I remain a believer in the Great American Road Trip, mostly because I need a couple more of them to finish off the Roll of the States. (Actually, I can do five of the six remaining on one trip, though it will take a hell of a lot of global cooling to make it possible to drive to Hawaii.) But yes, I’m a fan of stuffing the bags and easing on down the road.
Many people chose to drive rather than fly, because it was so much cheaper to do so. That’s no longer true, of course. My SUV gets twenty average on the highway. That’s a hundred gallons of gas each way, 200 total, and at four bucks a gallon, gas alone costs me 800 dollars for a roundtrip to visit my sister. Not to mention the two nights (or even three, depending on how tired I get) spent in motels, almost none of which cost less than a hundred dollars. Toss in thirty bucks a day for travel food, and I’m looking at travel costs for the trip of nearly $1500. Not to mention worrying about the police state drug gestapo lying in wait along my route like brigands of old.
The numbers are certainly consistent with my experience. (Gwendolyn, over the past eight years, has gotten somewhat better mileage than that, but she drinks premium, so it’s essentially a wash.)
So he took to the sky:
$460 for a round trip ticket to Chicago from San Francisco. Forty bucks for the Supershuttle to and from SFO. Another forty bucks for the bus from O’Hare to Michigan City, where my sister met me. No meal or lodging costs. My savings are nearly a thousand bucks.
Of course I have to negotiate the petty tyranny of TSA, which will never go away because it has become yet another quasi-unionized make-work occupation reserved for favored ethnic minorities who aren’t really workers, but de facto welfare recipients at a level far more lucrative than what is available to them via direct transfer payments.
The operative phrase here, unfortunately, is “yet another.”
Then again, Bill was going to see someone. I generally go to see something, which is a somewhat different dynamic.