Recently mine wife and I took a pilgrimage to Sacramento, departing native Chicago, a distance of 2,000 miles. Our original intention had been to fly. We even went for this reason far as to book the tickets and make the rental automobile reservations. Yet the COVID crisis made us think twice, and we adjusted our minds. We made decision to journey instead. This noted us a golden opportunity to to compare the costs of flying versus steering 2,000 miles.

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As a long time practitioner of spending plan travel, i have constantly looked because that the most expense effective means to acquire from one location to one more without regard to the quantity of time required. I realize this is not the case for many people. Holidays time might be limited, and driving may not be a reality option, but for those who deserve to drive, the question of i m sorry is cheaper is relevant.

At very first blush it might seem that driving would always be cheaper, and while that might be true for destinations that are within a day’s drive, when you space traveling 2,000 miles, friend must aspect in the cost of overnight lodging on the road, and also then things get much more interesting.

The cost of Lodging on the Road

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The typical price the a hotel in the us is $125 a night


The average price of one overnight stay at a mid-scale hotel in the us is $90.00, under 27% because the start of the pandemic. In all likelihood it will go back up through the finish of 2021, therefore for objectives of analysis, let’s assume the typical price that lodging at $125.00 per night.

On a 2,000 mile roadway trip, the minimum number of nights in a hotel will be four, that’s two nights each way. To accomplish this, you will have to be ready to drive nine and also a fifty percent hours each day, leaving at an early stage in the morning top top the very first day, and also arriving so late in the afternoon top top the last day. If you space not so ambitious, figure three nights each way. 6 nights altogether. By this measure, the expense of lodging will certainly be $750.

The price of Fuel and Food

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The average price of fuel in the us as that January 1st, 2021 is $2.39 every gallon


Your next biggest price will it is in fuel. The average price of fuel in the united state is $2.39 per gallon. The average auto fuel intake in the us is 24.9 mpg. To journey 2,000 miles will require 80 gallons that gas. Since you room driving roundtrip, that will certainly be 160 gallons at $2.39 for a complete fuel expense of $382.

You additionally have come eat top top the road. You have the right to hold this expense down by enjoying the complimentary breakfast at the hotel and also taking her lunch v you in a cooler in ~ an average cost of $25 every way. Dinner will require eating out six nights at an average expense of $26 every night or $156.00 for six nights. The total cost for food will be $206.00

Taken all together, the average expense of two human being driving 2,000 mile is about $1,338.00.


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The expense of Airline Travel

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Two roundtrip ticket to Sacramento price us $840 in November that 2020


By comparison, the biggest price in flying is the price of airfare. The expense will vary relying on where and when you fly. If you paris to well-known hubs in ~ low demand times, the prices have the right to be really attractive and also make paris easily an ext cost effective than driving. For example, if you fly from Chicago come Seattle in February the 2021, the price is under $200 roundtrip. But, really, who wants to travel to Seattle in February in the center of a pandemic?

In our case, we were flying to Sacramento during the holidays, a peak travel time, albeit in the middle of the pandemic. The expense of ours tickets was $420 roundtrip each, a complete airfare of $840. The previous year in 2019 the same trip price us $1,031.92. In every likelihood the cost will go earlier up to that by the finish of 2021, therefore for functions of analysis, let’s assume the expense of 2 roundtrip airline ticket to Sacramento during the holidays at $1,031.92.

The price of floor Transportation

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The average cost of a taxi ride to the plane in many US urban is $30


Your next biggest expense when traveling by air is the expense of a rental car. As soon as we rent a car, us are searching for transportation, no to make an impression. Consequently, we often tend to rental compact or intermediary cars, i m sorry holds down the costs. A five day rental from Sacramento during the holidays before adding insurance or various other add-ons to be $420.

Finally, girlfriend must add the cost of transportation to and also from the airport in her city of origin. The usual cost of a cab or Uber ride to the airplane in many American cities is $30. Both ways the price is $60.

Taken all together, the average cost of two human being flying 2,000 miles is around $1,511.92.

Is that Cheaper to fly or journey 2,000 Miles?

In the last analysis, by steering 2,000 miles from Chicago come Sacramento for the holidays, we saved $173.92 contrasted to the expense of flying. As I said, this will vary depending upon when and where girlfriend travel, and also on various other factors, such as just how long you rent your automobile for, or exactly how much you invest on many hotels while top top the road.


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Two determinants to keep in mind, however, are the expense of airfare and the cost of gas. A decade ago, the cost of gas to be 53% greater than it is now. At the price, the cost of control 2,000 miles to be $258 much more than that is now. Last year, the cost of airfare to be 25% higher than that is now.

The financial influences effecting oil prices room unlikely to change. Gas prices are unlikely to go back to their 2011 levels. However airfare will spike as soon as travel picks up. The airlines will be hungry come recapture lot of their 2020 losses, and also flyers will certainly pay the price.

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Under those circumstances, because that the foreseeable future, that seems, driving will be cheaper 보다 flying, whether your location is a work away, or whether it’s 2,000 miles.

Other interesting Travel Tips

How to minimize COVID Risk as soon as Traveling through Car

Check the end The Unruly Stowaway to discover out exactly how to ship large items 2,000 miles at a lot lower cost than FedEx or UPS, and other great travel hacks

Sources

“AAA Gas Prices,” American automobile Association News, 20 January 2021, Website

Bergen, Amy. “The True expense of Eating the end (And just how to Save),” Money Under 30, January 20, 2010, Website