Fly or drive calculator: Consumer Website of the Week

May 25, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

It's a perennial summer question: should we drive or fly?

There's many factors to weigh beyond just the price of a ticket versus what you'd pay per gallon. How much would you pay for airport transportation or parking? Would you complete the drive in one day, or would you need to stay overnight in a hotel?

BeFrugal.com's drive or fly calculator , which I found via Lifehacker, attempts to simplify that cost-benefit analysis by estimating costs and travel times so you can compare the numbers side-by-side.

Enter your destination and your travel dates and the site automatically preloads with the location of the nearest airport and calculating driving expenses based on AAA's 2010 operating cost data, which includes fuel, maintenance and repairs, according to the calculator's FAQ.  

You can adjust many of the estimated calculations, but not things like the estimated hotel costs for overnight stays during driving, which are set at $75 per room, housing two people.

If you've got more complicated variables to consider, you could always put the data in a spreadsheet. But BeFrugal's calculator gives you some good ballpark numbers to start your vacation planning, which is why we've highlighted it as our Consumer Website of the Week.

 

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