Traveling by Car, Plane or Train?

When it comes to traveling, most of us want to get to our destination as hassle-free and quickly as possible. Often times our destination dictates what mode of transportation we use. If we are traveling overseas, the quickest and best option is to fly. You could take a boat, but the travel time for that is often more than what most people can reasonably fit into their trip.

If you are traveling an hour or two away, most people will drive. It’s cheap, easy and the best option for most nearby trips. But what about if you are traveling 5 hours away? Or maybe a great deal farther, but would like to see the scenery along the way? There are definitely some instances when traveling by car, plane or even train can become a difficult decision. In order to help you make the best of your vacation, we will give you some pros and cons to each form of transportation.

Travel by Car


  • Cost – Typically speaking traveling by car is the cheapest way to travel, especially if you have a vehicle that is relatively decent on gas. Trips that are within the 5-6 hour range are usually much less expensive when taken by car. These savings in relation to flying or train are compounded when you consider families with 3 or more individuals.
  • Space – When you take your car on a trip, you can bring many things with you that you might not be able to if traveling by air or rail. Space is still limited, but nearly as much.
  • Kids – No need to worry about your kids bothering any other passengers like when you are on a plane or train. You can also travel at your own leisure; many parents travel during the night when their children are asleep to make the experience easier on everyone.
  • Pets – As with kids, coordinating travel with pets can be difficult. Kids can stay with adults on planes and trains, whereas many times pets cannot. They need to be underneath the plane with luggage, and can become scared and sick. Traveling by car is easiest when a pet is taken along.
  • Flexibility – When traveling by car, you can change your plans as you go. If you are taking a road trip, you can pull off the road at any time and sight-see.


  • Time – Traveling by car often takes more time than traveling by plane or train. Of course you have to add in the time it takes to go through security and such when traveling other ways, but often driving takes many hours longer.
  • Someone Needs to Drive – In a plane or train, everyone on board can relax and read, sleep or converse. In a car, someone always needs to be driving. People get tired, people get car-sick and people get bored.

Travel by Planes or Trains


  • Time Efficient – Flying is typically the fastest way to get many places, even short distances. If you live near a smaller airport especially and security moves along quickly, this is your best bet if you are limited on time.
  • Productive – While flying or traveling by rail, you can work, read, sleep and do a number of other things that you would not be able to do while driving. Even in airports you can be productive while waiting for your next connection.
  • Cost-Effective – Given the less time spent traveling, the money spent gets you to your destination faster and allows you to use more of your vacation time seeing the things you want to see or experiencing new things.
  • Sight-Seeing by Train – If you decide to take a train, you can take advantage of many of the pros for both cars and planes. You can relax, be productive and see the sights of the country.


  • Expense – Traveling by plane to close locations is often more expensive than driving. Also, train tickets can be costly as well, whether traveling near or far.
  • Delays – If you are flying or taking a train, there are of course delays and cancellations. These can leave you stuck for hours, and sometimes even days, especially in areas where there is inclement weather.
  • Limited Carry-On Items – As we mentioned earlier, in planes and trains you are limited on what you can take with you, both as a carry-on and checked bags. You can choose to check more luggage, but it will cost you.

We hope that these pros and cons help you decide which mode of transportation suites you and your family best. If you keep in mind your needs, timeframe and take-a-long necessities, you will be able to choose the best way to get to your next vacation destination.