Driving vs Flying – Where are the Discounts?

The next time you choose to go on a vacation, it’s recommended that you look at the differences between traveling by car and traveling by air. This is in regards to cost, and one form of travel is more affordable than the other.


If you plan on traveling by car for a vacation that will take place in one to two weeks, then there is a good way to get a good hint of gas prices. Simply go to any finance page on one of the popular search engines and look up oil prices. It doesn’t matter what the price of oil is at currently, just keep track of what it does for a few days. If it’s down, then gas will be down approximately one week later. If oil is up, then gas prices will go up around one week later. Also see if you can get your hands on a vacation brochure so you can determine the price of gas prices along your route. These are just two small tips that can save you a few dollars. Now let’s take a look at the big picture.


As an example, let’s say you plan on traveling from Florida to New York. If you choose to fly, then the best rate you’re going to get is around $200 roundtrip. Since the average family size is three, that will equal $600. Then you will have to either pay for long-term parking or the airport, or you will have to rent a taxi or limousine to get you there. However, it’s possible that a family member or friend can take you, so we’ll negate this cost. If you have a pet, you will have to pay for pet-sitting, but we will negate this cost as well in order to stick with lowball figures. After that, you will have to pay for accommodations, attractions and food, but that’s the case whether you fly or drive, so that’s a wash.


If you’re going to drive from Florida to New York, then you should expect to pay approximately $100 in gas each way. We’re using the departure location as Orlando with this example because it’s centrally located in Florida. Since you will also have to drive back, the total cost for gas will be $200. As stated above, attractions and accommodations are a wash. An often overlooked cost to driving long distances is putting miles on your car as well as wear and tear. People don’t factor this into their decision because the cost isn’t immediate. However, even with that being the case, driving still costs half as much as flying.


Another important variable to factor into the equation is time. If it takes 23 hours to drive from NYC to Orlando, FL, then that is a full calendar day, and the same amount of time returning. For a 7 day vacation, that means two full days will involve driving, and 5 days for vacationing. Flights from NYC to Orlando may have a connector, or could be direct. With a long layover, it could be as much as a 5 hour endeavor, but with a direct flight you’re looking at 2 hours or less. In terms of bottom line dollars, you’ll need extra nights at a hotel if you fly, extra budget will probably be spent on food and drinks, and it’s likely that shopping will be involved as well. But, you’ll be on vacation and having fun versus sitting in the Family Truckster for two full days.


Based on the travel information above, there is such thing as a discount vacation, and it begins with choosing a car over a plane for travel.

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