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Driving vs Flying

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Lieslntx, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Lieslntx

    Lieslntx Active Member

    I travel a lot in my business and also have to ship my products to and from each show I attend. Normally, I fly and use UPS for the 500 pounds of stuff I have to ship. However, for some of my recent trips I will be driving.

    Now I know that sounds crazy in light of the escalating gas prices, but it really makes sense from a cost standpoint for me to do so.

    Our next trip is to Atlanta. My business partner will fly in to Houston from Salt Lake City (this alone saves her $500 on her flight) and we will then drive the 14-16 hours to Atlanta. In addition, I will be able to carry the bulk of my products in my car and not have to ship them. This is another huge cost savings, seeing as how UPS charges an enormous fuel surcharge now.

    I've had plenty of people think we are crazy to drive, but I've done the math we will be spending far less by driving.

    Now I know that with gas prices being what they are, most people are driving less and less. I, however, will find myself driving more and more. And saving money while doing so. I just wondered if anyone else has been looking at doing the same thing. Or am I the only crazy one out there?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I first thought the thread title was "dying vs. flying." That would have been easier.

    With all the airline hassles and extra costs and such, I'd usually prefer to drive if it's 6-8 hours or less.

    14-16 is a haul, though.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Are you factoring in time? It is money, after all.
  4. JR

    JR Active Member

    What's the actual savings?
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Generally, if it was more than five hours, I'd fly. Now, I rethink that. I would still fly to Minneapolis to see my parents because driving would take two days each way. But if I was headed back to Michigan, driving would still be cheaper -- tho not by much.
  6. Lieslntx

    Lieslntx Active Member

    To me, 14-16 hours is a breeze. I plan to drive to Chicago, Tampa and Atlanta. I draw the line at driving to LA, though. I will certainly be flying to my California locations.

    Yes we did factor in time. Only one day extra added to the start of the trip. We always stay an extra night and enjoy the town on Sunday, fly home on Monday (again that saves money staying over on a Sunday night and flying home on Monday.) Now, that day that we usually spend having fun will be spent driving.
  7. Lieslntx

    Lieslntx Active Member

    Without pulling out the calculator, partner saves $500 on her flight. I will save about the same not flying at all. Shipping the products alone costs another $500 (roughly, depends on the fuel surcharge of the week at UPS.) Estimates for gas to drive are about $400 (and I have estimated that very high.) It will seriously save us $1,000-$1,500 in the end. Plus we won't have to get a rental car.
  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    Well, if you don't mind the 14 hours (not a big deal, I agree) seems like a no-brainer.

    Road trip!
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I'll drive up to 10 hours to avoid flying, especially if the flights aren't direct. There's no guarantee you're going to get where you're going on time by flying.
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I read a story on Yahoo the other day breaking down driving vs. flying in terms of environmental effects and gas usage, etc., and it was almost always better to fly (the amount of gas used per person driving almost always outweighed the amount of fuel used per person through the air).

    From a personal standpoint, it sounds like it's cheaper to drive. I'm figuring 14 hours at 60 mph is 840 miles. At say, 30 mpg in a reasonable car, that's 28 gallons of gas. Multiply that times $4.12 per gallon (the average in my neck of the woods) and you get a cost of $115.36. Add $30 for meals. If you do all 14 hrs in one day (and thus, avoid the cost of a hotel overnight), it should be cheaper.

    One thing you need to take into account, though, is the value of your time. I'm assuming you're not getting paid for your travel time? If that's the case, you're reducing the value of your paycheck significantly by "working" 14 unpaid hours.

    If you are getting paid $20/hr (a nice round number) for 40 hrs a week, you'd make $800 per week before taxes. If you're not getting paid while you're driving, that hourly wage drops to $14.18/hr ($800 divided by 54 hours). A flight between Houston and Atlanta is only two hrs, so if you're not getting paid, that drops your hourly wage to $19.04 ($800 divided by 42). You'd essentially be costing yourself about $185 in "time value." And that's if you spend more than a week in Atlanta before returning home. Double that if you come home in the same week (your hourly wage would drop to $11.76).
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    14-16 hours is one thing, but doubling that amount with a return trip; I don't know, the savings would have to be dramatic for me to be in the car that long.

    I've got a 6-hour drive next week that I'm making instead of flying. Cheapest flight was more than $300, so I'm definitely saving money and I can go on my schedule. No stupid TSA agents. No one with their hand out if I have 52 pounds of luggage.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    For me, it'd depend on how long the drive is and how much gas I'd use up.

    I might Greyhound it if I could save money on gas.
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