As my husband and I start thinking about our weekend getaways, I began to get curious to the price of taking a road trip with current gas prices. I have to admit that I was slightly annoyed to spend $64 the other day filling my gas tank although I know many people around the country have to spend a lot more.
Here is a sample price comparison chart of the cost of flying for a family of 4 vs. driving using various departures and destinations across the country.
Destination Departure Miles Flight for 4 Driving (Fuel)
San Diego San Francisco 500 $149/pp $596 $191.25(3 tanks)
San Antonio Dallas 278 $138/pp $552 $128 (2 tanks)
Charleston Baltimore 580 $280/pp $1120 $256 (4 tanks)
Norfolk New York 357 $228/pp $912 $128
Nantucket Baltimore 475 $447/pp $1788 $191.25
Fresno, CA Salt Lake City 815 $376/pp $1504 $320 (5 tanks)
So looking at these figures, rest assured that although gas prices have jumped significantly in the last few months and have compromised your leisurely driving, a road trip for a family of 4 is still significantly cheaper than flying everyone. Each method of transportation has its positives and negatives. Depending on your schedule, patience, time commitment, and goal for your family vacation, one mode may prove more beneficial than the other.
* Fuel totals calculated using current national average price of $3.72/gal for unleaded gas.
* Flights are based using economy airfare prices for a weekend departure.
* Friday Departure, Saturday Return; early summer; non-holiday weekend.
* Gas/mileage rate of 20mpg with a 17 gallon tank
* Prices for flights will vary depending on your travel flexibility. It’s cheaper to travel Mon-Thu vs. Fri-Sat, so keep that in mind when comparing the figures.
* The closer you are to the destinations, the cheaper your fuel costs will be and the more reasonable it would be for you to drive. Thus, I have tried to include a collection of popular family destinations.
If you want to do your own math, check out sites like: