I’ve heard people complain for years about how terrible the luggage restrictions are on airlines like Spirit and Frontier. They complain about being charged outrageous fees once they get to the gate, even though these rules were clearly outlined prior to and at the point of purchase of their tickets. Well it seems like even more airlines, including a lot of the bigger ones are adding the basic fare ticket to their fee schedule. United Airlines was one of the earlier ones and now Delta and America Airlines also have them.
This isn’t anything new, there are quite a few European budget airlines and it’s truly an economical route if done properly. These basic economy tickets can save you a few hundred bucks per person, per trip! Now, there are a few things to keep in mind when booking a basic economy type ticket. They come with tons of restrictions and you often have to pay for a lot of the things we’ve grown accustomed to getting “for free” when flying. Often times you’re restricted to one piece of personal luggage, you can’t pre-select your seat for free and you might even have to check in at a kiosk or with a desk agent if you don’t pay for luggage. At least that’s what United made me do. This added time to my airport process, but it’s something I accounted for when I planned my travels. In fact, when I decided to buy that ticket there were a few other things I had to keep in mind and I wanted to share them with y’all.
Packing cubes – They save lives and space. I am a recovering over-packer and these cubes have been saving my behind since last year. They keep my suitcase organized and allow me to pack quite a bit in a tiny space. I snagged this set last year from Amazon on sale for like $10, but there are tons available. Find a set that works best for you, and I recommend getting one that has different sizes.
Only bring necessary makeup – In fact, you can skip makeup entirely if you want! There’s no need to bring your whole bathroom sink. I tend to stick with my liquid foundation, powder, eyebrow supplies, two eyeshadows, mascara, eyeliner, travel setting spray and maybe 2-3 lippies. I know that might sound like a lot, but I’m able to fit it all into a tiny Vera Bradley traveling jewelry case and go.
Multi-purpose shoes – Y’all. I saw people in New Orleans with entire suitcases for their shoes. For a three day weekend. I understand that options are nice, but when checked luggage costs $50+ please believe that I’ll be bringing multi-purpose shoes. Wear your heaviest/biggest pair on the plane and pack flats or sandals.
Leave your big electronics at home – It’s a weekend getaway and you don’t need your laptop, tablet, phone, DSLR camera, point & shoot camera, etc…you get where I’m going with this. Pick one or two and leave the rest at home. You’ll be out exploring the city and hardly on those devices anyway. I tend to only bring my phone, iPad with my bluetooth keyboard case and necessary chargers with me when I go on my weekend getaways and it works out perfectly!
I can definitely see myself using these basic economy fares for domestic weekend getaways. Quick 1-2 hour flights where I don’t mind sitting in the middle seat and not getting a beverage or snack. My little suitcase and tips helped save me money for my New Orleans vacation last month and they’ll help me save money for Atlanta next week! Have y’all flown on a basic economy fare yet? If so, what did you think? How did you prepare yourself for it? Comment below or tweet me and let me know!