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When Is it Cheaper to Drive Than Fly?

SmarterTravel

With gas prices at an all-time high and the airlines nickel-and-diming nearly everything, it’s hard to decide if driving or flying will be the cheaper mode of travel. The truth is they both can be expensive depending on where you’re going.

For instance, if you’re taking a solo trip from Boston to New York City, you might want to fly. At the time of this article, round-trip flights cost $149, without any additional baggage fees. After you factor in the cost of gas, tolls, traffic, and parking, a flight may be far more affordable and time-saving. However, if you’re taking your family of four on the same route, you’d pay nearly $600, not including the extra baggage fees, so you would definitely save more by driving instead of flying.

There are three things to consider when comparing the cost of flying to driving: How far you’re traveling, how many people are accompanying you, and how long you’ll be gone. Distance is important because time can equal money, and driving almost always takes longer. The number of people going on the trip is a major factor because you must multiply the price of one ticket by the number in your party, whereas with driving you can divide the price of gas between those in your car. Finally, the trip duration will determine how much luggage you’ll take and that can mean additional fees on certain airlines.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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