What's your favorite way to travel on vacation? All other things being equal, would you rather head to the airport and fly to your favorite destination or jump into the car and drive?
That's our "which is better" choice for the day, though - to be honest - I feel like I am asking you to choose between faster-than-light hyperspace flight or Star Trek-style teleportation here. It's not as if either of these choices are a real option right now. But if we can't travel in real life right now, nothing is stopping us from thinking - and arguing - about it. So here we go.
For far-off destinations, flying gets you there faster, and it's a must if you're crossing the ocean for your vacation. You typically can enjoy recent-release movies while you fly, and someone will bring you drinks, snacks, and maybe even a meal. The bathroom's right there with you, and if you spring for in the in-flight WiFi, you might even get some work done while in the air.
But you can fly only on the airlines' schedule, unless you're rolling in the big money, in which case... take me with you? You're also limited in what you can bring with you on your flight, especially with hand baggage in the cabin. While there's no need to stop for food or rest breaks while flying, there's also no ability to do so, either. Maybe you can stretch a bit in the aisle, but unless you're on some huge wide-body aircraft, even that's pretty cramped space, too.
Driving allows you to leave when you want and drive wherever you want, on your own schedule. Want to make a detour? Get out and stretch? Go ahead. With driving, the journey becomes the attraction, as what you see and where you stop along the way can be as much fun as being at your ultimate destination. For relatively close destinations, driving can be faster than flying as well, once you account for getting to the airport, going through security and waiting for your flight time. Load up the trunk with whatever you want, too. Bring the big bottles of shampoo and sunscreen. There are no TSA rules or extra baggage fees here.
But with driving, well... you have to drive. That means full attention on the road ahead and around you, meaning no time for movies or the Internet. While you have the freedom to go whenever you want, if you time your drive wrong, you could be sitting in big-city traffic just like on your daily commute. What's the fun in that?
I know that cost often forces this decision. But accounting the difference between flying and driving can be tricky. Sure, the only direct cost to driving is the gas. But there's the extra maintenance that putting lots of additional miles on your car can demand. The number of passengers and the number of nights you spend on the road while driving also can affect costs. And if you fly, don't forget the cost of a ride to or parking at the airport along with that airfare, too!
Driving allows you to have a car at your destination without the extra expense and hassle of renting one. But flying someplace where a car isn't necessary (such as at many theme park resorts), means you don't have to worry about getting behind the wheel on vacation at all. It's a true break from what is (or, at least, has been) the routine for many of us.
For me, I love flying and roadtrips equally. Whether it's walking into an airport or pulling onto the highway, the start of any trip continues to excite me, no matter how I travel.
But I want you to choose. (And trains and cruises are off the board here. Sorry.) You can pick only one. Do you prefer to fly or drive on vacation?
Please tell us you favorite flying and driving stories, in the comments.Tweet
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