The annual holiday is something most of us look forward to for months, sometimes from the moment the holiday is booked. I feel I’ve been lucky in life to be able to have a holiday every year, pretty much from birth to various places outside of Europe. It’s only in the past couple of years (after my family and I stopped booking into hotels and went for villas instead) that I’ve been flying with Ryanair, and as package holidays are no-longer the best value holidays available, budget airlines are raking in the pounds.
So, given that as I write this I’m travelling at (roughly) 450mph, 37,000ft in the air, on the way to Lanzarote (a second home), I thought it a nice idea to give you a couple of tips when flying with Ryanair.
1. Stick to the Rules
I think the biggest issue people have when flying with Ryanair is the ‘hidden extra charges’ that aren’t hidden at all. The thing is, these low-cost airlines offer cheaper rates for a reason. They rely on people packing a bag way over their allowance or forgetting to print their boarding passes, which is where the airline can slap an extra £20/30 charge on you, because if you don’t pay, you won’t be getting on that plane! With this in mind, ALWAYS make sure you read the airlines allowances; sure it can be stressful booking the flights and making sure you’ve got the cheapest deal, but it’s good to make sure you save yourself less stress and inconvenience at the airport, when you have to take money out of your hard-saved holiday fund!
2. Don’t forget the 10kg Hand-luggage allowance!
I can’t remember the last time I had to stand and wait for my luggage to come around on that conveyor belt of misery, I haven’t ever needed a bag in the hold because I can fit everything I need in my hand-luggage. It SOUNDS like a challenge, but it really isn’t. The beauty of Ryanair (and other budget airlines) is that they often give you a rather generous 10kg hand-luggage, so stop trying to squeeze all those bikinis into your suitcase and get a bigger carry-on bag! Obviously the maximum sizes of the bags vary between airlines (best to check yourself), but Ryanair tend to recommend Samsonite. If you don’t fancy paying through the nose (I can hardly blame you) I would also recommend taking a look at Sub Zero G, who claim to be the most lightweight cabin bag on the market.
3. Bring Sandwiches
Airline food is legendary.
It’s incredibly expensive and phenomenally shit. Ryanair is no exception to this, so do what I do and bring your own food on board. If you don’t fancy making sandwiches the day you fly, then make a b-line towards Boots in the departure lounge for a meal deal. It’s value for money and of a good quality.. Of course if you’re really smart you could save your Boots Advantage points and pay for your meal with them (as I do) which is handy. Sadly I broke a little bit of this rule just now, and spent £2.25 on a (snack size) tube of Pringles. I shed a small tear knowing that I could get a standard tube for less than that in ASDA.
So yes, be warned!
4. Don’t fret over seating
Another infamous feature of Ryanair used to be the free-for-all when it came to seating arrangements. Allocated-seating was for the civilised airlines… well not anymore!
Yep, Ryanair now give you your seats when you check-in, unless you chose to pick them yourself (at an extra fee of course), so now the queue to board is less like a scene from the Hunger Games and more like something civilised society. I’ll admit I quite enjoyed the sprint to the plane and fighting for the exit seats, but I appreciate others don’t, so allocated-seating is probably a good thing.
5. Enjoy it
Even if you’re skeptical of Ryanair’s reputation, the best thing for you to do is just enjoy it all. Laugh at the idiots queuing before the gate has been announced, laugh at the people running to the back of the plane to get on faster. Just think of it as a big bus, getting you to your holiday, and just enjoy it.
It’s all good crack after all!