I'm traveling 800 miles for the Christmas holiday and I'm trying to decide if I should fly or drive. The flight is about 2 hours, the drive would be about 14. I'm on the fence because I don't know which way is safer and the most practical. We'll have a lot of luggage not only for us but the baby. She will be 6 weeks old. What should I do?
Stephanie from Indiana
I personally don't like to fly. I am a large person, and I am so uncomfortable squashed up in the seats and there is just no leg room.
I recently drove from Texas to California to see my family, it is over 700 miles each way. Yes, the drive is long, but to me it is worth it. I can bring anything I want for my kids, and I have the advantage of having my own car if I want to get away from everyone for awhile.
I hope you have a good trip, whatever you decide.
Hi Stephanie, I'm also traveling for Christmas this year. I'm driving 970 miles by myself. I've checked flights, and it's cheaper for me to drive than to fly. You have to consider the amount of luggage you'll be taking, plus gifts. My car will be packed, but it would cost me extra to fly everything that I'm taking with me. It's really a matter of choice and cost. If you can afford to fly, then I would go that way. But I can't afford it, so that's why I'm driving. I also do most of my driving at night because there is less traffic on the road so it's safer. Whatever you decide, have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year!
If it were me, I'd fly. A 14 hour road trip with a baby that has to be fed, diapered, etc. means frequent stops (can't do those things while she's buckled in a car seat!) and can easily turn into much longer than that. Safest? Well...the chances of somehting happening in 2 hours vs. 14+....I'd say the shortest time would have the better odds.
You might not fly often enough to remember how painful it is on the ears sometimes. The last flight I took was to Amsterdam and took 9 hours. The whole flight was upset over an infant screaming most of the time. Poor thing its mom was crying almost as hard. Enjoy the drive I say.
With a very young baby, I would really consider not traveling by plane, because she will be exposed to so many viruses.
When my son was young, we made several trips that were over 1000 miles, and we always drove. Forget all the horror stories you hear, he was good as gold, slept a lot. When he was up, I often sat next to him while my husband drove, to read books or play with him. I'd buy a few new small toys to keep him occupied as he got older, but as an infant, he slept on the trips.
One tip I'd give, is to make sure someone can watch her when you arrive, cause she'll be wide awake and you'll be ready for a nap.
Don't let anyone fool you, flying with a baby can be a major problem. It's hard to carry everything you need with you, it's not as easy to deal with feedings and diapers on a plane, other passengers quickly get annoyed and angry, and to be safe, you must buy another ticket for a seat to strap the baby-seat into. Do not attempt to hold your infant on the trip. I've seen planes hit turbulence and babies go flying out of their parent's arms, several rows up the aisles, only to land and get hurt. And you must remember all the time you'll spend waiting in the terminal before and for bags after the flight.
Either way, making a trip with an infant can be stressful. Hope all goes well for you.
I say drive, too. As the grandmother of 9, 5, and 1 year old girls I know the amount of "stuff" required to travel with a baby. There is no way in the world I would attempt to fly with a 6 week old...for all the reasons already listed, plus weather delays in an airport with an infant. At least if you are driving and run into bad weather, you can get a motel room until things clear up if need be.
Whatever YOU choose...be safe and have a Blessed CHRISTmas!!!
This would be a no-brainer for me! I'd choose flying for 2 hours over driving for 14 hours any day! From my experience (not personal but observation), the stewards are very good at helping deal with children on flights. I flew to Ireland one year (11 hours) on a plane with a couple who had 3 small children, and they didn't have a bit of trouble. As far as safety is concerned, statistically, fewer people die in airplanes than in automobiles annually!
I, myself, would drive. You can make sure you stop in all states, or points of interest, take five minutes to take a photo of your child, you and your child, your child and spouse, etc. Make a scrapbook page and place in your baby book. It isn't that difficult to travel w/a baby, they sleep for hours anyway, right?
You can save money this way, too.
I would definitely drive. There is a God's beautiful country out there to admire and appreciate. Take time to smell the roses, so to speak. Enjoy the times with your child along the way. Stop at a hotel and eat in the room, very relaxing. I travel with my dog, also. We had a blast and saw some beautiful places.
From a Mom with 2 active toddlers: drive. You will be so glad to have all the stuff and the baby will sleep most of the way--assuming you have a non-colicky infant. We usually put one parent in the back with the kid(s). After the baby starts to turn over and crawl, etc., you won't be able to do this so easily!
following new safety advice about infant cars seats i would say driving is less hassle BUT make sure you let the baby out of the infant car seat to straighten out and stretch her legs every hour or so for breathing and circulation and then continue driving
I would drive. This summer I decided to fly instead of driving 450 miles, what a mistake, with airline delays etc. I would have been home sooner had I driven.
There's NO way I'd take a 6 week old infant on a plane. Their little ears are way too vulnerable. Plan on 7 hr. days, stay over mid-way. Stay safe, alert and happy.
FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I drove and had a baby screaming for 10 hours (yes, two of us in the car) and it was a nightmare!
Then, a month later I flew by myself and he nursed/slept the whole way --- the key was keeping him a wake until the flight. yes, he was cranky but he fell alseep almost 1/3 hour into the flight after nursing. I truly believe holding him was the key and having him eating during takeoff and landing.
You can have someone buy the diapers, food, any of your personal items at the place you are going and they will be more than happy to find the playpen and anything else you need (ask the nursey at church and the people that work there) as they will be so glad to see you and the baby.
If you truly can't live without your stuff, mail it -- I did that and it was cheaper than paying all the extra fees with the luggage.
We flew from NJ to Missouri last year (myself and my 13 yr old son and 10 yr old daughter) and it was an ALL DAY ORDEAL. From the time we left home, until the time we got to my friends house it was about 14 hrs anyway. You have to get there 2 hours before the flight,park, we had to walk forever to get from one gait to the next, plus go through all the security, check in your luggage, then they have to GO THROUGH all your luggage, then there may be delays, layovers, etc. Then when you arrive you have to wait for your luggage (thats IF it doesnt get LOST) Then you still have to drive from the airport to wherever it is you are visiting anyhow. I say drive. If I were alone, I would fly, but not with kids.
For reasons already listed and many other, do drive. We traveled nearly a week by car when our son was little. In more recent years we travel with our other "kids"...two dogs. Not much difference than traveling with real children. They have the back seat and we have the front. They each have a window, blanket, etc. We stop at rest stops and after business is done we walk the pups (on leashes). They get fresh water and a treat and are ready to ride again. We've made many memories and taken priceless pictures traveling this way. Time is time and can be spent together with familiar things around you or waiting in a terminal to see when/if you'll be leaving and wondering if your things will arrive with you. Granny
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I have been doing some research as to whether to drive or fly to Atlanta, Georgia from Maryland on Easter weekend for three days. Here's the situation:
I am traveling alone, I am 55 years old and I drive a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis with 104,000+ miles on it. It runs well, no oil leaks, etc. By car, the trip will take 11 hours one way and by plane it will take a little over 2 hours. My cost for fuel excluding the $4 toll will be $117 one way. If I stay at a Motel 6 they have free parking and the room per nite is $89.99. If I rent an economy sized car it'll cost $197.86 plus unlimited mileage, and $150 deposit fee.
Now, if I fly it'll cost around $300 for the airline ticket, a carry on bag, and a backpack. I would stay at the Westin (a lot nicer hotel) downtown with a discount bringing the rate from around $125 down to $104. I can catch the subway from the airport to the hotel for about $2. If I drive and park at the Westin it'll cost me $22 per nite. If I don't drive I can ride the subway system to any place I desire to go or walk since most attractions are within walking distance. The subway offers a $19 unlimited ride pass for four days. If I buy any items that require they be checked in at the airport I could mail them via USPS to my home and save the fee at the airport. Or if I drive, I can just bring them back in the car with me.
Now one more thing, my cousins advised me that if I drive my car to Atlanta (which they recommend I do) and something happens a long the way they are willing to drive the 11 hours to pick me up if need be. I have had people tell me to drive and some say to fly. My physician even told me to fly, get there early and have more time to sightsee, etc. and even get a nicer hotel (Westin) to stay in for about $20 more. What do you advise? Thanks.
By Clarence J.
I would fly if I was you! If you have car trouble how and what will it cost to get your car home? Plus it will keep those extra miles off your car. You will also have more time there! To me that is one less thing to worry about.
I had a friend who loved to drive, and would think nothing of taking off for this drive. However, I would find an 11 hour drive exhausting. You must consider how you feel about this. Would you like to have your own car while you are there? Is the drive something you would enjoy, or just drudgery? Would you be happy using public transit or walking when you in Atlanta? I didn't total up the costs, so I don't know which is the cheapest option, but if price is the only consideration, go with the cheapest. If you value your time, fly. It will be much easier all around.
Fly! At holiday time the roads will be even busier. You will be much safer and have more time to share with relatives and friends when you are there.
Clarence. Make it real easy on yourself. Fly! Enjoy yourself, have fun and be safe.
Make it an adventure. Drive to Atlanta in your car with a couple of audio books (that you can borrow from the library if you want) and stay in the best hotel you can afford. You can still take the subway if its more convenient for you. Yes, you'll pay to park your car but it makes that option available to you. I am hopeful that you have an auto club membership and a cell phone and either a map of GPS so I can be comfortable having given you this advice.
Whatever you choose, enjoy the trip!
Couple of other things to consider :
1)When traveling by air, will you need to pay for parking while you are gone?
2)Is the parking area secure?
3)How long is the drive to the airport?
4)How much time should you allow for parking, check in, walking to the terminal, security?
5)How long is the drive from the airport to your actual destination?
6)How much will your car rental deposit be?
7)How much time will you need to allow for the process of renting and fueling a car?
8)The return trip should also be considered for these points.
In looking at planning a trip from these angles, a trip that will take 8 hours to drive may take 6 hours to fly.