Question for those who fly frequently
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  1. #1
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Jessica4Bama's Avatar
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    Question for those who fly frequently

    So we are planning a trip for May to Isla Mujeres, which will require flying. I havenít flown since I was 16, and Iíve never had to book a flight. I know nothing about it. By searching a few days ago and then again last night, the prices have went up. When is the best time to buy plane tickets? Should I wait to closer to time to leave or is it best to book this far in advance? Which site is best to book through?

    We plan on driving to Atlanta for departure to save some money on the plane tickets.

    Also, how do you pack personal care items? Iím assuming those would go in the checked baggage bag, but is there a certain way to pack them? Can medications be carried in our carry on bag? Any recommendations on which airline to use?

    Iím sure Iíll have more questions in the future.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame DzynKingRTR's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica4Bama View Post
    So we are planning a trip for May to Isla Mujeres, which will require flying. I havenít flown since I was 16, and Iíve never had to book a flight. I know nothing about it. By searching a few days ago and then again last night, the prices have went up. When is the best time to buy plane tickets? Should I wait to closer to time to leave or is it best to book this far in advance? Which site is best to book through?

    We plan on driving to Atlanta for departure to save some money on the plane tickets.

    Also, how do you pack personal care items? Iím assuming those would go in the checked baggage bag, but is there a certain way to pack them? Can medications be carried in our carry on bag? Any recommendations on which airline to use?

    Iím sure Iíll have more questions in the future.
    Personal care was in my checked bag. I used "travel size" and they were just inside the suitcase easily visible. Meds were in my carry-on (I think they have to allow it so someone doesn't die). I always use Delta and always spend a little extra to get Delta Comfort for just a little more room.
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  3. #3
    FB|BB Moderator dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    You can setup a tracker on google flights. It'll email you each time there is a price change. I typically book directly with the airline, but I'm trying to accumulate miles. If you don't fly often, probably just take the best deal you can find. 60 days out is frequently talked about as being cheapest. I think for international vacation destinations, though, they book quicker than that. I have a BVI trip in early June and wish I had already booked. I'm waiting on someone else in the group to confirm that they don't have a conflict.

    Beware that Spirit and Frontier will nickel and dime you for everything. What looks like the cheapest fare, won't be the cheapest fare. I haven't flown with them, but that's what I've been told from folks that have.

    I usually check everything but a small bag. I will put a change of clothes and very basic toiletries in the carry on just in case my baggage is delayed.

    Look at the park fly sleep hotels around the ATL airport. You can spend the night, they keep your vehicle while you're gone, and shuttle you to and from the airport for about the price of parking at one of the lots.

  4. #4
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Jessica4Bama's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    My mom has decided she wants a nonstop flight because sheís a little scared of taking off and landing, even though a one stop will save us money. So thatís what weíre going with. LOL. The only ones I see that fly there is Delta and one other operated by Delta. The most basic fare says we may not sit together. How likely is that to happen? Might need to go up to the next option to be able to sit together.
    Hebrews 11:1



  5. #5
    BamaNation All-American jabcmb's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Good advice above from others. You didn’t mention passports, but it’s not too early to get those. They last ten years.
    I carry on all meds, for peace of mind. And electronics, too.
    You might benefit from a packing list. There are samples on line. There are also some good travel bloggers out there from whom I am always learning. You can “what if” yourself into some over-packing mistakes, so try to travel as light as possible—it makes a difference. Preparation for a trip can be part of the fun and will make you a more knowledgeable and confident traveler. Have fun!

  6. #6
    FB|BB Moderator dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Do you fly into Cancun and take a ferry over to the island?

    I missed a trip once because my passport didn't come in on time. I think they're running about 2 months right now on lead time.

  7. #7
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Jessica4Bama's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker View Post
    Do you fly into Cancun and take a ferry over to the island?

    I missed a trip once because my passport didn't come in on time. I think they're running about 2 months right now on lead time.
    Yes. You fly into Cancun and take a ferry. I’m going to have all that bought and set up before we go so I don’t have to worry about anything once we get there.

    My passport is good to go. I renewed it a few years ago. My mom on the other hand, we have some work to do. We had to have one for a cruise we did when I was 16 and she never renewed hers. I went ahead and renwewed mine just in case.
    Last edited by Jessica4Bama; January 11th, 2019 at 08:01 AM.
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  8. #8
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Jon's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica4Bama View Post
    So we are planning a trip for May to Isla Mujeres, which will require flying. I haven’t flown since I was 16, and I’ve never had to book a flight. I know nothing about it. By searching a few days ago and then again last night, the prices have went up. When is the best time to buy plane tickets? Should I wait to closer to time to leave or is it best to book this far in advance? Which site is best to book through?

    We plan on driving to Atlanta for departure to save some money on the plane tickets.

    Also, how do you pack personal care items? I’m assuming those would go in the checked baggage bag, but is there a certain way to pack them? Can medications be carried in our carry on bag? Any recommendations on which airline to use?

    I’m sure I’ll have more questions in the future.


    you are way, way to early to find a deal unless there is a fare sale. Sign up for Delta's emails and a service like the free version of Scotts Cheap Flights, there are Atlanta to Cancun deals all the time.

    2 other things, you are way too early to book for May. Airline pricing starts high then slowly drops and then spike near the date. Best time is 3-6 weeks out IMO. Second, browse for tickets using incognito mode or other private browsing methods. Modern air ticketing sites use browser cookies to understand who you are and what you want. The reason you are seeing higher prices when you go back is because the site knows you are interested in that destination and is skewing prices accordingly. Studies have also shown that if you browse from an apple device the prices are higher there as well, the assumption is that apple fans are predisposed to over spending since they did on their computers
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  9. #9
    BamaNation All-American
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Will passport issue and renewal be slowed by the Federal shutdown?

  10. #10
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Jessica4Bama's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by bama579 View Post
    Will passport issue and renewal be slowed by the Federal shutdown?

    Goodness. I didn’t even think about that. But it appears it is not affected....yet.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-shutdown.html
    Hebrews 11:1



  11. #11
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica4Bama View Post
    Goodness. I didn’t even think about that. But it appears it is not affected....yet.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-shutdown.html
    I'm frankly amazed...
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  12. #12
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I'm frankly amazed...
    Thatís State Department - Pompeo ainít going unfunded.
    Clueless, maybe, but not unfunded.



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  13. #13
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    Re: Question for those who fly frequently

    A couple of suggestions, some of which already mentioned above:

    - Put the toiletries inside a clear plastic bag, one quart size. Have that easily accessible in your carry-on -- they will want to see it at security. Reason being, you don't want to be without that stuff in case your checked luggage gets delayed.

    - Take travel size toiletries, making sure they're all under 3 fluid ounces each. They're not kidding about that limitation. If any item, no matter how innocuous, is over 3 oz, they will make you throw it away. Period. End of discussion. No exceptions. Begging and pleading will only make it worse.

    - Really common knowledge, but you mentioned you haven't flown in a long time, so I'll say it anyway. No firearms or any related items whatsoever. No bullets. No magazines. Zero tolerance. If they find any of that stuff, you're not going on your trip....best case you're going to the police station, and jail is a distinct possibility.

    - Sometimes people make jokes when they're nervous. "Looking for my bomb?" "You didn't find my Glock." Hahahaha. Don't do that. It'll be God's own hassle, and you'll be lucky if all that happens is you miss your flight.

    - Also to protect yourself from lost or delayed bags, never have your medications in checked baggage. Always in carry-on. You don't want to be in an unfamiliar city or a foreign country trying to get a prescription filled, especially if there's some urgency around it. If the prescription is for a drug that bad guys can abuse, have the prescription itself, or an acknowledgement from the pharmacy, with you.

    - For the plane ride, wear shoes that you can easily slip into and out of. They will make you remove your shoes at security, and you won't want to be wrestling with a bunch of laces or tight-fitting boots.

    - If either of you have metal implants -- hip replacements, orthopedic rods, plates, etc. -- let the security folks know. They'll take you over and do a scan off to the side. It'll prevent going back and forth through the big scanner.

    - For a lot of reasons, wear a minimum amount of jewelry. First, it makes security more of a hassle. Second, especially in a foreign country, it draws attention. You may or may not think of yourself as wealthy. To the local bad guys (and there are bad guys in every city in the world, domestic and foreign), you're a rich American on holiday. Make them view someone else as a richer, easier target.

    When Mrs. Basket Case and I travel, especially internationally, the only jewelry we have is plain unadorned wedding bands, and that's mainly so she doesn't get pegged as a single female traveling. No other gold, silver, platinum, whatever -- no bracelets, no pins, no necklaces. No stones at all -- diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, nothing. Not even an engagement ring. The watches we take are almost toys -- a Swatch would be high-end by comparison. Nothing with any resale value whatsoever. Any good stuff gets left at home in the safe deposit box.

    Sorry if all this sounds alarmist. It isn't. Travel is a great joy for Mrs. Basket Case and me, and we've been fortunate enough to do a fair amount of it. It's really about getting through security quickly and easily. Then, once you're at your destination, being aware of your surroundings, and making yourself inconspicuous as possible.
    Last edited by 4Q Basket Case; January 12th, 2019 at 10:54 AM.
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