Since then I've traveled several times, and I've worked to pack the bare necessities. I even participated in a pageant and only brought a small suitcase and a bag!
I also came to the conclusion that flights really are cheaper when you pack sparingly. Since I really love to travel (have passport, will leave the country!), I would rather spend money on experiences than on suitcases.
With this in mind, I decided to join the Spirit Airlines $9 Club.
WHAT? Am I CRAZY? I mean Spirit has such a bad reputation for late flights, overbooking, tight spaces and strict luggage rules. How could I possibly make Spirit work?
Well, dear readers, I have decided to give it a try. I know what I'm getting into. If my flight is supposed to depart at 10:20, I'll be lucky to be in the air at 11:00. If it is supposed to land at 2:00, we may be circling the runway at 5:20. The trick is to realize this and to plan accordingly. They tell you up front that there are no "free" drinks or snacks; that's okay, just bring your own. The point is, with one of the newest fleet of planes in the sky, Spirit has great safety reviews and they are very up front about what you get for your money. Honestly, they feel a lot like every single airline or train I took in Europe. To me, a little common sense will save a lot of money in the end. And it's worth it.
My first experience is right around the corner. I will be flying Spirit on my way to the cruise. I am flying the day before, so that if there are any hiccups, I will have time to fix them. And if there are none? Beach time, baby! We are allowed a pretty generous personal item bag, so I will have a lot of my "just in case" stuff in there. Being an 8 day cruise, I'm keeping my wardrobe in mind. I did opt to purchase a checked luggage option. That gives me a little more breathing room. I'm bringing a lot of separate to mix and match so my wardrobe doesn't need to be so extensive. It leaves me a lot of room for souvenirs, too. Purchasing my bag option when I booked saved me a lot of money, too.
With the cost of my 1 year $9 club membership, my checked bag and my ticket, I was still $89 less than my next cheapest option. The annual membership will be great, too, when it's cold in Missouri and I long for the beaches in Mexico, or if I get a yearning to visit some of my southern friends. I won't need to dream....I will just need to pack my carry on bag and GO!
Maybe I'm being idealistic, but I think that Spirit may be ushering in a new era of airline travel, and I'm excited to take advantage of it. I learned in Europe that less is more; we will see if that works when I'm on my cruise. Stay tuned for my post-flight report, and maybe you, too, will be inspired to get in the "less is more" travel Spirit, too!