Five Reasons I Love Ryanair

In November of 2006 I drove around eastern Australia for over a month.  It was an amazing experience that has nothing to do with Europe.  Except for a lesson learned there.

I had just graduated from university and didn’t have a job.  Which meant I was looking to save money anywhere I could.  Food, drink, lodging.  Especially lodging.  That’s why I asked the woman at the mildly expensive hotel if there was anything cheaper in the area.  Kindly, she said yes.  With a warning.  “You get what you pay for, love.”  Down the road I went and found the very hotel she spoke of.  It was cheaper.  And I got what I paid for.

The can of Raid was a hint.  The cockroaches that came to life once the lights went out were the reason.  It was disgusting.  But I got what I paid for.

That lesson has stuck with me, even when travel planning in Europe.  It hasn’t forced me into actually spending more for things necessarily, but instead forced me to find things that are cheap, but still effective.  It’s why I love Ryanair.  People complain about the customer service but, “you get what you pay for love.”  And with Ryanair, you don’t pay much.

Plenty of us here at Europe a la Carte have written about travel methods, and even some budget airlines.  Some of us love them, some of us prefer trains.  I love Ryanair.  And here’s why.

It’s cheaper than a taxi in Stockholm.  Usually.  It’s nearly impossible to get anywhere in Stockholm by taxi for less than a few hundred crowns.  It’s pretty easy finding a trip with Ryanair for less than a few hundred crowns.  Sure, you have to pay to get to and from the airport, but in Stockholm at least, the price is nearly identical to get to the main airport as it is to get to Ryanair’s airport.

I’ve become an expert packer.  Seriously.  Those restrictions are so tight that I have learned exactly how much I need, how much I don’t need, and how much I can get away with on nearly any trip.  From the short weekend getaways to the longer one week adventures.

I have seen places I never would have thought of without the help of Ryanair.  Sometimes I get caught up in going to the places I’m supposed to see in Europe.  It’s fun, but it’s missing something.  That’s where Ryanair comes in.  Instead of going somewhere specific, I let Ryanair take me wherever the cheapest flight is.  Like the round trip ticket to Wroclaw, Poland and an unforgettable trip.  I only paid the taxes.

They get me there on time.  Every time.  I have never been late.  That’s not something I can say with any other airline I have ever flown.  Of course, every time we are on time, I make fun of that horrible recording that announces we made it on time.  But that’s part of the fun really.

And finally, the people watching.  Admit it.  You like to do it.  There’s a hint of schadenfreude there.  And Ryanair is great for it.  The elbows flying, the sprinting for the most sought after seats.

So when looking for your next European destination, check out Ryanair.  Just be warned: you get what you pay for, love.  Take our advice and at least avoid paying the £5 per person per flight admin fee by using a Mastercard prepaid debit card.

Picture by aromano.  More pictures by aromano here.

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.