As we approach the end of the academic year, I know many of you have got the itch to travel, and most importantly, travel on a budget. Ryanair is a discount airline that flies throughout Europe and has been claiming for a few years now to start crossing the Atlantic for around 15 euros. While that nightmare claim has yet to come into fruition, you can however get to Portugal, Italy, Malta, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, France and the United Kingdom and lots more from Madrid. Below, I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’t so that you can spend more time picking out a cute bikini, and less on last minute pre-travel preparation.
Do: PRINT YOUR BOARDING PASS BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
This is not a recommendation, it’s a requirement. They charge upwards of 60 euro to do it for you. Also, the rules have changed recently, and you can only check in 7 days before your flight, whereas in the past it was 30 days.
Do: ARRIVE EARLY IF YOU ARE NOT AN EU NATIONAL
You must get in a separate line and get a stamp on your boarding pass as this is their form of a “visa check”. They will not let you board with out it.
Don’t: TREAT IT LIKE A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT AND ARRIVE 3+ HOURS BEFORE
Although Madrid to Rome seems like a big deal to us, well, in the scheme of things it’s a really common route. So, arriving an hour and a half to two hours before is fine. Their TSA is not like our TSA, aka, you can keep your pants on, and your wig. Amen. If it’s a holiday weekend, I’d give you some extra time.
Do: PACK WELL, BUT NOT NECESSARILY LIGHT
Ladies, use the power of the tote bag. Traveler’s backpacks, rolling suitcases are likely to get flagged, measured and weighed. However, oversized tote bags that can be worn on your shoulder are much easier to get past. They are soft and malleable, and can be squished to fit almost anywhere. They now allow a carry on, and a personal bag. Use this. It’s a luxury.
Do: PACK SNACKS
Seriously, there’s no such thing as a free bag of salty peanuts on these flights. Pack snacks because if your flight is longer than 3 hours, that rinky-dink hotdog they start to advertise for 8 euro may begin to tempt you. Hunger can challenge even the strongest person’s sanity.
Stop, just stop. No, there’s not an option for my legroom or free beverages, but you’re on your way to Portugal for the equivalent of 30 dollars round trip, so pull out your soggy pb&j and take a nap till you arrive. Life is sweet.
Danni, Community Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.