Flying vs. Driving When Moving Long-Distance: A 10,000 Foot Overview of Pros and Cons

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Moving is a monumental decision that not only requires forethought but extensive planning and preparation. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to move, and when you’re moving long-distance, challenges spring up one after the other.

Luckily, there are all sorts of modern amenities that make moving less of a hassle. For instance, moving across the country once took a team of horses and a covered wagon. Now you can hop on an airplane and be at your new home in a few short hours.

When you’re moving long-distance, the decision to fly or drive can feel a little daunting. There are plenty of good reasons to do either, depending on where you’re going and what you need. The best thing to do when considering such a big decision is to consider the pros and cons of each.


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Flying is one of the many wonders of modern technology. It’s suddenly reasonable to travel across the country in a day and still have time to spare. However, suppose flying will be your primary means of transportation during your relocation. In that case, you’ll need to book a car transport service through providers like GuardianAutoTransport before boarding the flight to your new home. Otherwise, your vehicle will find itself left behind as you (and your carry-on-friendly belongings) head for greener pastures.

If you’re moving long-distance and need to decide between flying and driving, you can weigh some of the benefits of each before you make a final choice. Knowing the benefits of flying across the country and some downsides will help you feel more informed and prepared.


When you choose to fly instead of drive, you’ve decided to relax and unwind, letting someone else transport you to your final destination. The mental strain of driving is completely removed from the situation, making it hopefully more restful as you move your life thousands of miles.

Driving is more than just mentally taxing. It can be physically exhausting. The constant stimulation of scenery flying past your window makes it almost headache-inducing. When you fly, you can put your head back, close your eyes, and wake up when you get there.

Flying is also much faster than driving. Driving across the country can take up to more than two entire days. For example, it’s about 41 hours from Virginia to California. New York to Arizona takes a little over 36 hours, and driving from Maine to Washington takes 48 hours.

When you fly, you cut down on travel time significantly. You might have some long layovers and odd connecting flights, but you’ll get to your destination much faster than if you decide to drive.

The farther away you move, the more flying makes sense. However, there are some severe downsides to flying that you should consider. Moving requires so much planning that planning a long road trip in the process simply doesn’t make sense.

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Flying can be expensive. When you’re moving, especially long-distance, there’s a good chance that your budget is already overextended. When you add moving to that, you run the serious risk of spending too much money.

It can also be stressful to fly long distances all at once. You don’t control your situation other than getting from one gate to the next. For some, this is a very unpleasant experience. You have to simply sit back and trust that everything will work out as it’s supposed to and that you’ll get home on time.

For some, flying is a terrifying experience. The fear of flying is relatively common, and the idea of flying a long distance might add unnecessarily to the stress of moving. Since it’s not something you can talk yourself out of overnight, flying might be the wrong choice if you’re moving across the country.


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When you have a long way to move, the other option is to pack up the car and hit the road. For some people, a long road trip is a nightmare. Being stuck in the car for days sounds more hellish than anything.

When you have a long way to go to get to your new home, driving might be the only option. If you plan to do the whole thing yourself or think it might be easier to drive, then there are a few things to consider before making the final choice.


The main benefit to driving when you must move long-distance is that it tends to be much cheaper than flying. Moving is generally an expensive endeavor that flying only compounds. When you drive, you save more money. All you pay for is gas and potentially a car rental fee.

As long as you aren’t in a hurry to get to your new home, you can take plenty of breaks along the way and maybe do some sightseeing. Driving can also be fun if you have time to spare. You are operating off your own timeline, so you can do what you want as you make your way across the country.

There is a lot to see when traveling such a long distance. You miss out on a lot of really incredible views when you fly. You see other cool things, like the clouds and the sky, but you don’t get to experience the scenery of the United States whizzing by you on the interstate. It can be an enjoyable time, just as long as you don’t have a history of getting carsick.

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For as fun as driving across the country might be, it’s also incredibly time-consuming. Depending on how far you’re moving, it could take days to reach your destination. That’s not always an enjoyable experience for people.

Driving is also exhausting. Especially when you have days of driving stacked against each other, you can wear out fast. And wearing out behind the wheel of a car can be extremely dangerous.

You may experience car trouble driving such a long way, and getting stuck in the middle of nowhere when all your stuff is at your new home is something no one wants to experience. It’s much less likely that an airplane will have issues mid-flight than a car having problems mid-drive.

Final thoughts

When you’re moving across the country, you have to decide whether flying or driving is the best way to get where you’re going. And while driving can be a lot of fun and less expensive, flying is much more convenient. Weighing the options before you go will give you peace of mind, no matter which way you choose to travel.