To Fly or To Drive? That is the Question.

June 17, 2015

Fly or drive? Often when planning a trip, the journey there is the trickiest part to figure out. If you are on the fence about whether to fly or drive somewhere, here are some things to think about while you decide.


8 Things to Consider

1. Price
Driving is almost always the cheapest option. The cost of gas and even adding in a night in a hotel is often less than flying somewhere. A fact that truly makes me sad. The number of people traveling obviously affects this. When it was just me and my husband flying was a more reasonable option. When you add our twins into the mix and double the airfare cost, driving is often cheaper.

2. Time
Depending on the distance, flying usually takes less time. Add the travel time to and from the airport, plus the in flight time and compare that with the drive time added to the stops.

3. Destination
Destination is a factor.
How far are you going? You can’t drive to Italy from the United States.
Accessible by airport? If you are going camping somewhere or headed somewhere remote, an airport might not be close enough to make sense.
Will you want your car? Are you going somewhere with good public transportation? Are you going one place and then stopping or will you want to drive around?

4. Sights
Along with #2, you have to ask yourself if you care how long it takes. Want to see the sights? Enjoy the journey? Just want to get there? I am usually focused on the end, but I am working on enjoying the journey more. Taking slower road trips and embracing the journey.

5. Children
Kids are a factor. As I mentioned in #1, they can make a huge impact on the cost. There are other factors to consider when you have children. Are they learning to use the toilet? When we moved to MIssissippi, my best friend and I drove down with two newly toilet trained kids. We made it and there were no accidents, but that was kind of a miracle and I was a nervous the whole time.
Did they just learn to walk? This is another timing thing. Babies are super travelers until they get close to walking and then they get antsy much quicker for a while. This fades around 2, but from around 10 months until at least 18 months, kids have a really hard time sitting still.

6. Stuff
How much stuff do you need to bring? We have done a beach vacation via plane, but it does limit how much you can bring. What will you want when you get there?

7. Weather
Weather and the time of year is something to consider. For instance, when you travel in the winter the chance of a storm is high. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself two things. One – Will you need to cancel? Road trips can be cancelled. Flights reservations cannot. Two – Where would you rather be delayed? Speaking as someone who has spent a couple of nights in airports and driven through farm lands for hours with no obvious place to stop – it is something to think about.

8. Comfort
This is a personal preference. Where are you and your fellow travelers the most comfortable? Comfort = happy.

There is no perfect answer.

For a long time I was a huge fan of flying. I love the adrenaline rush of take off. I love not having to drive somewhere. On a plane I can sit and read a book. With my kids, it is likely that I will spend most of the time re-reading same children’s book over and over again, but I would rather do that than drive. Road trips are growing on me though. We recently drove to Atlanta and then a month later to Texas. I’m starting to embrace the freedom of being able to wander when you want, stop when you want, and pack more stuff.

How about you? Do you prefer to fly or drive?


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