Tag Archives: guide

Ryanair Press Release Analysis

Yesterday, I accidentally opened the Ryanair page and found they were offering £2 one way tickets for journeys in November through to March. The tickets went really quick and by the time I got home there weren’t any left for the routes I was interested in.

I started to dig around to see how come I missed this great offer. Even though I’m subscribed to Ryanair’s newsletter I got no heads-up for it. I checked on their Press Release page but there was nothing on it either.

So it’s not just me. 66 million Ryanair passengers, some of whom are surely subscribed to the newsletter and others who check their PR website regularly didn’t know of the sell-out. Why?

The only reasonable explanation I can offer is that it’s one of Ryanair’s marketing tactics. News spread quicker by word of mouth then via any press releases, newsletters or any other marketing campaigns. Moreover, it’s reaaaaaaaally cheap.

I continued to wonder how this may work. Surely, Michael O’leary isn’t going to make it easy for us to figure out when he’s planning the next sale.

I went through all Ryanair’s special offers press releases and put their dates on a Google Calendar.

So I went ahead and analysed the press release calendar pattern quickly. Here’s what I found:

Ryanair Press Release Analysis

Ryanair Press Release Analysis

Almost 60% of all Ryanair special offer announcements were made on a Monday or Tuesday, with just over 20% made on a Thursday. They have never made any announcements on a Saturday, Wednesdays and Sundays being the least popular days when nearly 10% of their announcements were made.

The period analysed was between February 2007 and November 2009 as their announcements don’t go any further than the beginning of 2007.

Very interesting is the immense growth of press release popularity in the second half of this year when almost 60% of all special offer announcements were made – 34 out of 58.

The press release pattern seams very erratic. Some of the offers were prompted by bad publicity, e.g. ‘Ryanair gives away 1.1m FREE seats BBCPanorama lies’ (O’leary beautifully manipulated the whole Panorama crew who did publish his interview on their website).

Right, so what are we gonna do with the findings? There are a few tips we could bear in mind:

– don’t wait for the newsletter to announce any big sales

– they’ll come unexpectedly on Monday or Tuesday

– if not check on a Thursday

– you’re safe to go for a pint on a Friday because there will be no announcements on a Saturday

– Sundays should be quiet too, with only a handful of less important announcements made

Finally, judging from the popularity of the offers yesterday if there will be a sale tickets will go within a few hours. So be prepared to buy when the time comes.

I’d love to be able to provide any alternative analyses of this type but unfortunately weren’t able to find any. Looks like Ryanair’s not very popular with academics.

Anyway, hope this helps a little bit. Keep your eyes open and let me know if you spot any trends. And any big sales of course!

8 Ways to Get Cheap Ryanair Flights

Some travellers hate Ryanair for it’s user unfriendly policies, poor customer support and millions of other things. I travel often and it’s not usual for me to fly 5 times a year. That’s at least 10 flights each year. I’ve learned to travel as cheap as possible with Ryanair. Although they do have cheapest fares on all of their European routes, they often charge for

Ryanair

If you love it like I do, here’s 10 ways to enjoy your trips even more.

Our cheapest fares are available, on www.ryanair.com, for passengers who travel at off peak times (after 12.00 Monday to 12.00 Thursday and after 12.00 on a Saturday). Our lowest fares generally require an advance purchase of 14 days; however this can vary up to 28 days. Passengers can search for our lowest fares by checking the flexible search option box when selecting your departure and destination airport.

1. Don’t pay for baggage

I can’t  stress enough how important it is for me to travel light. One bag is all I need. Travelling with Ryanair you’ll need to pay for any item of luggage apart from your hand luggage. I’ve referenced One Bag a lot of times on this blog. It may not work the first time but eventually you’ll become a one-bag master. It takes a little thought, planning and patience. But it pays well. Both me and my girlfriend have travelled light for the past year. It gives you freedom, lets you enjoy your holiday even more and it’s cheaper.

If you buy 5 round trip tickets a year,  you’ll save £300 as opposed to anyone usually travelling with one item of checked bag and a staggering £1000 in comparison to those usually taking 2 suitcases. £300 means at least one more round trip for me and my girlfriend. Alternatively, you can spend this money on high quality lightweight clothes that will keep you warm and will dry quickly.

2. Don’t pay for insurance

If you travel often get an annual travel insurance that will cost about 15 pounds. Again, you’ll save about £45 on 5 round trips and can chose the cover that suits you best.

3. Don’t pay for priority boarding

Don't pay for priority boarding

Don't pay for priority boarding

 

 

 

Theoretically, all passengers could buy priority boarding and would all be standing in the same queue. It’s 8 pounds per return trip = 4 pints!

4. Don’t pay for anything on board

Raffle tickets, coke and smoke-free cigarettes are all great fun and help fund the cheap tickets. Thank you guys 🙂

 

Don't buy anything on board

Don't buy anything on board

 

 

5. Don’t pay credit card charges

Ryanair charges ridiculous amounts for all credit and debit cards apart from Visa Electron. Here’s more on how to obtain one.

6. Keep an eye out on offers

Ryanair’s special offers website is useful sometimes but I prefer Skyscanner.net. You’ll have to buy directly via Ryanair’s website anyway. But their search engine really gives you the best overview of the cheap flight offers. If you’re really determined you can experiment with various destinations and connecting flights combinations. Don’t forget to check out the guide to Sleeping in Airports. Sleeping in an airport may not sound like an great idea but it can help take prices of your tickets really low.

Remember to check other airlines for better access to cities. Ryanair’s strategy is to minimize costs by flying to unpopular remote airports.

7. Booking techniques

Booking in advance is usually the best way of ensuring you’ll get your tickets at a reasonable price. Prices may go up nearer to the departure but they also may go down. Ryanair’s sell outs are usually 2 weeks prior to the departure which ideal for last minute fans.

Also tickets tend to be least expensive in November, January and June. Yes, June is the beginning of the holiday season, this is when days are longest and weather is reasonably good. For some regions like the Mediterranean, Spain and France it’ll probably be too hot anyway for those used to the weather on the Isles.

8. Check your destination

Before paying for your £10 return check how easy and cheap it’ll be to reach your final destination. Ryanair prefers low budget small and remote airports that charge little and are unpopular with other airlines. Some of their flights arrive late at night when there is no other transport available. And a 50 mile ride in a cab is expensive everywhere in the world. Always sum up the cost of your flight and airport transport before you buy any tickets. It may be cheaper to pay more for air travel.

Saving On Your Trips

So we’re in the 21 century, hybrid cars, lasers and washing machines are a part of our lives. We’ve designed these devices to make the quality of our lives better.  While we strive for improvement we keep forgetting one think: life!

If you need a hybrid car, a washing machine and an apartment in the city then you’ll have no regrets. But if what you want is living your life to the full here comes the challenge. The challenge is to travel with whatever means of income you have and be able to do it for as long as you want. It’s not about going away for a couple of weeks. I’m talking months or years of travel.

In order to travel continuously you need to realise travelling is essentially about 3 things:

– transport

– food

– accomodation

While you may also wish to include costs of museum tickets, souvenirs and fancy drinks these are optional. And it’s good to have enough funds to be able to afford those too but let’s concentrate on the basics first.

Because your travel is all about transport, accommodation and food you want to minimize these costs as much as possible. Therefore, the fourth integral part of your travel will be planning.

Transport

When trying to cut costs it’s imperative to plan ahead. Use the internet and find out as much as possible about your travel. How much is it going to cost to move from A to B? What means of transport are available? How much time do you need? What alternatives you have.

Only some of the info will be useful on your way. But as your circumstances change and as you change your plans it may help you lower the costs dramatically.

It’s good to have a general knowledge of the costs of all types of transport in the given area and optimal methods of transport, i.e. a bus ticket may be a little cheaper than a flight but it takes much longer thus making your ticket more expensive.

Also do not rely on map only when planning your trips. Check road distances when planning a road trip, types of roads and estimated time. If you have your own car it’s good to have an estimate of petrol costs.

One other thing to remember, it may not be safe to use some means of transport in a particular region of the world. In developing countries road travel tends to be dangerous and unpredictable.

Diet

Eating is perhaps the most important thing during your trip. The type and quality of food you’re eating will determine how much energy you will have, your mood and obviously expenses. The cheapest option is self catering which entails taking essential cookset and a stove or making appropriate arrangements as necessary: e.g. booking self-catering friendly accommodation.

On the downside, cooking your own food means you’ll not going to taste the local cuisine. So try and get a good balance between cost efficiency and taste.

Before you set off for your trip it’s good to have at least a few well tested recipes, rich in vitamins, protein and carbohydrates. You should test them to know exactly what ingredients you’ll need and the proportions, before you start cooking. You will want to avoid taking chances and experimenting in the middle of nowhere unless you don’t mind going to sleep hungry 🙂 .

In general, rice and pasta are the best sources of carbohydrates, have very good energy to weight ratios, cater for a wide range of tastes, are readily available worldwide, are cheep and easy to cook.

The best source of protein during your cost-effective trips is white meat, i.e. chicken, again easy to cook, popular and usually cheep. Also, check local markets if available to see if you can lay your hands on any reasonably priced local specialities. But make sure you’re not compromising quality for price here as effects may be quite unbearable. Especially if toilets are a long run away from your tent.

Finally, plan for the specific region of the world you’re going to, e.g. in the Mediterranean you’ll probably find seafood, vegetables and fruit relatively cheap. BTW, here’s some info on Mediterranean diet.

Accommodation

Just like with transport, some of the offers may be reasonable priced but not exactly safe. Make sure you check any of your options beforehand.

Tents are generally very universal and allow a great deal of independence. On the downside, you’re exposed to the elements and potentially other dangers too. I would highly recommend camping to those travelling in the more developed parts of the world. It’s definitely a great experience to go to sleep in front of a fire and wake up on a beach. You don’t waste time getting to and from a hotel. No need to end your hike early just because the last bus is due.

Another problem with tents is hygiene which generally isn’t a problem if you just spend a night or two in a tent. A way out may be a campsite which, however, deprives you of the freedom to chose when and where you go to sleep. Another thing is campsites are not as popular as shopping malls so be ready to compromise your comfort and get used to bathing in cold water before choosing tent as your main type of accommodation.

Bivvy bags are a combination of a 1 birth tent and a sleeping bag the idea being they’re small and lightweight. They may be a good way of lowering your backpack weight and volume if you travel alone.

Hardcore survival fans may chose hammocks for their low weight and versatility. Hammocks naturally isolate you from the ground which may be cold, wet or rugged and uncomfortable. There are many more positives of hammocks and one of the best manufacturers in the world is Hannessy Hammock. Visit their website for more info.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with hotels, hostels and b&bs. They’re a good alternative when you’re fed up with camping, want some luxury or simply when it’s not possible to camp. Some hardcore urban campers are capable of pitching tents in busy streets which in my opinion is a good way out if you have no other choice.

Planning

Planning is the most important ingredient of cost-efficient traveller’s routine. To plan your trip well it’s good to start well before the trip. Take the time to make your crucial decisions. Planning may be a good fun when you’re homebase and urging to set off. Will keep you thinking of your plans and allow for necessary adjustments. You’ll have less disappointment and will be more likely to avoid difficulties and unpleasant surprised. You don’t have to plan every hour of your trip beforehand but it’s good to know as much about the ‘enemy’ as possible.

One of the first things to check when planning your trip would be government travel advise websites like this one.

Guide To Homelessness

I found Survival Guide to Homelesness yesterday and think it’s quite inspiring and informative.

I have been thinking of going homelesness in a way and the info is very useful.

I’ll quote an anonymous comment from this post that I think projects a bit more positive image of well thought homelessness. I was thinking of living in a van rather than a small cheap car for the reasons mentioned below:

When I became homeless to save money to pay off credit card debt I bought an inconspicuous looking white cargo van, had the windows tinted, and had nine feet of space in back which was just enough to hang a hammock. With a camping mat and a nice comforter I could sleep in 25 degree weather. Unlike a mattress, my hammock could stow out of the way every day. With a hammock and my stuff in tubs, nobody could tell by looking in that I lived in there.

White plastic board cut to fit the windows would black-out view of the inside so I could sit and check email and I looked like a commercial delivery vehicle outside.

You can find open wifi and surf the web while parked in almost any strip mall. People will eventually call the cops if you frequent their lot because it looks suspicious, but be courteous and the cops won’t care if they don’t know you’re homeless, so keep things stowed away in tubs so they can’t see your stuff. I was always “a courier waiting for a delivery” , with a smile, and it smoothed things over. Have your story ready and always be prepared to answer “where do you live” with an address and without flinching.

Being polite, smiling, and keeping clean shaven with clean clothes is a must. YMCA membership kept me fit and showered. On holidays I’d use truck stops for showers.

The other van-dwellers I met complained about getting hassled but were in 1968 molester vans with “keep out” signs in the windows, dogs, huge mattresses, elaborate curtain systems, unshaven, dirty, hippy-looking, and with trinkets, dishes, and small appliances strewn all over and stuff strapped to the outside of the van that screamed homelessness. Don’t do that!

The whole blog is a bit phylosophical as well, gives you a better understanding of the living of the homeless. It is quite unique as I haven’t seen a blog run by a homeless person before. It gave me a perspective and initiated a process of thinking. I will probably have a little more respect for the homeless now.

The blog itself seems 3 years dead now but looks like Michael can be tracked here.