Road trip or Flying – What is the best option? – Part 2

Last week I started a blog post sharing my latest road trip experience in a way to show to avoid getting riped off during this hot high gas price season and still have a good time going on a road trip. Let me get right into the topic as you all been waiting for a week. I talked about doing a Research before you making the decision. Obviously, next step is Decision making.



2. Decison Making



I questioned myself with 3 important questions that eventually helped me to make a decision.



1. Is Roadtrip going to work out cheaper than Flying with hotel expense on the way?


Yes. It is going to work out atleast 30-40% cheaper even after taking the High gas price into account. Last minute deals also came out higher than road trips. Also road trips are for many reasons like packing, taking big gifts and even packing sleeper bags incase we need it. For everything road trip
seems to be the way to go.



2. Do I have enough time to drive to – fro and also have time for sightseeing? Is it going to be relaxing vacation?

Yes, if I properly plan. I know Chicago is 20 hours one way(1200 miles via Baton Rouge to avoid slow traffic via Dallas which maps suggest)from houston. Its almost a day to drive down one way which is really tiring. Since I have a week on my hand, I am afford to spend a 2 days for travel. Also If I do proper planning and take breaks on time, I surely can avoid tiredness and have a good time inspite of long hour driving.



3. Can I take advantage of this road trip to spend a day or two on the way for sightseeing and see few more places?


That would add as a bonus for taking road trip. But it’s going to add up on expense. Its worth it as we spend hours and money to travel that far. I also remembered about my friend who is in St. Louis who is been inviting to come down. It is actually on the way to Chicago. If I check with him, I should be able to drop by and take a break in his place saving both lodge and food expense on one way and at same time check out St. Louis.



After answering these questions, I was more than convinced road trip is turning out to be better option especially seeming to work out well on longer trips. It’s not going to be cheap like a years ago but its affordable, cheaper than flying for last minute. So I stopped wasting time on finding flight deals.


3. Planning



I started out planning for the trip. If my memory serves better, everytime I plan on big things I use a technique called “Visualization”. Actually I been using this technique all along for years without even knowing its technical name happen to know recently.


It is simple and an easy routine. Let me sketch it out real quick. You just start to visualize the whole trip step by step starting from the day you leave and every other day. Do one day at a time and jot down the points or things you need or wanted to get it done. If you just follow and do what I said, you surely won’t miss a thing. Visualization is a key aspect I always recommended to people to use it on any occasions during planning.


I visuvalized and noted like essential things needed (car, hotels, maps, directions, places planning to go and so on.



For road trip, obviously I need a reliable car to travel long distance. Since I have my 3 year old Honda Accord with just 38000 miles
which is in good condition and capable of minimum 30 miles per gallon. So I just striked it in my list.


Next, I started finding hotels for the main destination(Chicago). When I was searching for hotels, I was looking for a reasonable(2-3 star), affordable($50 max/day), convinent(with needed amenties), and closest(to save on gas) to my cousins place.

I tried on hotels.com, priceline.com to find some hotel deals. Hotels.com seems to be atleast $3-$5 cheaper and also have better hotels options on the list. I found hotels from best (5 star) to better (4-3 star) and good (2-1 star) ratings. I am ok with 2 star as I am not going to stay all day. It’s just for sleep and getting ready in the moring. I found a great deal with 20% discount on a Travelodge Motel for just $45/day but its only for one person. Its a tricky deal. They give you 20% off but add on price for additional person. I called the hotel directly and confirmed the usual occupancy of 2 person/room. So I gone ahead and booked for one person and plan to pay if needed when I get there.


I also booked for hotels to stay to take break while we come back for $60/day in Super 8 motel at hotels.com. That completes all the lodging needs. I did research on places to go in St. Louis and took print outs. I am also planned on few places to go in Chicago and decided to check with my cousin when I get there. I checked with my friend who just went on a Kentucky road trip and found alternate route to avoid traffice. I took all the maps and directions print outs.


By taking care of hotel bookings and sight seeing, Planning process is done. I still have to few more tips to share with you all and this post already too long. You have to wait for the next post. Before I even finish this post, I am leaving for another trip. I am going to Las vegas for 5 day vacation with my family. This time, I am flying as I planned this trip well in advance. Will share all about it later and I should be back next week to post the last of this series.

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