Texas Michigan driving stats

One way mileage: 1,290 (Garland to Cadillac)
Total miles driven: 3,294
Total gallons of gas: 129
Avg. price per gallon: $2.94
Total gasoline purchases: $380.40
Gas stops for Odyssey: 4 (one per state: AR, MO, IN, MI)

Travel Cost for 4 persons Cost Time (1 way)

Flight costs include auto rental ($300) and airport parking ($84).
Flight times include drive to airport (1 hr), checkin and security (2 hr), rental car pickup and drive from GRR to Cadillac (2 hr).

Flight, direct ($300 ea) $1,584 7 hrs
Flight, 1 hop ($200 ea) $1,184 9 hrs
Auto – Honda Odyssey (fuel) $300 16 hrs

On the drive to Michigan, we hit snow in Lansing and saw almost a dozen cars in the ditches on I-96. The GRR airport was already shut down so if we had flown, we’d have been diverted to another airport and stranded with many other holiday travelers.

During our stay, I made a day trip from Cadillac to Lansing, hitting snow near G.R. on the way down. The entire return trip was in near whiteout conditions. Cadillac gained 8 inches of snow during my half-day absence. Kayla now confidently asserts that if it is snowing, we’re in Michigan.

The return to Texas was similarly exciting. When we left Michigan at 8 PM, a winter storm was in progress and the temperature had plummeted. The traffic grooves within each lane of the freeway had iced over. For those daring enough to drive “in their lane,” the roads were treacherous. We saw two tractor trailers, an Indiana police cruiser, and an assortment of other vehicles inadvertently parked in the snow filled ditches along the highway. Progress was slow but once past Indianapolis, the ice was gone and the roads cleared up. We drove through the night while the kids slept, arriving around 2 PM.

It is easy to imagine that flying would have been better. But both flights would have been delayed, erasing the time benefits. And when flying, we are separated from our luggage, making it onerous to placate travel weary companions. Driving was definitely the right choice.

4 Replies to “Texas Michigan driving stats”

  1. I recall reading somewhere that the carbon footprint of a person who flies is approximately the same as that of a person who drives. The only benefit you get by flying is you (sometimes) save time.

    I also prefer to drive but with my wife nursing our 4-month old, we have to stop every 1-2 hours to nurse. Flying with an infant is equally as challenging. Needless to say we haven’t taken any long trips recently.

    The drive between NYC and Northern Michigan can be quite the challenge at times in the winter. There’s nothing worse than bad/stupid/dangerous East Coast drivers trying to navigate the snowy roads of Pennsylvania at 80 MPH.

  2. That trip sounds like stress on wheels. Though I doubt sitting in over-crowded airports with no knowledge of when you’ll be traveling is less appealing.

    We went to my home last September (Hawaii, no choice but to fly) with our little girls and opted for the straight shot rather than any stops. I think it was the right choice but being locked into two seats with a toddler or a 3 year-old for 8 hours—not fun. lol.

  3. I thought the air tickets would be cheaper. It is not too bad in Australia, lots of low budget carriers. I find it is best to have wireless card and just walk into the airport, ordering the last minute ticket at the airport :-). Doesn’t work so well on Monday mornings, Friday afternoons and holidays :-(.

    But driving was an excellent choice. Airports are quicker to get through down under. less passengers.

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