How to decide if it’s cheaper to drive or fly this summer

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Now that we are in the third summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people who weren’t cozy traveling in 2020 or 2021 have opted to do so this year. Unfortunately, a combination of factors — including high gas prices, a shortage of rental cars, rising airfares and fewer flights — mean that summer 2022 travel won’t come cheap. (Or pleasant.)

When planning a trip, one of the biggest Choices we have to make are how to get there –which means either fly or drive for most Americans. But which means of transport is currently cheaper?

Here are some factors to consider when trying to figure out if it’s cheaper to fly or drive this summer.

The number of people leaving

It helps break travel expenses down to the price per person, according to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s cheap flightslately said the Washington Post. Let’s say you fly to Nashville and the round trip fare is $300 and gas would cost a total of $250 (and you did your own car).

If you’re traveling alone (and only considering airfare versus gas and no other factors), flying would be cheaper than driving. But if you are traveling with someone else (or more people).Driving would probably be the cheaper option.

What you do when you get there

What’s on your agenda when you arrive at your destination? If you mainly stick to an area that is walkable or has decent public transport, you might be able to get away for the duration of your trip without having to rent a car.

But if your plans include exploring a place that requires a car to get around and you choose to fly rather than drive to your destination, you may need to rent a vehicle upon arrival. Don’t forget to include the cost of rental cars (and gas) in your estimated expenses.

The value of your time and your mental well-being

In addition to the monetary costs, also consider the value of your time and mental wellbeing.

For example, spending time in a crowded airport waiting for a flight that could end up being cancelled, does it stress you out so much that you have a hard time relaxing for the rest of your trip? Or would driving be technically cheaper than flying, but take three times as long?

Not everyone has the luxury of considering the value of their time and well-being, but if you do, don’t ignore it.