Travel within the US: Pros and Cons of Flying or Driving

So you have decided to explore the great American continent. Great! But what is the best way to get to your destinations? Should you travel by car or by plane? Obviously, we are assuming that you don’t own a private jet. In case if you do, we don’t know why you are reading this article. But hey! Just because you own a jet doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to travel by flights. It simply means that deciding between flying and driving has just become a lot harder.

Fly or Drive? That’s The Question – Domestic Travel

All jokes aside, this is an important argument for many people. Should I drive or should I take a flight? We have decided to collect all the pros and cons of traveling by car and traveling by plane in this article. I will also be letting you know my personal favorite option in the last paragraph.

should you take a flight or drive?
Travel by Flight or by Car

1. Price – the monetary cost of flying versus driving

The first factor is obviously going to be price. Many think that flying is obviously going to be more expensive than driving but that is not always true. You have to be very careful when you are at this stage of finalizing all the costs.

Even if you own a private jet, operating one requires fuel and staff.

The best idea is to consider the complete price of each trip. Let’s use an example to help you understand the scenario better. From the standpoint of a budget traveler, flights might seem like a cheap option but don’t forget to add your baggage price, tax, surcharges and what not. Hidden surcharges are traps that will cause you to spend more.

The danger of hidden fees is much higher if you are planning a long trip.

On the other hand, many think that as the price of gas is cheap. They should go on a road trip instead of flying but they forget to add price of motels, additional meal costs and extra charges here and there. If you add these up, you might find flying less expensive. The whole point is to calculate all the small costs too when you are planning to travel.

In fact, you should also calculate the price of Uber from the landing airport to your destination in this plan stage because cheap flights could land in less popular, less convenient airports.

2. Time – driving or taking flight – which one saves more time

Time is probably the second biggest factor to consider here. Europe is very popular among tourists because you get access to all the countries with a simple visa and you can then travel to all of them using a bus or a train. Though this sounds like a great way to save, most people still prefer flying and the reason is to save time. The same reasoning applies to domestic travel in the US too. If time is important to you, there is no point in driving because it will obviously cost you more time that way.

Even if you are on a leisure trip, you want to make sure that you cover as many cities or destinations within the time that you have for your vacation and going with plane might help you save time to discover more. At the end of the day, do not forget that you are on a trip and not on a commute. Getting there is part of the journey.

3. Safety – flying vs driving – which way to travel is safer?

We will not beat around the bushes. Evidently, a flight is more secured than driving. Every statistic points to this — it’s much safer to fly. When you are on a long road trip, the chance is very high that you will end up in some sort of accidents. Every year, more and more cars are getting involved in road accidents and this happens a lot more in long trips than on a small trip from your home to school or office.

On the other hand, yes it is true that flights get super highlighted when there’s an accident because the casualties are a lot higher, the ratio is still very minimal compared to the number of flights that every plane takes. I am not trying to portray road drives or trips in a bad way but statistics tell us that if you take a flight, chances are a lot higher that you will end up at your destination within a short period of time without any casualties.

4. Comfort – is it more comfortable to drive or to take a flight

Let’s not ignore the fact that flights are probably going to be more comfortable than a road ride. Yes, I agree that cheap and budget flights will not give you an awesome leg room area or even moderate seating experience, but even then it is more comfortable than a long road trip where there are very little options to move. If you’re taking a cross-continental flight, check out these cute outfit ideas for a long haul flight.

You will have to take regular time offs or breaks to walk around, to feel your legs and just to be alive once again a couple of times before you reach your destination. When you are on a plane, it gets a lot easier. Therefore, if comfort is something that you are after, we would recommend that you choose to fly rather than drive.

5. The Overall Experience

Now wait! It gets tricky here. If we think about the overall experience, driving might be as good as or even better than flying to some extent. It all depends on what you want from the trip. Road trips have always been considered as one of the most fun parts of a journey. If you want to experience that, there is no way that you should fly. Think about having two or three of your closest friends in the same car and you are traveling all around the US. Yes, it will take time and yes, it will get less comfortable but the experience that you will gather will be remembered for life. On the other hand, if these same four friends are on a plane with you, chances are very low that there will be something memorable. For once, you will not get seats side by side and even if you do, you won’t be able to enjoy the moments because there are other passengers on the plane and it is a short flight.

Therefore, our recommendation would be that you think about everything that we mentioned while going on that next trip and you will end up having an amazing trip.

My Personal Choice

All things considered, my personal choice at this moment is probably driving, i.e. taking a road trip. Flights are fine and they get you to the destination fast. But driving allows you to discover scenery that you wouldn’t otherwise see. The feeling of having an adventure ranks higher in my personal priority. I simply want to spend more time in the process of getting there.

What about you?

Read also

Solo female road trip across America

Motorcycle road trip tips

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top