What is your most preferred method of travel for a holiday? When planning a holiday, how much does your form of travel determine your plans? Would you rather take a train across a country and spend longer travelling rather than choosing to fly to the destination faster? Does it depend on the amount of time you have? Does one method simply give you less anxiety? Are all of your decisions based on cost and not time? Do you avoid long haul journeys unless you can fly first class?
Recently I thought about all of these questions when my mother visited me in London. Since she had been to London the first time I lived here in the late 90’s, her interest in what to do while she was here involved quite a few locations outside of London. Specifically, Scotland was high on her list, so I had several different travel options to consider.
When planning for the visit, I considered flights to Scotland or train travel and opted for the later. Since my mother had just flown a 9 hour ‘redeye’ flight from Orlando to London’s Gatwick Airport, I thought another airport and flight experience would not be very fun during her trip. Plus, travelling by train is not as common in the US, so this would be a novelty for her. Further, a train experience allowed us literally to see more of Scotland.
Other benefits of train travel in the UK and Europe include:
- having more space
- avoiding the packing issue of separating liquids and electronic devices
- arriving shortly before your journey begins rather than hours ahead at an airport
- walking on to a train as opposed to being scrutinized through security
In terms of price, I did not find too much of a difference between trains and planes in this instance. In my opinion train travel throughout the UK is not always the cheapest route for most occasions.
To break things up, I planned for us to travel half the distance to York the first day and stay overnight. For the return, we spent around 5 hours on a train back to King’s Cross in London.
Overall, the trip to Scotland went well, but we were so exhausted upon our return to London that we opted to skip a day in Windsor and some other activities we had pre-planned.
For my mother’s next visit, I suggested she use the miles/points she has accumulated through the years with a major airline to upgrade a ticket to first class. This would alleviate many of the above complications involved with flying.
When planning a long haul trip for one, cashing in on a point system or miles with an airline seems like the best way to get value on the reward for customer loyalty with a brand. However, for group travel, I think there might be a better idea. In fact, my sister and I have explored options for hiring private jets when we have considered family or group trips. She frequently rents houses considered as ‘mansions’ when travelling with large groups of friends, so it makes me wonder why more people don’t think of airline travel ‘rentals’ in this way.
Does the connotation of travelling by private jet seem to luxurious and out of touch for most people to give it serious consideration? What if you and your friends frequently planned large group trips? What if you regularly travel long distances with your family on holiday? Perhaps you work for or own a corporation that requires frequent, no nonsense travel for you and many of your employees?
For the amount you might spend on upgrading yourself and others to a better experience in first class, you could really maximise your investment by considering a private jet membership. Because let’s face it, the capital investment involved in actually owning a jet is way beyond what most of us can afford or justify financially.
However, for those who travel regularly and need guaranteed availability with fixed price per hour, private jet membership could be a better option.
Have you ever flown in a private jet or explored the cost difference against the convenience?
Images provided in collaboration with VistaJet.com