Summertime makes great occasion for travel

Alyssa Cravens, Staff Reporter

I have fond memories of my family piling into the minivan and taking cross country road trips during summer vacation.

Between the luggage, blankets, gear and cooler of food, we were packed in like sardines.

With the passing of time, obviously comes change and innovation.

Not a lot of families are eager to embark on a big family trip which will most certainly require hours of driving, a bit of discomfort and more than a few pit-stops at some shady rest areas.

However, the slight irritations may be worth it in the end.

The perfect picture of a family trip in the present day looks different for everyone, but a good amount of people are ditching the age-old family road-trip for flights to resorts with shuttles anywhere they could ever need to go and fancy restaurants attached.

These types of vacations aren’t bad; they can be just as fun as any other, but there are a few important things to consider when deciding on a method of travel.

Family vacations are about spending time together

There are a lot of distractions in the world. If people are taking vacations to spend quality time with loved ones away from the hum and buzz of normal life, they are most likely to find that time on the road within their own vehicle.

Being in a car for an extended period of time may not sound like much fun, but it forces family to be together, despite still having access to mobile devices.

While traveling in a plane can certainly save time, it isn’t going to allow as much space for conversation, laughter, detours or sight-seeing—family members may not even be seated next to one another.

People should consider the intent of their trips and decide whether a vacation of separation is really serving the purpose they intended.

Traveling can be expensive

Vacations can easily cost thousands of dollars, but they certainly don’t have to.

Small swaps like bringing some food along as opposed to eating out every day or skipping the souvenirs can help save a bit of money.

However, a substantial amount can be saved by driving rather than flying.

A single plane ticket can cost hundreds of dollars, and families taking a vacation will undoubtedly be purchasing more than one—that cost can add up quickly.

Driving is not completely free either, but the cost of gas compared to the cost of flying is more often than not, much cheaper.

Flying isn’t good for the environment

Aviation is a huge contributing factor to the growing Greenhouse gas epidemic.

The amount of carbon emissions that planes release into the air during takeoff and landing are astronomical.

According to the Yale Center for Environmental Communications, aviation emissions produce some hazardous gases including black carbon, nitrous oxide and sulphur oxide—all of which trap heat in the atmosphere.

The average negative environmental impact of a commercial plane is seven times that of a car, and believe it or not, Federal Aviation Administration research also shows that planes are becoming less efficient.

Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives to flying when it comes to international travel; however, cross-country trips always allow for multiple methods of transportation.

Final thoughts

Traveling for family vacations shouldn’t just be about getting from point A to point B.

Sure, being packed in a car with family for a long time can be draining, and even frustrating, but I think that closeness can permit the best memories to form, encourage spontaneity and promote enjoyment, even though the tension.

Flying may make the travel easier, but it will never compare to the cherished adventure found in the back seat of the family vehicle.

Alyssa Cravens can be reached at 581 -2812 or at [email protected].