Competition is fierce among airline carriers, and when you’re a travel pro with places to go and people to see, it’s hard not to notice a stellar deal. Recently, a new kind of player has joined the airspace game, and their style of flying caters to those frequent fliers who know how to travel efficiently and often.
Ultra-low-cost airline carriers (known as ULCCs) are made to get you from point A to B for the lowest possible price. Airlines like Spirt, Allegiant Air, Front Tier, and Sun Country are the main low-cost airline carriers in the US. As for Europe, the low-cost airlines are RyanAir, WizzAir, EasyJet, and EuroWings.
These ULCCs are especially useful for those planning short weekend trips or a single-day business meeting; anytime you don’t plan on staying more than 48 hours or so. These carriers can be a little quirky, to say the least! Not to worry; we’ve got the ultimate guide for making your ultra-low-cost flight the best, no-stress, flying experience possible.
Pack Only the Essentials
Often, these low cost airline carriers allow only what you can carry on your back…literally. A good rule of thumb is to pack a bag that can fit directly under the airplane seat. This means ditching disposable plastic water bottles, glass water bottles, and other clunky steel bottles. Instead, opt for a foldable water bottle as a space-efficient alternative (we’re obviously a big fan of our BPA-free, 21 oz HYDAWAY with our spill-proof lid!). Another pro tip? Attach a stainless steel carabiner to the clasp of your bag to easily carry your travel pillow without wasting space. If you have to travel a little heavier, be sure to check your bag ahead of time to ensure that you have plenty of room in the cabin (and to avoid any unexpected fees!).
Dress Your Best
When flying for a single event with a quick turnaround, it’s helpful to simply dress for the occasion you’re attending. Minimalist, functional style makes the small packing space easily bearable. Wearing your optimal outfit while flying keeps both you and your slacks looking fresh and saves you the trip to the hotel for an outfit change.
Prepare to Be Parched
Low-cost airlines can offer extremely low fares because they eliminate the ‘niceties’ that many of us are accustomed to when flying. This often includes the free drink service on domestic and international flights for sodas, teas, and even water. Beat the mid-flight cottonmouth and stay hydrated with a silicone collapsible water bottle, which can hold your water post-TSA and keep you going until you make it to the hotel. You can always refill your reusable water bottle after the security checkpoints and when you land to ensure that you’re consistently hydrated.
It’s Called an ‘Air Bus’ for a Reason
Airplanes have noticeably declined in the area of comfort for the past two decades. Unfortunately, most don’t seem to be making an effort to stop anytime soon. Low-cost airline carriers are no exception and usually do not offer reclining seats. This can be a benefit or a detriment, depending on if you happen to be a light-flight sleeper. On the bright side, there will never be someone invading your legroom! Plus, these flights are often short enough to manage uncomfortable seating. Your neck pillow will definitely come in handy to keep your neck and head comfortably while you’re stuck in that upright position.
Protect Your Valuables
When flying for work or pleasure, we often get caught up in the chaos that airports can create. It’s especially important to remember to protect the electronics and valuables you’re bringing on board. Many savvy travelers carry boarding passes on their cell phones and work to finish on laptops. Invest in a highly rated silicone sleeve for both, ensuring no sneaky airport drop tests or accidental cold water run-ins to ruin your flying experience. Good thing our foldable water bottle is leakproof!
Have you flown on a low cost airline carrier before? What are some of your travel hacks for this new wave of air travel? Share with us in the comments below!