There are loads of things to consider when you plan your summer vacation – where you’ll go, where you’ll stay, what activities you’ll enjoy, and what your budget is. But one of the biggest questions is always – how ya gonna get there?
Let’s get rid of trains right away. Not that trains are not a great way to travel, but it’s highly unlikely that the train is going to get you from the point A where you want to start to the point B where you want to finish. In most cases, you’re going to have to get to your train station, then from your destination, get where you want to go. Renting a car, using a taxi, bumming rides from friends and relatives are all options, but they can add to the expense of your train fare, which, compared to other options, is really not inexpensive. For what it costs to put you, your family, and your car on the Auto Train from the north east to the Orlando vicinity, you could almost stay an extra week at a value resort at Walt Disney World!
Planes are a quick fix. If you are traveling more than a day’s drive from home, and even more so if you are solo or couples only traveling, air may be the way to, umm, fly. You can get to virtually anywhere in the continental United States for under $500 and in less than 6 hours. An early morning flight can have your butt on the beach or your cheeks in the seats of your favorite theme park attraction by lunch time!
Driving is the method my family travels most often. The biggest advantage is that it allows some flexibility. We lay out a basic itinerary, but whether we are driving to Orlando or cross country, we might stop in to visit friends on the trip or even make a field trip to see a local sight we might not have otherwise made a trip to go see. For a larger family, driving also usually works out to be less expensive. My family of five would pay about $300 each to fly to Orlando. I can drive round trip for a total of just under $500. That leaves me $1000 to spend on Dole Whips, light up balloons, or a new Dooney and Bourke (just a suggestion). To find out how much it will cost you to get to your destination, check out the AAA fuel cost calculator at http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/fuelcostcalculator/
No matter how you travel this summer, stay safe, travel light, and save that extra luggage space to put all those great souvenirs!