With summer coming up, one’s thoughts turn to travel, and the idea of a road trip. I like travel in most forms, and when I travel in winter, I do prefer to fly to avoid snow issues, but traveling by car is my most preferred method.
Travel by car allows the most freedom. If I see something along the way that I want to check out, I can! If you’re flying from Las Vegas to Albuquerque, you’ll likely be flying over the Grand Canyon. But stopping to take a picture from the rim is impossible to do from a passenger jet at 35,000 feet, for obvious reasons. But if you’re traveling by car, yes, you can stop to take pictures.
Car travel, (or RV travel, etc) usually involves less hassles. No security checkpoints, no true restrictions on liquids, items, etc. Easier transport of items. You also know how much you can take and know that someone else won’t have taken your trunk space. None of the hassles that you encounter when flying.
You see the scenery along the way when you travel by car. You can see things from a plane, too, but only if you have a window seat, and your field of vision is restricted.
Lastly, but oftentimes most important, you have more control over your trip. You can leave when you want to. And if you need to, changing motel reservations is much easier and often less costly than changing or cancelling flight reservations. Also, there are less likely to be delays caused by things beyond your control, like the airline simply cancelling your flight, even though you are well, and all ready to go, or flight delays due to weather on the other side of the country. (Yes, I have heard of flight delays at an airport where the weather is perfect, because of “chain reaction” delays caused by weather in a location far from that airport!)
Are there disadvantages? Sure. Flat tires or maintenance issues you must handle yourself, though AAA is a great help. It’s slower. Driving from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California takes two days. It only takes 4 hours by plane nonstop if you also throw in the 2 hours that you should arrive before your actual boarding time. Arrive at the airport at 7am to leave on a 9am flight and arrive before lunchtime.
Though gas, motel rooms, and eating out can add to the expense of a road trip, I usually find driving to cost somewhat less, especially if your final destination is a friend’s or relative’s house where you’ll be staying, and sometimes eating, for free. If you’re renting a car after the plane trip and staying in lodging that you’ll be paying for at your destination, then the cost of gas, eating out, and lodging almost don’t matter and the overall trip, boosted by the plane fare, may be much more expensive.(Though still worth it if you like travel as I do!)
And, if driving long distances really tires you out or is just not your thing, then travelling by car is its own disadvantage for you.
But, if you don’t mind driving and are fed up with airports, (and your destination is drive-able, since you can’t drive to Hawaii,) think about a road trip!
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