Fly or Drive? I can’t decide. Now I don’t have to

Fly or DriveSometimes it’s hard to decide whether to fly or drive to a destination within the continental United States. Cost comes into play either way and sometimes its the price of gas to be concerned about. Other times, flights are expensive so there’s that too. A new online tool takes some of the guesswork out of it and can steer us in the right direction.

The new Fly or Drive Calculator from BeFrugal.com might be just what the doctor ordered for your ailing travel budget and its easy to use. I entered information on a trip from Orlando to Chicago with just a few keystrokes, added my vehicle information, how many hours a day I might drive and what a hotel might cost along the way. Easy-to-navigate screens then asked for my home airport and the airport at my destination along with how much time I thought I needed for check-in at home and at the destination airport after landing. Finally, I could add in transfer cost to and from the airports, baggage fees and either accept the tool’s estimated flight cost or plug in one of my own. The results looked quite realistic.

So much for saving money by driving huh?

The Fly or Drive calculator also gives me turn-by-turn directions on how to get where I am going should I choose to drive and links to air tickets via Priceline or Travelocity should I choose to fly.

I had fun replacing my 2008 Honda Fit with a 1989 Ford Thunderbird V-8 which ran up the price about $300. That might have been worth it though. The T-bird would probably make for a much more enjoyable road trip.

The Fly or Drive calculator is just one tool at BeFrugal.com. They also have tools to help find out how much to spend on a car or another one that tells if its worth buying an Electric Car instead of Hybrid or Gas. The site has online and printable coupons, discounts and special offers from a variety of sources and a round-up section that has the latest ads on stores from fast food to hardware.

This one is a winner and a great example of social media coming home with something we can use. Gadling got this tip from Chris McGinnis, @cjmcginnis on Twitter. That’s sure a good one to follow, all the way to the bank.

Flickr photo by MSVG