One thing that I used a ton in Europe was Ryanair. As you may know, Ryanair is an airline company that originates in Ireland, but goes all over Europe. It’s cheap, easy to use & gets you from A-B. If I had to compare it to something in the States, I might say it’s on almost the same level as Spirit Airlines, but somehow worse. (Oops sorry, but it’s true.)
However, it’s my favorite way to travel in Europe because it doesn’t break the bank. So, I created this mini-guide for my lovely readers so that maybe you can enjoy it too!
WHERE IT FLIES
Ryanair has flights to tons of cities all over Europe and some in North Africa. They fly to 34 countries. The thing I loved about this airline is that, although it was smaller, they flew to small cities as well as bigger ones. I would be cautious, though, because sometimes the cities you have to fly to are inconvenient and not in the city you’re looking to get to. In those cases, you’ll have to rent a car or call a taxi.
Here is a map of all the places they fly: Click here!
WHAT IT COSTS
Roundtrip flights with this company usually costs anywhere from $20-$100. However, it depends where you’re flying and when, as with any airline. I would always recommend purchasing a plane ticket as soon as you know where you want to go & when. Also, be flexible! I found that flying out on Thursday nights as compared to Fridays was cheaper, as was coming home on a Monday instead of Sunday. (This worked for me because I traveled on weekends.)
The way it works is a bit different, I believe, than regular airlines. Ryanair offers a certain amount of tickets at a certain price and, once those tickets are sold, increases the price. This is why it’s important to purchase early!
It’s so much cheaper than a regular plane ticket and sometimes cheaper than a train ticket. For example, I paid about $70 for a round-trip flight from Spain to Ireland and the city in Spain had a small airport. I mean, when I compare that to paying around $1,000 dollars for a roundtrip flight from the States to Spain, it makes my jaw drop.
First: You’re allowed one free carry-on that must fit their sizing & one purse. The rest needs to be checked and will cost you!
I need to mention this part, because Ryanair definitely tries to get you with the add-ons. The thing is, though, you don’t need any of it! Ever! They’ll try to get you to pay for better seating or “priority boarding” (literally just getting on the plane earlier than everyone else) or travel insurance. Plus, once you get on the plane, they literally advertise things over the speaker and come through the aisle selling a lot more than just food.
Remember, though, that’s how they make their money. None of it’s necessary.
Update: I’ve been looking on their website and they seem to have a hotel & car service that you can add on to the plane ticket. I’m not sure whether or not this is worth it, as I haven’t used either of them, but let me know if you have! (Comment below!!)
WHEN TO ARRIVE
When I used Ryanair, I arrived about 1-1.5 hours early. This always depended on whether the airport was big or not. When I was leaving my small town in Spain, I would literally arrive 45 minutes before we were supposed to board.
The thing to remember about Ryanair is that their flights almost never leave on time. I don’t think there was ever a flight I was on that did. So, my friends and I started planning for that and prepared ourselves.
The plane is very “smushed together” and you’re not going to have much room to spread out. Plus, the place where you put your carry-ons is tiny too. The flight attendants, I remember, would go down the aisle just shoving things into the compartments. You also can’t recline your seats and there’s no televisions on the seat in front of you, to keep occupied.
When you take off and land…hold on tight. I had a few flights that were extremely shaky. Everyone literally claps when you land safely.
However, the attendants are super nice and just what you’d expect from any other airline. They’re willing to help and will probably know a few languages! (Which is awesome.)
Despite some of the bad things I wrote about, I’d still recommend this airline. It’s easy to use, cheap & convenient (most of the time!) I wouldn’t have been able to travel to half the spots I went to if it weren’t for this airline.
Do you have any more questions or things I missed talking about? Do you have a different experience with Ryanair?! Comment below and let’s talk!