RyanAir: 5 Things To Remember

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The title of this post is a little restrictive, because I think these are good things to remember for a lot of smaller airlines. But since this weekend I’m flying with RyanAir, I’m going to focus on that one specifically.

Smaller airlines can be great for traveling within shorter distances, specifically within Europe, for me. This past weekend I flew from Paris to Dublin and the ticket was significantly cheaper than if I had flown out of CDG, which is the main/largest airport in Paris. That being said, there were quite a few “lessons” I learned while flying, and some red tape I dodged, but saw other people fall victim to.

So, to save you all some stress – hear are some things you need to know when flying with smaller airlines (specifically RyanAir):

1. Luggage: When getting ready for your trip remember that smaller airlines have very specific luggage restrictions for carry-ons. This is a big way they make money, from unsuspecting travelers, so if you don’t want to pay the surprise 50 euro additional charge, for bringing a bag that’s too large – make sure you check the measurements. Weight doesn’t really seem to be an issue, but the wrong size luggage will have you bleeding cash.

2. Boarding passes\checking in: When you get the email confirmation a few days before flying out DO NOT ignore it. Check in online right then. They don’t announce this, but if you read the small writing you’ll notice that, by checking in at the airport you actually get charged 70 euros. Also make sure to print your boarding passes for both ways!

3. Finding your airport: The way RyanAir keeps their prices cheap is by being in relatively inconvenient places, most of the time. This means, if you’re looking for a flight make sure to double check that the flight isn’t going out of some little airport in the middle of nowhere (unless you’re okay with that). If your flight is leaving from a major airport, the baggage check is probably going to be in the least convenient spot in the airport, so make sure you don’t arrive 10 minutes before your flight.

4. Checking in at the airport: If you aren’t an EU citizen you MUST go to the bag check BEFORE you go to security so they can check your passport and stamp your boarding pass (which you’ve already printed and brought from home, so you don’t pay 70 euros!). Without doing this, they will not let you on the plane (even after you go through security) and if it’s not an easy run back, you might actually miss your flight when they make you go back to get your boarding pass stamped.

5. Boarding your flight: Planes have a front and back entrance so PLEASE, for the sanity of everyone else, don’t board in the front door if you’re supposed to be seated in row 30. You’ll be crawling over people, causing congestion in the aisle, and just generally causing chaos. If your seat number is anything higher than 16, you should just head to the back door for boarding. Believe me, it makes a world of difference.

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10 Ways To Get Ready For A Weekend Backpacking Trip

San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA

Early tomorrow morning (We’re talking 4am, early) I’m going to be headed out on the second of, what I have a feeling will be, many weekend vacations while I’m living in Europe. As I was getting ready tonight, I thought I would share some thoughts on what I do when getting ready for one of these mini vacations. Packing definitely isn’t as extreme as going on a two week long backpacking trip, and the more I travel the more I get my own routine of knowing what I’ll actually need vs. what I just want for whatever reason. Here are my top 10 packing tips for when I’m getting ready to go on a weekend adventure!

Fully charge all electronic devises: If you don’t use your electronics a TON, you might even avoid having to pack cords at all, by doing this. I always bring my phone cord with me, of course, but I really try to only have that. My tablet has an 8 hour battery life, and my camera has more than that, so usually I’m good without 12 cords in my bag.

Print out all boarding passes/tickets IN ADVANCE: Save time and stress by printing boarding passes and any tickets – or really anything that you can print beforehand. This is especially great when you’re running late and have to jump straight on your plane/bus before it leaves. Not that I’ve ever had to do that *cough*.

Take a shower before you leave your house: Whether it’s the night before, or the morning of (depending on how early your flight is/how much sleep you want). I usually opt for the shower the night before, because I like to sleep in until the absolute last minute possible, and I fly out at ungodly hours because it’s cheaper. The basic rule is just to take a shower before you leave the house. You’ll feel better traveling clean, and you never know when the next shower will be.

Go to bed early: This is the hardest rule for me, but it’s so important. And also the reason I’m going to bed now, even though I’m usually a late night owl. It’s so important to get some sleep before you travel. It cuts down on stress, and helps you enjoy your trip, rather than feeling like you’re going to pass out. Believe me, I’ve tried the “pull an all nighter” before an early flight – it has NEVER been a good idea.

Pack snacks/water: I’m such a huge snacker. When it comes to being lost, delayed or just sitting in a strange country/city, having a familiar snack really does a world of good. Also chocolate – just always pack a chocolate bar. This was probably the best travel advice I ever received. My snack favorites? “Naked” blueberry juice, Pringles, apples.

Grab the “little things”: I also always check over the little things that make or break a trip for me. For instance: I’m super light/sound sensitive when I sleep, so I always travel with an eye mask (also good for plane sleeping) and earplugs (also good for plane sleeping) which both are really important for me getting a good night’s rest in a strange place.

Pack a book to read/journal: I love taking a book to finish when I’m traveling. I absolutely love reading while I travel, especially when I’m in airports etc. so I always try to find an interesting read beforehand. For this trip I’m hoping to finish “Journey To The Center Of The Earth.”

Lay out your travel plans: I like to set out all of my travel plans (making sure I have maps etc. for where to catch buses) all set out so I don’t have to wonder where I’m going when I’m tiredly trying to navigate in the morning.

Sticky note anything you might forget in the morning: Whether it’s something charging overnight, or something you want to grab in the fridge – write it down! When it comes down to it, you don’t need/want the extra stress of trying to remember things that you’re going to be really sad forgetting to pack, just because your brain was on overload in the rush of the minute.

Download music appropriate to the place:  I do this just for fun. An example is that I downloaded the “Sound of the sea” soundtrack tonight in “preparation” for my Ireland trip!