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!