I have made at least 3 epic fails in the past few weeks when it came to booking our family flights for our Easter holiday. I am absolutely useless and I have my stomach in my mouth still, after discovering the third one. So I thought I would write about my mammoth fails so that others can look out for them.
So firsts things first, I booked our flights but my passport had less than 6 months left on it. I completely disagree with passport expiry dates as what’s the point of them having an expiry if it still means you cannot fly. Surely a passport should have an expiry date and then another date called “Valid to fly until” date. Or something like that. So, a simple trick but one I have never done before:
Add calendar reminders for passport renewal
Sounds so simple but something I have NEVER done until now. I have added all of our passport renewal dates in our shared Apple calendar. By renewal date I mean the 6 months before they actually run out. So when I get to that date I will be prompted to renew the passport and therefore not panic when I book flights/holidays – like I did last month. Hubby and I both have Apple iPhone’s and we have a shared calendar which means these dates are also on Hubby’s phone too (there’s no way we will both forget them).
On a slightly different train of thought, the passport renewal process was absolutely amazing – the quickest and easiest experience I have ever been through. I could do it all online, via my iPhone and you can even use a photo from your smartphone to upload with your application. No more running to find a Photo Booth, getting a signature from a select specified person. It took about 5 minutes in total and arrived within a week. Very impressed!
The second thing I fluffed up was booking our suitcases. I spent hours looking at the flights, choosing the right ones and then finally decided that booking them directly via Ryanair was the best option. So I did. But whilst booking them I completely forgot that there is a difference between CABIN BAGS and your SUITCASES! I bet you can tell what’s coming next.
Make sure you book suitcases
So I booked the Ryanair, fabulous, family package – which means we get priority seats and 2 cabin bags each. This sounded great to me. I thought we had 2 suitcases each, which we wouldn’t have needed and obviously choosing our seats was important after our last family holiday fiasco! But we didn’t get 2 suitcases each… 2 cabin bags!
The priority seats and 2 cabin bags deal actually means that all 4 of us can take 2 bags on the plane. A small bag like a hand bag or rucksack and we also get to take on a small, 10kg weight limit, case. They call the second bag a wheelie bag. Thankfully we have 2 of these, so we will use them as well as the 2 other 20kg suitcases I had to buy as extras.
You also get to use the priority queue which means, with young children, we can skip the long queues and get to the gate quicker with less stress. I hope! We could also choose our seats on the plane from the booking time. Which is amazing.
Check the children’s ages on your flights
Finally, the hiccup I encountered today and left me feeling like I was going to be sick, the children couldn’t be checked in online. I was confused, so investigated our itinerary to see what I had purchased. Apparently I had bought 2 adult fares and 2 teen fares for each flight. I have no idea why this happened as I specified the children’s ages, but it did. So please make sure the children’s ages are accurate before you book the flight.
Thankfully, after checking in Hubby and I online, Ryanair customer services confirmed that the children can be checked in at the airport. Phew. Hopefully my anxiety will simmer down before we get to the airport. I love flying, I am so excited about getting to the airport and flying – but I am also a little nervous that I have got something else wrong! I really hope I haven’t. I will let you know if I have…
Another tip is to make sure you book airport parking, like what we did with APH parking – we had a hotel for the night before and a car parking space for the week we went on holiday. Such a relief to drive to the airport knowing that you have a whole night to get there. I get very stressed when en route to the airport.
We are off to Crete, the first time we have been there and I am very excited to visit the SeaCrete hotels and explore the island together.
This post is not an ad, I booked these flights myself – it is purely for information or just a good laugh!