Empowering the Freelance Economy

Flight risk: here’s how much you could save by driving to your summer holiday abroad instead of flying

Families night have to consider driving to their holiday destination this summer to avoid flight cancellations and strikes/ Photo by Trần Long via Pexels
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Disastrous airline cancellations and disruption at airports across the country are putting hundreds of thousands of holidays at risk this summer. Is driving to your destination a safer and cheaper bet?

UK airports have faced utter chaos in the past few days, with airlines such as British Airways opting to halt tens of thousands of flights over the coming days and weeks. The decision by several airports to not fine airlines for cancelling their slots has allowed several airlines to ground swathes of flights without facing penalties.

British holidaymakers are now facing tough decisions over whether to risk booking flights abroad for their summer holiday – and whether driving is a more viable alternative.

A report by used car service ChooseMyCar.com found that taking the car can actually be just as cost-effective as hopping on a plane – with the added bonus of knowing your car trip won’t be cancelled. Using Stratford upon Avon as a starting point in the UK, ChooseMyCar found that some European destinations were actually cheaper to get to via car – especially when factoring in the costs of hiring cars if you opt to fly instead.

One destination explored is the popular Spanish resort town of Salou. According to the research, flying to Salou as a family of four would incur costs of over £2,000, and would take approximately 14 hours from start to finish. Yet the same journey via car would cost just £1100 – and only take an extra three hours.

Timings for airport travel include an allowance of two hours to drive to the airport, three hours pre-departure at the airport, plus two hours for arrival transfers/hire car collection.

Other popular summer destinations that have been explored include:

  • Nice: 12 hours and £2270 to fly, compared to 15 hours and £1134 to drive
  • Malaga: 12 hours and £2100 to fly, compared to 24 hours and £1440 to drive
  • Naples: 13 hours and £2600 to fly, compared to 22 hours and £1450 to drive
  • Algarve: 14 hours and £2270 to fly, compared to 48 hours and £1640 to drive
  • La Rochelle: 10 hours and £2370 to fly, compared to 11 hours and £723 to drive
  • Zandvoort: 9 hours and £2420 to fly, compared to 8 hours and £549 to drive

Founder of ChooseMyCar.com, Nick Zapolski, said that the research gives many families hope that they could still enjoy a holiday abroad this summer.

“It’s not surprising that many people have decided not to bother going away because of all the airport chaos and risk of cancellations.

“But driving can actually be a great way of seeing Europe, as well as having no risk of cancellations. I for one would be happy to spend a bit more time and money if it meant guaranteeing a break away for me and my family.”

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