Ryanair has flights from £4.99 to Barcelona today only! What could be better than that? Easyjet has flights from €0.99 Tuesdays at 1:00am. Perfect, I’ve always wanted to visit Kalamata on a Tuesday in January! Before relocating to Europe, I heard how cheap flights were, but there are some things you need to know.
We just finished booking a long weekend in Barcelona on Ryanair. We are flying in and out of Barcelona International which is in the city. The advertised rate however was at Barcelona-Rues which is 105km outside of the city and in another city. We paid a little more but now we don’t have to spend time and money to get to and from the airport.
Sure you can fly to Budapest for a few bucks, but your flight options are at 6:00am or 10:45pm. They save money by taking up the time slots at airports that cost less money for the airline. Keep in mind as well that means you need to get to the airport by 3:00-4:00am when public transit or typical airport transportation options may not be running. Tip: Rather than really early or late flights look to see if overnight sleeper trains are available.
Your ticket price includes your seat, and that is it. Amongst things that they charge you for include baggage, food, drinks inc. water, check in at the counter, to reprint a boarding pass, a second carry on inc. a purse/handbag, and even to call customer service about your flight. It is only cheap if you do your research and pack and prepare accordingly. Tip: European hand luggage is smaller than North American, so if you fly across the pond then plan on flying using a budget airline, your bag may exceed the size limit and then you will have to pay more to check it.
Entertainment options include looking out the window, watching the safety announcement, and if you are flying Ryanair, buying breakaway lottery tickets. You won’t find any Hollywood movies, satellite television, or wifi on these airlines.
Good news, you can take your car seats on the plane for free. Bad news, there are next to no car seats that actually fit on the plane, or at least within their allowed dimensions. Tip: FAA approved CARES harnesses are an excellent option if you want your little imps to have their own seat.
Yup Kid Friendly!
Apart from the fact that you generally cannot take a car seat on board, they are quite kid friendly in our experience. Fantastic kids meals (for a fee) and you can take two extra pieces of kids accessories including double strollers, baby carriers, and travel cots at no extra charge. Being family friendly is actually one of the things they do best.
Once on board the service is actually pretty good in our experience. I have flown on a lot of airlines, and Ryanair and Easyjet are easily better than most North American airlines. The staff are generally helpful and friendly (which is certainly more than I could ever say about Air Canada).
As long as you know what you are getting into and are prepared, using European budget airlines during your holidays can be a cost effective way of getting you and your little imps around.
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Happy and safe travels!
PS. You can also find this article, along with all kinds of other great tips at http://www.wandermustfamily.com/2017/01/31/fearless-family-travel-1/! #FearlessFamTrav