My original idea for this post was to give you the latest in flight deals, but then I thought… How can I give you flight deals without going over some of the basics!?…
If your’re a frequent flyer and already familiar, this may not be the post for you (But don’t leave completely, browse some of the other articles).
The 24 Hr Rule
As long as you book a Non-refundable ticket 7 days prior to takeoff, airlines are required to do 1 of 2 things:
Allow you to change/ cancel trip within 24 hrs / OR
Hold the booking for 24 hrs at the price w/o payment (American Airlines; be sure to select the HOLD option)
So what does this mean????
If you find a good price that you can’t pass up, GET IT!!! Tell your friends about it…Then figure the rest out later. (Within 24 hours of course.)
Don’t Get Burned by Basic Economy
On a trip to New York for Jordan’s birthday one year, we found some really great airline tickets. I figured I would save even more money by packing the kids things in a carry-on instead of paying a checked bag fee.
As I went over the rules, I realized I had to pay for my carry on and the family was not sitting together…..UGHHHH…
The tickets we purchased were Basic Economy. Not that I mind basic economy, I just like to be prepared for things like that, especially when it involves “my coins”.
Oh… What is basic economy???
Basically, flights offered by Delta, United, and American Airlines that are cheaper and without those “extra special services”
Here’s the run down for each airline’s basic economy ticket:
Flight changes and refunds not allowed (after the 24 hr period)
Allowed ONLY 1 personal item (must be able to fit under the seat)
Seat assignment or upgrades not available
group seating not available unless seats are available
So when shopping for airline tickets be sure to review all details. They’re really good about explaining the ticket types and the extra amenities available to you.
Another biggie seems to be WiFi. I mean, how can we survive without it??
Most airlines on most routes offer wi-fi for a small fee. However, don’t expect lightening fast speeds, technology have advanced, but we still have some time to go for that.
Delta now offers free messaging to keep in touch with those on the ground through iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. Save the videos, pictures, and texts, unfortunately you won’t be able to send any of those
For the T-mobile customers (that’s me) you get to enjoy 1 Free Hour of Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights (within the US) on top of the visual voicemail and the unlimited text messages.
So next time somebody laughs at you because your T-mobile service doesn’t have the best signal. Text/ call them from the plane.
What better way then to start your 2018 off with a flight out of here???
I’ve never been a fan of Sade’. I always thought the music was ummm a little depressing. My husband is a huge fan though. So today, for some reason as I was working, I decided to listen to the Best of Sade’.
Who am I kidding? It’s the Lover’s Holiday.
So to keep up with the mood of today, I had my r&b radio station playing while I worked. Sade happened to come on, and instead of turning it, I gave it a try…. I’m A FAN NOW!!!
I have been singing “this is no ordinary love, no ordinary love” ALL DAY … that and those are the only words I know.
but it got me thinking 2 things:
Why do we even celebrate Valentine’s Day?
What is the rest of the world doing today?
If you’re curious about the 1st question.. Check out the History below. It’s pretty interesting.
Did you know?
Americans spend $20 Billion on Valentine’s Day. Sheesh
As I scrolled through Instagram for answers to the 2nd question, it made me think about my own plans.
(Don’t forget to follow me by the way @The_Travel_Outlier)
For us, it was a Netflix and Chill night. It sounds simple but things are not always as they appear, especially with a 2yr old.
Today, my dollar did not go towards the $20 Billion. (Only because we’re headed to Charleston with the kids this weekend) So after work, I did my usual routine which involves picking 2/3 kids up from school, J brings Zoe home.
All I could think is “this is no ordinary love, no ordinary love”, the lyrics seem to be following me.
And like any love scene, with the music in the background right on queue, in walks J holding gifts for all his girls (Me, Jordan, and Zoe).
After eating, washing clothes, getting the kids (3) ready for the next day, and 3 unsuccessful attempts to put Zoe to sleep before she crashed on her own…
I ended up watching Netflix alone, with the smooth sounds of snoring in my ear from the mister.
My movie of choice was a new Chris Rock comedy special Tamborine. Definitely worth watching!!
About half way through, the tone started to get serious as he discussed his divorce. He advised the only thing a married couple should be doing is …..
having sex and traveling or Cumming and Going as he put it!!!
But it was real and it was honest!!
I took it as a sign to pull out the laptop and start typing. As I look over at my honey and I heard….
“This is no ordinary love, no ordinary love”
and started to smile. Nope we’re not ordinary at all!!!
Do you remember your first flight.. or even vacation?? Well…
I equate flying to those memorable moments like: first riding a bike or driving your first car; you never forget your first flight and where you went.
For me, my first flight I remember (assuming you’ve read About Me) was to the Bahamas!
I was 22 years old.
I had been to the island before, on a day to cruise as a kid. The family nicknamed it the “Bruise cruise”, it was that terrible!
So the experience was not the same, memorable, but not the same.
On the flight, I can remember being scared, nervous, excited, so many emotions. Luckily, I was traveling with “The Girls” (3/5 of best friends since grade school).
I think everyone’s first thought is…
I read somewhere your odds are 1 in 11 million if that makes you feel better. Anywho…
The youngest out of the group was getting married. So the rest of us were bridesmaids (That’s me in the middle) The trip was a life changing experience, and I wasn’t the one getting married. The irony!
I decided Traveling would become a Priority, and it was!
By this time I had already had Jacari and Jordan, I knew I wanted them to have the same experiences. They will appreciate it more once they become part of “travel conversations.”
We try to make room for several trips throughout the year, rather it is…
Ship, plane, or car, we are always on the go!
So how am I a Travel Outlier???
Me?…Are you ready??
I am a:
black woman, who was a teenage mom, a college dropout, who married young (24; we’re still kicking it) had 3 children, became a football mom, a cheer-leading mom, who somehow went back to school, got a degree, while working full time… who used travel to grow!!
Because I’m a mother of 3, getting the children ready while my husband and I vacation, is a task in itself. They usually get split up. My oldest 2 fight constantly, so I try not to overload anyone.
I figure it’s the least I can do, right?
It takes a village!
This time, Jacari went off with my mom. Jordan went with her Aunt. While Zoe went with her cousin/Aunt (you know; the cousins who are much older so you just adopt them as your aunt). Yes, my village is amazing! Even knowing the plan weeks leading up, I still managed to wait until the last minute to pack for ALL OF US.
Before your flight be sure to check in 24 hrs in advanced. There’s usually an App for your airline so check- in is pretty straightforward. This can be a real time saver!
Time for TAKE OFF
We had an early morning flight from Atlanta at 11 am. The drive takes a little over 2 hours from Greenville, SC, so we hit the road around 6 am.
We usually fly from Atlanta because our local airport GSP, ONLY offers Non- Stop flights to 14 destinations and Las Vegas was not one of them.
(I’m not a fan of layovers, unless the deal is right)
Atlanta airport is currently going through construction depending on your flight and airline there may be some delay. Be sure to minimize as much of it as possible. A missed flight is the worst.
Sign up with your airline’s frequent flyer program to start racking up on skymiles. The savings and perks are definitely worth it. I cashed my SkyMiles in with Delta for $79.29 (not too bad)
Day 1 Finally… Vegas Baby !!
As soon as you walk off the plane, BOOM…slot machines. That‘s crazy!
(Oh I guess I should have mentioned this was our first time in Las Vegas.)
The Strip is about 10-20 mins. away from the airport, depending on traffic, so finding a ride to your hotel should not be a problem. Unless your hotel includes airport transfers. Ask!
We settled for SuperShuttle at $40 (round-trip transportation for 2)
If you don’t have any, I suggest you make plans for return. I find it one less hassle to deal with, especially if you have an early flight out
The Mirage was amazing and the rooms were very nice. We stayed on the 15th floor with a view of Caesars Palace.
The mini fridge was filled with snacks, beer, wine etc..Do Not Fall For it. I’m not exactly sure how much it cost, but I didn’t want to find out.
Call the hotel in advance to get information on resort fees, special taxes, and incidental holds. Always be prepared!
To kill time until the other half of our group got there, we grabbed some pizza from the strip. Then we hit the slots!! I am not a gambler, but the lights and the sounds of winning caught me.
Luckily for me though, I know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. I walked away with about $120 playing the Penny Slots.
Did you know?
The carpets in the casinos are designed to look awful to keep your eyes off the floor and on the machines. Crazy right! So next time you’re there and you want to keep your $$ Look Down!
Time to hit the strip
The other half stayed at Treasure Island, which is next door to The Mirage. There is stram between the two, which made it a lot easier.
They came prepared, so after shots, we were ready VEGAS STYLE.
When in Rome… Do as the Romans!!
There were a couple of people in our group who preferred “a more herbal approach to life” and being that Las Vegas has now legalized “the herb” for both medical and recreational uses, we had to find a dispensary, right?
Imagine… It’s Chicago 1949, you and your family have survived World War II, rather it was from military duty or at home dealing with LIFE’s ups, downs, twists, and turns.
I’ll let you decide.
But…With all things considered, you’re doing pretty well for yourself.
So well, you decide to purchase a car for the family and hit the open road the 1st day of summer.
Most of your friends have traveled out west in search of better opportunity. So, finding somewhere to stay while you’re out there would not be a problem.
The family is so excited that they’ve been packed for weeks by the time summer comes. You all head out early morning, packed with all the necessities. After all, its going to be a long journey from Chicago to California.
You hit the road on Route 66, the Mother Road. You have been driving for hours and it is getting pretty late, so you decide to take a stop.