Travel Tuesdays: Airlines

February 27
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Hey guys, so if you follow me on Instagram you know my husband and I recently finished up a two week trip to Europe. I loved sharing while on my trip and asked if you guys were interested in blog posts and you said YES. As I said, the focus of these posts will be on how to travel simply and affordably. I will be sharing my favorite places from each of the cities we visited as well as tips on how to travel on a budget. In the future I will share about other places we have visited as well as hometown of Orlando.

Are you ready?

So first of all to start things out I wanted to talk about buying airlines tickets.

We flew Norwegian Airlines for this flight and loved it. We were able to find tickets super cheap. We traveled in February from Orlando and purchased tickets in August.  Our tickets we between $160 and $190 each way for the base ticket. We bought the LowFare+ tickets where where $90 more. (This can change, I saw flights with the add ons for only $70.) This includes a checked bag, meals, and you get to pick your seat. On their own these items are approximately $35 each.

We flew on a a Boing 787-9 which sits 9 across in coach. Because we booked super early we had lots of seats options. We chose row 27 because it had two seats available and from what I could find out had tons of legroom. Although neither Charlie or I are super tall, 10 hours in a plane is never fun. We lucked out and the row was great. We did not have anyone in front of us and there was an open space that was great. We were able to stand up if needed and get out of our seats without disturbing the other person in our row. This was an exit row so it is only open to willing adults but it worked great for us. These seats were close to the restroom but the smell was not bad; the only smell we noticed was a slight chemical smell and not actual… bathroom stuff.

For this Norwegian plane we found that rows six, nine, and twenty-seven were the best.  These rows also offer basinet options in the middle bulkhead seats. If you have a child under the age of two these are definitely worth looking into.  A couple on our return flight had a baby and once the flight was in air the flight attendants came in and attached a bassinet to the wall. The baby was able to sleep and hang out in there as long as the fasten seat belts sign was off. For more on how to reserve those check out this blog post I found.

As I mentioned, we purchased the the LowFare+ tickets which included a meal. The food kept us alive but was not great. Of course, it is airline food, so we didn’t have high expectations. Our dinners did come with a beverage and I was able to get wine which was nice to help wind down. We also received a brown bag sandwich with juice and yogurt before we landed. Next time we fly with Norwegian we may just buy the tickets and maybe a suitcase instead of the meals as I think we could have lived without them.

I was surprised to find that even with the cheap tickets each traveler was allowed one carry on bag. This could be as large as a carry on rolling bag. There is a weight limit of 10 kilograms which is about 22 pounds. For this trip Charlie brought his carry on but checked it and I brought a slightly larger bag. In the future we’d both bring regular carry on bags and carry them on the flight. You also can bring one personal item such as a purse or briefcase.

Lets talk about seats. In my opinion seat selection for an overseas flight is worth if if you are traveling with a companion. Although we don’t interact a bunch on a flight, it is worth it to have that person next to you. Seat selection is $35 each but ensures you actually sit next to your companion. For short flights we have skipped the seat selection, but for more than two hours I think it is a good idea.

The in-flight entertainment was good. I watched Baby Driver on the way over which was something I had been meaning to watch for some time. The selection was good with lots of movies and TV shows and the touchscreens had games as well. As is the trend, we were able to order drinks and snacks via our screens as well; it even had a place to swipe your credit card.

Overall we enjoyed our flights and will most likely use the airline again. In the future we will rethink the LowFare+ tickets and maybe just pay for the seats  which would cost us $140 for two people on two flights compared to the $360 we paid for the seats/bags/meals. I suggest booking in advance and reviewing the far calendar to see when the best deals are.

In general, I like low cost “a la carte” airlines as long as you know what you are getting in to. I can’t count the times I’ve  seen people flying Spirit or Allegiant get upset because they have to pay for a bag or are not seated next to their loved one. Always review the baggage policy and check your bag size. When booking pay for additional luggage then and be creative. When we fly Allegiant together we can usually share one checked bag saving us some money, try options like that to see what works. And budget airlines don’t give you a free bag of pretzels and half a can of coke. But guess what? You will live or spend $3 on one there, it is worth it if you saved $100 on the flight.

So that is my experience with these airlines, if you have any questions or comments share them below!

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Things I’m loving for spring

February 24
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Depending on where you live you might feel like spring has already started or like it will never happen. Down here in Florida we are having that one week of perfect 80 degree days before summer starts in March. I generally don’t really have much of a spring wardrobe due to the fact that we don’t have that here, but I have been seeing the cutest stuff this season and I wanted to share some of my favorites. Or maybe this is just a way for me to group stuff I want to buy together for easier shopping later. 😉

First up: Mules. I think I asked over of Instastories if y’all were into mules and I don’t remember a positive response, but guess what? I like them anyways. I LOVE this pair from Madewell, they just seem perfect.  Looking for a budget option? This blush pink par from Target are adorable and affordable.  I am currently going through my closet finding what I could wear them with. Lastly, I have had this pair from American Eagle in my shopping basket just waiting for the next sale.

Next up: Shorts. Yes, shorts, I am a Florida girl and shorts are pretty much a year round thing. For the last several years I have been getting my shorts from American Eagle. Nice and simple and I always go for a dark wash, lightly distressed mid length cut off like these or these.  I wear these in the spring with a tank and a flannel long sleeve shirt or sometimes a cute long sleeve tee.

Have you seen this super cute top from Old Navy? It might be a sleep shirt, but it is perfect for lazy weekends.  All about the coffee.  I generally stay away from graphic tees as I don’t get much chance to wear them but I love to keep one or two in the closet for the weekends. I like this one and this one from Old Navy as well. I don’t like to spend a ton on that type of thing as they are more of a short term purchase. Bonus: While grabbing those links I saw Old Navy has a ton of local based tees. Check them out to spread some hometown love.

I am a sucker for a good pair of yoga pants and I love the Lululemon Align II pants. They came out with new colors and I am in love with this new color, So Merlot. It is the perfect blush color for spring. I haven’t purchased these because really, I don’t need them, but if I had a casual job or worked from home I would be all over these.

I love a good pair of dark wash denim. I have this pair by J Crew sitting in my stopping cart. A perfect 9 in. inseam and pockets that make your rear look good. I just love how dark denim can be worn with almost anything to any event, day or night.

Ok, Last item is also from J. Crew, this perfect boatneck tee. This is the kind of classic wardrobe staple that you want from a good retailer. Something that will not fade and will last for years. Classics, am I right?

I am going to go ahead and step away from the computer now before I spend my mortgage money. Are you eying anything that I should know about? Let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram, I’m @_amberdowns

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