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Why Fly When You Can Drive?

by Clare Louise

 A holiday isn’t much of a holiday when it becomes hard work. Sadly, many a relaxing break has turned into a chore because of an over-reliance on airlines and their schedules. The fact is, those schedules are rarely adhered to. Delays in New Zealand air travel are all too frequent and that means frustration, wasted time and a shortened holiday as a result.

The weather is often the culprit in flight delays. Thanks to New Zealand’s unpredictable climate, even in the supposedly settled summer season, it is common for flights to be delayed or even cancelled. Wind in Wellington and fog in Auckland are two of the most regular causes for flight postponements or cancellations, and when it happens in these two major air transport hubs, the rest of the country is affected. So, even if you’re taking off on a fine day in Nelson, or Christchurch or Dunedin, chances are you’ll have to sit out a delay and wait for your plane to arrive because of inclement weather in the network hundreds of kilometres away.

In peak holiday periods, particularly over summer, delayed flights are also a fact of life. The more passengers that travel, the more chances there are of planes being late to depart and arrive. When one flight is late, that holds up the departure of any connecting flights, and the wait for passengers to get off one plane and onto another becomes a long and frustrating one. With a larger volume of passengers to process and more luggage to handle, it’s little wonder that sticking to a schedule becomes a very difficult and complex issue during the holiday season. It’s important to keep in mind too that peak travel periods mean increased airfares, thanks to the age-old principle of supply and demand. So, not only will you probably have to wait longer for your flight to be called – you’ll have to pay more for the privilege too.

We may have painted a bleak picture of air travel in New Zealand. It’s not always the case, of course, and if things run on time you can get from A to B in a short period of time. But if you are not in a hurry, there’s a better way to go.  By hiring a car you have more control over your travel arrangements. The schedule you stick to is yours, and not the airlines. There are no delays to contend with – although, if you do want to make a late start to your travel each day, you can. It’s your schedule after all. And by taking a road trip instead of a flight, you have the opportunity to explore and get off the beaten track, instead of going straight from Point A to Point B in an aircraft – those two points both being airports.

In short, why fly when you can drive? A road trip gives you a feeling of complete freedom, and that’s what holidays are all about.

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