A recent report by the Car Care Council has holiday travelers skipping out on flights and jumping into their cars for the holiday travel season. The primary culprit is high airfare costs that are breaking the bank, and the council even says if Santa didn't have his own private sleigh, he'd be squeezing into a car to deliver his gifts. Luckily reindeer are not as expensive as jet fuel.
"With airfares soaring, more people are realizing that the benefits of driving during the holiday season far outweigh the hassle of airline travel," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "It is much less expensive to drive; you can control your arrival and departure, and you can fill your sleigh – I mean trunk -- with as many bags as you want without getting charged."
Holiday air travelers are expected to pay 8 percent more for a flight this year compared to last year, while some flights could reach 27 percent higher than last year, according to a USA Today report. In addition, the story said that a family of four can travel for 1,000 miles round trip in a car for the cost of just one plane ticket.
In addition, the council included a list of benefits that driving has over flying including the ease of packing gifts and luggage, convenience of your own schedule, no airport parking, no ticket or security lines and no weather delays. The council also added that driving offers more and better meal options, more comfort and legroom, no cramming next to strangers, ability to bring pets along and a more enjoyable family experience.
While driving isn't all sunshine and rainbows, since there is always a risk of a car getting broken into, motorists can take precautions to guard against theft.
"We want to believe the holidays are filled with kindness, peace and joy, but there are people out there haunting parking lots in hopes of taking advantage of the season," said Mark Desrochers, president, personal lines at The Hanover.
The Hanover Insurance Group suggest when parking the car, leave it an a space that is out in the open, not near any obstructions, as this could provide cover for a thief. In addition, holiday drivers are urged to keep valuable items out of sight in a locked trunk.