Hello All, today, I’ll be blogging about my experience traveling on Ryanair to London, then transferring and traveling on Ryanair from London to south Tenerife Airport. I have to admit that yesterdays travel plan left me a bit frazzled even as an experienced budget traveler and I’ll tell you why, but otherwise it did go fairly smoothly. I also had the pleasure of meeting 3 good Samaritans along the way who helped me a little bit. I am now sitting in a coffee shop in Los Abrigos, south Tenerife near the airport, on the windsurfing side of the island.
So what was my plan? Well first of all i usually browse websites like kiwi.com and www.ryanair.com to see what flights are available for my reemergence in Tenerife! Let me give you some more background information. I was living in south Tenerife during February and March of this year, so I am no stranger or rookie to this place, I know my way around the south part of the island pretty well! I enjoyed it so much that i decided to come back yesterday on September 21, 2022.
I bought two flights on Ryanair (they do not do connections). The total price to make it to Tenerife was about $100. $100 is not as cheap as some other flights I’ve taken on Ryanair but i have a few tricks to save a few bucks after the flight. My trip was booked as two separate tickets. Its an island off the coast of Morocco, so its not a super convenient place to travel to although the weather is stunningly gorgeous. I wanted to conclude my Scandinavia tour in Krakow by way of Oslo and Gdansk then move somewhere warmer. The cheapest way for me to get to Tenerife was via a 7am flight from Krakow to London Stansted.
The Bus to the airport…Krakow 4 zloty / a little less than $1
I am a budget traveler, so for me its all about saving a few bucks. A few times I’ve walked to the airport (Marrakech, Sibiu), but this one is 7 miles away. In Krakow i took bus 208 from near the Galleria Mall at the center. I decided to leave about 2pm after checking out of my room at 9am and stopping by Starbucks to charge my electronics. The bus arrived about 240pm; I didn’t have the exact schedule but i think this is not a frequent bus. The fare was a whopping 4 zloty which is less than $1 or 1 euro. Notice that I decided to leave about 240pm the day before my flight in order to spend the night at the airport. The bus took about 45 minutes. It does stop at the terminal, and there were plenty of other passengers with suitcases just waiting to get off at the last stop (it was a local bus).
KRK Airport …. sleeping at the airport in Krakow
I arrived with a few snacks i bought at a local grocery store near the Old Town in Krakow. I consumed these between about 4pm and 9pm and bought one other item with the last of the zloty coins I had in my pocket (advise – dont use airport exchanges offices, the rates are horrible). A little boredom but for me since travel is my fulltime job I didn’t mind putting in some extra elbow grease. Here i met a Ukrainian girl who decided to sit next to me waiting for her flight that was at 10pm at night to Germany. She eventually left, and two other Ukrainian women decided to sleep next to me on the bench. I hooked up my PacSafe bag to my belt to avoid theft and the airport grew quiet. There is a game room upstairs as well as bathrooms and extra benches if you need it. The airport here in Krakow is quite nice, I would not mind sleeping here again sometime.
Flight from Krakow KRK to London Stansted STN at 7am
I instructed one of the Ukrainian women that I was a bit nervous i wouldn’t wake up at 3am or 4am to check in for my 7am flight and sleep past the flight so she set her alarm for me just in case – Samaritan #1. The good news here is that some people came by about 3am and disturbed me from my sleep so I just decided to wake up about 3:15am and wait in a line for check in by 4am, which was the time other airline travelers arrived, many of them waiting for LOT polish airlines. I was near the front of the line for Ryanair and completed check in about 10 minutes after 4am, then i went through airport security screening in about 15 minutes. I exited Polish/EU immigration at about 4:45am. I later waited airside for 1 or 2 hours, then boarded the flight smoothly about 630am.
Landing at London Stansted – Let the fun begin!
Our flight took 2 hours and 20 minutes. We actually arrived a little early. take off if im not mistaken was at 7:05 AM and landing at Stansted was at 8:20 AM, with the time change, technically this was 9:20AM Poland time. Tenerife also happens to be on London time since it is a little bit further west. Once in Stansted, I had to pass through UK immigration E-gates. Here there was a huge line, so it took me some time. I passed the gate with a facial recognition scan and passport scan at about 10AM London time so that took awhile waiting in line. Here at Stansted i was also able to grab lunch, a sandwich and Pepsi 0, as well as some chips for a reasonable price of about 5 British pounds (reasonable by airport standards).
London Standsted, check-in at RyanAir for Tenerife
Here at Stansted the airport can be a little chaotic, so make sure to show up with plenty of time to spare before check in. Over at Ryanair they have a screen that show you which desk to go to to check in and they dont allow us to check in sooner than a few hours before the flight. My flight to Tenerife was at 2:30PM. Around 11:20 it showed my check in desk as 69-79 so i got in a long que of passengers and waited my turn. Around 12pm i reached the check in desk for a documents check. Ryanair does not allow an E boarding pass for American citizens because we are neither EU or Uk citizens so i had to have my boarding pass printed here, even though i am not checking any bags. The time at security clearance was about 12:10pm.
Boarding, Flight to Tenerife, and Spanish Immigration 2:30PM to 6:50PM
Part a Standsted Airport: Security screen at London Stansted was smooth and relatively easy. I usually put my wallet and phone in my backpack, while i have to take my shoes off and all metal items, and my laptop out of my backpack. I passed with no problems and made my way to the shopping/waiting area of Stansted, it was super crowded, which increased my stress level a bit after such a long wait. I was tired there. On my way to the waiting area, i stopped by and went into a woman’s clothing store and asked the male salesperson whether i could go in and change my clothing into shorts for Tenerife in the changing room he said yes (meeting good Samaritan #2). Changing into shorts felt great indoors and suits the weather in Tenerife just great. The flight boarding was around 1:45 PM, so i had a good 1.5 hours to wait in the waiting area.
Part b flight to Tenerife: The flight was a long one, 4 hours 20 minutes time, so landing at 620pm. Now what is just spectacular about Ryanair is the super low price as compared to doing business with airlines in the United States whose prices are just ridiculous. Ryanair unfortunately does not have a lot of leg room on its flights. On my flight i got the middle seat in between two other dudes, one from the UK and the other guy im not sure, both of them were taller than me. I normally put my 45L backpack in between my legs or under the seat, its a bit big so that’s where the leg room issue comes into play, but this minor issue is totally worth the cost. In my experience almost every single Ryanair flight is sold out, so they must be doing some seriously good business.
Part c: Passing immigration. The good news about arriving in Tenerife was the weather was just plain gorgeous and sunny as it is typically. I mentioned i spent about 7 weeks here back February and March. Now for the reason for a little bit of stress I was experiencing… immigration. Theres a few reasons i was a bit concerned about passing Spanish immigration – at this time i did not have a set accommodation but i did have a place that was willing to rent to me (the Treehouse hostel up above the town, in El Medano), stayed here back in March. I also did not have a return ticket away from Spain, and did i mention i dont have a full-time job either? So yes you can see why I was a bit nervous about not being able to prove my worth as a tourist inside of Spain (no full-time job but i do have enough assets to prove at least that I can sustain myself for awhile). I was in luck, the immigration guy at Tenerife South did not care at all, he just looked at my passport and gave me a stamp and that was it … oh just one more thing, I need to make it off airport territory….
Trip from Tenerife South Airport to either El Medano or Los Abrigos…
The airport is only about 1 or 2 miles from either of these towns. I tried to walk away from the airport, that didn’t work out so well, because there is a highway on the way. I then tried to flag down a ride with about 20 or so cars passing me. I got so luckily here because i had about 2.8 euro in my pocket and the bus costs 2.4 euro. I took it to San Isidro, i then needed to transfer to make to El Medano, that’s only about 1 mile up a hill from El Medano, the surf town. I started walking down the hill, instead of taking the transfer since i dont mind. Here i passed a number of farming greenhouses and this utility truck driver saw me walking by one of the greenhouses, in the middle of nowhere. he stopped and in broken English he invited me to come with him. He took me to where there was a turnoff between El medano and Los Abrigos, i got out here, and i walked another 2 blocks and that led me inside of my favorite town, El Medano. The rest is history, im in beach town.