Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spirit & Frontier Airlines : What you need to know

America has finally joined the bandwagon of cheap flights, and I LOVE it. Being in Europe Ryanair was our go to place to fly with, can you really beat 20 euro round trip tickets? Although Spirit and Frontier airlines aren't that cheap, they are just like Ryanair, a low budget, no frills airline designed to get you from point A to point B for the cheapest price possible. People are complaining about paying $35 to check a bag, who cares when you're flying round trip for under $100?! Here's some tips I've complied to make your trip a little less stressful.

+ Check Ins start 24 hours in advance.
Check in as soon as you can. In this day and age with smart phones and WiFi everywhere, you don't have an excuse. But luckily you don't have to print our your boarding pass, You can download the app, or screen shot your ticket and have the picture up on your phone.

+ Should I buy a seat?
NO. I would create a profile on either pages and you can put your "preferred" seat of choice. Most of the time you get it, but if you don't, no big deal. They say that there is no guarantee that you'll be seated next to one another, but so far, I've never been separated from my party.

**Note: If you're buying your tickets separately, chances are you won't be sitting next to one another. I'd suggest either buying it together, or using the same e-mail address so you can all sit together.

+ Baggage Rules
Here's the tricky part; for Spirit and Frontier you are only allowed one "personal" item. But honestly as long as your personal item can fit under the seat in front of you I wouldn't worry about it. **Tip, use a duffle bag, or backpack that is easy to maneuver.

Carry on VS. Checked back; if you need a larger bag, skip the Carry On and just check a bag. It is $35 to check a bag, vs the $35 it is to carry on a bag. I'd rather check a bag and be able to use a bigger space. If you are checking in a bag, make sure you do it in advance, it's usually cheaper when checking in. (*Standard rules apply, 50lb weight limit, check your airline's website just in case)

+ Got TSA Pre-Check?
If you have TSA pre-check, both Spirit and Frontier let you check in and skip lines! Make sure to add your Known Traveler Number when checking in.
**Note; If you do not have have TSA Pre-check I would highly suggest it. For $75 it's good for 5 years, and you don't have to wait in those crazy lines, take your shoes off or laptops out. It's great! If you can afford it, I'd spend the extra $20 and get Global Entry, You get Pre-check for free and you can skip those pesky border lines.

+ Travelling with small kids
Bring snacks, I'm sure you already know this, but the reason their prices are so cheap is because they charge you for everything else you would get for free on other big name airlines, water, coffee, snacks, etc. You are able to Gate check strollers and Car seats for free.

*Unsure about something? Call the airlines just to make sure!

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you want to travel for as cheap as possible, this is the way to do it. If not, then spend the extra $200 per ticket and go with a big name airline.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

A day in the West, Sedona, AZ

Back in July I took another trip to Arizona. Drew and I both fell in love with Sedona and really wanted to take another trip there. So for our 5th anniversary, I flew back out to Arizona so we could spend some time together! I knew that while visiting Sedona we would have to take a Jeep tour, it's THE thing to do while visiting. I researched so many places, before we settled on A day in the West.

To be honest, we chose to go with this company because they had a Groupon, going around, and I love a good deal! It worked out great because the Diamondback Jeep tour, is the same path that most of the other tour groups go on as well. The Diamonback Jeep tour is rugged 4 x 4 trail that is sure to get your heart racing, as it climbs through the back country of Sedona's western canyons.

We chose to do the sunset tour, because if you've ever been to Arizona in July, you know that the average temperatures are over a 100 degrees! (**If you take this tour make sure to take a jacket, by the time we got back the sun had set and I was freezing!)

There were a total of 7 of us including our guide, it was us and another family of 4. The bumpiest seat are the back ones. Our guide was great, he told us all the interesting facts about Sedona and the red rocks. He pointed out some cool little spots to take, and even told us where to go for our hike up to the Devil's Bridge the next day. Our driver was so knowledgeable as pointed out natural landmarks around the area and fondly told us about them. I learned later that it was a family run company that has been around since the 40's! How cool is that?

If you have a heart condition, not a fan of bumpy roads, I wouldn't suggest this. But if you're a fan of adventure, want the "Sedona experience" you have to take a jeep tour, and you can't beat the price with A day in the West. Besides, the views while on the tour are the absolute best in the city!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cave of the Winds, CO

Back in the fall, Drew and I went to Cave of the Winds and I guess I never got around to writing the post about it. Whoops! Time sure does fly.

Cave of the Winds is a cave in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. It is located just west of Colorado Springs on U.S. Highway 24, near the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Tours of the complex of caves are given daily. We ended up doing the Discovery tour, there are 2 other tours given daily. I'd suggest buying your tickets online in advance, there was a family that was in front of us, who ended up having to pay for the more expensive tickets and wait an hour for the tour, or wait 2 hours for the next Discovery tour.

The Discovery Tour is an easy, educational, 45-minute walking tour for beginning cavers and families. Our knowledgeable tour guides discuss cave history and geology and answer questions as you explore twisting paths under the mountain. You’ll duck under Fat Man’s Misery, marvel at geological formations like the Giant’s Bleeding Heart and see the Temple of Silence.

The tour it self was very informative, you're not allowed to eat, or have anything to drink on the tour, and they ask you not to stop to take photos, personally I think it's a stupid request, because the best photos aren't at specific spots, so like the rebel that I am, I took pictures whenever I felt like it. HAHA. 

All in all, it was a good day. If you haven't been to Cave of the Winds, I would highly suggest checking it out!

Hours: Daily 10-5p
Address: 100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Parking: Free
Not Pet friendly

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mount Princeton Hot Springs

One of the things Colorado is known for is their hot springs. About 2 hours away from us is Mt. Princeton Hot Springs located in Nathrop, CO. If you are looking for a Hot Spring look no further than this place. 

Instead of fighting the crowds on Black Friday, we decided to head over the Nathrop and check out the hot springs. Mt. Princeton is about 2.5 hrs away from Colorado Springs. It is such a beautiful drive, you don't even realize how far you're driving.

The hot springs pools located right in midst of the cool rushing waters of Chalk Creek. Each pool is fed by its own natural geothermal hot spring that is bubbling up into the actual creek bed and into majestic circles of stones that create natural pools of warmth and rejuvenation.

The great thing about Mt. Princeton is that they have there very own an Adult only section (16+). Obviously I'm not a child hater, but if you're looking for a relaxing get away, the last thing anyone would want is a child screaming because they don't want to leave.

It was such a relaxing day. I didn't take as many pics as I would've liked since we were enjoying ourselves, but trust me if you're looking for a relaxing getaway, this the place for you!

Additional Info:
GPS: 15870 Co Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236
Cost: Click Here
Parking: Free
Hours: M- Th 9AM – 10PM | F-Su 9 AM – 11 PM
**Remember to bring your own towels and robes, robes/towels are available for rent