Monday, February 3, 2014

Challenge Accepted!

Den and I are planning on going to Vegas in the fall. Yay, us! And I am hoping that we will really be able to get the tickets for close to free. The problem is that they raised the cost of luggage. It's anywhere from $35 to $100 for a carry on depending on when you pay(on-line or the airport). A checked bag is anywhere from $30 to $100. Den and I usually get our things into one bag and check it at the airport. It would cost us $60 round trip if I purchased it when we book our flights.
Here is where they have issued me a personal challenge, on the site it says, "Bring Less, Pay Less – Our bag pricing gives you the freedom to only pay for what you bring. Pack light and save, especially if you only bring a free personal item."
A personal item is " (e.g. purse, small backpack, etc.) dimensions must not exceed 16 x 14 x 12 inches (40 x 35 x 30 cm) including handles and wheels."
So I contacted Spirit asking them about it and they emailed back and said basically if it fits it flys. Meaning if it doesn't exceed 16x14x12, its a go.
This ugly bag is what I use to store our gloves in but I thought that it might be the right size. So the gloves got dumped and I went to work. And let me tell you, a mock packing can make you work up a sweat!
This is a picture of all the toiletries that we bring.
I got it all into 3 bags. I stuffed it in the bags haphazardly. I know I can do better with more time. I just wanted to get an idea if it was even possible for us to pack for 5 or 6 days in one of these cases.
I packed 4 pairs of capris, 4 pairs of socks, 5 undies, 6 tops, 3 bras, 1 pair of flippies, a small purse, and one of the bags with the toiletries.
I got everything in there but those two little bags. Then I dumped everything that was mine out and put it back. I'm telling you this was a mess. And then I went to see if everything would fit for Den. I wasn't going to buy another bag if there was no chance of it working.
Den had 7 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 3 undies, 2 socks and the 2 bags that wouldn't fit in mine.
TADA! And the cats slept through the entire thing!
When the bag was filled with my stuff it measured 15x10.25x9. So I made it under the 16x14x12. When the bag had Den's stuff in it, it measured 15.5x11x9. So again we were all good.
I think with a bit more effort and planning the outfits more carefully, I could save more space. I also don't think that we would need that many shirts. But I wanted to see if I could get close to a weeks worth of clothes in there. I also need to go through our toiletries. I know I could pare them down a bit. I might even be able to find a smaller purse. I also just stuffed everything in there. I have some mad tetris skills that I could put to good use.
I have never brought this much through security before. I think this is one of the draw backs to this plan. And that if for some chance they decide that they won't let our bags fly, we would have to pay $100 each bag to stow it. I don't see this happening but since I have never tried to bring a bag through I don't know what to expect. I'm also not sure if we could make it 6 to 7 days on this little. I don't want me being cheap and trying to save money ruining our trip. Den might start to stink. Just sayin'. There are a few unknowns there.
The plus side to all of this is we would save quite a bit of money. $60 a trip is nothing to sneeze at. And if we got bumped like we did that one trip, we would have clothes to wear. It was VERY miserable being out there with nothing. Not even the phone charger. And I hate standing and waiting to get your luggage. With the carry on bags,we could just walk out the door and catch a bus. I've also had my luggage lost before. Oh that was a fresh hell, let me tell you. I have also had one of the legs snapped off of our luggage. You would forget that you had to hold it, stand it up and watch it fall over since you couldn't catch it in time. Not to mention, all the dings, busted zippers and one long stain that we never could identify on the luggage that was left in the airlines care. I was watching the guys load and unload bags once and I saw one of the drivers run over a bag that was off to the side. I thought he was driving over to it to pick it up. Nope just wanted a speed bump. And he looked back to make sure that he hit it with the attached cars he was pulling. REALLY?!?!?!
I guess we will give this a go our next trip. We will see if this makes our trip better or worse. I'm guessing that this will be the new norm pretty quick. How long will it be before they start charging for the little personal items?
Would you do this to save money?
Tetris lover,
Sonya Ann


mama .bonnie said...

Hum, I'm scratching my head here because couldn't you get those toiletries for free at the hotel? Or better yet, visit the local dollar store when you get there? Use to be you couldn't bring some of that stuff in your carryon, you'll need to check into those regs about how much you are allowed now.
But I know you love a good challenge and you do have a lot of time to do it.
Good luck!

Sonya Ann said...

mama-I need to bring a little shampoo and conditioner with me because my hair is so long. I'm going to donate it one more time.
I did check the TSA regulations, I'm all good as long as it doesn't go over 3 oz. Hey, did you know that you can't bring chlorine pucks on a plane. Nope, either did I.

Frances said...

Just ask for extra shampoo and conditioner at the hotel. I have done that before and never been told no.

Since I have been flying Southwest airlines the last few times I flew, I just checked my bag as bags fly free on Southwest. Though in the past, I have fit everything for a 7 day trip in a rolling carry on bag.

Cheapchick said...

I would do that to save money, I also would ensure I was wearing a jacket whether I needed it or not to stash things in the pockets *like a cellphone charger/headphones/etc. Just make sure to put all your small liquids and lotions in a small plastic baggie separate from everything else. Have fun in Vegas whenever you get there. It has been many years since we went, but then again, I got very lucky in Vegas, met my hubby there :)

slugmama said...

Heck if I had to pay for bags, I just put ALL my clothes on....layers ya know?
Of course I'd be too wide to fit in the plane seat and have to pay for two.
Ya see?....I can't get a break. lolz

Congrats for challenging my title of "World's Best Packer". I once got everything I owned, including furniture, into a Chevy Chevette.

Sonya Ann said...

Frances-We have a Spirit credit card. It isn't our main credit card but when I can get a better deal using it, I will. So we are sort a stick flying them. Not that I mind. They have the same mindset as I do, strip it down and charge/spend less.

Sonya Ann said...

Cheapchick-That is awesome that you met your husband in Vegas. Were you just visiting Vegas or what? I would love to hear that story!

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-Ya can't win for losing! I will wear a few layers but I still want to get as much as I can in the bags. I also think that I didn't try very hard to find thinner clothes and smaller whatevers.
You win on the packing car. How far did you have to drive it?

McVal said...

Amazing... I didn't realize they charge for luggage! I haven't had to travel much lately.
and amazing you can fit all that in there. You just know you're going to get dinged to have security go through it. Don't pack a fingernail clipper or you're going to get body cavity searched.

Sonya Ann said...

McVal-I am going to put the nail file in Den's case!!!! HAHAHA! That would be wonderful payback. We went to FL when the kids were little and he bought brass knuckles and then put them in my case! I carried them right through security cuz I didn't know they were there. He said that was for the best because I wouldn't act like anything was up. He's an ass.

Jane said...

You really need more helpful cats. Kazi's suitcase made it to Australia but was almost ripped to shreds. It took 2 people to carry it or else stuff would have fallen out. Maybe that's the one you saw being driven over!

slugmama said...

I moved from Va. Beach, VA to grad school in Winston-Salem, NC w/that packed Chevette.....about 280 miles. Hella fun...not!

Sonya Ann said...

Jane-They really do beat the Hell out of luggage. She was lucky that she had help with hers.
And my cats suck. They do nothing but make work especially the little one.

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-That is a whole lotta crazy. You must have some awesome packing skills.