Vacations are some of the most memorable events of a lifetime for families. It may take months of careful planning, saving, discussing and deciding to get the trip itinerary just right and ensure those memories are the good kind. Even after the destination, time frame, budget and every other element has been decided, families still need to ponder that age old question of “Should we drive or fly to our vacation spot?”
Just like there are seemingly unlimited variables involved in planning the perfect vacation, there may be countless elements to consider just to make this one decision. Depending on your budget, location, number of people in your party, and the amount of time you have to spend, the decision may be clear. For instance, if you plan to travel from New England to Original England, driving would obviously be out of the picture. Similarly, if you are on a limited budget with a large group, you may not be able to afford plane tickets for the entire family.
But in most cases, the choice will be less obvious, and several factors must be weighed in to make the right call. While flying offers the clear advantages of convenience and quick travel to your destination, it also takes away the entire portion of the vacation which could be the most memorable. If you are trying to decide whether a family road trip is the right call, or if you should skip the drive and fly, read ahead for a few of the many reasons why driving can be the better option.
This is the most clear-cut advantage of driving over flying, as a road trip will almost always be the more affordable option. If your overall budget is one of the more important aspects of your travel plans, this may be the determining factor right off the bat. Depending on the destination and the size of your party, plane tickets alone could consume the largest portion of your vacation funds.
In addition to the ticket price, fees for long-term parking, car rental, and the usual airline charges could eat up even more of your budget. Driving also offers the benefit of no baggage fees, which can quickly add up with even a small family. For those who are looking to ship abroad or over a long distance domestically, it may be more affordable and realistic to send your luggage ahead of you, no matter which transportation method you take.
While cost may be the most practical advantage of driving over flying, there may be even more meaningful benefits in the quality time and adventure offered by a road trip. While your destination probably offers loads of fun and excitement, the journey there can actually create some of the more memorable moments of the entire trip. Most children remember some of the best experiences of family vacations actually occurring on the way to the actual vacation spot.
You will need to consider several more elements when planning a family road trip such as hotels, restaurants, traffic, vehicle maintenance and others, but most families find the journey to be even more fun than the destination. Another downside to air travel is jet lag – when you drive you can acclimate to time zones slowly over time.