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Reasons To Drive Instead Of Fly For Your Vacation

As you may know we will be going to Orlando, Florida from Colorado Springs, Colorado in just a few short weeks. We are actually doing a road trip and we can't wait. We recently did one to Canada, yes that country in the north in the middle of winter and had a lot of fun (mostly) on the road. When you plan your next vacation you may want to consider these reasons to drive instead of fly for your vacation. From expenses to quality family time these are great reasons to ditch the airline flight and load up the back of your family sedan, or mini van to set out on a great vacation everyone will love. Taking a family road trip can be a cross country adventure, or a simple weekend getaway. No matter what your destination these thoughts may help you rethink your travel plans.

Lower travel expenses.

While there are occasions where the cost of flying is less expensive than the hotel and gas costs of a cross country trip, most of the time you will find that driving is actually less expensive. If you are driving an economy or hyrbrid vehicle your gas mileage should be between 30-40 miles per gallon. With our vacation plan, we compared our destination trip from Colorado to Florida and found that flights would be almost twice as expensive as a road trip for a family of five.

Flights from Colorado Springs to Orlando: $448 per ticket with 5 family members = $2240

Rental car for 3 weeks in Orlando: $638

Total expense just to arrive at destination: $2878

Gas for round trip driving : $590

Lodging for road trip (not including time in Orlando): $350

Food for road trip (not including time in Orlando): $300

Vehicle Maintenance prior to trip: $250

Total expense for road trip to destination: $1530

Driving saves us a total of $1348 which can be used for souvenirs and extras.

Easier to bring what you need for your vacation.

This is one of those things that I love about driving. I don't have to stress about packing a week of clothes into one bag, nor do I have to buy special trial sized items or worry about my luggage being lost. I can also pack a box of grocery items for easy breakfast, snack and lunches in the car that stick with our dietary needs and don't cost an arm and a leg. Plus kids can bring more of their comfort items or electronics.

More quality memories.

One of the best reason to drive instead of fly for your vacation is the memories made along the road. Whether it is that odd diner you stop at for breakfast, or the world's largest ball of twine those are memories that last forever. As a family that recently road-tripped to Canada we got to see a  lot more than we would have had we flown. Those random side of the road attractions create memories that will last a lifetime.

Visit National landmarks.

Being able to see those famous buildings, cities or side of the road landmarks that make our country unique not only is educational but emotionally satisfying. Teaching your children about their country in real life instead of just a text book is a wonderful addition to the family road trip.

At the end of the day, the main reason to choose to drive over fly is typically going to be about finances. However, the memories and convenience of it are wonderful. Sharing new things with your family while you bond over travel songs is a great way to spend your summer.

While of course there are a few cons to driving, think traveling in a car with a toddler and a few teenagers, the pros outweigh the cons for us and we'd do it again in a heartbeat!

So let's discuss: Have you ever taken a road trip and what was your experience? 

Annmarie John
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  1. I need to send this to my husband! We always fly to Florida because it's only two hours from here (by flight) and there are great rates when we go in January, but I love road trips so much.

    1. Tamara, when we lived in New York we flew everywhere we went because it was so much cheaper flying out of JFK or LGA. Now we're here in CO, the prices have doubled so I've found that it works out so much cheaper driving. Of course we have no choice when it comes to Caribbean or international (except for Canada), and the kids love the road trip.

  2. True on all accounts! Last year we took several road trips and the freedom that you get can't be bought. We got to stop at as funny places as well.

  3. For us, it depends on the length of the car ride. We don't do more than 8 hours in a car.

  4. We've yet to fly with our has just been easier to drive. Although, I think we might be planning a bigger trip that would require flying and I know our kids are ove-the-moon excited to go on a plane! lol

  5. Thanks for this - we're taking a roadtrip this year. I love road travel because there is so much to see and do in our country and the best way to experience it is road travel. I love a good flight too sometimes.

  6. You've covered the bases on the pro's and con's. We take these into consideration when traveling with the kids. We use the drive time to connect and money saved to do more at our destination.

  7. Sounds like some good reasons! We don't drive so it's not in the plans for us if we want to go anywhere we usually either take the train if it's close enough or we'd have to fly. One of these days I'll have to get my license. I guess I've been spoiled with buses, subways and street cars right at my door! - - Jeanine

  8. What a great post. I prefer to drive over flying if we have the extra time. I love to make extra stops to see all the odd tourist attractions.

  9. For us we drive. There are 7 of us and the expense to fly is crazy! Plus we can stop along the way and see things we would have not seen in the air!

  10. Driving is what I prefer when we have the luxury of time. I hate having to weigh my bags to fly.

  11. We used to take lots of road trips as kids (one was from Miami, Fl to Niagara falls!) and I have such great memories from those trips. We are taking our kids on their first major road trip this winter when we drive up to Gatlinburg. It is WAY cheaper for us to drive up then fly!

  12. I agree with Heather... we are heading on vacation in July and time is not on our side and where we are toying with going is a very long car ride. There are a lot of things to think about before the trip aren't there.
    I am hoping we get our game plan done soon... I am anxious for a vacation!

  13. WE are driving 12 hours this summer to a location we normally fly. Buying 5 plane tickets is pricey

  14. All of these are so true. Driving almost always comes out cheaper and often takes less time.

  15. I prefer to drive. Too many kids and it can get expensive to fly

  16. These are great points. Flying is quick but it can be super uncomfortable. I do like a good road trip.

  17. We live in San Antonio and most of the places around are with driving distance. It only takes us 3-6 hours to get to the beach or casino...Tons of fun

  18. I have always chose to drive over fly if possible. I love bringing what I need.

  19. Those are some good savings. We usually fly, just because of the timing- but maybe when my daughter is older we will drive!

  20. These are all valid points especially as it relates to saving money. I actually prefer to Fly rather than drive just because I'm not a fa of Road Trips

  21. We always drive because with travel with a dog - great post here.

  22. I had no idea you were also from Co! We have talked about driving to Disney and this was great to read

  23. I have driven to Florida before, and we road trip to SC but I will never drive again to FL...flying is my preferred method especially with a kid who HATES being in the car

  24. We definitely plan to drive all of your trips (we have a popup camper now too!). It just cost too much to fly with 5 people plus hotels. YIKES!

  25. We love to drive on our trips. The road trip is half the fun of the trip. We have seen some amazing things during our trips.

  26. We've driven to Florida from MA and saved a bundle. I do prefer flying though.

  27. On a road trip by myself and work for an airline, so I can fly standby for free. Hands down, driving wins if you can allocate the time. I'm sick of the experience at the airport and on the plane. There's nothing like asking yourself, "Where do you want to go today?" and just taking off down the highway with the ability to change your mind at the drop of a hat. That said, you can't drive to Hawaii or Europe, but you can still visit tons of cool places.

  28. I work for an airline and essentially fly for free if there's a seat for me. Just drove from Atlanta to Arizona by myself for my vacation instead of flying. It was fantastic. You can pick wherever you want to go at the drop of a hat, report to no one and completely control what you want to do at all times. You can't drive to most foreign countries, but you can explore our great country by car anytime you feel like it and have the money. We have so much to be proud of, and we owe it to ourselves as Americans to enjoy our sacred land.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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