Maine… in the summer…
Do I really have to say more?!?
Amazing… Gorgeous… Beautiful… Stunning…
Words and pictures really do not do it justice.
As a kid, summer vacation was the highlight of the year. We would spend a week camping and have quality family bonding time…
Sort of like this…
I knew when I had a family of my own that I would keep this tradition alive.
This year Michelle and I picked Maine as our spot of the year.
I am a budget ninja! It’s something I pride myself on. I spent about 2 weeks searching for the best deal on flights, car rentals, and hotels. The trip included multiple stops to see family before we headed to Maine which created a logistical puzzle that I absolutely loved!
After much price checking we landed on using Spirit Airlines. We knew exactly what we were getting… A budget airline. We knew ahead of time that there would be no drinks, no food, no perks and we were ok with that.
Leading up to the trip we weighed our bags to ensure that we did not cross the dreaded 40 pound threshold.
39.5 pounds… BOOM!
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 9am.
We knew that it was recommended to get there 2 hours in advanced so our goal was to leave the house at 6am and arrive close to 7am.
We printed the boarding tickets to save 10 bucks, set the alarms, and we were set.
Rookie Traveler Mistake Number 1
I set the alarms based upon how long it would take me to get ready to leave…
NOT a 3 year old…
We left the house around 6:30am.
Lesson Learned: Add a minimum extra 30 minutes to your morning.
2 hours 30 minutes until flight
Rookie Traveler Mistake Number 2
We always planned to leave the car at the airport. We had no issue finding parking. We unloaded the car and then….
Yup. Apparently the airport did not realize we were already 30 minutes behind our schedule. After the shuttle finally arrived we….
Waited some more!
The shuttle waited about 5 minutes to get as “full” as possible. By full I mean, my family and one other…
Lesson Learned: Have someone drop you off at the airport OR add a minimum extra 20 minutes
1 hour until flight
Rookie Traveler Mistake Number 3
I blame Spirit on this one. The night before, as instructed we printed our boarding tickets. On the tickets, it clearly stated flight time of 9am. I still have the email if you don’t believe me.
Upon arriving we were greeted with a sizable line. Giving Spirit it’s props, the line was moving quickly.
For no reason that I was aware of at that moment, a woman behind the counters called out
“Anyone in the line for Hartford???”
Sweeeeettttt that’s us I thought! How did we get so lucky??!? Maybe they saw my nervous smile as we snaked through the lines.
We are escorted to the front of the line and begin checking our bags. Behind her I can see the flight departure board. Near the top it says Hartford Departure 8:45.
My first thought was to tell her.
‘I am sorry, we are actually on the 9:00 flight not the 8:45…’
Then the realization washed over me… the flight time was moved up 15 minutes.
Lesson Learned: Check the airline’s website before you go to bed and check again in the morning!
35 minutes until flight
Rookie Traveler Mistake Number 4
TSA does not care if you have already made 3 Rookie Traveler Mistakes… Their jobs is to protect us. That means no skipping, no budging, no special privileges. We got in the right lane which had a wait time of 31-33 minutes posted over it… The lane to the left was the pre-screened lane where people were zipping through. So yeah, I was definitely questioning whether that choice not to check that box for an extra 10 bucks was worth it at this point…
We made it through screening in exactly 31 minutes…
4 minutes until flight
We sprint to the gate and arrive just as they are loading our zone.
We made it!
Lesson Learned: Running gets you to the gate faster…
Little Man’s First Flight
Honestly, he did amazing! We were scared that the pressure in his ears would cause an issue but outside of a little nervousness, he did great. We did bring him headphones just as a precaution. He wore them for the first 15 minutes but after that he took them off. He spent the majority of the time watching shows on the tablet and looking out the window.
During the two weeks of planning I found AVIS to have the best prices. It was also one of the only car rental companies that had a pick up and drop off for different airports since we were picking up in Hartford, CT and dropping off in Boston, MA.
I called the insurance company and made sure our insurance covered any accidents or incidents to save some money on the rental. We elected to UPGRADE to compact car because an economy car just seemed to way toooooo small. In their description for a compact car they state “Ford Focus or similar”
We arrive to pick up the car and they bring us this….
Is this even a car?!?
I am sorry Nissan Juke owners…
My wife and I look at each other, shrugged our shoulders and just laughed.
After 10 minutes of loading the car seat we were off and our adventure had begun.