I just got home from dropping my wife and daughter off at the Vancouver International Airport.  They are heading out for the weekend to Los Angeles for my daughter’s Cheer Leading competition.  It’s a relatively short flight, the competition is for one day, and then home again.  I’m going to miss them, but I hope they have fun.

Driving to the airport in the early morning prior to rush hour allowed us to have a nice conversation and I didn’t stress about the commute.  I even arrived home well before the roads started becoming busy.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an airport during the day/afternoon for a departure in my life.  It’s always around midnight or really early in the morning.

Flying metal tube!

There’s something about flying as the sun comes up that makes the experience magical.  Plus, you get to be in the air like a bird above the clouds, how cool is that?  Flying isn’t cheap.  It’s also sometimes a hassle.  Delays, weather problems, stinky passengers, cramped seating…  The list goes on.  What people are paying for- the convenience of getting from one place to another in a short period of time.

As a family, we don’t tend to fly places.  We do a good old fashioned road trip.  It may take longer, but we see more of the countryside and stop along the way to check out places that we would’ve just flown past.  A drive from our place to Los Angeles is roughly 19 hours straight there.  A flight is 3 hours.  Plus checking in time of about an hour or two early and an hour drive to the airport plus disembarking and finding luggage is about an hour or two.  Then finding and getting a ride to the hotel is up to an hour.  So flying in the end, would save about 12 hours travel time.

Driving a family of 5 costs us about $300 in fuel plus snacks/meals one way.  This allows us to have a vehicle at our disposal to travel and see the sights.  Flying a family of five then renting a car will cost $1500 for a non stop flight one way and a car rental of about $60/day.  If we wanted the cheapest flight for five, $950 with two stops lasting 12 hours.  Yes, flying saves time.  But driving saves us money.  I also find less headaches when driving.  I’m not stressed about what I can bring in my carry on, or details about my flight, or where I’m sitting in relation to the exit/washroom/stinky person.  Driving long distances is almost the same as a daily commute except you deal with a stuffy car, an occasional fight, or bathroom breaks.  Road trips aren’t for everyone and don’t get you overseas; and flying isn’t for everyone either.  Having an option of how to get somewhere is great.  Vacations and traveling is fun.

I’m looking forward to when they come home.  It’s always nice to be greeted by a loved one when you get back.  It may only be a couple of days, but it sometimes seems like an eternity.

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