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How To: Fly on Cheap Airlines

Studying in Italy has many advantages. Incredible food, beautiful people, extensive history, unbelievable architecture, and the shopping itself could inspire volumes. One of the biggest advantages is the ease in which you can travel! Trains, buses, planes, ferries, cars. All make jumping around Europe easy and inexpensive. In my opinion, the best way to get around quickly is to fly! Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling, and airBerlin (to name a few) make flying simple and cheap. Here are a few tips for flying these slightly picky airlines.

  1. Check-in online, and print your boarding passes. This is really easy, and all of these airlines will charge you to print your boarding passes at the check-in desk.
  2. Check the airline's carry-on size limits. It costs a lot extra to check your bag, and it's usually easy to fit everything you would need into a carry-on. Go on the airline's website to check their specific limits. Typically, your bag can be no larger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.
  3. Make sure your bag is within the airline's size limits!
  4. Weigh your bag. In my experience, airlines never actually weigh your carry-on, but most of these airlines say that it can be no heavier than 10 kg. I would play it safe and weigh your bag before departure.
  5. If you're like me and travel with a purse and a carry-on, make sure your airline allows a carry-on and a personal item. EasyJet says that they only allow one bag to be carried onto the plane (i.e. no extra personal item), but when I flew from London to Paris, they didn't say a thing about me carrying on my rolling bag, generously sized purse, and two coats.
  6. Buy plane snacks beforehand. Snacks of any kind are an extra charge on these airlines, and the stress of traveling and being stuck in an enclosed space with two hundred other people can make you hungry. Little bags of pumpkin seeds and pistachios saved my roommate and I from getting extremely 'hangry'. Just make sure your snacks are sealed in their original packaging, otherwise they might not be allowed through security.
  7. On the same note, buy water beforehand. Again, all of these airlines charge for drinks, and it's much cheaper to buy water in the airport. Or fill up your reusable water bottle in the bathroom before boarding!
  8. Accept that you're flying on a cheap airline. My roommate and I flew six times in ten days using these airlines, and we didn't run into any trouble. However, you have to accept that you're paying a very small amount (we once paid $12 for our flight from Dublin to Glasgow), and you get what you pay for. These airlines are safe, efficient, and get you from Point A to Point B in a timely manner, but they're not luxurious or flexible.

I would highly recommend checking out any of the airlines that I listed above if you're relaxed, spontaneous, and can pack light. You can get some amazing deals, which enables you to see more of the world in your short time studying abroad! Below are some pictures of the sweet places I got to see thanks to Ryanair and EasyJet.

London. (Obviously.) 
 Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
 Somewhere in Scotland

Ellia Flinn is the Spring 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy. She is currently a junior at Cedarville University.

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