What's the best way to get to your vacation destination?

February 9, 2020, 5:34 PM · What's your favorite way to travel?

Let's face it — mid-February ain't exactly prime travel season. And especially not for theme parks. The first of the regional theme parks won't open until the end of this month, and even at the year-round parks, February typically means "refurbishment season," when the biggest photo ops are construction walls.

So instead of taking vacations right now... we plan them.

For many of us, planning vacations is a year-round hobby. Maybe we don't all of those trips, but it sure is fun to dream about them, isn't it? So my question for you today is this... when you are thinking about a future vacation, what's the first mode of transportation that comes to mind?

Is your first choice for vacation transportation to head to the airport for a flight? Or is yours more of a roadtrip family? If so, do you take your own car or get a rental?

If they are options, do you choose instead to get to your vacation destination by train, or maybe a bus? Or are you cruise fans, whose favorite way to vacation is to set sail?

Having done all of these, I know that I definitely have a preference here. But I want to hear from you first. So let's vote, and then please share your favorite vacation transportation stories (and advice) in the comments.

Happy planning!

Replies (10)

February 9, 2020 at 6:49 PM

I've chosen airplane as it's the only way for me to visit the US besides a boat but that would take forever. Although it's the fasted I hate flying. Stuffed in a tube with an alarming amount of people. Being cattled around in an airport for some safety theater is also no fun, so my choice is circumstantial by default. If I could I'd rather walk.

February 9, 2020 at 7:41 PM

Sorry, Robert, but it depends on where I'm going. I don't want to waste much of my vacation time driving cross-country to get someplace, so planes save time. It also means I don't have my own car, so that's an extra expense if I rent. Fortunately I've got great, generous friends who have opened their homes and offered their tour guide services. My favorite method is whatever is more convenient based on where I'm going.

February 10, 2020 at 12:10 AM

Hi Robert, this survey suggests you use one mode of transportation and that you stay put at your vacation destination. But even when people come to Orlando for their Themepark vacation, it‘s likely they visit several parks at different locations.
When I travel, it depends completely on where I am going on vacation to. When I travel to for example Thailand, I fly there and use all modes of public and private transportation, taxis, trains, boats, busses, etc to travel through the country.
When coming to the US, again I take the plane, but then rent a car to visit several states, drive through Florida and when in for example Miami give back the rental car and use public transportation again.
When I want a two week-in-the-sun-on-my-back kind of holiday, I take the plane, use a shuttle and don‘t move from my resort destination at all.
So I understand what you mean by vacation “destination”, but it rarely applies and mostly just depends on where I am travelling to.
Add some options to your survey and I could vote too.

February 10, 2020 at 9:40 AM

It's remarkable how our Vacation experience has changed with kids. The kid's commitments often lock us out from whatever off season there is. We now need to make a conscious effort to let the journey be a key part of the vacation. I've enjoyed watching the kids explore airports and experience airplanes. We've enjoyed finding landmarks on our drives and learning to entertain ourselves along the journey. I wish we had a solid train experience in the US but I'm not aware of anything right now. (I still need to try Sunrail with them just for the experience).

February 10, 2020 at 10:06 AM

I think it really matters on circumstance. Obviously, I'm not going to fly to a destination 30 miles away, nor am I going to drive to a theme park on the opposite coast of the continent. If all things were equal, I would rather not have to drive or take a bus as it is almost always the more time consuming method. However, having a car throughout your vacation and/or being able to avoid the nonsense and security theater of our airports has distinct advantages that can frequently outweigh the faster trip that airline travel provides. Our recent trip to WDW was by plane, yet the time it took from the time we left our house until we arrived a Jiko for our first dinner reservation equaled the time it would have taken for us to drive from our house to Animal Kingdom Lodge (our flight was delayed over 5 hours and Disney's Magical Express, though efficient, is still time consuming to get from MCO to WDW). While we didn't necessarily miss our car on this trip to WDW (we definitely didn't miss being charged for parking our car, which is a ridiculous upcharge BTW), we would have had some more flexibility in our schedule and wouldn't have been completely reliant on Disney Transportation throughout our trip.

In the end, I think it really depends on where you're going and what you're doing (if you want to visit both WDW and other Orlando theme parks in a single trip, a car is almost a necessity), but having a car is a very nice luxury to have, even if it sits parked for a majority of the time.

February 10, 2020 at 10:07 AM

Living in the UK flying on holiday is almost essential for most destinations so I see it as the 'thing' that lets me know I'm going on holiday. Flying is a right pain in the ass these days but the whole ritual kind of sets the scene and bookends the experience.
That said our holiday last October was something of a departure as it was an extended road trip across Europe to Austria and we chose to drive the whole way. 2500 miles in all and very different for us. But this year we're back to flying and it feels like a 'proper' holiday coming up :)

February 10, 2020 at 5:12 PM

Rental car is the way to go here! You know its vacation time when its time to pick up the rental car and enjoy that new car smell for the rest of the trip. Put in the pillows and blankets, stop for some snacks, and get ready for the destination. I have fond memories from visiting roadside attractions such as finally witnessing "The Thing?" Anyone driving across the Southwest on I-10 knows what I'm talking about. Just stopping by different places and making memories on the road is more fun than being trapped on a plane with a bunch of people.

But in its own right, plane travel is fun too. I've been to theme parks in Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong and I couldn't have done it without wings. Although I swear if there was a trans-pacific highway or something I would have taken that instead.

February 10, 2020 at 8:25 PM

I used to fly all over the place no problem but as i've gotten older now i'm not a fan. Oddly enough the whole airport experience doesn't even bother me that much, i've been to pretty much all of the worlds major airports and have always enjoyed looking at the design and learning about/comparing them (as a "business guy" the economics, financing, and design is something that's always interested me). Nowadays though flying takes a toll on my body, I am much more prone to plane sickness than I used to be and I can't sleep on planes so I need to commit to a good night sleep before. Flying obviously has great utility and I still do it, but i'd much prefer to drive if possible.

I enjoy driving and seeing the landscape and different cultures around the world. I've been to all the theme parks and tourist sites enough times to know what to expect from all of them, so to "seeing the world" to me is to actually experience what the world has to offer and not just fly over it. However I can't stand being a passenger in a car (unless its a country like Brazil, Greece, China, India etc. In that case I would much prefer to be the passenger lol) Luckily my wife doesn't like driving so I get to do all of it which works out well.

February 11, 2020 at 3:30 PM

For most vacations, my destination is too far too walk or drive. So I would say Fly. But now that I'm retired, I moved to FL. And now I live about 45 minutes (drive) from Disney. So my answer would be drive. I also like cruises, but I used to fly to get them. Now I can drive. In MD, I took a cruise from Baltimore, so I drove. The question is a good one, but it all depends on where I'm going.

February 12, 2020 at 4:17 AM

I've got to say that there have been holidays where I have used all of the options in 1 trip (except my own car)

And best is a vague concept at best (yes pun intended).

For me the best will always be to drive, see the sights, stop when you want to and enjoy the journey not just the destination.

But it is kinda hard to drive across the pacific ocean. Disney Magic just aint the good.

So the best becomes not what will give me the most fulfilling journey but a beast of necessity. Even if I am doing something that is a 20 hour drive or a 2 hour flight, flying gives me 2 more days annual leave to do something else.

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