If you’re planning on a trip in 2011, whether it’s for vacation or business, if you possibly can you should drive instead of fly. As flying, particularly in America, has become one of the most expensive and most invasive ways to travel (have you had a TSA agent with his hands down your pants yet?), more and more people are choosing to drive instead of fly and here’s why you should too.
Driving is Cheaper – Let’s face it, since 9/11 with all the added ‘terrorist taxes’ and other b.s. airlines are adding, in many cases it’s too expensive to fly. I recently checked flights from LA to North Carolina. A trip I took four years ago has gone up over $200 per ticket which, with the friend traveling with me, would mean an extra $400 more than we’d planned. As we can’t drive, because we’d be flying in from Bangkok first, we finally decided to go to Europe instead. It’s cheaper. But, let me tell you, if we could drive we would.
By the time you factor in the cost of your plane tickets, the cost of the ‘terrorist tax’, the expense of leaving your car at the airport and even the ridiculous charges for a sandwich and a coffee at most US airports nowadays, for most trips now you’re in the hole several hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Compare that to driving across country, where you only pay for gas, you don’t have to park your car in exorbitantly priced airport parking garages, and you can stop off at a cheap fast food place to eat – if there’s two of you or, god forbid a family, and you drive, you’ll save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Driving is Safer – With the ridiculous new full-body scanners most US airports either have or will have very soon, if you fly enough you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of getting cancer. Why do you think airline pilots are refusing to go through these things? With even the small amount of radiation they leak, if you’re exposed several times a month, or even several times a year, your chances of getting cancer just got higher.
Driving, unless of course you drive like a maniac and get into an accident is, for the first time, looking like a much safer proposition. No radiation, fresh air instead of the re-circulated crap in airplanes, and the ability to stop and stretch your legs whenever you want to. Driving is safer than flying. It’s official.
The TSA Grope Fest – Now I haven’t flown in or out of the US in years and, as long as the TSA continues their choice of either a cancer-giving full body scan or a TSA ‘grope fest’, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever visit the US again. In Asia, where I live, we don’t have these ridiculous rules to “save us from non-existent terrorists” but, in America, you have a choice of either getting cancer or having some TSA $8-an-hour employee with their hands down your pants.
Now, while you might think it’s for your safety, most of the rest of the world says “bullshit”. Even Israel came out saying they don’t use full body scans nor do they grope innocent passengers, as neither saves you from terrorists. But hey, the US government likes you good and scared, so there’s got to be a reason for it.
So, if you don’t want to be groped and physically abused every time you fly, take the car out of the garage and drive instead. After all, that McDonald’s employee you meet when you make a stop for a burger and fries isn’t going to have his hand in your pants weighing the ‘family jewels’, now is he?
You Can Take Your Pets – Most people, if they fly and have pets, put their pets in a kennel for the duration of their trip. At several hundred dollars for a week or more away, that’s a huge chunk of change onto the cost of your vacation or business trip.
But, if you drive, you can shove Rover or Kitty into the back of the car along with their leash, bowl and a bit of food and, viola, the whole family is taking a vacation. Plus, with so many hotels allowing pets now, why wouldn’t you.
Driving overall is a much better way to travel than flying. It’s cheaper, it’s safer, it’s less invasive and abusive and, when you can take the puppy with you and enjoy America’s beautiful scenery on the way, driving just became the new “in” way to travel. If you still feel the need to fly, make sure you get all the information you need to cut costs and make your flight enjoyable. One great resource for example is the Iceland flights guide at Iceland In 8 Days. Comprehensive, no bullshit, and perfect for all people!