Plane Or Car – Which Is Better For A Quick Long Distance Trip?

Question mark red 3D glossyThe week before last I had to go to Melbourne for a couple of days.

I’ve written before about holiday travel between Canberra and Melbourne.

But this was different.  I had to organise the trip fairly quickly.  And I had a lot of concentrated thinking work to do.

So, what was my best option?

Most people in my situation would only consider 1 option: air.

After all, the distance between the 2 cities is some 470 km (as the crow flies).

And jumping in the car – the other most popular option – would mean losing a day of work travelling each way…and arriving tired at each end.  Not to mention the environmental cost of greenhouse gases and other pollution… 🙁

Travelling by plane may be the quickest way.  But at what cost?

Sure, the actual plane trip is only a bit over an hour.

But you have to get yourself to the airport – and well in advance of the plane leaving.

And, to get to where I was going, you have to travel from the airport to the final destination – via city.

OK….so maybe it’s 3½ hours total…if everything connects…and there are no roadworks or accidents holding you up to or from the airport.

And don’t forget to allow extra time if you have checked baggage, to check it in and then wait at the carousel to pick it up…assuming it arrives on the same plane as you did.

During most of this time, you can’t do much in-depth work…because you frequently have to move around and there are plenty of interruptions.

So…maybe you get 20 minutes’ work waiting at the gate, 40 minutes on the plane…and 2 lots of 20 minutes from Melbourne airport to your destination – if you travel by public transport and don’t take a taxi (in which case you probably need to keep any eye on where you’re going to make sure that the driver doesn’t take you the ‘scenic route’. 😉

That’s a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes core work time…not much for 3½ hours away from work. 🙁

Then there’s the financial cost.  After all, getting a plane ticket at short notice is rarely cheap.  And there’s the extra cost of travel to and from the airport…

And then there’s the environmental cost.  The plane trip releases a lot of greenhouse gas emissions about 0.18-0.19 tonnes CO2e (CO2-equivalent) per person each way, as well as other pollutants.  Interestingly, that’s about the same as a car making the same trip.

But there are other options : coach and train.  How do they stack up?  Stay tuned to find out my assessment of them…and which option I chose for my quick trip to Melbourne.

What do you think about the personal and environmental sustainability of travelling long distances by air or private car?  Leave your comments in the Reply box below …or send me a voice message by clicking on the tab on the right.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!

Image credit: nobeastsofierce / 123RF Stock Photo

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