Chit Chat

Driving vs. Flying

Just a quick question / poll -

I see a lot of people discuss the distance of different wedding-related activities as an "8 hour drive" or a "10 hour drive" or something (when saying how far their family or friends will have to travel).

Personally, if anything was more than a ~4 hour drive (maybe 5 or 6 if it's a difficult location), I wouldn't even consider driving! a 10 hour drive has never been an option for me. I would get my ass a plane ticket as soon as I got the invitation!

So what about you guys? What's the max amount you would drive vs. fly?
«1

Re: Driving vs. Flying

  • Plane tickets are not in everyone's budget. H and I will be driving 8 hours this summer for our vacation (just one way, though, as we generally agree that long car rides are no fun and so we're splitting the trip home into two 4-hour ones) because we will need to have access to a car anyway and airfare+rental is more than we'd spend on gas, so driving it is. We have flown twice in the last two years and are near the poverty line as-is, so yeah, no more flying for a while. Plus airports make me anxious and I dislike packing for flying. The convenience is nice, but not always worth the expense and anxiety and inconvenience that goes along with it.
    image
    dyerwise
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    We drove 12 hours to a wedding last June. Flying was absolutely not an affordable option for us. We were unable to go to another wedding in January because of the distance.  I also LOATHE flying. If humans were meant to fly, we'd have been born with wings and feathers.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    dyerwisemadamerwinThisShamanluvsaMage
  • I would prefer to drive if it under 12 hours and my schedule allows it.

    Airports have so much added expense and time. I live about a 8 hour drive/1:15 hr flight from San Diego. If I flew I'd have to get to the airport 2 and a half hours early, pay for parking ($21 a day, usually), take a shuttle from parking to the airport, check my bag (or if I carry on my bag I have to make sure all of my toiletries are 3 oz or less), wait through security, and then with added taxiing time and boarding time, what if anything is delayed? Then when you get to the airport and you have wait for your bag, then you've rented a car or pay for a taxi, or ask someone to pick you up, which no one likes doing and it makes me feel guilty.

    Driving is much easier in my opinion. I can have all the snacks I want, pack all the full size shampoo bottles I want, and I can stop when I need to.

    I recently had a work trip to Tampa, FL from San Francisco, CA. I was suppose to board a plan at 6 am have a connection in AZ and land in Tampa at 4:00 pm. My 6 am flight was delayed too much for me to make my connection in AZ so I was put on a flight to Las Vegas, however the connection from LV to Tampa was too full for me so I was stuck. I ended up having to take a flight to Akron, OH and then a connection to ORLANDO and had to drive to Tampa. I didn't get to Tampa until 1:30 am. Flying has too many variables, it stresses me out.  
    ThisShamanluvsaMage
  • dyerwise said:
    I would prefer to drive if it under 12 hours and my schedule allows it.

    Airports have so much added expense and time. I live about a 8 hour drive/1:15 hr flight from San Diego. If I flew I'd have to get to the airport 2 and a half hours early, pay for parking ($21 a day, usually), take a shuttle from parking to the airport, check my bag (or if I carry on my bag I have to make sure all of my toiletries are 3 oz or less), wait through security, and then with added taxiing time and boarding time, what if anything is delayed? Then when you get to the airport and you have wait for your bag, then you've rented a car or pay for a taxi, or ask someone to pick you up, which no one likes doing and it makes me feel guilty.
      

    it's funny you should mention this because it's pretty much the exact route I'm thinking of! I make this trip (SD to SF) about twice a month for work. It feels easier than my morning commute at this point! I usually only get to the airport 30-45 minutes early, TBH. I also have TSA precheck (necessary for my frequent work travels)

    I guess it's just a matter of preference! By the time I get gas, meals on the way, etc. driving doesn't usually feel that much cheaper to me. I'm also usually travelling by myself or with my SO, not a whole family. If I was invited to a wedding a 12 hour drive away, if I couldn't afford the plane ticket (nothing wrong with that), I would be politely declining. 

    To a PP's point, for a longer vacation, 8 hours is more reasonable, since you'd likely want to pack more stuff and the drive would be a smaller percentage of the trip. 8-12 hours for a weekend would be too strenuous for me! If I'm driving I'm concentrating on the road. If I'm flying, I'm reading a book, catching up on some writing, or watching TV.
  • madamerwinmadamerwin member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2016
    Well, since H works for an airline, cost is usually not an issue - we can fly free on standby. Not that that is always an option; depending on the destination, it can be nearly impossible to get on a flight on standby. In cases where we would rather fly and/or we can't get on a flight standby, we try to use our credit card miles to make it cheaper.

    However, we will definitely drive 10 hours to visit our families in CA, because we like to bring our dog with us, and we like to stock up on liquor at Costco since liquor is pretty expensive in Oregon (and not sold at Costco). We drive down there at least once a year, sometimes up to three times a year.

    ETF clarity
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • The longest I drive is 6 hours to visit my MIL for a long weekend or thanksgiving. I would rather eat dirt than sit in a car for more than 3-4 hours so I will happily fly anywhere. 

    These days no one in their right mind needs to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours early. Pack a carry on, check in the day before, arrive an hour before your flight, or 1.5 hr if it's a super busy airport (and even at o'hare I've gotten through in less than 30min on an Friday afternoon), and call it a day. Flying isn't rocket science and people that make a big deal about it mystify me. 

    Of course, if flying isn't an affordable option I understand, but people who choose to suffer through an 8+ hr drive bc they don't like to fly are nuts in my book. I hate the smell of airplanes, I get motion sick easily, I hate standing in security lines with stupid fucking people who don't understand how to remove their shoes and laptops and jackets, but I'd choose that every time over a long drive. 
    I travel for work frequently and when you have to park your car, take a shuttle to the airport, check your bag (because carry on isn't always an option), and then wait through security its already over an hour. I waited in a security line 45 minutes just 2 weeks ago. I'd rather be early than miss a flight and get stuck or rerouted.
    MobKaz
  • madamerwinmadamerwin member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2016
    dyerwise said:
    The longest I drive is 6 hours to visit my MIL for a long weekend or thanksgiving. I would rather eat dirt than sit in a car for more than 3-4 hours so I will happily fly anywhere. 

    These days no one in their right mind needs to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours early. Pack a carry on, check in the day before, arrive an hour before your flight, or 1.5 hr if it's a super busy airport (and even at o'hare I've gotten through in less than 30min on an Friday afternoon), and call it a day. Flying isn't rocket science and people that make a big deal about it mystify me. 

    Of course, if flying isn't an affordable option I understand, but people who choose to suffer through an 8+ hr drive bc they don't like to fly are nuts in my book. I hate the smell of airplanes, I get motion sick easily, I hate standing in security lines with stupid fucking people who don't understand how to remove their shoes and laptops and jackets, but I'd choose that every time over a long drive. 
    I travel for work frequently and when you have to park your car, take a shuttle to the airport, check your bag (because carry on isn't always an option), and then wait through security its already over an hour. I waited in a security line 45 minutes just 2 weeks ago. I'd rather be early than miss a flight and get stuck or rerouted.
    I like to be at the airport 1.5-2 hours before a flight, because at PDX you never know what security will be like. There have been random mid-week afternoons when it takes 45 minutes to get through security, but then the day before Thanksgiving, when I was certain it would be a zoo, I was through security in 10 minutes.

    And I agree re: having to park and shuttle. Once when H and I got to the airport and parked, one shuttle came after 10 minutes but was full and passed us, and the next one didn't come for another 30 minutes. We almost missed our flight, largely because H refuses to get to the airport more than 45 minutes to an hour before our flight.

    ETA: I would rather sit at the airport bar enjoying a beer for 45 minutes if I arrive early than run through the terminal hoping to make it.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    dyerwisePrettyGirlLost
  • I've been on some long car rides (and camper rides) from MD to SW Missouri that have taken 19-29 hours. Flying wasn't an option for us because we needed my mom's SUV to reduce the number of vehicles we would require once we got to my great grandparents' house. Really, I'm not opposed to driving anywhere as long as I'm not pressed for time. Because we're both relatively new in our fields, FI and I don't get a lot of say in our time off of work, so any wedding that is more than 7 hours away (the amount of time it takes for us to get to his parents' house) is respectfully declined unless we are able to block in our leave or swap enough shifts with others.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Depends on how long of a drive, the location and the cost of flying.

    Flying is nice (DH and I do fly when we can), but there is additional time for parking (plus the cost of airport parking!), check in, security, waiting for the flight, and if you need to rent a car to get to/from the airport to wherever you are actually going, that is an additional cost and time.

    I have driven (or been in a vehicle) for 10-12 hours to go on a trip. My family also went to Florida when my siblings and I were kids- that was an 18-24 hour drive with overnight stop, but when you consider airfare for 5 people, it makes a big difference.

    DH and I lived in Edmonton for some years, so we had many years of trips back home and now we go back to visit our friends. A return flight (3.5 hour flight) costs $1200 for the two of us. Driving is around $600 for gas, hotel + food. But it's also a 36 hour drive. We have driven the route before, and we would continue if it didn't eat up so much of our vacation time, so we usually fly.

    We are doing an 8 hour drive this summer to go away to a big city for 4 days. We considered flying, but with the cost of driving to the airport, paying for parking, airfare, then needing to rent a car when we get to our destination anyway- flying was more expensive.
  • I'm willing to drive up to 15 hours, assuming my schedule allows it.

    Airfare is just crazy expensive.  Plus rental car.  I have a gas efficient car and really don't mind road trips.  

    For a wedding though?  That person has to be really special :)

    SaveSave
    madamerwincupcait927
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    It depends on why I'm traveling and my financial situation at that time.  Typically, I think of anything over 5-6 hour drive as too far to drive and prefer to fly.  If it's farther than that, I'll fly if it's for someone I'm really close to.  If it's not someone really close, I'll decline to attend.

    image 

    OurWildKingdom
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Depends on the time and distance for me.  We drove 10 hours for my cousin's wedding, but we also tacked it on to a road trop through the Dakotas and ended with her wedding.  If it was for just the weekend, we'd fly.  Also depends on the cost of flights, cos while we could probably afford it, I'm cheap.  

    Also depends on work for me.  For my BFF's wedding, where I was MOH, it was a 5 hour drive away.  DH drove out, since he doesn't work Friday afternoons.  I flew out after my work ended and he picked me up at the airport.  We drove home together.  I didn't want to miss the Friday night festivities with her, and I would have it I had left after work to drive out.  

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2016
    For me, it is all about the money.  If I can get cheap air tickets, I would fly.  A ten hour drive isn't all that much out here in the west.  It takes me 4+ hours just to get to the nearest major airport.  (Denver or Salt Lake City)  We have a local airport served by United, Delta and American, but the cost goes way up to avoid that last 4 hours of driving.  Now that our budget is less stringent, we usually pay to fly from here.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I'm all about flying not driving over about 4 hours. H is all about driving to the point we drove like 10.5 hours to NYC back in December. He said flights were too expensive but there were actually good deals he was just being weird. I somehow survived the drive but barely 
  • I think I'm in the minority, but anything over 3 hours is flying time. I really despise long car rides.
    crowsgirl15PrettyGirlLostMandyMost
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Budget is always a problem for DH and I. That is really the determining factor in whether we drive or fly. Budget aside, I am weird and don't mind driving basically anywhere. 

  • Honestly it just depends on budget, time, and reason for travel. We drive 5hours to FMIL's frequently. It is NBD anymore. I would never plan a long drive without checking flights first.
  • I prefer flying, but it's not always feasible. We now live in a rural area where the closet regional airport is an hour away. The closest major airport is 2.5-3 hours away. If we drive to the regional one we always have a connection because it only flys direct to three cities (two are the ones we could drive to in 3 or less hours). So yah is much prefer not to take long car rides anytime we go see family or do pretty much anything that isn't in our area, but that's not always the most practical plan. 
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    4 hours is my max. With the wear and tear it puts on a vehicle and high gas prices in CA, I think the cost is a wash in the end usually for me anyway, and driving is exhausting to me. I'd much rather fly. 

    No one has brought up this critical aspect - when you fly you can have a glass or two of wine! 

    I also live less than 3 miles from an airport so I can just uber there instead of having to pay to park my car.
    ernursejSP29
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If it's for an event, 4 hours is about the max for me, unless I'm making it into a fun and scenic road trip.  I don't really have the time for that anymore, so flying it is.  


    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Just a point - if you don't want to drive for 4 hours, remember that you may be standing in line for several hours at many major airports to get through security screening.  Then you get to wait in uncomfortable lounge seats until boarding time.  Ugh!  I'd rather be driving and viewing pretty scenery.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    @redwoodorigal I flew out of FLL on Monday, arrived two hours before our 8:00 pm boarding (because we flew ghetto Spirit). We had to check bags because a carry-on wasnt enough. Bag drop took 45 minutes and security another hour. I have never seen a more disorganized airport and will never fly Spirit to that airline again (didn't have this problem with Delta a couple years ago). I've gotten through longer lines at Midway faster!

    In general, I prefer to fly and think becoming TSA pre checked was a great investment ($85.00 for 3 years!). However, there are some destinations that driving is just easier. I have a good friend who lives in the Hershey, PA area. To fly, I'd have to land in Baltimore and then there's an hour/hour and a half drive. The 8 hour drive is easier than the 2 hours at the airport, 2 hour flight, and then subsequent drive. I also know people who fly to Chicago each time. It's a four hour drive, and an easy four hour drive at that. 
    image
  • CMGragain said:
    Just a point - if you don't want to drive for 4 hours, remember that you may be standing in line for several hours at many major airports to get through security screening.  Then you get to wait in uncomfortable lounge seats until boarding time.  Ugh!  I'd rather be driving and viewing pretty scenery.

    That's why I've never understood people who drive from here (Indianapolis) to Chicago. It's a 3-3.5 hour drive. If you fly you drive to the airport, wait for the plane, fly, wait to deplane, travel into the city or wherever you're going and it takes just as much time.
    kimmiinthemittenCMGragain
  • CMGragain said:
    Just a point - if you don't want to drive for 4 hours, remember that you may be standing in line for several hours at many major airports to get through security screening.  Then you get to wait in uncomfortable lounge seats until boarding time.  Ugh!  I'd rather be driving and viewing pretty scenery.

    With Nexus cards and priority boarding, most airport security lines aren't an issue. FI and I have it down to the minutes and usually walk up to the gate just as they start group 1 boarding.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I would always choose to drive versus fly. If it is a really long drive (over 15 hours) then DH and I would turn it into a road trip and stop at other places in between. 

    Airfare is ridiculously expensive, especially if you are flying more than just one person. Our car gets 40 mpg and makes traveling for us very inexpensive

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    The only time I've driven 8 hours for a wedding was when I was 20, going with my boyfriend and parents. 
    Every other time is flying. 

    I'm sure a lot has to do with general convenience of the closest airport. O'Hare is an easy public transit trip away, as is Midway. If we lived in another part of Illinois or up somewhere in Wisconsin, sure we'd do a lot more road trips. 

    Couple things stand out to me-- we had a conversation with close friends and the guy said he hated flying. They do a lot of long haul road trips. They love it; they're teachers so they have long stretches of time off to kill. But we're saying, if we drive away from Chicago for 5 hours, we end up in rural areas, nowhere special (no offense to anyone). If we fly for 5 hours, we're in the Caribbean. Four hours we could be in Cabo or San Fran. Hell yes we're flying. 

    Also, people complain about connections. I respect that budgets can be issues, but if you could save a little extra money for direct connections it's so worth it. Yes, there are origins and destinations with no direct flights; that's the network for you. But people who have direct options and cheap out with connections, and then complain? No sympathy. (And I'm an airline spouse too, full disclosure.)
    ________________________________


    kimmiinthemittenernursejPrettyGirlLost
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't like the hassle of flying but have pre-check now so not so bad. When we had three kids at home, we usually drove because flying was too expensive (also when we were first married - no extra money). We would fly to Florida with the kids because that was too long a drive and traffic was usually a nightmare. 
  • I used to feel that way, but now that the kids both need their own seats, a $300 ticket (which is pretty cheap, for us) = $1200, and that's before the rental car, hauling a booster and a car seat to our destination, etc.  There are a LOT of things we can do with $1200, so we drive places more than we used to.
    CMGragaincharlotte989875
  • anjemonanjemon Minnie and Paul (MN) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    We drive. But 100% only because my H hates flying. We drove 16 hours from MN to TX for our honeymoon cruise. We're actually talking about driving from MN to FL for vacation this summer with some friends. But that's 22 hours and a bit ridiculous. We'll see if it happens.

    Luckily we're not very far from either family so we don't have very many reasons to make long drives. We drove about 4.5 hours for my cousin's wedding, but my parents lived about halfway and we could have stayed there.

    I don't really hate anything over about 10 hours. H drives and I don't mind being the passenger. We stop every couple of hours to stretch our legs. It's not bad. But I do hate how much it eats into trips. I'm really antsy over how much extra vacation time I'll have to take if we drive to FL.

    But I only do the long drives because of how much I love him and how much flying stresses him out. My BFF was talking about a trip to TX recently and I would have said no if it meant driving. Luckily for me H is the only person who asks for that much car time.
    image
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards