Flying the more than four-hour trip from LAS to PHL was not exactly the highlight of my winter vacation — whether it was the return flight back to reality or opinions about the airline coming my way, I already had an earful about Spirit Airlines before boarding the plane.
Friends and frequent travelers alike advised me to switch my tickets, anything more than an hour is too long on a budget flight and the price isn’t actually worth the trouble — needless to say, my expectations were low, even at the gate.
In the event the flight had no entertainment at all, which sounded like it was going to be the case, my sister and I downloaded podcasts and music onto our phones and a few movies on an iPad. We triple checked our headphones were ready and able, charged at the gate and were ready for our flight.
When our plane was ready to board, I watched a Spirit flight attendant help a passenger in a wheelchair find his boarding pass and assist him through the gate. I was surprised when the passenger turned around and was coming back toward us — he left his cane in the airport restroom and needed it for the flight. We continued boarding as an airport staff member tagged along with him to help retrieve the passenger’s cane and assist him again. It was a nice show of understanding while the line of customers waited patiently, without complaint.
Of all the stories I heard from friends and fellow travelers, the one I was mildly worried about was the limited luggage space. My sister and I easily fit both of our carry-ons in the overhead bins, jackets behind us and personal items under the seat in front of us. Yes, we had to purchase that carry-on space, but we saved some money by doing so while booking our tickets.
While we were at cruising altitude, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt. It might have been a mix of my winter jacket acting as back support, but I had zero complaints about the seats. My sister listened to some predownloaded podcasts, I listened to music and we both nodded off for an hour or so before deciding to watch a few movies.
Service came by offering water, soda and snacks for a charge, but this was the rare occasion when I packed granola bars and water, so we were set for the remainder of the flight. Our flight left on time and arrived early, so that was a nice way to end the trip.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
Friends and family members of travelers are always looking for the right gift. It’s hard to find something that will surprise a traveler and also be something they use often. Many are trying to look past the typical gifts travelers get, such as notebooks and pens, and looking more toward destination-specific or more unique items. Gift giving can be difficult for some that don’t know what a traveler is looking for or needs, but these three gifts are a great starting point.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.