Ryanair: Boarding…I think I’ll Pass!

IMG_8360Before we get in to the nitty gritty of my rant about my experience with Ryanair lets just put it out there that this is this a ‘Low Fare Airline’. I’m not in anyway expecting an Emirates level of service; I didn’t pay for that so I don’t expect it. This post is about my views on the low fare airline that have left me with the view to NEVER fly with them again. My issues, as extensive as the list include check in, boarding passes and the general demeanor of the staff. If they’re not miserable or rude they are scruffy, untidy and unprofessional!

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Day 27: Whats in my closet (or Tips for packing your hand luggage for a short haul flight!)

IMG_8218Whats in my closet nobody is bothered about whats in my closet, I’m not even bothered about whats in it so in homage to my impending holiday I am going to share with you all my necessities for a short haul european flight and a few tips for successful inflight entertainment.

Firstly, and most importantly, PASSPORT and MONEY. I am fully of the belief that if you have those two you can buy anything else.
My top tips for a short haul flight.

  • Have everything easy to get to. There are pockets inside your bag for a reason. Use them! Not necessarily for their intended purpose either so be creative. For example; ‘mobile phone sleeve’ aka lipstick and hand cream pocket. ‘zip pocket’ aka sweetie holder and passport protector you’ll need access to this on a few occasions, I hate being stuck behind someone who ‘cant find it’.
  • Take what you plan to use. Be realistic. If you’ve got a 1hr
    flight don’t pack 3 epic novels, your iPod and magazine and a cross stitch. Chances are you won’t look at anything bar one. Keep the magazine for the sun lounger and be mindful when choosing which book to pack and which one to carry.
  • Take your most valuable items on board. I’ve never been unfortunate enough to have my luggage go missing (famous last words) but the last thing you want is for you jewellary or your macbook to go to a different airport. How do you blog about your epic travel disaster if yor laptop is in Cyprus and you are in Germany?!
  • Know the details of your flight. If you are flying KLM there will be a drink and snack given to you on board therefore theres no need to
    do that mad dash into Boots for a meal deal ahead of the flight for anything more than a bottle of water (note: the best deal for water in airports always comes in the ‘buy two’ formation, not lone traveller friendly!). If you need to buy food on board make sure your purse is accessible. Nobody likes behind held up my some plonker repacking their entire hand luggage trying to find some cash, plus it will save you from the heart attack that someone has stolen it.
  • Make sure everything is charged! Best tip if taking electronics, don’t forget your chargers and make sure you always fly full of juice. If you plan to doze of midflight to the dulcet tones of Adelle and your iPod dies midway through Hometown Glory, you will be gutted!

If you’re jetting off anywhere to enjoy the last few weeks before the hard work towards the ‘Man-in-a-big-red suit’ or ‘he who shall not be named until the end of November’ have a wonderful holiday and I hope these little tips help make your onward journey run a little smoother.

My Holiday Highlights…

Holiday Highlights

In no particular order:

  • Getting complimented on my manners by the sweetest Swedish woman in an Italian restaurant. I’ve had many comments on my accent over the years, especially at university, nobody has ever pointed out how sweet I sounded!
  • Eating Frikandellen op de terrace
  • Drinking Chocomel on the sofa. Dutch hot chocolate is my most favourite hot chocolate in the world. I actually refuse to drink hot chocolate anywhere else in the world. Its just not the same!
  • Watching Dr Phil in Dutch! I’m saying no more than that, I cant watch this kind of trash tv on my television at home.
  • Dutch TV in general. I had this incredible mix of English in my head, Dutch on the TV and in the car and then Spanish in the shops.
  • Singing songs by my ultimate Dutch celebrity: Paul De Leeuw and singing “Kids Club” songs in Dutch. I have a thing for Dutch music, they sing with so much passion its incredible. Every track to me is like a Eurovision Party.
  • A week with a Dutch sense of humor. I’ve laughed that much my face hurt!
  • Finding a fully Dutch-speaking restaurant, and learning that most of the area I was staying in was owned/run by Dutch people. The menu cards where in Dutch, the staff etc. Moraira seems to be the second home for Dutch people. Its amazing how much Dutch I have been exposed to in Spain. I am starting to notice more and more connections to Dutch or the Netherlands in my everyday life, it’s the little things I have not noticed before. I suppose it’s similar to when you are buying a new car and all of a sudden it looks like everyone has the same car. There are lots of Dutch in Moraira though, more than any other nationality and at this time of the year there is more Dutch than there is Spanish!

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Another day another country…

I was back in Schiphol at 5am this morning so I thought I would share a few more photos with you. I am away for a few days with Gino, my Dutch buddy (hence the one night lay over in NL). It also means that my Dutch notes have been given the once over by him too, I think he was impressed! His mum tested me on a few bits too last night.

I’m going to point out something really obvious that everyone learning Dutch already knows…DUTCH PEOPLE TALK FAST. Now I mean really fast. I tried my best to use the odd words I have picked up to follow conversation and I don’t think I did too badly but with tiredness, excitement and a belly full of Dutch Chinese food I got lost a few times.

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Goedemorgen Schiphol!

What a start to my trip…IMG_6177
I left my deodorant in my bag so I looked like a liar when the security man asked “Have you got any liquids?” and I said no. Had my standard airport breakfast. Its not a trip if I don’t eat in Birmingham airport before I fly, its almost a tradition. After rebuying my confiscated deodorant I killed an hour reading my book and window shopping in Duty Free.

 

About 2/3 of the flight hadn’t filled in their API details so we waited a while in the transfer coach. Then the worst happened. The pilot was sick. Off we all piled back into the corridor and up to the departure lounge. After half an hour the prognosis was the 0925 flight would leave at 1030. Such fun! A plane full of unhappy holidaymakers where getting agitated. There was already one man going on and on about compensation – fair enough to those on a long haul flight are going to get pissed off I can understand that but at this time it only looked like we where going to be an hour later than planned, its hardly “missing part of our holiday”. I took up location at the bar listening to a nice bit of jazz and a reworking of Its Not Unusual which was very pleasant on the ear! The 1030 flight then became 1050.

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