WWYD Fly or Drive

joedplumber

Love Vacationing!
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
I'm trying to convince my DW the savings we would get if we drove to FL this April break instead of flying. Just wanted to see what other folks would do in my case. We are traveling from CT to Orlando.

Right now we have enough points to book a hotel for the way down and the way back so there is no cost for that. Figuring fuel will be about $225 for the whole trip and since we are well under our mileage on our car lease which is up in May I figure it is a good way to use miles we have technically paid for. Also, budgeting about $200 for food on the road. Not sure if I should budget that though as we leave on a Friday and me and the DW buy lunch at work anyway and typically go out to dinner on Fridays with the family. Saturday breakfast is included in the hotel stay and we will be in Orlando at lunch time anyway. Lastly, flights are running about $800 pp round trip and there are 4 of us.

The way I see it is we are saving a bundle other than time. Just wanted other folks thoughts in case I am missing something. Hopefully I can get my DW on board with this.

Thanks
 

sam_gordon

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
I'm trying to convince my DW the savings we would get if we drove to FL this April break instead of flying. Just wanted to see what other folks would do in my case. We are traveling from CT to Orlando.

Right now we have enough points to book a hotel for the way down and the way back so there is no cost for that. Figuring fuel will be about $225 for the whole trip and since we are well under our mileage on our car lease which is up in May I figure it is a good way to use miles we have technically paid for. Also, budgeting about $200 for food on the road. Not sure if I should budget that though as we leave on a Friday and me and the DW buy lunch at work anyway and typically go out to dinner on Fridays with the family. Saturday breakfast is included in the hotel stay and we will be in Orlando at lunch time anyway. Lastly, flights are running about $800 pp round trip and there are 4 of us.

The way I see it is we are saving a bundle other than time. Just wanted other folks thoughts in case I am missing something. Hopefully I can get my DW on board with this.

Thanks
Time is money. I'm not against driving, but flying is SO much easier IMO. Why not work with your DW and say "if flights get down to $x, we'll fly. Otherwise we'll drive." Then just keep checking flight prices.

Assuming your April break is 9 days (Sat- following Sun), you'd "lose" 4 days in driving.
 

Hikergirl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Is this trip a definite, or are you in the checking to see if you can make it happen stage?
I would check other airports for cheaper airfare before I decided to drive. I would be willing to drive a couple hours to fly down to FL but I would not be willing to drive to FL.
For our family we would not be going if all I could find were $800 pp flights.
 
  • morgan98

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2010
    I'm trying to convince my DW the savings we would get if we drove to FL this April break instead of flying. Just wanted to see what other folks would do in my case. We are traveling from CT to Orlando.

    Right now we have enough points to book a hotel for the way down and the way back so there is no cost for that. Figuring fuel will be about $225 for the whole trip and since we are well under our mileage on our car lease which is up in May I figure it is a good way to use miles we have technically paid for. Also, budgeting about $200 for food on the road. Not sure if I should budget that though as we leave on a Friday and me and the DW buy lunch at work anyway and typically go out to dinner on Fridays with the family. Saturday breakfast is included in the hotel stay and we will be in Orlando at lunch time anyway. Lastly, flights are running about $800 pp round trip and there are 4 of us.

    The way I see it is we are saving a bundle other than time. Just wanted other folks thoughts in case I am missing something. Hopefully I can get my DW on board with this.

    Thanks
    So are flights $800pp because it is Easter Week or Spring Break? Have you checked alternative airports because that just seems like a really, really unusually high flight cost from the Northeast into Orlando.

    Will driving cut into the amount of time you would spend in Florida actually enjoying your destination? Do you or your wife need to take additional vacation days for the driving days? Can you tolerate driving for that long? Can your family tolerate being in a car for that long?
     

    Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    I just checked our spring break week (week before easter) and average RT nonstop out of NYC is $400 pp on expedia. Cheaper if you don't mind stops.
     

    Queen of the WDW Scene

    It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2016
    Growing up we drove from WNY every year and my parent still do however we always did a lot of other things besides Disney and it was convenient to have our own car.
    Now that the majority of my trips to Florida are purely for Disney and we stay onsite I much prefer to fly.
     

    joedplumber

    Love Vacationing!
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2012
    I just checked our spring break week (week before easter) and average RT nonstop out of NYC is $400 pp on expedia. Cheaper if you don't mind stops.
    Thanks,

    Just looked again and based on the times we want to travel I got it down to $2,200 for the whole family out of LGA. Just have to add baggage fees and parking to compare the two apples to apples. Hope the costs for flights keeps dropping!!!
     
  • Darcy03231

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    I'm with the others in checking out alternative airports within a 2-3 hour radius of your "home" airport. We once drove 2 hours to save $300 per ticket (there were 6 of us flying). There's no way I'd take 4 days out of my vacation to drive if I were only going for a week to 10 days.
     

    mnrose

    Queen of all she surveys
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2009
    If you have limited time, I'd fly. You lose almost two full days with the drive each way. Even if you figure your flying "travel day" is a lost cause, that's still two days more lost with driving. If you've got lots of time, as we do as we are retired, sure, I'd drive and make that part of the adventure.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I'd fly, but I'd be completely stunned if you couldn't get round trip tickets from Boston to Orlando for far, far less than $800/person. I fly from Atlanta to Boston several times per year and never pay more than $200.
     

    joedplumber

    Love Vacationing!
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2012
    So are flights $800pp because it is Easter Week or Spring Break? Have you checked alternative airports because that just seems like a really, really unusually high flight cost from the Northeast into Orlando.

    Will driving cut into the amount of time you would spend in Florida actually enjoying your destination? Do you or your wife need to take additional vacation days for the driving days? Can you tolerate driving for that long? Can your family tolerate being in a car for that long?

    Thanks, we have driven in the past with out issue. The family is pretty tolerant of the drive, lol Luckily these days there are tons of distractions for kids in the car. In terms of vacation days we really don't lose time as regardless if we fly or drive we will still arrive in Orlando Saturday afternoon and leave the following Saturday morning. It's more of using additional PTO from work which isn't an issue.

    I do like the idea of tracking the flight prices and have some number that if it hits or drops below we pull the trigger on flying!
     
  • Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    Thanks,

    Just looked again and based on the times we want to travel I got it down to $2,200 for the whole family out of LGA. Just have to add baggage fees and parking to compare the two apples to apples. Hope the costs for flights keeps dropping!!!
    Don't keep checking on the same computer. Use your phone, or tablets in the house.
    Good luck!
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    So I just had to take a quick peak. I can fly roundtrip from Boston to Orlando in the middle of April on Spirit Airlines for about $120/person. Consolidate bags so you only have one or two and you're still looking at maybe $600-$700 maximum to fly....for all 4 of you total.
     

    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2002
    FLY.....
    Use those hotel points to stay over on your trip, or on a future trip...
    I would suggest a getaway for just the two of you. (Def worth any so called savings on this trip!)
    That amount of travel on the roads/interstates is just not 'fun'.
     

    Erzengel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    If your location is correct in Connecticut, it's 1,200 miles or almost 19 hours.

    That's essentially 2 days (round trip) not including if you stopping halfway to sleep or just being tired that first day you got there. For me, that's just wasted vacation time.

    I would only consider driving if driving to the airport an hour and a half before, flying, get luggage, renting a car/transport to destination hotel < or = to the drive time + 1 1/2 hours and incorporating ticket prices.
     

    joedplumber

    Love Vacationing!
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2012
    If your location is correct in Connecticut, it's 1,200 miles or almost 19 hours.

    That's essentially 2 days (round trip) not including if you stopping halfway to sleep or just being tired that first day you got there. For me, that's just wasted vacation time.

    I would only consider driving if driving to the airport an hour and a half before, flying, get luggage, renting a car/transport to destination hotel < or = to the drive time + 1 1/2 hours and incorporating ticket prices.
    Yes, southwestern CT. In the past we left Friday morning and drove to Brunswick, GA, stayed the night, and arrived at Disney at 11:30ish AM Saturday.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I suppose the big issue you already taken care of, which is the theoretical cost of additional mileage to your car. If it's leased and you're returning short of the allowance you're set. And on top of that you'll have your own vehicle instead of having to rent a car. I also don't particular like rentals because it can feel unfamiliar driving one (although I have rented a car to take on a long drive). You'll also be less restricted in what you can take with you.

    While I suppose there are delays, I've found that driving to Southern California works better for me because we can have more flexibility. If we're an hour late to the airport we miss our flight. If we're two hours behind schedule leaving home, our car isn't leaving without us. However, it's also kind of a sweet spot for us because of the distance. If traffic is good, it takes us about 6 hours including one meal stop. I've remember the last time we flew that far it took about 5 hours from home to the destination, even though the flight was 70 minutes. We had to factor an hour to the airport, waiting for the flight (with security time to spare), flight time, picking up the rental, and time to the destination.

    A two day, two driver situation makes it more interesting though.
     

    FlightlessDuck

    Y kant Donald fly?
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2006
    Hidden expenses to consider:

    • If you aren't driving down in one long drive you will have to get hotel or motel.
    • Plus you will have to feed everybody a few meals.
    • Plus gas.
    • Plus wear on the car. If you think about it, a round trip would be 2,400.

    I mean, even all those costs probably is less than 4 plane tickets or whatever. Unless that 2,400 is more miles than your tires could take and now you need to buy new tires 3 months earlier than you would have in a normal year.

    Now, with all of that said, my family still drove from Pennsylvania several times. It still cost less than flying for us. We did enjoy flying though, and it certainly got us to Orlando faster!
     
    Last edited:

    Keeblerelf928

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2011
    What if you look at flights earlier/later that would incorporate the same amount of time as your drive? Like if you're looking Sat-Sat, but would drive down Friday, look at Friday flight costs and add a hotel stay to the beginning near the airport or something and look at departing on Sunday vs Saturday. I would also look at Southwest and the low fare calendar to see if you can make any of the cheap fares work. Southwest is great since bags fly free.
     

    Erzengel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    Frontier Airlines is doing flights in Bradley in March. Frontier Airlines however doesn't show flights until May, you might want to give them a call. They do fly to Orlando and they are a discount airlines. I've used it out of NJ/Philly to Florida.
     


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