I had the opportunity to travel last week to Iowa on business and must say flying is not all its cracked up to be! After ten hours either on the plane, the tarp or just sitting in the airport I realized this is why I love to drive.

However there are pros associated with flying and of course as we approach our summer season and prepare to visit our family and friends we have to be savvy shoppers and so our research.

A couple of pointers:

*Buy your tickets ahead of time. At least six weeks early, if you can do it.
*Use discount sites like Kayak, CheapoAir and Cheap Tickets. (Add .com to each of these to access their site.)

*Deal directly with the airline. Some, like Southwest and Air Tran, don’t list their fares on discount sites. Others feature website specials. Look before you book.

*Use an airline that gives you more for your ticket. Want to check bags for free? Southwest is the spot to do it. Looking for a heftier snack? Frontier’s been more generous than others — and offers fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on some flights.

*With all this said I understand the best price on plane tickets would be with the Spirited Approach.

Spirit Airlines began in 1980 as a charter airline to vacation spots — and half its destinations are still to places like the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Latin American countries like Mexico. But it also flies to Denver, Los Angeles, Montreal, Portland, New York City…and at stunningly low prices. An April ticket from Boston to Chicago, for example, will set you back about $100 round trip.

*There are drawbacks, of course, and the primary one is extra fees such as paying for carryons. Spirit charges to book your flight online so stop by the airport and become “OJ” and run in for a quick purchase for free.  They also charge for drinks and goodies-hey purchase your own before you board.

Check out Spirit’s member option as well and receive additional discounts via their $9 Fare Club. They are becoming a worthy addition and option for our frequent and not so frequent travelers!