Flying To Your Summer Destination May Be Cheaper Than Driving - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/21/07-Tyler

Flying To Your Summer Destination May Be Cheaper Than Driving

With summer just around the corner and gas prices at a record $3.18 per gallon for self-serve regular, some people are considering flying to their destinations instead of driving.  Travel agents say the key to saving money is planning ahead.  KLTV 7 News compared the costs of four popular destinations.

"We're probably planning on driving but with the fuel costs, it may be cheaper to fly," said Ryan Hall, who's planning a vacation for his family of four to Disney World in Florida this July.  With gas prices expected to increase, he's considering flying instead of driving.

A travel agent we spoke with told us, in some instances, it could cost you the same amount of money to drive somewhere than to fly.  The key is, "plan in advance and be flexible. Have a budget in mind," said Longview's "Master Travel" consultant Karen Hembrough.   "It used to be Tuesday, Wednesday used to be the cheapest days to travel and that's all changed.  Very few cities is that the case anymore.  A lot of it is based on availability."

Hembrough told us, planning ahead could save you a lot of money.  We checked out four popular destinations: St. Louis, MO; Denver, CO; Las Vegas, NV; and Branson, MO.  We totaled how much it would cost you to drive, assuming your vehicle gets an average of 20 miles per gallon. We multiplied the amount of gallons you would need by $3.18, the average cost of self- serve regular gasoline. We got the airline ticket prices from the website cheaptickets.com.

Here are our results.  A round- trip drive to St. Louis from Tyler would cost you $214. If you flew out of Tyler this Friday and came back on Monday, Memorial Day, a plane ticket would cost you $400.  Looking ahead, an airplane ticket to St. Louis from Tyler over the July 4th weekend is almost half of that.  The price then would be $207. That would be $7 less than driving there.

A road trip to Denver from Tyler would cost you $280.  To fly there over the July 4th weekend, it would be just $11 more:  $291. Las Vegas would be $428, by land, from Tyler.  By air, it would be $10 less: $418.

Branson is our last destination. The 440-mile trip would cost $140 to drive.  A flight there would cost nearly $400 during the July 4th weekend.  So, no such luck there.

Hambrough says to take into account the cost of food and that you may have to pay for lodging if you drive.  Hembrough says in order to get the best airfare, you should visit the airline's website itself.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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