How Far are You Willing to Go…

… by car?

I am contemplating driving 10 hrs each way to attend one day of a conference, where I am supposed to give a talk.

That would be a 10-hr drive, 1 day there, and a 10-hr drive back. I am very, very tempted to do it, because:

a) I love driving

b) I dislike flying (specifically, I hate always being cramped while flying, and ugh other people ugh)

Dear readers, in the poll below, please let us know how far you willing to drive. I am thinking of routine travel for work or leisure, where flying is an option; I am obviously not counting intentional road trips or moving cross country. I have driven 4-5 and 6-7 hours one way many times for work. I would definitely do the 10 hours if there were more days between the outbound and return trips.


  1. It depends on who is paying and how much money we’ve got and how much time we’ve got. I prefer flying over driving if it is longer than 4 hours, but if its leisure and there are four of us and we’re strapped for cash and the holiday plane fare is expensive, we’ll drive ~13 hours there and 13 hours back. But that’s the whole family and switching drivers etc.

    In your situation with a 10 hour drive each way, I’d probably fly. I think the longest I’ve done for a conference was 4.5 hours and if the times had worked out I would have taken the train instead (I really like train travel if the times work out). If the flights were cheaper I would have flown.

  2. Hate driving, so if it’s longer than about 2-3 hours and a nonstop flight is available, it’s airplane or no-go.

  3. I’ve never had a driver’s license, so public transportation or bicycling are my options. I greatly prefer train to bus. Flying is an option, but so very environmentally unsound that I only fly when there is no other choice.

  4. Am I driving solo? If so, physically limited to about 5 hours a day (my hip locks up). If I can fidget and have a (carefully chosen) co driver, 7 or 8 maybe? I’m with you on hating buses (get sick) and planes (hate airports) and being packed in with strangers!

  5. I don’t mind long drives, but twice in three days is a bit much for me without a co-driver. Really it’s not length of drive that’s the determinant, it’s the difference between the length of drive and flight time (assuming there is ample grant money of course). For example, I did an 8hr drive for a conference (probably pretty close to the maximum I can handle) because I’d be flying from a tiny airport prone to cancellations, making *at least* one connection, and arriving in a tiny airport prone to cancellations… That was 6hrs of travel with a high degree of uncertainty, so the 8hr drive was much more appealing. But I also just fit in those tiny pane seats (although it’s getting tighter as years go by) and I don’t mind airports (5 years of long distance relationship made me get used to them pretty quick).

  6. I would drive! I love driving and the flexibility of taking whatever crap I want in my car, being mobile when I’m in my location and choosing my own departure times. I’d like the alone time too 🙂

  7. I hate driving! Even a 1.5 hour drive like the one I did yesterday I find terrible. I would definitely rather take the train if possible and will try for that next time.

  8. It depends on my time and money constraints and what can count as a tax write off.

    I’ve driven 11 hours in a day (RT) for a $500 gig as a musician. I’ve also flown for what would be a 6 hour drive because I couldn’t take the time off of work to drive. In general, though, if I have the time, I prefer to drive.

  9. I answered other. I prefer driving by a long shot, for many reasons. But it’s so much more dangerous than flying, so I end up flying a lot 😦

    I am terrified of leaving my children without a parent, so my spouse and I try to limit driving for safety reasons.

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