Traveling is fun, it's educational, interesting, and can be stress free. However, often people make travel confusing, difficult, and more stressful then it needs to be.
How to travel is an important factor in the process and can enhance your experience or detract from it in a very negative way. If you're traveling for business you're probably flying instead of driving. However, that might not be the best method of travel. Habits are hard to break, but consider this for a minute. Getting up at the crack of dawn to take the one flight where you're going can add stress to your day and make you tired and irritable. Missing your flight obviously can produce lots of stress and sometimes added expense to the trip. Weather conditions often delay flights, cause you to be routed to other cities even; more time lost and again potential added expense. Most airlines require you to be at the airport an hour or two ahead of your scheduled departure time. Do you need to rent a car once you reach your destination to get to your hotel or the meeting? That process takes time and cost money too. Consider the distance you're actually going, you might be ahead to rent a car and drive. Having pretty scenery to see coming and going can add a pleasant distraction from your hectic work schedule. You're much more in control of time tables when you drive vs when you fly. Take for example a trip from Columbus, Ohio to St. Louis. Taking into count arriving at the airport appropriately early, flight time; it's about a 4.5 hour time commitment provided everything's on time and you fly non-stop. It's about 6.5 hour car trip. For a mere 2 hours you could be ahead to drive. It's certainly cheaper to drive. Just food for thought. Other considerations obviously are whether you're making the trip solo or with other people. If traveling with other people, driving becomes even more cost effective.
If you're traveling with children I highly recommend car travel over plane travel hands down! Even if the trip is longer than say above example of Columbus, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri. Kids can be better entertained in the car then they can on a plane. It's definitely cheaper for a family of 4 to drive unless they're using frequent flier miles. You have total control over when you stop to eat, when and where you stop to go potty. When and where to eat and go potty are super important when traveling with kids. You have total control over who sits where or with whom; which you don't have on a plane. The average family is 4 people and most airplanes don't have 4 seats together. Packing for the trip is far easier when traveling by car vs traveling with kids on a plane. You don't have to worry about finding and lugging all your luggage, while trying to hold juniors hand, and finding out you really need to be an octopus to hold and carry everything. Many kids are afraid of planes, and the large number of strangers they see on them. Car travel eliminates that. You also have control over what time you depart. For small children I recommend picking them up while asleep (be it at night or during nap time), and placing them in the car after you are totally loaded and ready to depart. They'll sleep, you'll have a very peaceful couple of hours of travel. You can dress them quickly and easily when you stop at the rest area for a potty break; or if they're infants to change a diaper. You know how tiny airplane restrooms are, you don't want to have to change a diaper in there. In fact, I'm not sure you could. Though I also don't support changing them in your lap while you're in your plane seat. Yes, in my travels I've seen people do that. One mother traveling alone ask the couple she was sitting with if they minded. Well I guess it was nice she asked. Their choice was to put with the smell of the dirty diaper or agree to let her do the diaper change on their shared laps. Ok, now she has the dirty diaper to dispose of and she's in the window seat. Not a good solution for any of us in the surrounding rows.
Planes aren't the cleanest places in the world, nor are airports. If you have children and travel by car, you'll not be exposing them to extra germs that may be difficult for their little bodies to fight off. No one wants a sick child on their hands while traveling.
If you're travel party is all adults, car or plane travel is still a choice you need to make. Consider the distance, the cost, and your time frame. Car travel has added bonuses. Sometimes the trip isn't just about the destination; sometimes the trip can be the trip!
For additional car travel info (must needed safety tips for all travelers), you'll want to read a previous post HERE
For families traveling with children please read all about making a kids special travel trip tick here.
And if you're traveling with your furry friends car travel is much much better, they can run and play in the rest stop while the family's goes potty. And you don't have to leave your pets behind.