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Old 02-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
TygerHawks
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Fly or Drive

So I am in the drive or fly dilemma and can't determine what would be best. Driving would be 17 hours, driving from Waco, TX, in a PT Cruiser that averages maybe 20mpg. There are four of us, including a 14 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Flight would cost about $1200 and I think gas for the drive could be in the $450-600 range.

Any tips or suggestions?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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I prefer to fly...DH can't take off 2 weeks at a time can only max do a week( I think he thinks his office would fall apart without him ) With that being said we like to get to our destination fast and start the fun....

But if driving doesn't bother you or DH, then drive. Factor in meals, and will you stop over somewhere for the night.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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That's really up to you. The economics of it may be a wash where you are, considering how long the drive is. But even if it's less expensive to drive, consider how much you're willing to pay to avoid such a long drive. Consider how much it costs to park at the airport each day of your trip. Consider the cost of a rental car if you really like to have a vehicle with you.

Finally, consider the "door to door" time. For a drive that long, it's hard to imagine the "door to door" time of flying would be anywhere close to how long it would be driving. In my scenario though, with about 11.5 hours driving time, it would certainly be less expensive for me to drive unless a crazy airline deal came out (like $200 or less r/t tickets), even if gas was $4/gallon. Also, I live anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours from nearest major airports. That factor, added to having to be at the airport so long before flights now and layover waits for non-direct flights, means that "door to door" time for us, even with a 11.5 hour drive is often about the same for driving or often even less than flying. So it's usually a no-brainer for us to drive.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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Figure on losing half a day in each direction if you fly, or 1.5 in each direction if you drive. Essentially you save 2 days total if you fly. Is that worth the added expense? Only you can decide.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:15 PM   #5
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I know driving would be cheaper. I suppose my hiccup is the unexpected possibilities such as a breakdown and well....two kids on such a long drive.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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People are all making good points to consider here. I'll just add that flying is safer than driving.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Tongue in Cheek response....

As a child of the 60's/70's, our family of 4 kids drove everywhere with no A/C!! It built character, strong bladders and great observation skills playing road games. It was great seeing how long dad would drive on 'empty' until mom would finally lose it.

DW and I enjoy our 18 hr drive to WDW. Road trips are an adventure and should be embraced whenever possible. Aside from the extra time and wear and tear on the car, driving sves money hands down for us. We enjoy having the car when on vacation and can easily make trips to the store as needed.

It's been almost 4 yrs since we last flew, and since then air fare costs have almost tripled, where-as driving costs have remained static.

Either way, enjoy the journey and your vacation.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerHawks View Post
I know driving would be cheaper. I suppose my hiccup is the unexpected possibilities such as a breakdown and well....two kids on such a long drive.
There's also the potential for a hiccup with major delays at the airport. If you're flying out of Dallas in the Spring, plan on weather delays. I've spent WAY too much time stuck in Dallas
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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It was great seeing how long dad would drive on 'empty' until mom would finally lose it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by peabody58 View Post
Road trips are an adventure and should be embraced whenever possible.
+1

There is something to be said for the great American adventure.

You should do the drive with the kids once, just to do it (and torture them ). It will definitely lock in some memories.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #10
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It's been almost 4 yrs since we last flew, and since then air fare costs have almost tripled, where-as driving costs have remained static.
What??

Gas prices in February 2009 averaged $1.86 a gallon (gasbuddy.com). This past Monday (Feb. 11), the average national price was $3.59. Hardly a static cost. Add in increased costs for running a car (servicing, tires, initial purchase cost, etc.), and you're paying a lot more to drive than you did four years ago.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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What??

Gas prices in February 2009 averaged $1.86 a gallon (gasbuddy.com). This past Monday (Feb. 11), the average national price was $3.59. Hardly a static cost. Add in increased costs for running a car (servicing, tires, initial purchase cost, etc.), and you're paying a lot more to drive than you did four years ago.

Gas prices were low very, very, very temporarily early in 2009 after the economy tanked. It was a pretty narrow window
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:18 PM   #12
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Gas prices were low very, very, very temporarily early in 2009 after the economy tanked. It was a pretty narrow window
In 2009, the national average price for a tank of gas was $2.35. I used the figure for February 2009 because that was 4 years ago. The point is still the same; the price of driving certainly has not remained static for the past 4 years.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
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In 2009, the national average price for a tank of gas was $2.35. I used the figure for February 2009 because that was 4 years ago. The point is still the same; the price of driving certainly has not remained static for the past 4 years.
No, you're right it's not stagnant and it's never been higher this time of year than what it is now. That is true
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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We drove with the kids (then 9, 4 & 1) once for our 13 hour drive. We picked the older one up after school and headed out. The drive down wasn't bad at all. The kids were well behaved, traffic was pretty good. We stopped around Valdosta, Ga around midnight. The kids had been asleep for a couple hours.

Of course, after their "nap", when we got them up to get into the hotel, they were wound back up. It took another hour or so to settle them back down. The next morning, the remaining three hour drive took us 5. We couldn't get the bathroom breaks synchronized. We'd stop, someone would say they didn't 'need to go', everyone else would, we'd get on the road for another 30 minutes and the one who didn't need to go now needed to go.

The drive back just seemed like forever. The kids weren't as well behaved, traffic seemed worse, and there was nothing to "look forward to".

I'll fly every chance I get.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:08 PM   #15
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The next morning, the remaining three hour drive took us 5. We couldn't get the bathroom breaks synchronized. We'd stop, someone would say they didn't 'need to go', everyone else would, we'd get on the road for another 30 minutes and the one who didn't need to go now needed to go.
The first rule of the road trip - when one person needs to go, EVERYONE goes!

Sometimes we plan fun stuff along the way on the trip home that we passed up on our way TO our destination. Even if it's just killing an hour at a Bass Pro somewhere along the way.
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