Road trips: the best way to travel


Jacey Cuffie

COVID-19 changed the way people traveled. Countless people who previously preferred flying to driving changed their minds during the pandemic. Driving allows families to spend more time with each other; therefore, they can create memories that last a lifetime. Travelers also find that their stress levels decrease because they do not worry about navigating through airports, making road trips superior to flying.

Jacey Cuffie, Reporter

Road trips provide travelers with the opportunity of freedom as they make memories not only at their destination but also on their journey. When flying, people must remain on a timed schedule: arrive at the airport, make their way through customs and check their bags all by a certain time. However, car travelers enjoy far more freedom when planning their vacation making road trips vastly superior to flying. 

While it may cost less to fly to certain places, travelers must remember that they can split the cost per person when driving. For example, if five people travel via car, they can all split the price of gas and snacks they want. However, five people cannot divide the cost of one plane ticket, as each person must pay for themselves. Numerous airlines also do not allow guests to bring snacks on the plane, forcing people to buy food on the plane. 

A bottle of water costs 200% more in the airport than it does from an outside shopping center. Meals at the airport also cost travelers a pretty penny. Since 1928, The Varsity has served the heart of downtown Atlanta’s population. Travelers navigating their way through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport can also enjoy The Varsity. The prices significantly differentiate the two. If a customer ordered two chili dogs at The Varsity drive-thru, it would cost them $6.99. If a customer ordered the same combo at the airport, it would cost them $9.09. This $2.10 difference adds up when multiple people want to order food or solo travelers want to save as much as they can. 

Road trips also allow for more discoveries. When flying on a plane, the plane may or may not take a layover. Typically when planes do take a layover, they fly into international territories. On a road trip, on the other hand, people traveling in the car can decide at any time if they want to stop somewhere. If travelers must drive through other states to reach their final destination, they can stop at popular tourist sites in each state. Travelers can also listen to music without disturbing others on the way to their destination, especially those in first class.   

“I like road trips better than flying because my family can have more fun and freedom. If someone has to go to the bathroom we can easily stop at a gas station. Airplanes have bathrooms too but everyone knows how claustrophobic those can get. You also have more freedom when taking a road trip. You can leave at whatever time you would rather drive. Lastly, if you feel sick during the car ride you can pull over but if you are on a plane you just have to tough it out,” junior Malcolm Anglin said. 

Road trips also allow tourists to pack more luggage. When flying, airlines allow travelers to carry one bag onto the plane for free. Carry-on bags remain limited to 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high including wheels and handles. If the bag does not meet those requirements, then customers must check in a bag. The price can range from $25-$60 depending on the airline. Certain airlines will also charge an additional fee if the bag weighs over a set amount.

Several travelers disagree, believing planes exist as the best way to travel. Travelers say they save money when flying and it will not take as long to reach their destination. They claim that driving takes forever and the scenes from an airplane top the ones seen while driving. While these make strong points, the overall memories made while driving surpass the ones made when flying. Tourists cannot fully enjoy the memories made when flying because they need to remain on a timed schedule. With driving, people can slow down and enjoy the moment.

“Road trips are much better than flying in my opinion. My family is really big so we don’t really have the chance to fly very often, but I am not complaining because the one time I did fly, I got sick. Road trips are really fun because you can have mini-vacations leading up to the final destination. Also, the food tastes better on road trips because you have more options” sophomore Jaden Bruton said.

While it may make sense to fly to certain destinations over others, people should drive to their destination whenever possible. They can spend more quality time with friends and family on the road, bring their pets without the hassle and overall, enjoy each other’s company.