When it comes to traveling, people get so excited about the trip that they forget about one of the biggest keys of it, how they get to the destination. Typically there are 3 choices (well 4 if we’re getting technical but who has really traveled by boat by choice from NY to Miami?)
You can drive. With driving you can either take your own car or rent a car. Driving your own car can be extremely convenient but you also should consider the wear and tear that your car will endure. Between tires, oil changes, mileage, etc. you should tack on some extra money. You can rent a car, it’s typically not that expensive (considering), especially if you’re going with a group. The only thing with rentals is that you need to drive with even more caution and have to deal with pick-up/drop-off times, and whatever the fee to rent.
You can take a bus. Usually the cheapest option, but also the most uncomfortable. If I’m balling on a budget then yes this is my go-to. Bur only if it’s not a very long distance, but otherwise I hate taking charter buses.
I’m fifty-fifty with trains. For the most part, they get you where you’re going faster than driving, although that’s not always the case. They’re usually a lot more expensive than driving, usually cheaper than flying but at the time it takes I feel it not worth it. Most of the time they are more spacious and comfortable though. So deciding to take the train is completely subjective and depends on the time/funds you have.
My go-to is flying. I love flying, I love airports. Some people hate flying and airports. I like being in and out, take a quick flight and I’m there.. BUT .. all flights just like all airlines are not created equally. There are delays, luggage loss, security checks, fees, turbulence, etc. etc. So if you do fly, the thing that really matters is who you’re flying with and what their history is. By history I mean what their policies are as far as comfort, price, refreshments, luggage, extras and if they have a past of good/bad reported experiences. Lets look at some airlines I’ve personally taken and just deserve the recognition from crappiest to orgasmic.
- Spirit & Frontier Airlines: I’ve never flown with them, and from what I keep hearing about them why would I ever want to. Spirit airline is ranked #5 worst airlines in the world, THE WORLD, and Frontier I believe is #1 worst in America. Typically these airlines have the cheapest fares which is what draws people to them. But with all of their additional fees for EVERYTHING you might as well go with an airline you know and trust right? They charge $35 (Frontier)/ $45 (Spirit) to carry on YOUR OWN bag one way. So let’s say you were deciding to do that, that’s now $70-$90 added to your “extra-low” airline price. There’s also a fee to allocate where you sit, the seats dont recline and no refreshments are complimentary. All that to end up paying what I would of with a good airline and they may lose my luggage or be late? I’m good.
..But if you get a round-trip flight and all the extras still come out to over $100 less than flying with another airline then by all means enjoy…
- American Airlines: You would think after the horrible backlash from 9/11 they would have went above and beyond to be the best airline they could be.. but.. no. Their customer service is horrible most of the time, they delay flights at a high rate, and they are very particular with what bag size they’ll allow as a carry-on before they make you check it. To add insult to injury they’re still normal-high priced.
- United Airlines:The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. United Airlines is the baby sister of American Airlines and sucks even worst. Of the cheaper/crappier airlines this is the only one I’ve flown with in my adult life, and each time I regret it. But in all fairness It was only twice and I was in college balling on a budget. I’ve never had a smooth flight with United, the turbulence gets scary. I’ve had the air mask drop down on me and the cabin doors open because of it with them. they have a 28% delay rate and lose about 4 bags of luggage per 1000 people. THAT’S INSANE.
- Delta: I don’t mind Delta at all, lets say it’s the worst of the better airlines. Flight staff is usually friendly, the prices are typically reasonable. They offer complimentary refreshments, and pillow and blanket if you ask (which I typically always do). Their in-flight entertainment can be pretty cheap, in most domestic flights they ask you to download an app to watch movies/shows. Granted it works and its a good selection but now I’m wasting battery or watching from a small screen. Their long flights do include individual t.v’s though. They also mostly include a USB outlet which is great.
- JetBlue: I have nothing bad to say against JetBlue. Pretty spacious considering it’s an airplane and there is only but so much legroom they can allot. Free and unlimited snacks and beverages, free wi-fi, and each seat has a t.v so you can choose from varies programs from cable/ radio.
- Southwest: I’ve never flown with Southwest but honorable mention because I’ve again heard nothing but good things. There’s no fee for checked-in bags, no change flight fees, and in this social media era free wi-fi. I want to say it’s always been a reason of location as to why I’ve never flown with them but according to their map they fly everywhere so after doing a fake search for a flight I’m actually going on, it was double the price so that could have been the factor.
- Virgin American Airlines: I’ve personally never flown with Virgin, not for any particular reason but It’s just never ended up being one of my options. This could be in large part because it’s limited in the locations it goes to from NYC. From NYC they only go to FLL, LAS, LAX, SJD, OGG, PSP, PDX, SAN, SFO, SEA. So unless you’re going to California often its not likely you’ll fly with them. Despite my lack of experience with them I’ve heard nothing but GREAT reviews for them and they’re ranked as #1 airline in America. Not only are they spacious and beautifully designed but they also provide 6inches of leg-room, free wi-fi, an outlet to plug devices, and complimentary refreshments.
Now those are American Airlines.. my view on international airlines that’s a longer list.
BY FAR, my favorite airline of all time is Etihad Airways. Their 4-course meal’s taste great, the unlimited free top-shelf liquor is always welcome and their entertainment options are very diverse. I’ve flown on flights ranging a short 4hours-16hours and each experience has been amazingly the same. The aircraft is pretty spacious and the crew is beyond accommodating. Free wi-fi, plug outlets, and a small hygiene package (which includes socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plus, headphones, eye-mask, etc.) If it were possible I’d fly with only them or Emirates every time.
Also another international airline I fell in love with was Singapore Airlines. With similar accommodations as Emirates. If you ever get to fly with them get the Singapore sling drink (just try to limit your intake, they’re strong and you don’t want to get sick on a plane).