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Driving versus Flying

When planning a vacation, one of the decisions that must be made is whether to drive or fly to the destination.

Obviously, there are some locations to which driving are not an option. There are also some people who say they will never set foot on an airplane and others who think a road trip to the grocery store is too long. In these situations, the decision is easy.

For others, however, the decision whether to drive or fly is more difficult. Here are some things to consider.

1. Cost
There are websites that will help you calculate the exact amount that will be spent on gas based on the length of the trip, the make and model of the car and the current gas prices. Using this tool will make it easy to compare the cost of driving vs. flying.
Remember that in addition to the cost of the airline ticket, there will be other expenses when choosing to fly. These may include parking at the airport and the cost of a rental car. When driving, consider the cost of eating meals on the road.

2. Time
Figure out how much time will actually be saved by flying. In some cases, it might take less time to drive than to deal with the airlines. For example, a woman who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia wanted to visit her family in Boston. She learned that the flight would take between 3 and 6 hours, depending on how many stops the plane made. The airline recommended arriving two hours early for check-in. Add to that the time waiting in baggage claim and in the line at the car rental counter and she figured the whole trip was going to take between 7 and 10 hours. She could make the drive in 10, so, even in the best case scenario, flying wasn't going to be a big time saver.

3. Aggravation
When choosing to fly there are certain aggravating factors, such as security and long check-in lines, that must be assumed. For some people, these are almost a non-issue. For the more high strung types, however, this alone is reason enough to drive instead of fly.
If flying is not going to provide a significant savings of either time or money, travelers must ask themselves if flying is really worth the hassle.

4. Mishaps
A delayed or canceled flight has the potential to ruin a vacation. It can cause a traveler to miss a connecting flight or to not make it to the pier in time for a cruise.
Sure, things can go wrong while driving but, in general, travelers retain a much higher degree of control than do passengers on a plane.

5. Stops Along the Way
Road trips can provide a sort of vacation within a vacation if there is time to make a few stops along the way. Do a little research and find some points of interest along the route. These can be quick stops or overnight excursions. Also, be open to spontaneous stops should something interesting appear along the journey.

When trying to decide between driving and flying, weigh all of the factors. Whichever travel method is chosen, be sure to factor in some extra time to allow for flat tires or, as mentioned above, flight delays.

Cindy | April 28, 2009 | Category: Air Travel

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