You guys have probably seen pictures of our recent Florida vacation here and there, but I don’t think I ever shared why, when and how we planned the trip! I didn’t even shared what we did on our short beach vacation. SO here it goes with all our vacation details and some of my favorite pictures from the trip. We planned the trip a few weeks ago when Kris got his schedule and realized he had three days off in a row. Three days off is gold in his schedule. We wanted to take advantage of that, so we found some cheap flights with Spirit and headed straight to our favorite place, the beach.
In the last few months we have flown to Las Vegas once and Florida three times. Tomorrow we are heading to the west coast and then we are off to Ohio, the Hamptons and NYC. People ask us often how we get so much traveling done on a medical student budget and schedule. It partially has to do with our attitude/perspective. The things you prioritize in your life are more likely to happen. Travel is a priority. Kris and I both try to take advantage of every day. We want to make amazing memories RIGHT NOW. But loving and prioritizing travel doesn’t pay for flights, hotels, car rentals etc. When we travel we do it in a financially friendly way. We know how to find all the cheap flights (thank you Spirit), how to get deals on hotels and even the way we pack our luggage is budget saving.
Finding Cheap Flights
I could go into lots of detail on how we save money in every aspect of our travel and vacation planning… But I am going to focus on what takes the bulk of most vacation budgets: flights. Flying is not cheap (usually) and up until the last year-ish I have always seen flights as a hinderance to my travel plans. They usually double the cost of any vacation I try to plan. That is until we discovered Spirit. Spirit is a super budget friendly airline, you can often find tickets for as low as $80 with return to some of your favorite vacation spots. Head to Orlando, the Caribbean, or Mexico if you love the beach. Or you can fly to popular ski locations like Jackson Hole, Salt Lake or Montrose.
All you have to do is head to Spirit.com to start booking your next vacation at a fraction of the cost of other airlines. The reason Spirit is able to sell their flights for so cheap is because they just provide the basics and don’t spend extra money on unnecessary things. They get you from point A to point B. You might not get free soda and cookies, but Spirit gets the job done delivering you to all your favorite spots. Holidays are a huge travel time, family members from all over the country travel and gather together. Spirit is perfect for budget family holiday travel!
With Spirit you don’t have to pay for someone else’s bag to fly. If you bring extra luggage outside of one approved personal item (backpack, purse, diaper bag, etc.) then you pay for that luggage. Other airlines allow a personal item and a carryon, and then they jack up the prices to cover the cost of all the extra luggage people bring. We have found it is much cheaper for us to pack light and buy the bulky items at our destination, than to pay a higher airfare. For example we only bring enough diapers and formula for the flight. We buy more once we arrive at our destination. Packing light makes travel with kids so much easier. It really is a win-win.
Tips for Flying with Spirit
Flying with Spirit is a little different than flying with other airlines, but once you get the hang of it, it is so much better. Here are some tips for first time Spirit flyers:
Print Your Boarding Passes BEFORE You Head to the Airport
24 hours before your flight is scheduled to take off log in, select your seats and print your tickets. Doing this helps avoid paying a fee to have them print the tickets for you. I always have printed my itinerary and confirmation receipt before I fly, so this never felt like extra work for me. However if this seems inconvenient to you just think of it this way: 5 minutes of your time printing a ticket helps the airline saves money and helps YOU save $100’s on your plane ticket costs.
Prepay for your Luggage
Spirit significantly discounts your extra luggage costs if you buy it in advance! Don’t wait till the gate.
Sign up for $9 Fare Club
The $9 Fare Club is basically a membership that gives you access to cheaper ticket costs. It costs $9 a month, so if you fly often this will definitely save you in the long run. I just checked and found tickets for us to fly to Orlando for $70 with return, however if you are a $9 Fare Club member those same tickets only cost $58!!
Pay Attention to Weight Restrictions
One thing that may catch you off guard is that the weight limits are a little lower than other airlines for checked bags. You are only allowed 40lbs in your checked bag. Be sure to weigh before you leave the house. Like other airlines, carseats and strollers are free, but you can only bring one personal item on the plane. This does not include roller carry on suitcases. Personal items are backpacks, purses, laptop bags, etc.
Pack your own snacks. I think this is a given for any flight, since airport food is so dang expensive. But since Spirit doesn’t provide complimentary drinks and snacks, you may want to prepare a little extra.
Sit Back & Relax
Once you are sitting on board your flight sit back and relax knowing that you paid WAY less than you should have for the seat that is carrying you to your next vacation.
Side Note – did you know Spirit planes are the youngest planes in the United States. They are brand new and shiny and you can tell when you climb on board! This is why they are known as the ‘Fit Fleet’. I love the bright yellow color of the Spirit planes, it stands out and adds to the new feel. Even Zoey notices them and points out ‘our plane’ whenever we are walking through the airport.
Since our flights to Florida were so inexpensive we were able to splurge a little on fun stuff. The main thing we wanted to do was Busch Gardens. When we go to Busch Gardens we get the all day fast passes for $50. Our tickets actually work out to be more expensive than if we went to Disney World! But it is worth it to be able to enjoy better roller coasters and shorter lines. Kris thinks it should be against the rules to love Busch Gardens more then Disney World (even though he was the one who chose to go there over Disney so….). I can’t help it though. Busch Gardens is SO fun!
I am already secretly plotting our next Florida vacation with Spirit already. We might spend Christmas there… Or we might wait and go in February when the weather starts really getting cold. Or maybe both. To be honest I check Spirit almost every day for super cheap flights. When they are low I love booking last minute trips! Nothing more fun than a spur of the moment vacation that doesn’t leave a scar on your bank statement. Right?
When is your next vacation? Have you ever flown with Spirit? Where did you go?
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Thanks to Spirit airlines for sponsoring this post! I love working with incredible brands, and since we fly Spirit ALL the time, I was so happy to collaborate with them to share this post with all of you.