Remember when I told you about the awesome new nonstop flight destinations from Spirit Airlines? Well… we just returned from our first experience flying Spirit, and I’m pretty excited to tell you all about what a difference flying Spirit Airlines makes for family travel! Of their three new routes out of Hartford, Connecticut: Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale – we selected Myrtle Beach as our destination.
Nonstop from Hartford to Myrtle Beach!
Our state is coastal, and our beaches are pretty in that charming, New England way. But our ocean water isn’t really… warm! So, when given the option, our family wanted to visit Myrtle Beach and check out their sparkling sandy shores and milder waters!
It’s been years since we’ve flown with the kids, and, as it was the first time we’d flown with Spirit Airlines, I was curious to see how it felt to fly a budget-friendly airline.
The general cost of airfare has deterred our family from taking longer trips. Yet with Spirit, families (and all travelers!) finally get a break from budget-busting airfare! Spirit Airlines claim to fame is being the “Home of the Bare Fare.” Their belief is travelers should not pay for what they don’t use. I can get behind that! Compare it to a la cart versus the buffet. It might be nice to have “all the options” but if you only end up selecting a few items off the buffet bar, it wasn’t really worth it, right? Same with airfare: having all the “options” sounds nice but if you end up not using them, you’re throwing money away!
How Spirit differences makes family travel affordable!
One of the first differences I noticed about our trip with Spirit actually happened at home before we left. Surprised? Well, Spirit helps families save money on airfare by working to reduce the plane’s weight. That means, they encourage travelers to take less “stuff” when they travel by allowing only one personal item, and by not adding luggage fees into the base ticket pricing.
A personal item is like a small backpack or laptop bag. You can take a carry-on or check a bag, for an extra fee. But if you don’t need to do so, you won’t be paying for something you didn’t bring! So I noticed I was packing lighter – which made prepping for our trip a lot simpler! Imagine that!
I actually decided to skip my purse on this trip, so I could carry on my iPad and camera in a small messenger bag. I just thew my wallet and phone into the bag and that was that! The boys each had a bag with a hoodie, games, snacks, and water bottle. My oldest loved the bright yellow Spirit messenger bag they sent to celebrate my blogging partnership with them! He made this bag his own and carried it with pride! Added benefit, I used this bag when packing to make sure the rest of us were within specs.
We also checked one bag each. Spirit has a lower checked bag weight limit of 40 pounds. This is likely about 10 pounds less than you might be used to, so weigh your bags at home to adjust your packing. BUT… this “weight limit” can be distributed throughout all passengers booked on the same trip. My suitcase weighed 47 pounds, but my son’s weighed 28, so I got to apply his unused weight to my bag’s overage! TIP: pay for checked bags at booking to get the best price!
It’s all about reducing weight in the plane. Less weight means they use less fuel, meaning… you guessed it: lower fares!
Another difference? We also saved money on check-in by printing boarding passes at home. I always print out travel information anyway, and if it can save me $10 per person by doing that? Bonus!
Not quite SO different for my family: Long-time and regular readers, you know we strive to eat healthy, even on the go. One way we avoid junk food is by packing our own snacks. Well, well, well, guess what? Spirit saves us money just with little things we already do! By not offering complimentary snacks and drinks, Spirit doesn’t make you pay for foods you’re not going to eat anyway (or let your kids eat!).
I call this the BYOS savings (that’s Bring Your Own Snack). Parents can pack healthy, and kids are sure to have a snack they’ll eat! Win-win! TSA check-ins make bringing a drink a little harder, but we brought empty water bottles and filled them up after we got through the scanners. Easy-peasy. If you do forget to pack a snack or drink, Spirit has refreshments for purchase during flight with your debit or credit card – they had a variety of choices and options on the menu.
Different seats! Now I know you’re wondering: what about the seating? More seats = more passengers = lower fares for all! Spirit can fit more seats on their planes because the seats don’t recline. Personally, I loved NOT having to worry about someone in front of me suddenly jolting their seat back into my lap! If you need more legroom, upgrade to the “Big Front Seats” for a minimal fee. We did have the luxury of these seats on our trip and the legroom was very generous! My husband is six foot two and fit nicely with no complaints. In looking around at other passengers in regular seats, I thought they seemed to have plenty of room as well.
Flying Spirit Airlines makes a difference for family travel
Our family thoroughly enjoyed our flights to and from Myrtle Beach on Spirit Airlines (surprising fact, not all the Spirit airplanes are yellow!). The flight attendants on the way down handled a seating mix up gracefully and with ease, and on the way back, we had the most hilarious flight attendant who made listening to the flying instructions highly entertaining. Every flight should have someone so funny on board!
My oldest son and I had a great time on our side of the aircraft – I actually had to shush him a few times as his exclamations of excitement over takeoff and landing were rather loud! As with any flight, I recommend earplugs and a sleeping mask to really relax for your trip… although on the way down I was way too excited to actually fall asleep! Our youngest was a fearless flyer, and zonked out comfortably on the flight home.
Our boys are still talking about our flight to Myrtle Beach on Spirit Airlines. In fact, they talk about the plane ride so much, you’d almost think we never went here:
Apparently, all my kids need for a happy vacation, is a plane ride! (But if you want to see what we did and our stay at the Breakers Resort in Myrtle Beach, stay tuned for my next post!).
Thanks to Spirit Airlines for sponsoring this post. Travel with Spirit Airlines and accommodations at Breakers Resort were provided to facilitate my posting. All opinions expressed and experiences shared are my own.