While it’s fantastic, travel can be pricey. As much as we might like to get away more, most of us budget for one big trip each year, and even that has a habit of breaking the bank.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that saving money is a travel priority for most. And, one standout way we often find to do that is to drive instead of taking flights. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but trips across the country can seem drastically cheaper on the outside when considering a road trip instead.
However, when we looked into the issue, it became apparent that road trips might not be quite the money-savers they seem. In fact, for longer distances, especially, flights often came out on top.
Of course, the ultimate cheapest choice is always going to vary depending on your unique trip and needs. But, if you’re thinking about a cross country trip for your next vacation, you might want to consider the hidden costs that you can expect to face as you do.
Fuel costs through the roof
Fuel allowance was probably the first thing you worked out when a road trip became a possibility. But, despite your best efforts, there’s a pretty high chance that this is going to cost more than you’re expecting. After all, the amount of fuel you burn with each mile varies greatly depending on the speed at which you’re able to travel. Add to that the increased weight of your vehicle due to luggage, and you might want to revisit whether flying isn’t cheaper after all.
The need to stop overnight
Road trips might run overnight in the movies, but in the real world, falling asleep at the wheel is a cut and dry case of liability in the eyes of any personal injury lawyer. As such, even a two-day road trip should include a motel bill so you can rest up. This cost will soon add up during a long trip. By comparison, faster flight times could see you jetting straight to your destination and spending your full accommodation allowance on your trip itself.
What about car maintenance?
Lastly, you’ll want to think about car maintenance. Any driver should run their car through the garage before embarking on a sizeable drive like this, and that’s a cost consideration in itself. You may also find that you need to pay for replacement spare tires and even engine fluid before you’re ready to go. Then, you need to consider the wear and tear that your vehicle is liable to experience on the road. This is an extreme trip, after all, and repairs for everything from your brake lights to your engine may be necessary come the end of it.
Admittedly, many travelers find that a road trip is still the cheapest option once they’ve budgeted for these critical considerations. But, calculating things accurately ahead of time is the only chance you have of being sure that you’re using the right mode of transport for every journey.