Savvy luggage tips and seating revelations for the bargain hunter in you.

I’d be surprised if you told me you’d never once flown with RyanAir. With their cheap and regular flights it’s so easy to book with the airline and save your pennies, or so it seems. Over the past two years I’ve travelled on a lot of flights, back and forth to Malta, short weekends away and even short trips across the UK and most of these have been with RyanAir. Years ago I’d not have anything too negative to say about the Irish airline but as the years have gone on, it seems they’re looking for one thing, money! One argument would be that every business wants to make more money and if there are ways of doing so, you should go for it. However my argument is, fair enough, they want to make more money but take in to consideration the travelling experience of your customers and the fact their holiday starts at the airport. Due to having this opinion on RyanAir’s newest cabin policies I’ve decided, as petty as it might seem, to save my money and go against the system.

Let’s start with seating arrangements. When checking in for your flight you’d expect to be seated next to your fellow traveller but with every RyanAir flight I’ve taken in the past two years, not once have I been sat next to Jake, even when the aircraft is only half full. I understand the argument of ‘if you haven’t paid for a seat, you can’t expect to sit next to each other’ and in some cases when the flight is full and you’ve checked in last minute, fair enough. However when I check in 48 hours before the flight and the plane is half full when I board, I expect to be sat next to my partner. My most recent flight with RyanAir was from Liverpool to Girona Airport, the flight was half full and every person I spoke to, who were travelling with others and had not paid the ridiculous rate of £7, per person each way for a seat, had been split from their group. Families were split up, couples were split up and for me I could see no logic behind this. Once the cabin crew announced everyone had boarded the plane, the madness began. People swapping seats up and down the plane to be sat next to their loved ones whilst the crew watched on with no issue. RyanAir, if you’re going to enforce something, do it right! This is just on theory I’ve clocked on to when travelling with them and unless I’m desperate to sit next to my travelling partner on a busy flight, I’m happy not to give away more of my money to, in most cases, end up sat next to Jake anyway. Don’t be fooled people!

One of the best tips I’ve taught myself in recent years is packing only the essentials. I know, when you’re going on holiday it can be hard to pack light because you want to take all your beautiful, new holiday clothes away with you but for a short weekend away you can definitely pack light! Introduced at the back end of 2018 was RyanAir’s new luggage policy where, unless you pay for extra luggage, you’re only permitted a small handbag or rucksack which will fit under your seat on board the plane, whereas the old, much more logical rules meant you could also take a 10kg case on board with you. Seen as you are no longer allowed a 10kg case on board you have to pay for priority boarding which is sold at £12, per person each way. In my case, that means for Jake and I we have to pay £50 just to have one 10kg bag each, scandalous! In light of these new rules I’ve decided to again save my money and pack super light! I have a few tips I follow to ensure I only need to take one small bag on holiday with me, containing everything I need.

Tip Number 1: Make a list of toiletries, electronics, accessories and absolute essentials. This means you can figure out exactly what you need to make sure you’re clean, contactable and looking your best on a budget!

Tip Number 2: Plan your clothes carefully. You only need one airport outfit and it’s best to wear your chunkiest pair of shoes, as this frees up space in your bag. If you’re going for 3 nights, pick three outfits that will match with one pair of shoes and one bag. Remember, you don’t need a different swimsuit every day! Take a few mix and match pieces. One pair of flip flops, one pair of sunglasses and work out the best underwear for all outfits. Also, rolling instead of folding your outfits is a game changer.

Tip Number 3: Your travel bag is your beach bag. Usually big enough, a beach bag should be the perfect size for a weekend away and fits right under your seat.

Tip Number 4: If you’re running out of space for toiletries and liquids remember in most UK airports there will be a Boots with their brand range, meaning you can pick up a shower gel for 75p. Don’t squeeze everything in to a little plastic bag that won’t shut because some security airport staff are mean and won’t care that they’re taking away your super expensive perfume!

Tip Number 5: I’m not saying this is for everyone and I am very fortunate to have naturally straight hair. If you want wavy hair for your night out, french plait it during the day, meaning you don’t need to take straighteners or a curling tong away with you. Or invest in mini straighteners, they’re an absolute god send for travelling light!

I’m no expert traveller and don’t expect anyone to actually take my advice but these tips have definitely helped me save money and travel light! In my opinion, RyanAir know exactly what they’re doing and if I can fly abroad for £50 without having to spend a penny more, then I’m happy! Also, I like a challenge and feel proud of myself when I’ve managed to squeeze all my lovely holiday items in to one beach bag (I’m a geek, I know!) These tips also come in really handy for Jake as he only needs to take a small backpack away with him for weekends, he even packs his laptop and cameras!