“Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.” — Mark Twain

So I’m in Las Vegas right now for a work show and last night as the taxi driver was shuttling me back to my hotel we had a thoughtful conversation about the economics of driving a cab. He was telling me how gas prices are seriously cutting into his margins.

This conversation reminded me of an article that I read in the USA Today while on vacation a few weeks ago. You would think with rising gas prices, more people would prefer to fly to their summer vacation destinations. Not so, writes Gene Sloan.

“With gas prices soaring to record levels, it would seem to be a sensible question for families planning their summer vacations. But here’s the reality: Even with gas prices around $3 a gallon, vacationing by car is still far, far less expensive than by air for the typical family — even for long, cross-country trips in low-mileage vehicles that will burn dozens of gallons.”

Here are some round trip examples that he cited:

Chicago to Grand Canyon National Park Miles: 3,470
Fuel cost to drive: $414 Flying cost: $896

Washington, D.C., to Orlando Miles: 1,694
Fuel cost to drive: $196 Flying cost: $732

Los Angeles to Santa Fe Miles: 1,694
Fuel cost to drive: $211 Flying cost: $1,064

San Francisco to Yellowstone National Park Miles: 1,922
Fuel cost to drive: $234 Flying cost: $1,696

New York to Acadia National Park Miles: 978
Fuel cost to drive: $116 Flying cost: $652

Okay, does Gene not know that an airplane uses fuel too? Have you tried to purchase an airline ticket in the last couple of months? The cost of air travel has sky rocketed. His point is common sense that it costs money to go anywhere these days.

He continues, “Despite all the hubbub about rising gas prices, fuel remains one of the smaller line items in the typical vacation budget, behind lodging and meals. The Travel Industry Association projected last month that rising gas prices would add $30 to $50 in cost to the typical trip this summer.”

Maybe we all should just stay home this summer and save a few bucks.