Road Trips Vs. Flying When Planning A Vacation- What’s Best For You?
You have to go out of town for a vacation or for work, and the minute you pack the first bag you think, “Should I fly or should I drive?” The conundrum gets even more complicated when there are changes in airfare and/or fuel prices.
If your head spins from calculating all the expenses that contribute to a “drive versus fly” decision, we have good news for you. There are several calculators that help you compare current gasoline prices and airline fares so you can make the best decision.
BeFrugal is where you enter your vehicle make, model number and travel details and it compares the calculated cost with current airline prices. Also, the online portal compares carbon emissions for each mode of travel so you know which choice is environmentally friendlier. Similarly, CostToDrive is another online portal that figures out how much you will have to pay to drive from one state to another, based on your vehicle details.
However, if you’re still unsure whether you should drive to your holiday destination or book air tickets, continue reading. We shall help you make the right decision.
Pros and cons of road trips
Going on a road trip is an enjoyable experience, especially if you are traveling with loved ones. Spending hours together in a cramped car helps your bond grow strong and you’ll end up making a lot of memories during a road trip that you’d never get by air travel. However, it can take a lot of time and a road trip with young children and senior citizens might not be a very comfortable choice.
Here are a few pros and cons of road trips:
1- You’re in charge
One of the greatest advantages of traveling by car is that you are in control of your journey. It’s the impulsive choices and last minute stopovers that make a vacation special. Traveling in your own car and without the burden of a set itinerary, you can explore on your own pace and have a lot of fun along the way. You can even carry outdoor gear for a surprise canvas tent camping adventure.
2- Meet new people
At an airport, no one is enthusiastic to talk to new people. But on the road, you’ll come across some of the friendliest people. You’ll meet some genuinely nice people on gas stations, cafes, and motels who would share their stories with you.
3- It may get tiring
Traveling by air takes around half of your day (including airport and flight time), but driving might take anywhere between 24-48 hours. Plus, you need a professional driver who can handle driving for long periods of time. As we mentioned earlier, children may get whiny and tired on a long drive. No one has fun when they are tired and cranky so weigh your odds before you hit the road.
Pros and cons of flying
Most people who make a road trip often wish that they’d traveled by air. Flying may seem expensive compared to traveling by car but think about all the comfort you’re getting in return. Here are a few pros and cons related to flying that can help you choose the best option for the great vacation debate: to drive or to fly?
1- You save time
You won’t experience a long scenic route or the opportunity to explore new places while flying, but you’ll definitely save a lot of time. Flying by a fast-moving commercial airliner is the only solution if you plan to visit a far-off destination, or you have to reach a work-related conference in another town or if you’re traveling with a bunch of children. So the next time you are figuring out “how much does it cost to travel to Paris?” know that you have to pay for the air tickets!
2- Might seem expensive
Even though it seems like driving might save you a lot of money, but often it makes more sense to fly. A road trip can also be very expensive but it all depends on various factors like where you’re planning to go, how much time do you have, vehicle type etc. If you embark on a road trip without proper research and calculation, you might end up paying more than an airline ticket!
3- You’re allowed to carry limited baggage
The downside of traveling in an airplane is that you get to bring limited baggage. And if you are traveling with lots of clothes to make summer vacation fun, you might have to pay extra bucks.
Driving allows you to bring as much gear or luggage without having to pay any additional money. Of course, you’ll have to look at the capacity that your vehicle has to offer. But cargo hitch carriers allow 500 pounds of extra hauling capacity.
It all boils to personal preferences. If you are comfortable with the idea of driving nonstop for long hours and love the flexibility offered by driving- then nothing can beat a road trip. Or if you want to keep away from the misery associated with tiresome kids whining in the back seat, then book a flight and reach your destination in half the time (or even less)!
Weigh the pros and cons of your choice, by using the online tools we mentioned above and pick the most cost-effective and beneficial option for your trip. Happy traveling!
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Currently, she is associated with White Duck Outdoors. 😍