Is the Cost of Plane Tickets Worth it?
I’m sure everyone will be happy to hear that spring break is finally almost upon us. It is the time of year where everyone needs a nice break, especially to a warmer climate. Airlines are competing to fly you to your awaited destination. As many of us already know, one of the most popular places to vacation during spring break is Florida or more specifically Miami, Florida. Whether you are travelling to a warm or cold climate over break, every year it is a struggle to plan vacations as parents scurry to find reasonable airline and rental car prices. Some people take what they think to be the less costly option and drive to their vacation destination and others chose the faster route and fly. If travelling to Miami over spring break, I think flying would be the best option. The plane ticket is definitely worth the extra money as you will get their in a less amount of time and you can save on gas mileage.
If you were to take a roadtrip to Miami, you are in the car for many hours. About 22 hours according to fueleconomy.gov. Since Nashville, Tennessee is about the halfway point between Miami and Pewaukee, that’s probably where most people would stop. The hotel for overnight would be another cost that would have to be calculated when planning a trip since you wouldn’t drive 22 hours straight. Food and gas are two other costs that have to be totaled up to find the total price of a vacation. When estimated, just the driving part of the trip would cost an estimated amount of $629.14. That number is only the actual cost of the trip. In order to find the true cost, you also have to take into account everything else in addition to the money that is given up also known as the opportunity cost. The forgone opportunity when you drive instead of fly is the total of four days you miss relaxing on the beach since it takes so much longer to drive.
Compared to calculating driving prices, there is a lot less that you have to calculate when planning on flying to Florida. There are really only three things. The actual airline ticket, the car rental and the shorter travel time compared to when you drive. The airline ticket costs around $315 for a round trip based on the flight prices found on TripAdvisor. Second, the car rental cost. With prices found on Hertz Rental, renting a car for a week costs approximately $489. The total actual costs involved with travelling to Miami by plane adds to a total of $792. Eventhough travelling by air costs $162.86 more than driving. The flight only takes 3 hours which means more time in Florida soaking up the sun.
Planning a spring break trip can be a hassle however, if you check prices long enough before your trip, you can save money on flights and car rentals. As shown in the graph above, on average, spring break travel fares are 91% higher on the weeks leading up to Easter (March 22- March 31). Take into consideration when planning your vacation that a flight departing on Tuesdays or Wednesdays can save travelers on average $170 on their tickets. If you wait until the last minute to plan your spring getaway and still don’t have a flight booked, one way that you might be able to save money is by booking your flight on a certain day (cheapAir.com). Since airlines are oligopolies, their prices are always changing.
There are two choices that you can make, to fly or drive, it all depends on if you want to spend more money and have more time on the beach or spend less money but spend less time on the beach. When in numbers, driving looks like the smarter option. However, if you look at the opportunity side of things, flying looks like the better option to me.
Hertz System, Inc. Hertz Rent a Car. 2017, https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/reservation/#itinerary.
Klee, Jeff. CheapAir. 2017. https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/spring-break-flight-deals-are-all-in-the-numbers/.
Trip Advisor LLC. Trip Advisor. 2017,
US News & World Report L.P.. U.S. News & World Report. "The 10 Best Spring Break Destinations." 2017, http://travel.usnews.com/rankings/best-spring-break-destinations/.