If you've followed the last three pre-season tours, all of which to Austria, you'll be acutely aware that not everyone takes the plane journey.
In 2016 it was Kit Manager Nathan Stanton and myself who made the trip using a Mercedes Sprinter van. 12 months on Sports Massage Therapist Kev Hornsby joined the party and has remained ever since. The trip to Spain is no different - which is fantastic news on a personal level for Kev, after recovering from Prostate Cancer earlier this year.
The players will be flying from East Midlands airport on Sunday to Alicante before making the 90 minute transfer on site, while the journey for us began on Friday morning with a Citroen Relay van.
We journeyed to Portsmouth on Friday morning in readiness for a ferry across the water, with this trip across water significantly longer than the one hour, 20 minute crossing from Dover to Calais that we've become accustomed to. The ride on board Cap Finistère, courtesy of Brittany Ferries, took 23 hours, 30 minutes setting sail from Portsmouth at 5pm on Friday, arriving at Santander on the north coast of Spain at 5.30pm (GMT+2) on Saturday.
The journey from there takes us on a 9.5 hour trip across country, stopping off on the outskirts of Madrid before completing the trek to La Manga. We are scheduled to arrive on camp early afternoon, with the players expected to be on site from around 5pm.
The journey differences...
In the van (including ferry): Total: 1,437 miles
Flight (including transfers): Total: 1,150 miles
Straight line distance: Total: 1,078 miles
Follow the coverage...
As always, you can follow the entirety of our tour by using the hashtag #IroninSpain on Twitter and Facebook, while we will also be posting on Instagram and Snapchat throughout the week.
Don't miss a moment of the journey, the training, the match action and the behind-the-scenes content as we cover as much as we can!