This week we cover everything from luxury train rides to flying budget airlines. Join us as we chat with Hilarye Fuller from Dotting the Map as she and Tamara dig into the pros and cons of budget airlines. Kim also shares her experience aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train.
ON THE PODCAST
00:30 – Talking with Kim about her time on the Rocky Mountaineer train
17:20 – Talking with Hilarye Fuller
20:40 – Hilarye’s book
22:23 – Airlines traveled with kids
25:20 – Tips for budget airlines
31:00 – Comparing airlines
48:38 – Keeping kids entertained
56:36 – Hilarye’s favorite travel gear
58:48 – What’s next for Hilarye
1:02:26 – Coming in next episode
ABOUT HILARYE FULLER
Hilarye Fuller is a family travel blogger and author. She has been writing about family travel for over ten years and specializes in helping people get out of their vacation rut. Her family currently travels full-time in an RV touring the USA. You can check out her blog at Dotting the Map.
TIPS FOR FLYING ON A BUDGET
- Southwest Airlines is a good airline for families, but not quite in the budget category. They do offer family boarding and two free checked bags, although not everyone likes their “open seating” concept.
- Allegiant is a budget airline that is good for families, as long as you pay attention to added fees.
- The first price you see will make you think it is a great deal, but there are usually fees including seat assignments, checked bags, carry on bags, and boarding passes. This means you will probably still end up with a good deal, but it may be significantly more than that first price you saw that enticed you to start booking.
- It seems the new hidden fee for budget airlines is charging to print your boarding passes at the airport. Airline apps can come in handy for this, especially for your return flight when you don’t have as easy of access to a printer.
- A lot of times budget airlines do not offer snacks and drinks, and if they do they tend to be on the expensive side. If you are traveling with kids this can be particularly worrisome. If you are traveling with toddlers be sure to check out these TSA approved snacks. These could also work for older kids or even yourselves in a pinch.
- Make sure to bring a refillable water bottle, because plenty of airlines don’t give free water anymore.
- Keep an eye on what airport you are flying into though, particularly the airport codes. The ticket may say you are flying into a city, but actually you are really flying into an airport that is close to that city, but not that specific airport. This could cause problems if you had already booked a hotel in the city you thought you were flying into.
- Spirit Airlines has newer planes, but keep in mind that your checked bag can only be 40 pounds instead of the usual 50 pounds. And the overage fee is quite high. Make sure you check the amounts when you are purchasing your checked bags for you flight.
- Frontier Airlines has a program where kids fly free and they offer some other deals. They are definitely a family-focused airline.
- If you have really young kids, they tend to be content just playing with cups and the magazines in the seat pocket rather than toys you would bring. As they get older you should think about bringing window clings so that they can sit by the window and play with those on the window and you don’t have to worry about them making a mess.
- Keeping a routine with your kids on the flight can help keep things calmer and more peaceful. This can be as simple as making sure they understand what to expect before you even board the plane.
- See Tamara’s tips on the best budget airlines for families
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Hilarye’s favorite thing to travel in are a pair of really cute and comfortable yoga pants that can almost pass off as slacks. She loves to pair them with a basic Tee from Target and a pair of Old Navy flip flops.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
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