QotW: At what point do you fly instead of drive?

On this day in 1949, the first commercial jet made its maiden test-flight in England, ushering in a new age of travel by dramatically shrinking the time between two points. Fast forward 71 years, and flying is about as glamorous as taking a bus in the sky. Personally, if we’re talking strictly mileage, I’d rather drive if the distance is anything under 400 miles. Door to door, it ends up taking almost the same time. But I’d even extend that radius to, say, 500 miles just for the comfort, pleasure, and freedom I get from being the captain of my own destiny.

At what point do you fly instead of drive?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What does your dream truck look like?

If there’s anything we learned from your answers this week, it’s that Toyota trucks are the most sought after. From Mike P‘s vintage Toyota Stout to Ridgeway Burns‘s 90s beach cruiser ‘Yota, cesariojpn‘s 70-series Land Cruiser to Steve‘s restomod ’88 Toyota longbed, almost everyone channeled their inner Marty McFly. That’s why the winner this week is HotWheelsAndFriedChicken, whose dream truck encapsulates exactly why Toyota trucks are so desirable:

My dream truck is a hilux. THE hilux. The one that made it famous on Top Gear. It would be completely pointless to own, but totally cool. I think that the frame is fixable and with work it could run well while retaining the “completely destroyed” look. It’s just a really iconic jnc truck for me.
(And probably not legal in the states due to its appearance)

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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13 Responses to QotW: At what point do you fly instead of drive?

  1. Nigel said:

    Toronto to LA…then it’s the tin can with wings. Toronto to Montreal…my very own Mazda 2.

  2. MikeRL411 said:

    My cars are both low mileage. Why? Because on long trips I use them to drive to the airport.

  3. Scotty G said:

    Never, unless a person is going to Japan or Iceland or somewhere absolutely without a way to drive there. I haven’t flown since December of 2012, that’s crazy. Of course, it helps that clients pay me $0.50 a mile and it’s my biggest tax write-off. But, even so, it’s driving over flying for me every time.

  4. Lee L said:

    My wife is still waiting for a trans-Atlantic highway to be built. We never fly because she is not a fan, though I’m really working on converting her to a flyer because we’d like to go visit family in the UK.

    Within the US I would much rather drive, as long as I am not going somewhere as an emergency or for work that doesn’t allow it. To me the journey is the best part and I love driving long distances and stopping along the way.

    We also took a train from the East Coast to the Grand Canyon last year round-trip and that was a very interesting experience.

  5. HotWheelsAndFriedChicken ! said:

    The point at which there is an ocean between you and your destination. Lol.
    Thanks guys!

  6. When I travel in the U.S., it tends to be for the museum and the point is to take a museum car (or cars in the trailer) to an event. In Japan, the choices open up to riding a motorcycle, driving a car, taking the train system, or flying.

    Starting in Tokyo, it’s motorcycle/car to anything shy of Nagoya. From Nagoya to Hiroshima, the Shinkansen is fine (although I have flown to Komatsu). From Hiroshima to points beyond, the customer service of All Nippon Airways is just too irresistible.

    If I were younger, of course, it would be all motorcycles, all the time.

  7. CobaltFire said:

    Similar to Chris from LMM my answer is very different whether I’m in Japan or the USA. It also matters WHY I’m traveling.

    In the US with kids, more than a days drive is a flight. If it’s just me and the wife, the entire continent is fair game.

    In Japan, I tend to take the Shinkansen until the price hits about $1,000 across all four seats, then shift to flying. Anything over 3-4 hours drive and you may as well have taken the train (due to tolls), so unless the reason for travel IS the car, it’s the train at that point.

  8. Styles said:

    Well as I’m from New Zealand there’s a limit to how far I’ll drive. Of course, it *is* possible to drive from the top of the north island to the bottom of the south, with a 3 hour ferry ride in-between, I prefer to fly anything more than about 300 miles. Realistically, as I’m in Auckland, that’s pretty much anywhere in the north island.

    The only exception to this is Wellington, where I’ve driven once, but flown a couple of times. In the pre-covid world flights between our major cities were pretty cheap, and our fuel is expensive, so that works out, and much quicker than driving (about 7.5 hours to drive, versus probably about 3 hours door-to-door flying). Our roads look more like rally courses outside of the main centres, so keeping a high average speed (legally and safely) is difficult. And besides, landing in windy Wellington is just so much fun!

    • Ken said:

      As a Wellingtonian I endorse this message. Don’t know why the pilot couldn’t stick that landing though. Looked like a routine put down in a stiff nor’wester to me. Personally I’ll drive only when I can’t bike and fly only when I can’t drive if time permits. I have a brace of ageing Hondas precisely for that purpose.

  9. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    Ugh… I don’t have a choice. It’s my job.

  10. nlpnt said:

    Even from northern New England to SoCal, or down the Eastern Seaboard to Florida it’d depend on what I was traveling for and what my time and money budgets are. I’ve never done Route 66 so that’d be off the bucket list.

  11. Evil Twin said:

    Trick question… when I drive I’m ALWAYS FLYING!

  12. Steve said:

    400miles sounds about right. That’s close to the distance between L.A. to Sacramento or L.A. to Phoenix, AZ, both trips I’ve done by car. Admittedly, going by car didn’t save me time and I was much more fatigued upon arrival but I hate flying, crammed in like sardines, shoulder-to-shoulder. I’ve yet to drive 500miles, which would be L.A. to Reno, NV and thanks to the COVID, I probably won’t want to visit the casinos up there for some time.

    Having said that, I’ve found that a drive that long is much more comfortable on a touring bike with cruise control (I have a GL1500 Goldwing), especially if you’re doing it solo. Even cars begin to feel confining after a few hours. The important thing to remember is ya gotta have cruise control, both cars and bikes (especially bikes).

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