I don’t usually pay very much attention to reviews about airlines, but from what I can tell, Spirit has a bad reputation. I did a lot of reading about what size bags we could take and what was and was not included in the price of the ticket. I paid less than $1,000 for a family of 5 to fly from Chicago (ORD) to Orlando (MCO) in December. That price included 1 checked bag each way that I paid for above and beyond the fare. The only small snag we ran into was I did not print our boarding passes ahead of time. We were in the line to check in for about 20 minutes when the customer service agent yelled out that if we did not have a boarding pass printed out that there would be a charge. I had read the website many times and never saw anything about that, so I was more than slightly annoyed. Derek and the kids stayed in line and I ran back to the little kiosks where you can print boarding passes. I got them printed and without paying extra for seats, we were all seated together. I got back in line and we only had let one person in front of us. When we checked in, I asked the agent about the charge for printing a boarding pass at the counter and he said it was new. We were 4 lbs under for the checked bag and all of our personal items were within the limits. We took off on time and had no problems. We brought food and drinks (cups of water from McDonald’s after going through security) with us so we didn’t have to purchase any on the plane. All it took was a little research. If your luggage is overweight, it will cost more. If your personal item is oversized, it will cost you. Read the rules at www.spirit.com before you purchase your ticket and decide if Spirit Airlines will work for what you need.
Tip 1: I am finally going to tell you why I asked about old, worn out socks. Don’t throw them away! I know it sounds weird, but instead of putting them in the garbage, put them in your suitcase. To be honest, I do the same thing with underwear and tshirts that I am ready to get rid of. Here is why…next time you travel, pack what you need of the clothes you were ready to get rid of and then when you are at your destination, throw them away AFTER you wear them. This is a benefit for a few reasons. One is that you will have more room in your suitcase on your return for things like souvenirs. Another reason to do this is so that you have less laundry when you get home. After all, who wants to do a bunch of laundry when you already have the post vacation blues. It may not seem like a lot, but on our last trip to Disney World for 5 people, I had a plastic Walmart bag stuffed full of just socks and underwear.
Tip 2: Plastic Bags are your friends. Personally, I like Hefty slider bags. I use the 2.5 gallon size, gallon, quart, sandwich, and snack. The most important size that most people probably aren’t familiar with is the 2.5 gallon size. I use that size for clothes. On our last trip, I had an outfit for each of the (3) kids, and shirt and underclothes for Derek and myself in a bag. That way in the morning when it was time to get dressed, I just got out the bag and all the clothes were in it. Another way to do it would be to put all of one person’s shirts in one bag, pants in another, and so on. I like packing by the day, though, so that when I get to the last day, I won’t end up with tops and bottoms that don’t match. I like to label the bag with the day we will wear it or with the person’s name.
Tip 3: Start packing long before your trip. This would be the pre-packing step. I lay the clothes out in a place that won’t be in the way and then I have time to weed out what I don’t really need. Overpacking is a pain. Too many things get in the way for you to find what you really need and it makes the bags heavy. Also, many airlines charge for bags now, so the lighter you can pack, the cheaper it will be. I like to travel light so I don’t have to haul a bunch of stuff around.