To drive or to fly?

Are you planning a domestic getaway? Do you know where you’re going but still not sure if it makes sense to drive, fly, or take a train? Here are five helpful factors to consider when making a decision that balances getting to your destination quickly, with saving money and avoiding aggravation. 

But no matter your mode of transportation, travel insurance may provide some peace of mind.  If you plan to travel outside of your home province, you should know that your Government Health Insurance plan may not cover all of your health needs. Travel insurance by Allianz Global Assistance may help fill your coverage gaps. Our plans also provide trip cancellation benefits – even for road trips – for certain medical and non-medical reasons, and baggage protection due to loss, theft or delay.  

For shorter treks, driving is usually cheaper, unless you have the advantage of rewards miles or points, or a truly amazing deal on a plane ticket. Let’s say you live near old Quebec City, and you’d like to travel to Toronto to trade the charm of historic, cobblestone lanes for the modern skyscrapers looming above Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It’s cheaper to drive the seven hours to Toronto than to fly. And if you happen to be cruising in an electric or hybrid car, it’s even less expensive. But, if you’re instead headed across the country from Quebec City to Vancouver, and you’re planning multiple overnights on the way and the cost of gas is high, it could be more economical to fly.

One more thing to consider is the cost of renting a car at your final destination. If you’re headed somewhere remote such as Banff National Park and prefer to leave your prized convertible safe in the garage at home, you’ll of course be shopping around for a good deal on a car rental. 

Obviously, the biggest advantage of flying is saving time. Perhaps making the seven-hour drive from Quebec City to Vancouver isn’t worth the cost savings when a non-stop flight takes an hour and thirty minutes. But with many airport lines moving at a crawl during continuous delays, the experience of flying can be aggravating. In that case, driving may protect your mental health. 

And if you’re worried about the time traffic will add to your road trip, consider leaving during non-peak hours, early in the morning or late at night. Weekend and holiday rush-hour traffic will slow you down, which may sway you toward flying.  

Even before COVID-19, close quarters and recirculated air on planes increased incidences of viral infections. On a road trip, you’re less likely to come in contact with a bug, unless someone in the car is sick. Again, that’s why travel insurance is imperative! If you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to a covered illness, travel insurance may reimburse your lost, nonrefundable trip costs.  
Driving is a great way to plan side trips within your main vacation, or to take in scenery on the go. And you can calmly zone out while listening to a podcast or audiobook. If you ever do make that cross-country drive from Quebec City to Vancouver, be sure to stop in top destinations – Regina, Calgary, and Winnipeg – to name a few.  

Driving a fuel-efficient car releases far less greenhouse-gas emissions than flying. Also, be open to other options – taking a bus or train may be more environmentally friendly, cheaper, and less stressful.  

As a world leader in travel protection, we help millions of Canadians annually answer the call of adventure with confidence every year. Let us be there for you too


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
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