Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 11:58 am
All football fans know the great coach and announcer, John Madden. He has not flown since 1979. Instead, he takes a bus, or motor coach, when traveling. According to this article, he had a panic attack, because of his fear of flying and claustrophobia, when on a flight leaving Tampa. That was his last flight.
I still have to fly a lot for work. Every time I get on a flight, I find more reasons that I prefer traveling in my RV. Like John Madden, I suffer through the anxiety of flying every time I step on a plane and that door closes behind me. The rest of this article will cover some of the reasons I prefer my RV over an airplane.
No Wasted Time
There is a lot of wasted time in airline travel unless you can fly on a private jet! For the average person, it is a requirement to arrive at the airport early to check in, check any baggage, go through the dreaded security line, and sit at the gate until your boarding group is called. Upon arrival, there is usually a wait to get off the plane, a wait for baggage, and a shuttle or two before making it to your car or a rental car.
Traveling by RV requires no wasted time with the exception of fuel stops. RV travel allows for self-paced travel on a schedule developed by you or no schedule at all. We enjoy the flexibility of maintaining a schedule or not. Any wasted time is because of our decisions and not the decisions, or indecisions, of others.
According to Business Insider, the leg room on airlines is between 28 inches and 34 inches depending on the airline. CNN reports that the average seat width is down to 17 inches. This is not a lot of room for the average person. My Chevrolet 3500 HD has a lot more legroom than the airlines and the seat is wider than 17 inches. I also have more adjustments, including heating and cooling. Any time I want to stretch my legs, I can pull over and get out without having to make sure the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is on, which seems to stay on a lot longer these days. As a person who does not enjoy rubbing elbows with people I do not know, it is important to me to have my space. Airline travel is just uncomfortable.
Bags Ride Free
The fees associated with flying are ever-increasing. Depending on the airline, you end up paying for checked bags, carry-ons, and even refreshments and entertainment. The more you carry, the more the fees. Unfortunately, I’ve done a lot of airline travel over the last two years. As a result, I’ve learned to pack light so I don’t have to check a bag or worry about the overhead space being too full for my small bag. In the RV, I don’t even have to pack, and the only extra cost is fuel if I carry a bunch of weight.
Enjoy Sights Along the Way
I prefer to travel the back roads when moving between locations. I enjoy seeing the U.S. beyond the highway or from the air. There is no experiencing all of the communities, sights, and treasures from the air. Slow travel by RV allows people to see the U.S. through all 5 senses. Time is always a factor. People who need to be somewhere quickly have no choice but to travel by air. However, if there is an opportunity to take it slow, RV travel is a way to get the full experience.
A lot of people started RVing during the pandemic and I think it is because we realized there were a lot of people on planes that really were too sick to fly. Still, there they are in the seat next to you, coughing and blowing their noses. For that reason alone, we were glad that we could travel by RV. Of course, there is the added benefit of staying away from hotels as well.
Bring Fido or Fluffy
One of the main reasons for traveling by RV is that road trips are pet-friendly. You don’t have to worry about relinquishing your larger dogs to the baggage area or leaving them behind in an unfamiliar hotel room when you go out sightseeing. Instead, your pets travel with you. And if you visit places that you can’t take them to for the day, they have the comfort of familiar surroundings in the RV.
Control is perhaps the biggest reason I prefer traveling in my RV. On a plane, you are counting on the skills of the crew, controllers, and airport ground crews. You are not a factor in the equation on if you will arrive safely and on time to your destination. In the RV, I have control of the vehicle. There are other drivers on the road that can cause issues for me, but I have complete control of my RV. I know that I am a very defensive and cautious driver. I do not know how the pilot and copilot fly. They may accept higher risk than I would, which could lead to problems. Also, when I get tired, I can stop, rest, eat and get back on the road when I feel I am ready.
Airline travel is not all negative. There are some positives, the main one being speed. It is necessary in some cases, such as overseas travel, work priorities, and emergencies. However, for vacations and general travel, slow travel on the backroads of the U.S. is much more preferable than the stress and problems associated with airline travel.
What is your preferred travel method? Do you have any fear of flying or claustrophobia like John Madden?