For most of the pandemic we’ve been doing roadtrips to stay safe, but as the world was opening up we wanted to visit Madrid so we could stay out TD’s mom’s flat & save money on accommodations.
Because DiploDog has an EU passport since he lived in Germany, he is able to travel around Europe. We just have to choose an airline that would allow it.
- COST. We always try to save money when we fly. You would think that the obvious choice is a budget airline like EASY JET, but going roundtrip Geneva-Madrid Iberia usually comes out cheaper for us.
- DOG-FRIENDLINESS. EASY JET doesn’t allow dogs, but IBERIA does. As long as the dog can fit in an Airline Approved Bag like this:
AIRLINE APPROVED BAG
I purchased this on Amazon.de but they also have a lot of airline approved pet carriers for the cabin on Amazon.com. However I noticed they are pretty bulky. The reason why we love this PetEgo bag is because of it’s slim profile, but since I got it in December 2015, it’s no longer available. It’s so cool that it has lasted so long… even outlasting DiploDog. This is the newer model from PetEgo.
Bags that caught my eye on Amazon.de. You can click on the pic to follow my amazon affiliate links but please ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE on the maximum dimensions they allow inside the cabin.
Here are the ones that caught my eye on Amazon.com. I tend to choose gray because it’s very forgiving of dog hair & dust. Black just shows every speck of dirt.
For dogs we pay extra for DiploDog based on his weight. It’s like excess cabin baggage. Always best to check with the specific airline you are using. Here is everything you need to know about TRAVELING WITH PETS ON IBERIA.
It was quite crazy because we actually forgot the dog bag at home. Thankfully a colleague of TD rescued us & picked it up. The check-in desk allowed us to check in, but we had to come back & show the dog bag to them before they gave us our boarding passes. Sometimes with all the bags, you can forget one. PHEW!
SEEING OLD FRIENDS
After checking in we were able to quickly meet up & give hugs to my college buddies from Ateneo who had just arrived from Australia. It was a nice way to wait for our DiploDog’s bag. They chose to go to Switzerland on their very first international trip during the pandemic because they felt it was safer & not too many people. I have to say they are right!
One of the perks as diplomats is that we are able to use a special security check which is convenient when there are a lot of people traveling, but because Yaya B does not carry the same diplomatic status, we couldn’t use it this time. No worries though because the Geneva Airport is very efficient anyway.
NEVER FLY HUNGRY
There are a lot of choices when it comes to food in Geneva airport. More high-end than most airports I’ve been in. The truth is, it’s more expensive to buy stuff in the Geneva Airport than on the Iberia plane, BUT we have experienced not having enough time to be served on the Geneva-Madrid flight, so we just eat at the airport & buy chips & drinks that we can bring on the flight so we don’t have to wait for flight attendants.
If you love caviar & champagne, you can also indulge. Personally TD & I avoid eating uncooked stuff before a flight coz we already get nervous tummies when we fly so we want to avoid upsetting it coz airplane bathrooms are not the cleanest or most comfortable to use. We eat where we can find a table.
Flying can be pretty dehydrating so we always buy drinks.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
One of the things that will really jump out to you in the Geneva Airport is how all the ads are about super expensive luxury watches, wealth management or luxury travel. It’s obvious that the target market here are the super wealthy.
Each pre-departure area is small. There is usually a store that has food & drinks plus lots of amazing Swiss products. We were able to use our Uniqlo Airisml cloth masks in the airport & airplane for comfort. However when we flew back from Madrid, they would not let us board without a surgical or n94/n96 mask. After this we always bring disposable masks just in case.
Whenever we fly from Geneva, we always expect to walk to the plane so we prepare whatever outerwear we need depending on the season. It’s such a small & efficient airport & the walk is literally a 3-minute walk to the plane.
The planes coming out of Geneva airport are usually small & it’s even smaller when you fly IBERIA to Madrid, so that means the ride can be quite shaky. This is normal. However, this flight was especially shaky, so much so that IT CHANGED THE COMBINATION OF OUR RIMOWA LUGGAGE!
DiploDog is a pro at flying. He’s so used to it already. Such a cutie!
From seeing white snowcapped mountains in Geneva to the arid lands of Spain
Every time we arrive in Madrid, I am always in awe of the gorgeous architecture of the airport. The fluid organic lines always encourage me to look up & admire how they use skylights to save on electricity
Because it’s still the pandemic, we are
- Required to wear masks in the airport & in public transportation
- There are a lot of keep your distance sign on the chairs
- You can use the fountain if you have a bottle or glass… not putting your mouth directly to drink
- There are sanitizers all over
- The kids playgrounds are closed
It’s pretty easy to find the baggage claim area here by following the arrows on the floor. The bags come out pretty fast too.
WHY DO WE TAKE A CAB FROM THE AIRPORT?
It’s very easy to take the train/bus from the airport to anywhere in Madrid. If you are just 2 people, I would highly recommend this. However if you are 3-4 people, it’s already worth it to take a taxi because it gets you from the airport to your accommodations very fast, without transfers with a FLAT RATE OF ONLY 30 EUROS.
Masks are required for cabs & other public transport. Kid’s don’t need to wear a mask in Europe. They still had plastic dividers between the driver & the back seats & drivers usually kept a slightly open window for fresh air to enter. As a passenger, you can also open your window a little for comfort. Just close it before you get down.
We usually take the max amount of luggage to Madrid, even if they are empty or half full because we do our shopping for clothes, MUJI supplies, supplements, leather goods, food & so much more in Madrid. It’s a fraction of the price as Switzerland and there are things that we cannot get in Switzerland that we can get in Madrid.
It’s always a flat rate of 30 Euros to cab it from the airport
I hope you found this post informational & helpful!