Budget Airlines

My Journey on flying Spirit Airlines

What are your thoughts on Spirit Airline?!

-Everyone

Oh the million dollar question…what do I think of Spirit Airlines? I get questions about my thoughts on Spirit Airlines and whether one should take it so I figured why not share my personal experience on it so here you go!

A little background information on Spirit…Spirit Airlines is a a la carte, low cost carrier that flies throughout the US, Central America, and Caribbean.

What do you mean by a la carte? Well the reason why 95% of the time Spirit flights are DRASTICALLY cheaper than other airlines, it’s because you’re pretty much just paying for the fare. That’s it! Everything else you typically expect on a flight is what you pay for. So heads up….don’t expect airplane cookies and pretzels and non-alcoholic drinks for FREE. If you want them, you will have to purchase them. Credit cards only. Click here for the link to the description and prices of food and drink on board.

Are Spirit flights comfortable?

Ok so the first thing you will notice when you get on a Spirit flight is how small the seats are. The way they design their planes have the seats pretty tight BUT the aisle is wider than other carriers and the airplane restroom are way more spacious that other carriers than I fly with. I’m bite size…so the small seats don’t bother me per say. However, if you are tall, you will HATE it. Also, the seats have very little cushion so don’t expect a nice comfy seat. If you are tall or prefer more seat cushion, pay more for the big seat, which are the first few rows of the plane.

Would you recommend them for long flights?

Personally, I would not recommend Spirit for long flights. I only fly Spirit from BWI to ATL and back. That’s it! Since its an a la carte airline, I prefer the small things like snacks, comfy seats, etc that other carriers provide. However, Spirit prices are enticing so do what’s best for you. A small tip that will help you save more money that Spirit already does is that if you buy the flight at the airport, you save on the online booking fee cost. My last flight to ATL for the 4th of July is a witness to that. I saved $40 just by booking at the airport because you skip the online booking fee. *Also* I never flow them international. I have a few friends that have and had horror stories so I wouldn’t do it but again…it’s all a gamble. The price is tempting but really build that into your vacation window.

How does the bag policy work?

With Spirit being an a la carte airline, that includes how they handle bag fees. When booking, Spirits will ask if you want to purchase bags for your flight. Heads up!! This is the cheapest opportunity for you to do so. Once you book the flight, you miss out on that cheaper price. So if you know you aren’t about that backpack/small tote travel life, then definitely purchase bags. It is cheaper to pay for a checked bag than a carry on bag…odd right? Also, yes most airlines allow you to bring a carry on bag for Spirit but for Spirit that is not the case. You get one personal item and one bag that is to meet their requirements. Don’t try to finesse the system because if you’re bag is larger than what you didn’t pay for, they will charge you. I seen them do this before. The picture to the left is my go to travel bag with Spirit and its the free option. So ultimately, just make sure that you’re personal item does not have wheels, a handle (like a rolling suitcase), and its not massive and you should be good to go.

Spirit Airlines Bag Fees

Words of Caution

So Spirit is known for flight delays and cancellations. Its facts…most people that have flown with Spirit can attest to that. I am a true witness to that as well. So when it comes to taking Spirit on a trip somewhere, pad your trip for room in case this happens to you.If you’re flying Spirit to a wedding on a Saturday afternoon and your ETA is to land at 10am for a 1pm wedding, that’s too risky. I will say there have been times I flown Spirit and my flight was on time and we even landed early so late/cancelled flights isn’t always the case. I also never experienced a cancelled flight so I can’t relate on that horror. When checking a bag at the airport, get to the airport early. They aren’t like Delta or Southwest and have a lot of staff helping to load the bags.

In conclusion

For me, Spirit is NOT BAD. Spirit has saved me on last minute flights and saving money on trips. However, since I only fly Spirit home to Atlanta, I’m never mad when things don’t go as smooth. The key about Spirit is understanding ALL of their policies from printing your boarding pass to policies on seating and luggage, to snacks on the plane, and to any other additional/unexpected charges. Feel free to message me for any additional questions or advice!! Safe travels if you decide to book with Spirit!

Travel Resources

You Don’t Have to be Rich to Travel Well

How do you travel so often and so cheap?!

I can’t even count on the amount of times I would get that question. However, I am happy to share! I want everyone to experience traveling around the world and knowing that it won’t break the bank either! I enjoy being a budget traveler. Honestly, I do anything I can in life to save money. Therefore, I do whatever I can to cut costs on all my trips (but still have a really enjoyable vacation too). Here are some of my personal travel tips when it comes to saving money on vacation:

  1. Let travel search engines do the work for you! Most times, I never have a set destination where I want to go. I always tell people, I travel anywhere that is cheap based off flight deals. Years ago, there was a time where airlines kept having flight glitches (not sure if you all remember the MAJOR flight glitch to Dubai on Christmas Day for $198 but yea…moments like that REALLY had me traveling all over the world). I am part of two group chat that just drop flight deals all day, I follow @secretflying on twitter which shares flight deal as they come, I signed up for daily emails with AirFareWatchDog and I’m part of a number of travel groups on Facebook that share flight deals.
  2. Google Flights is CLUTCH! Google Flights lets you search by departing and arriving airport and the calendar allows you to see the price of flights for the entire month(s). Its so helpful when you have a flexible schedule to see if its better to fly the day before or after based on price. Also, it shows all airlines and their prices with the exception of Southwest. You have to go to Southwest’s site directly. A lot of people ask me what site I use to book trips and Google Flights is ALWAYS my go-to site.
  3. Book now, plan later! Most times, where there is a REALLY cheap flight deal you have to book quickly. You get 24 hours to cancel a flight so you have at least a day to decide if that trip is indeed something you can take or you will need to cancel. It’s best to have quick booking travel buddies to decide on a date and book too if you don’t want to go on a solo trip.
  4. Budget monthly. For larger and more expensive trips, it helps if your trip is months out in which you can book something each month. For example, if its January and you have a trip in June, you can book the flight in January, book the hotel in February, book the car rental in March, book excursions in April, and leave May to cover any outstanding items needed for your trip. By the time June rolls around, your entire trip is paid for and all you need is spending money.
  5. Utilize hotel, flight, and car rental points! That helps to save money on trips. It’s even better when you can share hotel points with your travel crew to help lower the cost of the trip.

If you have any questions on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to traveling, shoot on over to my contact page and send me a message. I would be happy to hear from you!

Central America

Belize Me, I am THIRTY!

For my 30th birthday, I decided to take my birthday trip to the beautiful country of Belize! Prior to going on the trip, I felt like I was the LAST person on Earth to visit Belize. Everyone seemed to have already been! However, this greatly helped with planning since many had things to recommend, see, eat, and do. We chose to visit Caye Caulker, which is one of the Caye’s right off the cost of Belize City, Belize.

Day 1: Valentines Day!! So really it was a two in one type of trip…Valentines Day AND my pre-birthday weekend. Since Brandion lives in Dallas and I’m in Washington, DC, we had to fly separately and meet each other in Belize. I landed first and waiting for me at the airport was a taxi service who drove me from the airport to the Belize Water Taxi. They store your luggage if you get there early and want to walk around and explore the area. There are two ways to get to Caye Caulker (or San Pedro if you chose to venture there). You can take the water taxi (my choice) or you can fly on one of the tiny planes via Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. Flying was only a 30 min flight from Belize City to Caye Caulker and roundtrip it would have been around $150. However, the water taxi was about an hour or so ride and it was $28 round trip.

When we got to Caye Caulker, the owner of the unit we rented was there waiting for us with a golf cart to transport us to the room. In Caye Caulker, there are no cars (although I did see a few construction trucks but I mean I guess) so the only mode of transportation is via golf cart, bicycling, or walking. Our room was beautiful!! We stayed at Villa La Vida Perezosa. The rooms were clean, spacious, and spacious. There is a rooftop to catch the beautiful sunset at night AND a private pool. I highly recommend this for large groups going to Belize so you could rent out the entire building.

For dinner, we ate at a random hut that had lobster meals for $15. What was surprising was that Feb 14 was the LAST day of Lobster season! So anyone caught catching lobster could get fined. Therefore, it was a mad dash for everyone visiting to eat lobster so we definitely did that.

Day 2: We found a nice spot for breakfast called Brisas Del Mar, which had breakfast meals no more than $6 USD. Once we ate there, we ventured down to The Split, which is a part of Caye Caulker that splits the Caye in two. Oh and when I say “ventured”, it was no more than a 10 min walk. Caye Caulker is SMALL. You can walk the entire Caye by foot if you want. The Split is fun. Great for pictures, souvenir shopping, restaurants, music, massages, and more. This is pretty much where the tourists hang out at. We went to a restaurant that sold “Lizard Juice”, which is the alcoholic drink they are known for. It was delicious! We rode jet skis and just RELAXED. I emphasize relaxed because Belize was the first vacation I took where I truly relaxed. I didn’t have an itinerary of where to go and at what time…we winged everything!

Day 3: There was a big beach party being planned at Koko King, which is a private island about 10 mins via ferry from Caye Caulker. We decided to check Koko King out during the day and it was dope! They had a DJ playing, there was a restaurant with a bar that offered cheap drinks that we just bought a pitcher to indulge on. We sat under a cabana for hours and just relaxed and drank and relaxed and drank. It was amazing. That night, we went back to the island for the big island party and it was amazing to have fun without no entry fees to get in, no expensive prices to sit at a section (we snagged a cabana for FREE), cheap cheap drinks, and just partying with the locals AND visitors.

Day 4: I was dying to rent a golf cart and we found a place that was renting them for $20 an hour so we were able to truly drive around the entire Caye and explore. I highly recommend this!! So much fun! I don’t remember the company we rented from but they were all around the same price through the island. The rest of the day was spent lounging at the pool, on the dock drinking lizard juice, buying souvenirs, and just hanging with locals and tourists.

Overall, Belize was absolutely amazing! It was so relaxing being able to just finally go on a vacation and enjoy each others company, drink, eat, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I can’t wait to visit Belize again!

Trip Recap:

  • Dates: Thursday, February 14 to Monday, February 18 (5 days, 4 nights)
  • Rental: Villa La Vida Perezosa
  • Airline: Southwest (using points) and American Airlines for the return
  • Currency: They take USD. Also, for $1 USD is 2 BZE (so ball out!)
  • Shoes worn: Highlight Pink Hi Vans and Flower Low Vans
  • Transportation: Taxi from airport to water taxi- $25 USD per couple. Golf Cart Rental- $20 for 1 hour. Belize Water Taxi- $28 roundtrip (no need to pre book online)
  • Meals: Most meals were around $10 at the most unless you went to a fancier restaurant and meals were still under $20 (in which I’m included the price of an alcoholic drink). Take advantage of happy hour deals as most restaurants have buy 1 get 1 free on certain alcoholic drinks and their drinks are already like $5 USD.

50 State Journey

The Road to 50

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination

-Drake

So about two or three years ago, my travel buddy Rosalyn and myself set out to see all 50 states. I look back and I truly don’t know when we decided to go on this journey but I’m thankful we did. While she finished her 50 state journey last December, I still have nine more states to go…whoo hoo! Many tell me one of two things: 1. They plan to start the same journey as me or 2. They don’t care to see a number of states. I totally get it! Years ago, I never would have thought to travel to the midwest or some of these less visited states. I mean, I never had a reason to do so! But once you start the journey, you find a new found appreciation of small towns, less populated states, and just seeing how vastly different one country can be. West coast to east coast…northern USA to southern USA…you’ll learn and see different cultures, way of living, accents, houses, architecture, landmarks, nature, food, and more!

I will say the easiest part of completing this mission is to truly have a travel partner(s) who is going on it as well. That will help when its time to tackle states like N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, etc. Plus, some states I HIGHLY recommend to not visit solo just for safety purposes. Not only some parts are culturally awakening but you don’t want to be left stranded in a rural part of the US if your car breaks down or you lose signal due to the lack of cell towers in the area.

While this was my first post to open up my travel diary to you on my 50 state journey, I will post my recap, pictures, tips, and more on all the states that I have captured thus far during this journey. There are a few states that I’ve been to prior to starting this journey that I may not have pictures for (but hey…they count for me!) I personally don’t count states that I just drove thru so all of my recaps will show my experiences whether its food, random activities, historical landmarks, and more. Please consider visiting all 50 states!

Almost there…9 states to go