After months of hard work, you’ve finally saved enough money to take a vacation. While daydreams of beaches dance through your mind, a wave of terror washes over you. Maybe you should take a road trip instead of jetting off that tropical locale.

Before you even think about packing you need to decide, “Should I drive or should I fly?” And it only gets more complicated if you decide to take your vacation during the summer when gas prices are higher than usual.

In a feeble attempt to wrap your mind around all of the variables in the “fly versus drive” decision, I have some good news: you can find a number of different trip calculators online that can help you figure it all out. From determining mileage, comparing airline fares and current gas prices, there’s calculator for just about everything. And while both means of travels have their pros and cons, flying just might take the blue ribbon this time. Take a look below before making that final coin toss.

Road trips are more expensive than you think

Unless you’ve been racking frequent flyer miles, airline tickets come with a hefty price. This is probably the main reason why so many people pack up their cars and hit the open road. However, the cost of a road trip can add up one card swipe at a time, and they’re not as inexpensive as you might think. Gase prices tend to soar in the summer, which means that unless your car gets about 100 miles per gallon, you’re going to pay a lot for gas. Throw in the wear and tear on your car, tolls and food, and you probably could have flown first class.

Flying Vs Road Trip Vacations

Healthy Food Please!

Airports aren’t known for their healthy food choices, but you usually can find healthy alternatives such as salads, sushi or even fresh juice. On a road trip, you might be hard pressed to find restaurants that offer healthy options that you can grab and go. That’s not to say that it’s not possible, but you will have your work cut out for you.

The Comfort Factor

This is where it might get a bit fuzzy. If you didn’t buy a car built for road trips, you might have to rent one. Road tripping in a cramped sedan with screaming kids probably isn’t your idea of a good time. On the other hand, flying on a plane gives you the opportunity to get up, walk around and stretch your legs. However, the idea of sitting coach probably doesn’t make you do a happy dance either.

Time is of the Essence

Depending on how much time you have, you might have to take to the friendly skies. Even the most well-equipped car will not get you to your destination any faster. When you factor in traffic, toll booths and pitstops, it might seem like eons before you arrive at your vacation spot. Flying wins hands down on this one.

If you’re still dying to take a road trip, then go for it! What could be better than hitting the open road with nothing but beautiful scenery to see? However, if the main reason you’re considering driving as opposed to flying is the cost, you would be best served to weigh the positives and negatives of each modality before making a final decision.

This article was written by Ryan Thomas from Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting. Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting has guided thousands of whitewater rafting trips on Clear Creek and throughout Colorado.