When traveling through Europe, especially Western Europe, it can be difficult to find cheap flights for the money-conscious traveler. It is often cheaper to travel by bus, however, it may take you a very long time to get to your destination (Instead, you could be spending all that time at your destination touring around).
My solution to this problem - fly with Ryan Air. They service over 30 countries in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Their flights are cheap and reliable. But, navigating their fees will take extra work on your end.
Here are my tips for traveling on Ryan Air so that you never overpay and can keep to that budget!
- Plan ahead
If you already know in advance that you are going to Europe for work or for a holiday, I highly recommend looking at flights as far ahead as possible. This way you can watch the flights your really want and even sign up for price alerts. Ryan Air always has flight discounts or specials going on that can help you save even more money.
If you are traveling to more popular destinations (like Paris or London) during the high season (June - August), you may be able to find decently priced last minute flight deals, but you will rarely find those flights only costing you €13 (Yes, that's right. There are flights that cheap with Ryan Air - you just have to look). So, look and book ahead.
2. Download the Ryan Air App
Once you have purchased your flight or even before doing so, download the Ryan Air app on your phone or tablet. This will save you so much time and hassle. You can book flights and car hire directly through the app. You can also check-in for your flight - Ryan Air allows passengers to check-in anywhere from 60 days up to 2 hours prior to the departure time.
3. Avoid the Fees
48 hours prior to your flight, Ryan Air will send you an email reminding you to check-in. At that time, I highly recommend you check-in as soon as possible so that you don't forget. Ryan Air has a grace period where you can check-in online or on the app from 48 hours up to 2 hours prior to your flight for free.
Should you check-in before the 48 hour period, you are required to purchase a seat. If you check-in with less than 2 hours before your flight, the app and online site will not allow you to check-in and you must check-in at the airport. This will cost you €55 (not joking! I learned the hard way).
So, when you receive the email to check-in for your flight, do so as soon as possible and avoid the unnessecary fees!
**Disclaimer: if you are not an EU/EEA national, upon checking in for your flight for the first time with the Ryan Air app, you may not receive your boarding pass on your phone. Don't freak out. You may be prompted to print your boarding pass at home. Or you can show your completed check-in screen from your app to a Ryan Air airport attendant and they will print out your boarding pass free of charge**
4. Bring Your Own Food
No different from other budget airlines, Ryan Air makes you pay for the food and beverages they serve in-flight. So, save your $$ and bring your own snacks and drinks. Fill your water bottle up at an airport water fountain and pack a snack from home.
Now, sit back, relax, read a book or listen to music, and enjoy your flight!