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View Poll Results: At what minimum distance does flying become more practical over driving for you?
Less than 100 miles 0 0%
100 to 300 miles 5 5.00%
300 to 500 miles 30 30.00%
500 to 800 miles 41 41.00%
800 to 1000 miles 11 11.00%
Over 1000 miles 13 13.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-08-2016, 02:37 PM
Location: London U.K.
1,465 posts, read 638,057 times
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This is a very subjective thing, I've driven frequently in the U.S. ever since I first went there in 1976, and as we say in England, it is a piece of p**s, meaning so very easy.
I've driven Atlanta GA to Savannah GA many times, thought nothing of it, also, Las Vegas to L.A., but if I've had to go to Glasgow, Scotland from London that's definitely a plane ride, similarly, if I've had to go to Penzance, or Truro, Cornwall, then it's either a plane to Newquay, Cornwall, then rent a car, or the sleeper train from London to Penzance.
In the U.K. driving can be very hard work, not just in cities but on the freeways and motorways too.
You will constantly run into stationary traffic, road works are never ending, some lights are set to allow maybe 8 -10 cars through before turning red again.
Having spent my working life holding a steering wheel, early twenties to late thirties driving eighteen wheelers all over Europe, then almost thirty years driving a London taxi, my take is enough already.
At home in London, just under one kilometre from Tower Bridge, south side, I walk for exercise if I've not got far to go, or I'll take a subway train, NEVER a bus, unless I'm reading War and Peace.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:15 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
14,272 posts, read 44,972,066 times
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Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I have no problem driving 800 to 1,000 miles, and it's always more practical as long as gas is still under $3 and at least two people in the car. If just me, I'll usually fly if more than about 500 miles, basically one tank of gas.
Yeah, it depends a lot on if I am going alone or DW wants to come with. That car looks better competing against 2 air tickets rather than one.

Also depends on how much advance planning/warning I have. Two week advance purchase is way cheaper than shorter notice. The car does not charge me extra for spur-of-the-moment travel.

Also depends on time of year, in the winter that airplane is looking better all the time.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:39 PM
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,251,590 times
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Time-wise, I'll drive about 8 hours. I don't like to add the cost of a night at a random hotel to the cost of my trip.

If I'm only going away for a week, I always fly so as not to waste time traveling.

It also depends on my destination. If I'm going somewhere where a car is necessary and I'm traveling with my family (5 of us), I lean towards driving.

So if I'm going somewhere more than an 8 hour drive away, for a week, and I don't need a car once I arrive---I always opt to fly.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:41 PM
28,905 posts, read 46,773,617 times
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I think of it in hours, not miles. I live in a city where you pretty much have to change planes to get most cities, although it's a direct flight to select cities..
Drive to airport, park car, check bags (Assuming it's more than a couple of days), go through security - 1.5 hours
Board - .75 hours
Deplane - .25 hours
Flight connection -- 1 hour
Board plan - .75 hours
Deplane - .25 hours
Baggage claim - .5 hours (including walking)
Get Rental Car - .75 hours (If you're lucky)

So, there is about 4.25 of additional b.s. added atop whatever travel time I have to content with. Bare minimum. In truth, 5 hours is more like it, depending on delays, etc. Driving at an average of 70 miles per hour, that's 350 miles. Plus less expense for air travel and car rental. Plus the additional convenience of leaving when you want and not worrying about delays.

Basically, if it's more than 8 hours in the car, I fly. Otherwise, depending on if it's a direct flight or not, I'll drive.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:50 PM
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,662 posts, read 1,530,329 times
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Even with one person, flying will cost more because I will need a rental car at my destination. An exception might be some place like Vegas if you get a cheap flight and stay on the Strip and don't have to go anywhere else. But driving will take time and could require that I use more of my valuable vacation time. I can drive about 600 miles in a day (e.g., from Albuquerque to Las Vegas) but am very tired when I get there - not sure I could or want to drive two days straight. So my vote would be to fly if it takes more than one day to drive or more than 600 miles.

Now if time was no issue and there was nice scenery along the way and I could stop as I please, driving would be preferred. One of my plans in retirement is to drive from the southwest to the northwest and see the national parks. And I enjoyed my trip from Albuquerque to Las Vegas even though some of it was desolate - beautiful Navajo country and then Flagstaff.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:57 PM
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,324 posts, read 1,331,096 times
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Having my own airplane, I practically fly to wherever my destination is. Don't have to deal with the trials and tribulations of flying commercially and I can usually get a decent rental car for no more than $20.00 per day.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:48 PM
Location: Ohio, dammit!
274 posts, read 173,756 times
Reputation: 843
If I HAVE to fly, I don't go....
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:53 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,023 posts, read 3,269,161 times
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Amusing conundrum: Seattle to either Vancouver (BC) to the north, or Portland Oregon to the south. Both are equidistant. Driving to either sucks, Vancouver marginally worse due to the border crossing. The slog down to Oregon on I-5, you basically just want to put a gun in your mouth by about Centralia WA it's so boring. By Longview, you're praying for a zombie apocalypse and judging from the look of the place, one already happened and no one noticed.

To almost the minute, flying is same amount of time considering that getting through security after parking takes an hour and half or more (to SeaTac airport). North, you're going through customs too, which can be easy or difficult depending on ...nothing in particular.

I've tested this theory, it's an utter wash in both time and money. So I quit going to Vancouver or Portland, actually, having little use for either.

Back in Michigan days, anything further than Chicago from suburban Detroit was a quick flight. That, like the above, is my personal "three hour rule" or about 180 miles.
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Old 11-09-2016, 01:05 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,658 posts, read 40,029,981 times
Reputation: 23811
Originally Posted by Blondebaerde View Post
Amusing conundrum: Seattle to either Vancouver (BC) to the north, or Portland Oregon to the south. Both are equidistant. Driving to either sucks, ....
BTDT so many times, often 2x / day when 'caregiving' for a sick / disabled parent. 12 hrs on the road and 8 hrs at work, left 4 hrs to attend to sick parent. You do what you gotta do. Fortunately, didn't happen frequently, and that was for only 15 of the 32 yrs.

do what you gotta do.
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Old 11-09-2016, 02:09 AM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,569,320 times
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For me it isn't distance, it's time. You have to drive to an airport, park, check in, wait for an often-late flight, and sometimes experience delays in landing, getting ground transportation, etc. I lived years in Pittsburgh and there are many work destinations I drove to instead of flying (even if my company paid for the ticket) because it took less time to drive (and I was reimbursed for mileage and parking). Cleveland, Washington, Philly, New Jersey, Baltimore. If the time from my house to a hotel could be done in seven hours or less I'd drive. Rarely did I ever take a flight that could be completed in less time.
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