Road Trip or Air Travel – Which Is The Best Mode of Travel?

March 31, 2015
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family travel

At one time, road trip was always more affordable but less comfortable than air travel. In the age of skyrocketing petroleum prices, rigorous airport security, and airfare wars, the evaluation is not as cut and dried. When choosing which way to travel, be sure to think of all the factors. Each method of travel provides its own pros and cons, and your best decision will be based on what is most important to you.


To know whether road trip or air travel is cheaper, consider the total price of each travel. Like for example, a budget travel website may promote airfare without taxes, surcharges and luggage fees, which could add hundreds of dollars to the final price. Calculating the gas price of a car travel may not be precise if the travel will need overnight motel stops and several meals along the way. Add all the expenditures for each method of travel together, and then evaluate the final results.


Except you fly first class, modern airplanes are not famous for comfy seating. But, you do have the ability to doze, snack, and move around. Your car’s seats may be considerably more relaxed than those on an airplane, but you must stay at the same position for hours. Transferring drivers once in a while allows everyone to swap position, but you must stop moving if you want to move around or get something to eat.

Time Considerations

On long distance tours, air travel is essentially faster than road trip, as long as your flight is not late or canceled. The more slices in your travel, the higher your risk of having a delayed flight or even being jerked due to over capacity. On shorter trips, the length of time you must devote in airports could be an issue. Most airlines require that you arrive at the airport at least one hour before your flight to get through security. Waiting for your checked baggage could add another 30 minutes to the travel. If the distance is comparatively short, spending those extra hours in the car instead of at the airport could disprove the faster speed of air travel.

Potential Problems

Weather interruptions are a common problem for both road trips and air travel. Unlike the airplane, however, may be able to route your car trip around major weather problems. Even if you must stop, on a car travel you are in control of your hotel and dining choices. If a flight is postponed because of the weather, you may be accountable for paying for your own accommodations and dining, but your choices are restricted to airport hotels or those easily available by public transportation.

If your car breaks down on a road travel, you are in charge of getting it fixed and getting your own accommodations while maintenance are being done. If your flight is late due to a mechanical failure on the airplane, the airline is generally accountable for your accommodation and dining.

Making A Decision

Each traveler has different needs and requirements, which may vary by travel. Like for example, on a trip with kids your main concern may be keeping their schedule as intact as possible. When traveling with adult friends, you may be most troubled about price. Collect as much information as possible in each type, and then choose which factors matters to you most.

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