questionshow far is your break point to fly?


We love in far West Texas, closest US cities are one at 250 miles, one at 450 miles, and then a whole herd at 600. So going anyplace is either a plane trip or a long car ride. We drove 750 miles (1,500RT) to Houston for a weekend convention once, one day on the road, two days at the con, another day on the road. But we feel like travel is as much about the journey as the destination. We still fly plenty, but if we can get there in 15 hours of driving we usually drive. My friend behind the wheel, me handling mapping, entertainment and refreshments, a good mix of audiobooks and sing-along music on the MP3 player.


And btw, I understand anal probes and mouth checks aren't happening now, but with the joy that is TSA, who knows? Now they have to stick their hand IN underwear to check genitals for bombs (their job, stopping terrorists). Is it really that much further to the probes? No, realistically it is not.


There is no break point. I recently drove to CT from Florida, and then over to Maine, and then back.
I will not step on a plane again until the TSA is gone.

If I wanted a prostate check, I would go to a doctor. Not some moron in a police costume.
If I need my teeth checked, I go to a dentist. Again, I don't need some moron in a police costume. In fact, I can't think of a single reason I would possibly step on a plane and risk making my way through a bunch of people who watched the X-Files and wondered what it was like on the other side of that probe, wondering if I am a terrorist and checking me for toothpaste. (Btw, they were never needed. 9/11 wouldn't have been prevented by them, because they were carrying stuff that was allowed).
Yes, yes I would gladly take my chance without them, considering before TSA there was a 1 in 17 million chance of something bad happening. After TSA? 1 in 17 million chance.. hmm...
But, if I leave the country, all the way. :)


Before 9/11, I'd fly any time the drive would be more than five or six hours.

Now that TSA agents are required to sexually manipulate my genitals, I'll drive unless the destination doesn't share a continent with the origin.

When I must fly, though, just to piss off TSA, I make it a point to wear a kilt. And I wear it properly. If they're going to touch my junk, then they're going to Touch. My. Junk.


About 12 hours. Over that and I'll fly.


Mine isn't so much about the length of the drive - I love driving, love road trips, etc. But sometimes the fuel cost for driving is higher than the cost of 1-2 plane tickets. There's also the factor of my husband's vacation time - it we're going from NY - CA, spending a minimum of 8 days driving really cuts into the R&R time.
For me - I'd prefer the drive. I hate airports. Don't mind flying, but HATE airports. If they ever roll back the TSA crap then it would be more bearable for me.


The break point for me is if alcohol is free during the flight. I used to fly from the UK to Australia several times a year, long flight, but very pleasant (free booze).


I flew for the first time last year. From St. Louis to Phoenix. Before that, I've driven everywhere I've ever gone. 14-15 hours driving is the furthest I've been away from home with the exception of a 22-hour bus ride one time. The only reason I haven't driven further is money and having enough time off. And I can't imagine flying for two would ever be cheaper than driving within the U.S. with me living in the middle of the country.

It would be really hard to give up the experience of driving across America in order to fly. I love seeing the sights. I would love to drive the full length of Route 66.


The most in one day is usually 10 hours. The only time I ever really choose to fly is when it's for work, aside from that it's just too expensive.


Definitely want to factor in the cost (including gas/hotel/food).
If it's under 8-10 hrs, I'll pretty much always drive though.
Over that, you have to factor in how many people are coming with you as others indicated. Sometimes we'll share the driving and go straight through, but pretty much I prefer to drive, so I wind up doing more than "my fair share", of which I'm completely fine with obviously.

There's something exciting about driving across the country too -- you get a much different view than what you would flying, but I suppose you can say something like that about flying too...

Exception to this would be if it's on the company dime -- something about flying being out of one budget sometimes, and easier to do than getting a rental and paying for that much extra gas...dumb, I know. Especially when I fly to one location and then have a 30-40min flight to the next place.


are you talking non stop (besides gas) or how far will I travel in a car? I'd go around the world in my car if I could. Just not in one shot. Most I've done was a 22 hour trip to Florida straight. Recently it was 9.5 (record time) to Indy. 10.5 on the way back. I love driving. Snow, rain...whatever. Flying sucks.


It really depends on how I feel/where I'm driving. In some cases I'll refuse to drive 5 hours, and would rather just buy the plane ticket. Sometimes I'm down for a big road trip :)


Lets see..

Arriving at airport four hours early like average asians = 4 hours
Flight from LAX (Los Angeles) to Manila, Philippines = ~15-16 hours
Time spent in Philippine airport (from landing to walking out with like eight boxes) = ~1-2 hours
Bus ride from Manila to hometown (Baguio City) including usual traffic = ~5-8 hours

So thats about of ~25-30 hours of non-stop one-way hilarious travel time for me every other year.

But then again, I like traveling! As long as I get to use the bathroom when I need to, able to stand every once in a while (I sometimes get butt pain from sitting down too long) and don't get car sick from all the sudden stop-go plus stick-shift ride.


I despise long car trips. I am not fond of the cross country plane trips with the lack of nonstop flights and the security hassles and crowded aircraft. If I have to choose my poison, it would be air, but not overv10 hours in one day!


My break points depend on how many people I'm traveling with. The more people, the more expensive all the plane tickets would be and the cheaper the drive would be per person. So it's really all about final cost. It really depends on how much money we're saving by driving to decide if it's worth it for us.

If I'm by myself, anything more than about 8 hours is going to have me looking at plane tickets for sure.

If I'm with, say 2 other people, and I can split the gas and time behind the wheel... I could stretch it out to 16-17 hours if need be. I'd really have to be saving several hundred dollars versus flying though. And have the extra time obviously.

Any drive longer than that and I'm probably flying no matter what. I'd have to be saving $500-$600 to sit in a car for 3+ days or something...


The farthest I ever drove was to Atlanta, which was a little over 9 hours. Based on that trip, I would say that my max is about 10-11 hours.

I do love long road trips, though. I bought this book called The Next Exit. It's a listing of what's at every interstate exit in the United States. It's a tremendous resource, and it has helped me a lot on my trips.


@neuropsychosocial: My equations are similar but I add in the extra variable that I normally drive alone. Any more than about 7 hours in one day is too much for me. I just get to a point where I don't feel comfortable driving anymore. My family all lives about 12 hours away from me, most of the time I drive because I do fairly short, extended weekend trips. I just don't have the time to drive it. I did drive for Christmas last year and was able to stay with friends at about the halfway point on the way back. That worked out really well and I hope to be able to do that again this year. I also saved money by not having to mail packages or pay for extra baggage on the plane. And I could actually wrap presents before the day before Christmas when I arrived! It was great.


@gmwhit: Europe was the 10 hour flight :) And my wife concurs with your love of tall men...


My "break point" has more to do with the time available to me and the balance of time/money. I used to live a 15 hour drive from "home": if I were going home for 10 days at Christmas, I'd drive. On the other hand, if I were attending a wedding, I had to fly so that I could work Friday, take a late flight, have Saturday and most of Sunday with my family, and be back in time to work Monday morning. The financial aspect isn't always obvious, either: it might cost more to buy a plane ticket than to pay for gas, but there's also the wear-and-tear on the car - and if one needs to take two extra days off from work to drive, there's a cost involved as well.

Of course, the calculus changes depending on how many people one puts in the car! Driving is essentially the same cost for a family of four as for an individual, but plane tickets generally don't have the same economy of scale.


An aside: @capguncowboy & @ okham I love tall men! ::sigh::

OT Long drives are okay...long to me is, at most, 8 hours. Sometimes the price of flying is less than it would cost to drive a really long distance. Cost of gas, wear & tear on your car, probable motel stay, etc. To say nothing of the time saved (sorta) in flying. I'm short, so the lack of leg room is less a bother. TSA is the same PITA, though. Also, getting to the airport SO early is a waste of time. An added can't drive to Europe. ;-)

Do understand long road trips. They have a beauty of their own. The selected routes, the ability to stop & enjoy sites, etc. Have also done numerous long train rides. Love those, too! BTW: If you get a room/roomette they are VERY expensive.


I figure at least 2 hours before flight time at the airport, at least 45 minutes waiting for bags after arriving, add that to the flight time, and if driving is within 2-3 hours of that I'll drive. I also factor time getting ready to leave the house and travel time to the airport into the equation.

I also factor in if I'll want a rental car, in that case driving gets some extra points so I can have my own vehicle when I'm there. Vegas is a 7 hour drive, or a 1hour 10 minute flight. I prefer the drive.





@capguncowboy: I sympathize (just shy of 7 feet) and it doesn't help that they now charge extra for exit row :/


I'd say about 10-11 hours. Anything beyond that starts to get into the "you're spending more time AND more money" range for me.

I'm 6'5, so flying is obviously uncomfortable for me. The TSA doesn't make it any easier with all the screening requirements these days. When it comes down to it, I may actually prefer driving if the trip is less than about 14 hours or so.