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Flying vs. Driving: 6 Things to Think About

November 2018 | By Paul Watley

It’s time for the holidays. Family, your hometown and lots of great food! What’s to hate about that? Well before you take your trip, you need to figure out if you should fly or drive. 

We’ll walk you through six things to ponder when you’re comparing flying vs. driving for your holiday trips this year.

1. Travel Time

Breaking news. Planes are faster than cars. This shouldn’t surprise you. That’s why flying can save you some travel time in a lot of cases. However, just because the flight time is shorter, doesn’t mean that flying is your best option. Be sure to remember all the ancillary things that add time to your trip, like standing in line to check your luggage, the line to get through security or just sitting at your gate waiting to board. 

2. Food/Snacks

You may have a lot of options at the airport, but grabbing a bite to eat will cost you a pretty penny. From a $15-dollar hamburger to a bottle of water for $6, food at the airport will generally cost you more than it does in the real world. When driving you can stop at a gas station or local diner and fuel up for the rest of your trip without breaking the bank.

3. Transportation at Destination

There’s just something about driving a rental car that’s enjoyable. Not that there’s anything wrong with your current car, but driving a rental car lets you try out a new type of car without having to buy it. Not having to rent a car also has its benefits as you save money and don’t have to waste time picking up your rental.

4. Delays

The odds of getting delayed are much less in your car than on an airplane. Thunderstorms and rain can bring your travel plans to a halt when flying, but you can face that type of weather in your car without delay (just be sure to drive a little slower than normal). Also, things like mechanical issues, delayed connecting flights and a myriad of other issues can stop you in your tracks while flying.

5. Space

Not only do you have to pay for your checked luggage while flying, but you're also limited in how much you can bring. The only limit in your car is what you can fit and still close the doors. Traveling by car can not only save you money and time but can also relieve the stress of having to fit everything into one suitcase. This also allows you to pack those extra things that help keep you prepared at your destination.

6. Ease

It sure is nice to take a nap when traveling through the air, but there are also other things that can impact the ease of travel. From being able to belt your favorite songs at the top of your lungs to not having to deal with the stress of the airport, driving can save you from getting a few more gray hairs on your family’s journey.   

How to decide?

Check your schedule

A lot of times your schedule will help you decide which option is better for you. If you’re on a tight timeline, you may need to book a flight so you can minimize your travel time. Have some flexibility in your schedule? A road trip won’t put you behind the eight ball and will allow you to take the road less traveled.

Do the Math

A 90-minute flight sounds a lot better than a three-hour drive, but don't forget to do the math before deciding whether you should fly or drive. Getting to the airport an hour and a half early, waiting for your checked luggage and taking a shuttle to pick up the rental car can add serious time to your trip. Also, make sure to do the math when it comes to cost. Is it worth $300 per person to shave 30 minutes off your trip?

Listen to your heart

Ultimately this question boils down to what you want. Do you prefer to save some time by flying or are you someone who loves to travel off the beaten path? There’s not a wrong answer as long as the end of your trip is filled with family and a lot of delicious meals.


What side are you on in the flying vs. driving debate? What pros and cons do you consider when trying to decide whether to fly or drive? Let us know by reaching out on Facebook or Twitter!

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