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Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 15 : A Ryanair Refugee

Updated on February 10, 2014

Click on the link below for Part 1 of the series.


Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 15 : A Ryanair Refugee

In the last episode of this series of helpful articles you'll find a summing up of the courier experience. You'll also find some useful links to jobsites at the end of the article.

There are some more tips on hazards to beware but also a recommendation and encouragement for those who are thinking about having a go. You'll never know until you try.


But remember the work can be physically hard and the weather can be overbearing in high season.

You'll probably find a vibrant party culture with lots of alcohol and late nights. That's only if you want to indulge.

So it's important you look after yourself physically and mentally.

Tip: Be careful of burn-out. Pace yourself

Near the end of the season I'd reached 'Courier Burn-out' as they call it. I really couldn't be bothered anymore and was plodding though dreading each day.

I wanted just to get away, be on my own and start thinking about what I would do when I got home. All my focus was on Scotland now, time to move on, get back and see family and friends and work out what I wanted to do after my six months in Italy.

Tip: Don't lose your passport

Part of the problem was that I had lost my passport. I left the campsite and returned to my previous site, turning the place upside-down looking for it. I got the address and telephone number of the British Consulate in Milan and a nice lady on the phone explained the steps to go through.

First I had to go to the local Police Station to obtain a report on the loss then arrange my flight home. So on the Wednesday I went to the local Carabinieri office and got my report form and then just sort of lazed about for the rest of a warm, sunny day.

In Milan I entered the building that housed the British Consulate which was guarded at the front door by an Italian soldier with a large rifle and also two soldiers upstairs at the floor of the British office.

Despite the fact that I was carrying a huge rucksack which could have exploded at any minute nobody asked to search it. Maybe they have super-duper detector thingies that I don't know about.

The very nice lady on the phone met me in person and sorted out all the paperwork kindly relieving me of €83 in the process in the nicest possible fashion.

That is of course with volcanoes permitting as Scottish airports had been closed again after ash from an Icelandic volcano entered the atmosphere over Northern Europe.

I was worried that I might get stranded for a while in Italy while the money ran out.

After checking into my hotel though the TV said that the wind was changing and pushing the ash further North and away from Scotland.

The airports opened up again the next morning.

And that was the end of my Italian adventure this time. I saw a lot of sights met some great people and improved my Italian that bit more. At 9.20pm local time we left the runway and it was 'arriverderci'.

I don't think I would work as a campsite courier again but I'll certainly be back to Italy again sometime in the future. I love the place.

Tip: Always expect the unexpected, especially with budget airlines

After fretting whether volcanic ash would stand in my way my flight left on time. However irony awaited for me back in Scotland. Despite only arriving five minutes late I ended up stranded in Ayrshire. A Ryanair refugee.

The plane touched down at 10.50pm and by the time I queued at passport control, retrieved my bag and ran over to the railway station I had missed the 11.08 to Glasgow. I couldn't even get a bus because the last one left just as we were landing.

Now! If I can co-ordinate my travel arrangements then why can't bloody Ryanair ensure that their scheduled flights link up with connecting transport to get you home.

There were plenty of trains going the other way to Ayr so rather than fork out around £40 for a taxi home I thought why not just get the train to Ayr and spend the money on a guest house or hotel.

I tried a couple of guest houses with no reply at the door although I'm sure I heard a noise from inside one of them. Perhaps the owner knocking over a table as they hid behind the couch. At another a girl answered and said she was waiting for a couple to turn up. I was tempted to say "We fell out, it's only me" before barricading my room door in case the real couple showed up.

But towards midnight as the soft comforts of the beach beckoned for the night I got checked into a marvellous place called 'The Burnside Guest House' near the front of the town. A wonderful landlady called Liz gave me a warm welcome and after relieving me of my £30 with the utmost charm showed me to my room.

I had a great nights sleep and a fantastic full Scottish breakfast the next morning. Then I got my things, said my goodbyes and thanked her for smashing hospitality. It was a warm sunny morning so I stuck around the promenade at Ayr looking out over to the Isle of Arran and taking in the cool breeze.

Tip: If in doubt, just go for it!!

I had a fantastic 6 months overall although of course I'm not saying it was perfect as I had my ups and downs and to be honest many aspects of the actual work didn't give much joy.

Scraping brown grease off a cooker or plunging a brush down a brown-encrusted toilet bowl ain't any kind of fun no matter how much you rationalise it. Washing dishes, dusting, hoovering, brushing spiderwebs and scrubbing bird droppings on a daily basis never gets enjoyable but it was all a means to an end.

It was the experience that mattered, the thrill of living in another country for 6 months, sampling another culture, seeing the sights and sampling the history of another country.

So if you're thinking about it I would say take the plunge and go for it. As you'll know from reading this series it isn't all fun and games.

But there's plenty of that too and at least you'll have some great stories to tell you're office-bound chums back home who have endured the 9-5 all through that beautiful summer.



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    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 5 years ago from Scotland

      Hope it was helpful Ann-marie. Have a great time this summer. You'll love it I'm sure.

      Bon voyage

    • profile image

      Ann-marie 5 years ago

      Thank you for the insight. I laughed quite a bit but the info is gratefully received.

      We are off from may to September and now we go armed !!

      Good piece of writing. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.