Monday, November 2, 2009

The Ryan Air Shuffle

Bruges was just our warm up trip with Adair and Eric. Next up was an ambitious series of flights to Tuscany and Croatia before returning to Brussels. With our two little ones! Many would call us crazy! But we were up for the challenge together.
The difficult part of the predicament was that all 4 flights were on Ryan Air and we were set on not paying extra to check luggage each flight - therefore we were limited to one small carry-on each for our 8 day trip. Ryan Air is a budget airline with very strict baggage requirements. Each ticketed passenger is allowed only one 10kg bag aboard (~20lbs) and the size must fit within the prescribed dimensions. It took us several hours that night before our trip to downsize and organize. Adair even doctored up her package of wipes with duct tape to halve the size and weight. Diapers and wipes will consume space and valuable weight, so this was a pretty smart move. Adair also made a secret black canvas zip cover in the bottom of the Bob stroller to hide diapers. Just call her Mrs. McGyver!
Our living room looked like a closet exploded in it with the four of us sorting and deciding what we absolutely needed and what we could possibly live without. We had the scale out and did many rounds of weight and size checks before we were satisfied. This ended up being a pretty funny task.But here is the remarkable trade off that makes it worthwhile. We calculated and for the SIX of us to fly with tickets on the four legs, the flights ended up being an average of $45 apiece (taxes included). Not bad for primo locations in Italy and Croatia! Makes the luggage shuffle pretty mundane. And a key part of the incredible adventure!

Our friends, Margaret and Dick, write a humorous and well written summary of Ryan Air on their blog if you are interested in more Ryan Air details. You definitely have to watch the fares to get the rock bottom prices. We booked these flights back in early April to get them for September. Ryan Air will try to nickel and dime you with extra fees, but if you play by the rules they are the deal of the century!

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