Flying vs Driving and Getting There

Getting there is Half the Fun

That cliché is usually true, but with “getting there” you spend valuable time and money with transportation. If it is less than eight hours one way to drive to your destination, consider driving, especially if you have two or more in the car. Unfortunately, if it is just you, flying may be cheaper than the cost of gasoline right now.

Let’s do the Math

How many are traveling? Airfare is up. Check several airlines and websites to determine best fares. Don’t forget you now have to pay each way for most checked bags. Will you be parking at the airport or using an airport transportation service? Both cost money. Parking is about $10 per day and you’ll spend upwards of $100 one way for an airport shuttle to Detroit Metro Airport from Oakland County.

Finally, when flying to a destination, determine if you are going to rent a car or use public transportation. Again, both cost money.

If you drive to your destination you will probably use an online site for directions. That service will also calculate how far it is in miles. This will give you an idea of what it will cost in fuel.

This also means using hotel parking. Hotels charge for this “amenity” if it is a downtown location. It is bad enough you will be paying higher rates for your downtown room; now they will want to “add on” the parking. Savvy travelers will ask if parking fees can be waived. Try asking the sales manager of the hotel.

Consider your choices if you do have to pay to park: Valet Parking your car at the hotel you are staying at with “unlimited in/out use” of the valet services (remember you should tip each time) is the most convenient, but also the more expensive option; Self Parking fees are a little less per day; and finally, Public Parking nearby is the most cost effective option, but usually comes with a bit of a walk to and from the hotel.

More than just Money

Figure time, as well as money, when you decide how to get to your destination. From Rochester, you’ll need 60-90 minutes to drive to airport and you’ll need to arrive another 60-90 minutes before flight time. Then time to collect luggage at the end and transfer to your accommodations. So, plan on at least four hours added to the flight time.

So, if “getting there” is really half the fun, plan accordingly. Fly or Drive? How much will both options cost? And does one save you more time than the other? Chicago or Cleveland would be better to drive to and a weekend in Vegas would be best by done by flying there. However, a week in Florida where you’ll need a car for sightseeing, might fall under the “drive to” category.

Anyway way you do it, enjoy the adventure of getting there.

Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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