the traffic risk or will that make you think it's getting ridiculously early. For me the right time to leave is when you start to think the latter.

Between us we must have helped someone else make a decision by now
It was a hellish journey alright, but not the most hellish I've seen. Unfortunately, if you get caught on a motorway that has been closed, there is no way off at that point. No alternative route. And of course, if you do get massively delayed and miss the flight, your insurance would not cover it (unlike breaking your leg on flight day). I couldn't afford the cost of paying out of pocket for more flights the very next day, so yes, I do take a zero risk approach to it. The cost of the hotel, parking & fuel is far more affordable to me.

And of course, there are other factors that come into play as you point out. Our flight is 10.10am. On a good day, the journey is circa 3.5 hours. So, if you were aiming to arrive 3 hours before departure, you'd be looking at leaving the house at 3.30am. If you built a 3 hour contingency into that, you'd be leaving at 12.30am! Which is obviously not a sensible time to be leaving. My husband doesn't usually go to bed until midnight, so he'd then be driving for 3 hours on no sleep, which is obviously not safe for anyone. So hotel it is.

I hear what you are saying. There is no right or wrong answer. But I have seen it happen to quite a few people, who then always say 'I wish we'd just stayed in a hotel the night before'. And for such a much anticipated, and expensive, holiday I don't feel it's worth the risk at all.

But, you know, like you say it's up to each to make that decision. Certainly, I am also looking forward to dropping car off, making use of twilight check in and relaxing. Nice relaxing breakfast in the morning, and a leisurely stroll over to the airport
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Old 16 Jul 19, 04:36 PM  
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#68
ChoppyGirl
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We are 90 minutes from Manchester and always stay overnight.
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