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Travel Planning: Should You Fly or Drive?

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When it comes to travelling, getting to and from is one of the biggest factors to consider during the planning stages. Sometimes we have few options available. Heading overseas from where we are in Australia, there is really only the choice of flying (unless you want to take a much slower, leisurely cruise to your final destination).

But if your travel is all in the one country or continent, you likely have a few options!

TRAVEL PLANNING: SHOULD YOU FLY OR DRIVE?

Deciding whether to drive or fly on your next trip can be a difficult decision. There are benefits with each, as well as the usual flipside negatives.

When we were growing up, flying wasn’t so affordable, plus we never ventured overseas, so we did a lot of long distance travel around Australia by driving. This was the norm in the late 80s and early 90s, but oh boy it could be tough.

Mostly because of me… and my motion sickness! Yuck.

These days we almost always fly everywhere, which makes me consider how much we are missing out on by being so high up in the sky, instead of down here amongst the scenery. So why not weigh up the pros and cons of driving or flying for future trips.

fly or drive

DRIVING

PROS

  • Usually cheaper – although not always (research fuel cost and mileage per tank first)
  • More flexibility with breaks and opportunities to stretch the legs
  • Can be roomier (unless you have a hatchback like I do)
  • You can take your time and enjoy the scenery
  • The trip becomes part of the holiday
  • Discovering new places along the way
  • Cheaper food – not having to buy expensive plane meals and $6 bottles of water
  • You can enjoy your own music playlist along the way

CONS

  • Wear and tear on car
  • More likely to have breakdowns & delays
  • Traffic
  • Takes much longer to arrive
  • Easy to get lost
  • You need to make room for your luggage
  • Facilities are not always easy to find along the way when your child needs to pee in a hurry
  • Kids in close range for extended periods can mean arguments and bickering
  • Potential motion sickness

FLYING

PROS

  • Quick
  • Convenient – you take a seat and someone else does the rest
  • Can be exciting for kids
  • Someone else loads up your luggage
  • Meal service
  • Facilities on board
  • Need less time off work due to less travel time

CONS

  • Can be expensive
  • Potential delays and cancellations
  • Cramped plane seats
  • Miss out on the sights along the way
  • Other passengers
  • Getting to the airport and airport parking

Check out our guide for flying with kids and airline reviews

WHICH TO CHOOSE?

So we have weighed up the pros and cons of driving compared to flying, but which do you choose? Well it really depends on the type of trip. There is no one right answer.

If you only have a short time, flying is usually the best choice. The convenience of arriving at your destination quickly give you far more time to see what you want to see at your end destination. Plus these days, flights can sometimes be comparable, if not cheaper than the costs of petrol and car maintenance.

However, if you are in no rush and the trip along the way happens to have some wonderful sights and destinations, driving could be the perfect way to build more adventure into your holiday. Consider stopping over a night in different cities along the way and taking your time. You may discover a new favourite spot accidentally.

Do you fly or drive more when you travel?

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Fly or drive

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