Cheap-Ass Travel-Related Things I’m Just Too Damn Old To Continue Doing » VSB

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Cheap-Ass Travel-Related Things I’m Just Too Damn Old To Continue Doing

Daylight Savings has run up and kicked all of our collective asses. Which means spring seems to finally be coming around the corner, and it’s time to rub what little coins I have together and start planning out my excursions for the rest of the year. Not only do I need the occasional respite from New York City and all the burdens of day-to-day living here, but getting older also means more annual trips that are obligations disguised as fun weekend getaways. You know, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, baby showers, your least favorite aunt’s 30th wedding anniversary, et cetera.

As I’m starting to firm up how I can manage to get myself on the Travel Noire IG page without trekking to Easter Island — i’ve already bought my dramatic floppy hat and picked out my most flattering Instagram Filters — I’ve come to realize that some corners I used to cut in order to finagle that extra stamp on my passport are just not worth the quality tradeoff. Unfortunately, the more life experience I’ve acquired, the more I’ve developed these pesky things called standards that have evolved into non-negotiables for any wayfaring adventure, whether it be by land or by sea.

Here are some things I just won’t do anymore:

1. Have hotel accommodations similar to the old woman who lived in a shoe

As a child, I hated naps. Which, to be fair, isn’t altogether unusual, except most three-year-olds don’t take their apathy towards forced rest to such extents that they lead nap rebellions in daycare and promptly get kicked out as a result. Fast forward a couple of decades, and sleep is one of the most valuable parts of my day, second to keeping up with Serge Ibaka’s antics on IG. And unlike Serge’s thirst trap photos, it is neither plentiful or of consistently high quality for me, making guaranteed rest one of the most underrated parts of vacations. This means that I will not sign up for sleeping situations of 74 people to one room like we are all headed to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break. If I am paying to go somewhere, I am entitled to a reasonable sleeping space that consists of more than “a corner to pass out in.”

2. Make unnecessarily long drives  

A friend recently proposed a weekend trip to either Toronto or Montreal for a weekend this summer. Which is all good and fine…except he proposed we make a road trip out of it. *record scratch*

You guys, there are three things that are never fun: dental exams, filing taxes, and road trips. No matter how lit your driving playlist is, nothing is interesting about extremely long stretches of road with nothing to do but play bumper sticker games and eat Wawa sandwiches, while your friends fall asleep in the passenger seat on the way to the Canadian border. Also, after about a distance of five or so hours, you are not altogether saving that much money in gas, tolls, and food expenses you’re racking up — but you sure are wasting a hell of a lot of time. Suck it up and book the flight.

3. Live off despair and twizzlers

I can’t afford to go on vacation if I can’t afford to stuff myself at will. I didn’t spend two months trying to shed these twenty pounds to NOT eat two dinners back to back if I am so inclined. Vacations are for gluttony as much as they are for showing off on social media, and I need to budget accordingly for that circumstance.

4. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is the Chinatown bus of aviation. I don’t care how cheap they tell me a flight will be (and after paying for everything from carry-ons to a damn napkin to wipe the sweat from your face from being in that hell machine on wings with seats that don’t even freaking recline, it’s not altogether that inexpensive), you could not get me onto one of their flights if the Popeye’s Lady herself was standing at the gate gifting spicy two-pieces to everyone who entered. I still have some life to live and contribute to the world, and a momma that loves me, and I am just not interested in wasting half of my precious days waiting at a gate for a flight that’s three hours delayed, or a missing plane, or one of the umpteen ways that Spirit Airlines is indisputably the fucking worst. I’m an adult. Adults don’t have to play three dollars for water in a steel cage without air conditioning like it’s a commissary.

I’m certainly looking forward to indulging in a bit of wanderlust over the next few months. However, that absolutely does not have to come at the expense of my self-respect, so I am readily anticipating comfortable flights, food and lodging from here on out. Here’s to an adventurous and pleasant vacation season for us all.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • Rocky

    I agree with everything except Spirit. It’s just like any other airline to me except inexpensive. I don’t understand people’s complaints about it. So what if you don’t get a spit of soda and some nuts. The soda and nuts are not worth an extra 200 dollars Lol

    • Tyrell Holmes

      but you have to pay for a CARRY ON….I’m doing all the work by carrying it on the plane so why do I have to pay? A spirit flight will only be good if you are going from city to city for a business trip and are returning that same day

      • Rocky

        But it says all of that on their website before you book the flight. Everything so if you don’t read it of course you’d be disappointed. They give you discounts for checked bags before you check out. They keep costs low. Even with the fees I’m still 150-200 I’m savings from taking a regular airline.

    • Mika

      $45 to check my bag though fam? At least give me something to drink. I flew them back from Costa Rica and my bag was 2lbs over and the little petty airline rep was about to charge me the overage fee, I kindly let him know I will wear everything in my bag on this plane because I was not paying extra for 2lbs. He let me slide.

      • Rocky

        Discount if you checked your bag on the website. It was 25. If you don’t read and try to check at the gate of course you’d be disappointed lol

      • Rocky

        Also every airline charges overage fees for bags. Use a scale at home ahead of time to make sure you meet weight.

    • Me

      Spirit nickles and dimes you like no other airline. By the time you add on all the “amenities” that come standard with other flights, you’d end up spending over $200 each way on a Spirit flight just to save $50 from your original booking:

      Checked bag fee from $30 if you check it at home to $100 at the gate
      Carry on bag fee from $35 if you check it at home to $100 at the gate
      Boarding pass fee from $2 at the kiosk to $10 by the agent
      Reservation fee $25
      Oversized bag fee starting at $100
      Overweight bag fee starting at $25
      Change flight fee $110
      Change flight fee if THEY overbooked the damn flight and prevented you from boarding $120
      Standby $25 (even if THEY overbooked the damn flight and prevented you from boarding)
      Redeeming miles fee $100
      Redepositing miles that you change your mind on fee $110
      Child-sized leg room with no reclining
      Employees that act like they get charged an employment fee to come to work

      • Lea Thrace

        “Change flight fee if THEY overbooked the damn flight and prevented you from boarding $120”

        This one does not compute. Isnt that against FAA rules? I thought if they bump you they have to compensate you nowadays?

        Spirit appears to be using the B9tchmoves business model…

        • Me

          That was actually the straw that made me middle finger Spirit a couple years ago. I don’t know if it’s legal, but they absolutely were charging folks on my flight that they closed the doors 20 minutes early on because they overbooked the flight and had damn near 20 people on standby. We all either had to spend the day waiting for other folks on later flights to miss their flight so we could fly out, or pay the $120 to be put on another Spirit flight. So many people of multiple ethnicities were ready to catch a charge that morning. Haven’t been a customer since that day.

      • Rocky

        If you do it all on the website they give you discounts. Every airline except southwest charges you for a bag. Every airline charges a change flight fee. It seems spirit is cheaper AA tried to charge me almost 300. If you paid for a seat on the website then you’re guaranteed on the plane. Everyone charges an oversized bag fee.

        My flight was 70 dollars to go to Miami from Atlanta. I paid for my seat and I checked my bag online. A little over 100 dollars all together I spent when the cost on any other airline was 350-400.

        For that I could live without a soda and my seat seemed normal and I could recline just fine.

        • Me

          Live it up for me then. That devil will never see another dime from me regardless of how low their advertised price is.

  • Dougie

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m NEVER flying Spirit again and you can add Frontier to that list as well. Worst flying experiences EVER.

    • haute_coutoy

      I’ve never taken Spirit before but Frontier?!?! Never again.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      Agreed. Spirit is like “Greyhound Bus” for the skies. No bueno.

    • Glad I didn’t book Frontier like I was advised to. I’ve heard too many horror stories since then.

  • Dougie

    I definitely utilize airbnb wherever I go now. 2 bedroom duplex in Miami for less than 100 a night? Don’t mind if I do!

    • Tyrell Holmes

      what is this airbnb that you speak of???

      • Dougie

        Check it out. I haven’t paid for a traditional hotel in years!

        • Tyrell Holmes

          on the site now…’preciate it

          • Dougie

            *daps*

            • Damon Young

              airbnb should give you a commission for this thread or something

              • Dougie

                lol the geniuses that developed that site have been a blessing for me over the years. I’m just paying it forward bruh.

      • Junegirl627

        people rent apt.s houses etc.
        instead of using hotels lol

        • Tyrell Holmes

          interesting concept…the reviews that I’m reading sound good tho…I may check it out

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          We do it for all vacations

    • Brandon Allen

      Airbnb is life.

    • Mika

      Yea I will never do a hotel stay again. I can’t even believe people own places like that. -__-

    • [Insert Creative Name Here]

      homeaway.com too!

      • Hubby and I book a lot of our stays through there. and vrbo.com too

        • TeeChantel

          Dropping all the gems today. Thanks!

          • Siante

            yup, I’m learning things

        • Lea Thrace

          vrbo is the best. Have rented some dope beach side abodes through it. For ridiculously cheap prices. RIDICULOUSLY cheap!

          • Yes! We went away with 6 couples one time and paid like less than 200 per Two people. It was glorious. Plus we drove there in 3 cars when hubby had the rental hookup. Clutch.

    • TheCollinB

      I don’t judge people who still stay in hotels when they travel, but I do question who raised them. Esp if you got kids you need to be on Airbnb.

      • Have you ever been to a Sonesta Suites hotel? I’m staying there every time we travel with the boys if one is available. They have a pool, gym, basketball court, kitchen, and they allow pets. It’s really like a home away from home. I don’t like that with Airbnb a lot of the time the owners are there. If I’m renting someplace, I don’t want to see anybody else but the people I came with in my face.

        • Dougie

          Gotta specify that you want the crib to yourself. I’ve never had an owner there with me.

          • I didn’t know that! Everyone I kno who’s used it has had owners present. It’s definitely an option now that I know..g’looks!

      • Junegirl627

        I don’t judge Hotel users especially when travelling international. Because you don’t know what crazy your renting.

    • Akaria Gale

      What about international travel? I’m going to Vietnam later this year.

      • Dougie

        Yup. I used it when I went to Brazil for the world cup. Group of 8 of us all spent less than 200 a piece on a 3.5 bedroom condo overlooking the water (The .5 was a maids quarters) for 9 days.

        • Akaria Gale

          Sooooooooold!

      • McFlossy

        Did it in Barcelona. Worked out nicely. Had a nice apartment in one of the swanky neighborhoods close to everywhere we wanted to be much cheaper than a hotel. #winning

  • Tyrell Holmes

    Spirit, JetBlue, and Frontier….never again

    • American Airlines which always runs out of space for carry on luggage so now I have to waste time checking it. :-/

      • Tyrell Holmes

        lol I just flew AA a few weeks ago…the dude next to me was tripping about that…my carry on was secure so I just pretended that I couldn’t hear him over my headphones

      • Brandon Allen

        How big is your carry on tho?

        • like a little bit smaller than the size of a duffle bag.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            you got a shrink ray or something????

      • KB

        American left my luggage in Miami during a layover when I went to costa rica, so I was forced to go commando for the first night at the resort since I forgot to pack an extra change of clothes in my carryon.

        • I’m still waiting for my luggage from 5 years ago

        • Quirlygirly

          I thought guys liked going commando

          • Only men who are thots and like women looking at their prints.

            • Lea Thrace

              I feel scandalized. -_-

              • I’m just giving it to you raw and uncut

      • Asiyah

        AA SUCKS! HATE IT!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      You can add Amtrac and Greyhound to this list too.

      • Msz O

        But have you tried the AutoTrain from VA to FL?! THE BEST!!

        • Sigma_Since 93

          No. I would get stuck on those trips to Grandma going from Upstate NY to Rural GA.

      • Quirlygirly

        I have had good and bad experiences on Greyhound. My last trip was good..but I have been on there with dudes trying to hit on you, people getting sick, people who smell up the bus etc..Taking the Greyhound for NYC port authority is a crap shoot- sometimes it is ok and sometimes it is awful

      • Val

        Can’t vouch for Greyhound but Amtrak is pretty nice especially on their long distance routes.

    • It’s funny that many of the cut-rate airlines have names similar to high-end drug rehab facilities.

      • Lea Thrace

        Well if that aint a thousand percent correct. Good looking out Wu!

    • Brandon Allen

      JetBlue is cool tho. Solid entertainment options. Flies to a good number of hubs. It’s not trash like Spirit or Frontier.

      • TeeChantel

        Word. I flew to BWI to Fort Lauderdale on JetBlue a couple of months ago and had no issues. I have to fly to Texas next month and trying to avoid the plague that is Spirit Airlines, but those prices look oh so good.

        • Tyrell Holmes

          everything that glitters ain’t gold

          • TeeChantel

            I know. The low airfare isn’t worth all the hassle and aggravation. I like to fly in peace.

            • Tyrell Holmes

              trust me….it won’t be any peace with Spirit

            • Deeds

              And the thing is, it ain’t even that low of a cost.

              • Val

                Right. Because when you add up the crazy fees you haven’t really saved.

                • TeeChantel

                  I hate that Spirit Airlines nickels and dimes folks like that.

        • Msz O
      • Val

        I agree. I like JetBlue. I think they’re one of the better carriers.

    • Kas

      What did JetBlue ever do to you? It’s the only airline I like.

      • Tyrell Holmes

        my one experience with them was horrible so I never went back

    • Tambra

      I like JetBlue, can’t stand AA. It is among the WORST, ijs.

    • Msz O

      Huh, JetBlue is GREAT!

      • Tyrell Holmes

        I took JetBlue from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale last year and it was probably the worse flight I ever took…late, turbulence, rudeness…so I said never again

        • Msz O

          Give them another chance. Those 3 things can happen with any airline. As someone who has traveled frequently pre 9/11, I will forever have a permanent attitude with TSA etc but I would definitely give JerBlue an opportunity to get right.

          • KB

            You gotta do the TSA precheck program. The DoD agency I work for allowed me to enroll for free, but for others I hear it’s like $85 for 5 years and worth every cent. Also, if you travel internationally a lot, the global smart entry program is a must also. Costs about $100 or so but worth it as well.

            • Tyrell Holmes

              yea I’m military so my PreTSA is free…I must say I love the looks that I get from people as I pass them in the security line and I don’t have to remove my laptop from my bags or take my shoes off lol

              • KB

                They hate us cuz they aint us fam

                • Tyrell Holmes

                  exactly…I don’t even arrive an hour early for flights anymore lol

                • Msz O

                  Word.

            • Msz O

              Yup, $85. Even with TSA Precheck, I stay mad….just not as mad. ?

  • “2. Make unnecessarily long drives”

    I don’t like driving 15 minutes to work or two hours to Columbia so if it’s more than a six hour drive I’m extra-p.o’d about the undertaking.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Having a family will make you rethink the value proposition. I hate the 8.5 hour dive to NC but I say $300 spent round trip w/ food is better than $850 – $1,200 for just plane tickets.

    • Mika

      Yea, not about that life. I hate car rides, and long ones, with stupid snacks.

      • Quirlygirly

        Dang- even the snacks are stupid..We can get you some good snacks- do you like trail mix or candy snacks? Don’t hate on the snacks..

        • Mika

          LMAO I always am asleep at snack time and then someone picks for me, and im like why would you pick this? wake me up.

    • Lea Thrace

      Look. I am plotting on a plane ticket for this trip to see the fam in a few weeks. I cant do that 4 hour ride down I-16. I just cant. It’s pure torture!

  • TeeChantel

    Spirit Airlines is the straight up devil.

  • Mika

    Yo, when I say I am NEVER flying the devil that is Spirit? I took that dump truck to New Orleans and it had me stuck there over night. Gave me a $7.00 food voucher when we all know airport food is $15.00 a plate. And then, after they delayed us THREE times, they told us to “come back some time around 9am” the next day. Don’t you know they charge you $10 if you don’t check in before coming to the airport? Nah man, NEVA EVA (Trillville voice)

    • Tyrell Holmes

      AND they charge you to print out the boarding pass

      • Mika

        They are some heathens.

      • how they charge you to print out the boarding pass? like I need this documentation to get on the plane with the ticket I already paid for

        • Tambra

          Because airlines are charging for everything now. Just now they will charge you for the recycled air you breathe on the planes.

        • Tyrell Holmes

          yea bro…if u don’t print it out at home it’s gonna be $10 for them to print it out…no lie

  • Brandon Allen

    Spirit is like the American version of Ryan Air but with all the cost cutting and none of the convenience.

    • TeeChantel

      Or Easy Jet. The worst experience of my life.

  • [Insert Creative Name Here]

    Y’all say “Spirit Airlines: Never Again.” I say “Spirit Airlines: Never Have, Never Will.” The one thing I like about adulting is that you learn from OTHER PEOPLE’S mistakes. Learn from my own: for why?!

    • J2daT

      So true….ain’t tried Spirit but have heard enough bad news to keep on deleting their popups and emails. LOL

      • KB

        Put frontier in that category too. I see their deals but keep hearing more and more horror stories from people who have flown them. Spirit is the worst though, real life soul plane.

        • Ess Tee

          I had a friend tryna talk up Frontier last month. We had all traveled to San Francisco, then afterward four of us went on to Napa for several days. At dinner we were talking about traveling out to the West Coast. I mentioned that I purposely avoided Frontier because I wasn’t about flying across the country on that airline, and he came back with, “Oh, it’s not so bad.”

          Me: :/ Really? Did you fly Frontier out here?
          Him: No, United.

          • MrDBenoit

            And fin

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        • axrxi

          I booked Frontier from Trenton to Atlanta 4th of July weekend. After checking in only two hours before I get to the airport & the flight is cancelled. My first and last time attempting with them & their terminal at Trenton looked real janky .

          • Nic

            Their Trenton terminal is indeed janky, and the employee’s have the ABSOLUTE worst attitudes! Typically, a call to corporate would be in order, but I had to remind myself of who I was dealing with, and wasn’t really prepared to deal with an agent answer the phone with “bish whet?!?!?”

    • Young Olu

      I only fly Delta cuz status. Southwest is my backup if I absolutely need to.

      • [Insert Creative Name Here]

        Besides the chaos that is the boarding process, I’m fine with Southwest. Just as long as I check in 24 hours in advance…to still end up in Group B. How the h$ll? First choice is JetBlue though.

        • AnswerMe

          Trying to squeeze between the number poles for your boarding pass. Sigh. And people that cut the line but you can see they clearly belong behind you. Do I risk a confrontation or just hope those MFs don’t get the last window seat…

        • orchid921

          Southwest … ugh. I ended up in whatever their version of first class is (the front row, I guess?) because they ***ran out of seats*** and they had no choice but to put me in the front. I would have been mad that they squeezed me in between two, um, larger ladies (sorry! I feel bad just saying that, but it’s the truth) but my doctor prescribed me a little something to deal with my fear of flying, so all was well. ;)

      • Royale W. Cheese

        I am also a member (Skymiles). I have a love-hate relationship with Delta. It’s a middle class trap. The quality is just good enough to make you start to think you might be getting the best thing for your money. But they treat economy customers like crap, and first class actually kinda sucks compared to international (which I’ve experienced twice before because of booking flukes). The first time I earned a first class upgrade, my very well-off research mentor who literally only flies first class completely took the wind out my sails when she said that Delta is the worst first class she had ever flown.

        • TheCollinB

          That’s a hater move. They didn’t want you to prosper. Your name is fuego btw.

        • Young Olu

          lol yeah Delta can be on one at times. I’ve had either platinum or diamond status with them for the past 3 years due to work. My upgrade percentage has been close to 65% domestically. Had to use miles for international business class to Europe and Nigeria one year but it was well worth it. I don’t doubt that there are better airlines out there but I am so invested in Delta that I don’t mind their shenanigans from time to time plus they have blessed me with over $2k in vouchers recently. I do want to try Qatar, Singapore, or Cathay Pacific one day.

          • Quirlygirly

            I am partial to Delta too but their prices sometimes are just awful. But I can say, I for the most part I have had good experiences with Delta.

            $2K in vouchers–I can only dream about that..

            • Young Olu

              They needed a single volunteer after everyone had boarded the plane. Should have seen how quick I jumped up as soon as I heard $1200 in Amex gift cards…whaa? Made it to my destination 3 hours later. Well worth it.

              Other vouchers have been due to their “mechanical problem” delays. I always make it a point to call and complain. Works most of the time.

              • ricotee

                They’ll definitely give you a voucher if you call and complain about delays due to mechanical problems.

          • Brina Payne

            I’m actually flying Cathay Pacific to Bangkok next month and I’m told that it’s a really nice airline…for 22 hours, I hope it will!

        • American hands down. Delta is not amazing but its definitely not the bottom of the barrel. First in American feels below the last rows in Jet Blue.

      • Illumina

        It’s usually Southwest or United for me. I have a SW credit card so, i pay a lot of stuff with it to get points fast. Only problem is they fly out of the other side of town. If it’s not them, then I go United.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      Exactly. I’ll take other folks’ word for it.

    • Jasmine

      When I noticed the bag compartment was advertising Law Offices, I never prayed so hard to make it on land again. My first and last time flying it.

      • Soulqueerian

        Yaaaaaas for “Call John Foy – The Strong Arm” lmao

    • Question

      The only thing Spirit Airlines is good for is stories of other people’s experiences with them.

    • Wild Cougar

      I haven’t found it to be that bad. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Maybe I know how to pack. Maybe I know I can usually get that exit row at the last minute.

    • AshAlly08

      Has anyone actually ever paid $9/$18 for their flights???? I hear this exists. I know people who have joined whatever this low fare group is, but none of those people have paid $18 roundtrip…

      • My grandmother who was a devout Spirit flier to get to her beach house has a lot. Keep in mind its a flight under 2 hours and she never had any baggage nor did she need to get anywhere. lots of old people on that snowbird route.

    • SororSalsa

      When I booked a trip last year, I went to Expedia to price the flights. Expedia kept trolling me, offering up Spirit Airlines flights like “what’s wrong witchu??? You like paying more money???” I paid more money to avoid the Jersey Shore brawl that I saw online last week. Some girls were drunk and playing a boombox. On an airplane. Seriously?? No thank you.

  • Me

    Let me tell you this, I’d trade #4 for #1 through #3 for the rest of my natural vacationing life. Spirit is THE DebbiL! I want no parts of it’s bullsnitch soul for price exchanges. They can kiss my as*! And to imagine the name Spirit still gets me riled up after I swore them off over 2 years ago. Never again. You hear me?! NEVER! I spit on you Spirit!

    • Quirlygirly

      *snickers

      I don’t mean to laugh at your pain but that last sentence has me rolling. Not “I spit on you Spirit”

      • Me

        lol. I ran out of derogatory things to say to Spirit, so I had to go old school, remembering my mom’s spit game from childhood (although she only spits on the ground her enemies walk on).

        • Quirlygirly

          You know they are bad when you run out of ways to say how awful an airline is. You had to put an old school cursing on them. LOL! That is right up there with calling someone a heifer

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