A road trip in a car is way better than flying in a plane

In Opinion
Cars travel on a highway surrounded by evergreen forrest. A tall massif is ahead in the distance.
(Nathan Nguyen/Daily Titan)

For those who are planning on going out of town over the holidays, consider taking a road trip instead of scrambling to book a last-minute flight.

A single flight from LAX to Las Vegas takes approximately an hour and costs around $75 to $100, while driving takes around four hours and a full tank of gas. Though perhaps it may not seem like a significant difference, when traveling in groups, road trips become a much cheaper alternative to flying. If a group of friends wants to fly to Las Vegas, the total ticket price for a group of five could skyrocket up to $500, but the expenses of driving would stay relatively the same as before.

The time it takes to exit an airport after delays, baggage claim and renting a car prolongs the estimated one-hour flight.Travelers could eventually find themselves spending more time in the airport than the actual airplane.

Comfort is another issue, as cramped airplane seats are never enjoyable unless it’s business or first class, but even that won’t stop the turbulence and crying babies.

There’s barely enough room to fit everyone’s carry-on luggage and bags, so legroom is nearly nonexistent. At least in a car the passengers can step out and stretch every once in a while. The aisles in an airplane are so narrow that everyone has to stay in their seats when a person walks down as it’s essentially a one-way street.

Airplanes go overkill on air conditioning no matter the season, but passengers in a car have complete control of the temperature and climate.

On short flights, the only food stewards offer are biscuits and pretzels. Drivers have the freedom to stop by any dive-in or renowned restaurants along the way, taking as much time and food as they need.

There are only a few restrooms in an airplane and there’s always a line compared to the numerous rest areas found every few miles on the road. According to Bloomberg, airline restrooms are actually decreasing in size to fit in as many passengers as possible into planes.  

Driving through the streets of a big city for the first time can be intimidating, but on an empty highway, drivers can cruise at the speed of sound with an endless horizon in the distance. With “Ventura Highway” or any Frank Ocean song playing in the background, passengers can experience an indie music video in the making as they look out the window to take in the scenic nature around them.

There are only a number of window seats on an airplane and people have to be really lucky to catch a sunrise or sunset through it. Besides that little window, there’s no peripheral vision and just an endless mist of clouds. Cars offer nearly 360 degree vision for those scoping out possible photoshoot locations along the way. Where else can people take a picture standing in the middle of the road with no one in sight?

Driving offers an interactive experience with nature, the road and the local people in every town.

From visiting landmarks and historical sites to traditional bistros and cafes, there is so much more gratification in a road trip than a quick flight. Experiences like these are lost going directly from one location to another, and even though a flight saves a few hours, a road trip offers a lifetime of memories.

Obviously, if the destination is in another country or continent, feel free to take the flight, but if it can be reached within a day’s worth of driving, road trips are easily the better option. Just remember to prepare a playlist and pack extra snacks.

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