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Prefering Driving Over Air Travel

Updated on August 10, 2015

Picture of Interstate Exchange from Airplane

I liked this photo from the airplane I took one year.  We were flying into St. Louis, Missouri, area that time I believe.
I liked this photo from the airplane I took one year. We were flying into St. Louis, Missouri, area that time I believe. | Source

Driving a Car vs. Flying in an Airplane

I just got back from a trip where I flew on Southwest Airlines from the Midwest to California. On the way out to California, we did stop off for a layover in Las Vegas. I don't imagine the trip was so different from other trips.

We did have a few hiccups. There was a confusion on the part of the airlines about which gate people were to go to, which they apologized for. In fact, to Southwest's credit, they did give each passenger a one hundred dollar voucher for their problems. I thought that was at least nice. There was a point where people were nearly panicking about a last minute gate change where people were running down the halls of the airport practically, to another gate that was already filled with people to go to another location. The delayed flight was back on time, and we were told in essence to be "cutting in line" in front of this other group, in our originally scheduled gate. They apologized at the point of realizing it wasn't happening, after people's hearts were pumping hard, and stress levels had raised. The lady even said over the loudspeaker, "Sorry folks, I am just the messenger."

So we were told to go back to our original gate, after people had cancelled meals, etc, to make the originally scheduled, non delayed flight that didn't turn out to be the case. Not an end of the world issue, but very stressful and confusing at best. So the vouchers seemed a welcome thing.

The second thing we had to deal with was a small family with two kids. We thought it had to be more than that actually. Let me say here that there were a few babies on board, as well as many families with many children on board. But this group behind us seemed to have no concern for their sheer volume they added to the flight. I mean these were not young children either. Maybe 10 years old and up? Yet we know that kids can be kids, but we noticed the mother didn't seem to try and help them understand they were so totally loud and waking people up that were sleeping, etc. That happening about one to even five times might be expected, but over a dozen times, including loud singing and laughter and joking around was just over the top. People around them were looking around like, "You have to be kidding me!"

I only share these two recent experiences that weren't horrifying or anything, to make a point. I just prefer to drive if possible. Its not always possible or practical of course. So really I am just venting, sharing my views, and curious about other people' s thoughts. It became a topic of discussion later in the same week with other folks who share the frustration of flying.

Relaxing Beach Destinations Can Be Rewarding

A sunset over Huntington Beach in Southern California is a nice reward after a very long day of flying.  We met family there but were so exhausted after.
A sunset over Huntington Beach in Southern California is a nice reward after a very long day of flying. We met family there but were so exhausted after. | Source

When to Fly, and When to Drive a Vehicle

I know some people travel by train or bus actually too, so those are other great options, along with flying in a plane or driving a car.. I try to be fair about this I think. For instance, the other modes of transportation are not perfect by any means. They have their own set of flaws, for instance. The questions becomes, which set of imperfect circumstances is preferable to the others.

For me, driving and being on your own schedule is a total benefit during travel. You set your own time frames. You can stop and pull over when you want, and leave when you want, and go the route you want to go, etc. There really are many benefits to driving yourself. Its becoming a mode of travel I love to opt for, and the same is true for my husband. He will even rent a car to drive farther, if he can get there in a day now. This is what he will do for a business trip. I am reminded that a flight, while is technically shorter in actual duration, turns out to be just as long in other aspects. The getting to the airport in plenty of time to check in and get through security and to your gate. The waiting times, the lines, the hassles you cannot sometimes foresee. Never mind all the people and variables that come up with that.

People speak of the pressurized and recycled air, altitude changes and everything else. Some people nearly swear that they get sick more often after flying. I notice that for myself, I really need to keep on drinking a lot the day before and the day of the flight. My skin noticeably changes even. I mean while this begins to sound like a gripe session, I surely don't mean it to be. Its me voicing the simple pros and cons to the various methods of transportation. Again, the voucher to fly again in the next year with Southwest, seemed to me to be going above and beyond. I wish that was the case the last time I flew with my family to California, where our flight was canceled and we needed to stay the night in a hotel that while we got a deal on, had to pay for. Not only that, I missed a day of work which was lost wages but also a hardship for the doctor I worked for for staffing issues. Not only that, my son lost a day of work as well at his job. You begin to see the points I am making I hope.

With travel by vehicle, you can get a flat tire, and many other things, but those things are pretty rare in my experience. I also opt to keep a AAA membership ongoing every year, for those very things. So perhaps its just personal preference and our particular situations that account for what we prefer in traveling. I am just wanting to make sure I am not in a "grass is greener over there," kind of mode or thinking. I truly believe at this point, and I could get many more examples and stories to make the points, that I just enjoy car travel over airplane travel. This is just my personal preference, with a set of thoughts that came from a lot less stress overall. If my luggage is one half pound too heavy, I don't have to get on the ground and shuffle things and take more on my carry on luggage. Which if you think about it, all goes on the same airplane anyway, weight wise. I just have a more to carry around. Yes, its also a lesson to myself to pack less, but its just not an issue with driving.

So am I done with air travel? Probably not, and I will share why.

Having a Chocolate Malt While Waiting for a Flight

Getting a shake at Ruby's Cafe at John Wayne Airport in Southern California.  This is a great way to pass the time but adds up quickly, money wise!
Getting a shake at Ruby's Cafe at John Wayne Airport in Southern California. This is a great way to pass the time but adds up quickly, money wise! | Source

To Drive or to Fly, For Travel

In speaking to others about this topic, a few things came up. One woman said her standard rule is that if it takes her more than 3-5 hours, she will fly. She is a drug representative and has to travel to and fro very often. She opts to drive in those cases because she figured she will spend at least that much time in getting to and from the airports, waiting, and travel time anyway.

My husband says that if it takes him more than a day to drive, he will fly instead. Otherwise, that whole day that revolves really around flying anyway, can be better spent driving with much less stress overall. For him, its dealing with all of the people and wait time, flight delays, and parking vehicles at airports to pay for a per day fee, etc. Why not just rent a car and drive, he says? Why put the wear and tear on our car, when you have other options? I get his points.

There is so much more to be said. I also enjoy, for instance, stopping at little sightseeing spots along the way! Like historical points of interest, or beautiful spots to view in the scenery. I enjoy having my favorite music going or books on tape, and the restful atmosphere of driving in a car. The loudness of an airplane in its most relaxed mode is still kind of stressful and very much a tight squeeze in regards to shape. One more thing to mention, is that you observe people pushing the limits on things, pushing the envelope as it were, on all kinds of things. People can be rude and unthoughtful. For instance, I see it more and more that others don't seem to be aware of their surroundings, or their impact on their space where it overlaps with others. It seems to be more in line with an "its all about me, world." The truth is, we are all hopefully going to be working together to be courteous and share space when we have to, over the alternative. People seem to be more selfish and are passing it on to their kids.

While I observe that on the road also, for the most part, being in my vehicle allows me to avoid a lot of those issues that I come across on planes and in airports. For that matter, you see this in stores and shopping malls, etc.

At any rate, I didn't mean for this to be a griping session so much as to be thinking these issues through. We have choices in life, and money we have to spend at times on various things. Our simple choices have consequences for good or for bad at times. There will likely be frustrating and good times no matter the mode of transportation. For me, however, there is far less with driving a vehicle. So I am thankful for that option for now, even though it takes more concentration, etc. I would love to hear your thoughts on these things, if you care to share. No matter what, I am thankful for the options at my disposal, currently.

San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport:
San Diego International Airport (SAN), 3225 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

get directions

The trip was for a work meeting, but San Diego International airport was our latest airport to go to, and may be for some time. Too far to drive.

Flying vs. Driving Poll

Would you rather fly in an airplane, or drive in a car for your next trip?

See results


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you, DDE, I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great view and so interesting too.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks Poetry Man. I like to space out the time as I am able, which is kind of a luxury these days, when driving long distances. I don't like feeling under the gun, to have to speedily get somewhere. Taking ones time and being able to stop if you want makes it more perfect.

      I appreciate the comment and vote, have a great day!

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      4 years ago

      I don't like long, cross country drives as much as I use to but I don't fly when I don't have to. The day demarcation seems wise. If it takes you longer than a day you should probably fly.

      Voted up.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Mary and good morning! I enjoyed your comments there, and it reminded me that I enjoy people watching also, at least to some degree. There are just so many different people in the world, and an airport has quite a diverse group!

      As for your trip from Florida to Oregon, I can see contemplating driving, but would probably end up flying as well. Its just such a long trek. If time wasn't of the essence for me though, I may want to drive.

      I hope your trip with your daughters is wonderful, that sounds so great. Getting to spend a couple of weeks also makes it very nice as well. I love those kinds of trips. Have a great time, and thank you for your share, vote and comment!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      Funny I should see your Hub this morning, cause one of my daughters and I are planning a trip from Florida to Oregon to visit another daughter who lives there. We debated on whether to fly or drive, but decided to fly.

      It will be a long flight and have a 3 hour layover in N.C. I'm a people watcher, so I don't mind sitting in an airport just relaxing.

      We are leaving Aug. 24 for two weeks; can't wait!

      Voted this UP, and shared.


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