Without looking into it too much or thinking about it too deeply, Jas and I have just assumed for months that it would - of course - be a no-brainer that our family should drive to Colorado for this upcoming trip, instead of flying.
But it finally hit us two days ago...driving to Colorado for this upcoming trip meant:
1. Driving for 5-6 days (roundtrip)
2. 4 days in Colorado Springs
= NOT GOOD!
So Jas and I got to calculating...and Excel spreadsheeting creating (Jas can make Excel "sing and dance").
The spreadsheet takes these things into account:
-Over 3,200 miles of driving
-Silver Bullet gets about 14 mpg
-Current price of gas (YIKES!)
-Hotel stays on the trip there and back
-Food on the trip there and back (we'd take some food with us, but I'm just not good enough to pack enough food for 6 people for over 48 hours of traveling!)
Our calculations also take into account these factors that are hard to quantify on an Excel spreadsheet:
- We haven't seen Nai Nai in over a year (I mentioned her last Very Eventful visit - when LK had only been home a couple of weeks - here and here)
- It's been 2.5 years since we've visited Colorado Springs
- We sure do love and miss Nai Nai
- We can't wait to see Jacob, Ethan, Esther, Uncle Rob, Aunt Steph, and Uncle Jared
- We haven't met our niece/cousin Lexi
- We sure do love and miss Nai Nai...oh, have I said that already?
- We haven't met our niece/cousin Ellington
- We sure do LOVE and MISS Nai Nai!
These factors make it just NOT an option that we would just NOT go to Colorado for a visit.
So, we kept pondering...
As we started realizing the pure ugliness of the idea of spending more time driving than visiting, I remembered (DUH!) that we have enough frequent flier miles to get a free ticket.
AND Jas remembered that we had a "Companion Flies Free" ticket (meaning: another free ticket)
(We have both of these free tickets because of the AMEX "Delta" card that we use. We put everything we can on it to earn just such rewards. (We pay the full balance off at the end of every month because we don't do debt except our mortgage.))
So our spreadsheet then took into account...
- 4 plane tickets
- renting a vehicle
- A couple of Airport Meals for a family of 6
- Long-term parking for the Silver Bullet while we're gone
All things accounted for (hopefully!), while it did still work out more expensive to fly, it wasn't really that much more...and certainly not the Way More Crazy Expensive like we automatically assumed it would be.
AND, flying would allow us to actually spend more time visiting in Colorado Springs!
So we? Are now the proud bearers of 6 plane tickets.
3 out of our 4 children were Beside Themselves Excited this morning when we told them we were flying instead of driving.
Noah, bless his little heart, got tears in his eyes out of concern because he has on several occasions suffered with Air Sickness. Any recommendations?
Keep the porch light on, Nai Nai - we're coming!