I’m not normally one to check a bag, so when I looked at Spirit Airlines baggage policies a little too late my jaw dropped. I had already booked my flight and it was too late to cancel. It was also too late to add a carry-on to my itinerary without getting hit by astronomical fees.
Okay, $50 may not be astronomical in the scheme of things, but it sure is when your plane ticket was about $45!! And even worse, they charge you $100 if they decide your personal item is too big at boarding.
I fully understand they are a no-frills airline and support the existence of such a thing. There is definitely a customer group out there that they cater to. This type of airline was a huge part of my travels when I studied abroad in Europe so I’m not unfamiliar either. It just seemed to slip under my nose this time as I blindly clicked through the booking process on their site.
After I picked my jaw back up, I decided to take this as a challenge (and blog post opportunity) rather than freak out. I am happy to report that I packed for my entire Dallas weekend (3 days & 3 nights) in Spirit Airline’s definition of a personal item AND got onto the plane sans any brawls with the flight attendants (unfortunately I can’t speak for a few other flyers).
What I Packed
- Pajamas (tank top and boxer shorts)
- T-shirt and nike shorts
- Another tank top
- Two blouses
- Light sweatshirt
- Makeup bag
- Jewelry bag
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Chargers (phone, Kindle, camera)
- Nikon DSLR
- Cross-body bag with wallet
The Tricks to Packing Light
MEASURE YOUR BAGGAGE. I originally planned to pack in a Vera Bradley overnight bag. Tiny, right? But after a horror story about a recent encounter with Spirit Airlines charging $100 on one of our friend’s similar bag, I whipped out the measuring tape and found a bag that was at least half an inch smaller than their parameters on each side. Turns out my LL. Bean tote from high school was the perfect size (now if only it had a zipper top).