Category: 

How Can I Decide Whether to Drive or Fly on My Next Vacation?

Airline tickets can be exensive, depending on the destination and number of people flying.
If you are traveling with babies or many items, consider whether flying would be more difficult than driving.
Consider how far you have to drive and how much it will cost compared with the time and cost of flying to your vacation destination.
Many people choose to fly when they have limited time at their destination.
Gasoline prices have an impact on how expensive it is to drive.
Using a commercial bus service, such as Greyhound, is an alternative to flying or driving.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The oldest known tortoise is 182 years old, and is believed by scientists to be the oldest living land creature.  more...

November 23 ,  1936 :  The modern version of "Life" magazine published its firs  more...

Making a decision to drive or fly on your next vacation should take several things into account. Naturally, certain vacations can’t be taken by driving. For instance, you can’t drive to Hawaii if you live in the contiguous United States. Other areas aren’t located near an airport, making driving the only choice. However, many people do take vacations where their destination is one that is close enough to drive to, even if the drive may be long, and/or is located near a major airport.

In deciding whether to drive or fly on your next vacation, one thing that should be considered is cost. If you can get great airfare prices to a particular spot then it may be more cost effective to fly. Yet if you plan to do a lot of driving at your destination, you’ll then have to rent a car. You should consider airfare plus cost of car rental to determine if flying proves more cost effective.

Ad

Additionally, the number of people going on the vacation makes a difference in cost. It might be cheaper to drive if you’re taking a family vacation, instead of purchasing numerous airplane tickets. Though cost of gasoline these days is expensive, it typically doesn’t cost much more if multiple passengers are traveling in the same car, and driving may then be a less expensive option than buying several plane tickets. A person vacationing alone, though, may get the better deal by flying, depending upon how airline ticket price versus gasoline costs compare.

Another factor that can help determine whether you should drive or fly is the actual distance you must drive. This should be compared to amount of vacation time you have. If you only have a short amount of time to take a vacation, flying may be a better option, since it takes less time and will give you more time to “vacation.” On the other hand, if you have a longer amount of time off, and driving distance to your vacation spot is within a day or two’s distance, you may still have plenty of time to enjoy your vacation destination, and save money by driving.

There can be reasons why driving might be more attractive than flying. You may view “getting there” as half the fun of the vacation, especially if there are things to see or do along the drive that you’d miss by flying. Conversely, if you’re driving through areas you don’t find interesting, flying may prove much more convenient.

You might want to keep in mind when your deciding to drive or fly what you need to pack. If you’re carting babies and kids on a flight, people who need to take medications, or are planning on bringing lots of gifts to family on your vacation, driving may be easier, since you won’t have to go through the extra trouble of airport security when you’ve packed a lot of things. You can also save money by storing things you’ll need for a trip (like diapers, meds, snacks, etc) in a car instead of purchasing these things once you reach your destination. If you’re traveling to an area frequented by tourists, expect that most things you might need on the vacation may be marked up in price. If you can take these things with you, you may save money.

Lastly, consider how you feel on the issue of whether to drive or fly. You might feel very nervous flying, which makes driving a more attractive option. Alternately, you may feel extremely tense when you drive, which doesn’t spell out the best and most relaxing vacation. When one method “feels” better than the other, go with your instincts on which way to choose. Don’t forget that alternatives to the drive or fly question include using high speed trains like Amtrak, or Greyhound buses to get somewhere you’d like to go. If you’re not a fan of driving and hate flying, a train or bus trip may be the best solution.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

oasis11
Post 3

@Crispety -I just wanted to say that I don’t know if it is cheaper to drive or fly but I think it depends where you want to go.

For example, if you want to go to New York City, you might want to fly because there is so much to do when you get there that if you took a long road trip you might not have the time to do everything that you want to do.

Also, having a car in New York City is difficult because it is almost impossible to find parking and when you do it is very expensive. You can take a cab easily even if you want to venture out of the city. That is what I would do.

Crispety
Post 2

@Cupcake15 - I agree, but sometimes those long road trips are a killer. I think that if you have time to stop at different destinations along the way and relax then the experience might be fun, but it depends how much time you have for your vacation.

I think that this road trip is ideal for a retired couple that can take as long as they want but for a young family with limited time, I think that a cruise might be better because you do get a lot for your money because cruises are all inclusive with the exception of the alcoholic drinks.

You can also use your frequent flyer miles and in that case it would be cheaper to fly than to drive. It really depends what your circumstances are.

For me, I think that cruising is the way to go because it is entertaining for the whole family and it so relaxing. I really don’t find road trips very relaxing.

But I guess you can’t very well take a cruise to the Grand Canyon so I can understand why some people would opt for the road trip or airline travel instead.

cupcake15
Post 1

I think that a family road trip is more memorable then flying to your destination. I guess it depends on what your goals are. When you drive you can see things that you have never seen and experience restaurants and attractions off the beaten path.

I also think that the memories tend to stay with you more because the experience is so unique. I remember as a kid, my family drove down the east coast to Florida and I got to see so many things that I would have never seen.

I also saw a lot of the local culture and that was really interesting. Learning about the South was fun because I had grown up in an urban environment outside of New York City.

The people were interesting and I could not get enough of the experience. I would do it again.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email