Drawingablank wrote:We have done it both ways and here are some thoughts on driving vs. flying from the east coast (New York City area).
1. Less time missing work or school. Or less vacation time used depending how you want to look at it.
2. Approximate round trip airfare cost to Reno 500.00 per person.
3. Truck rental expenses (12 days) 1,100.00 including gas and cleaning fee.
4. Shipping gear round trip 300.00
4. Total travel cost for two people - 2,400.00
1. Added 4 days travel time each way (more missed work / school days).
2. Cost - a minimum of 2,700.00 just in vehicle costs - higher if in a vehicle getting poor mileage. This is based on a distance of 2,700 miles each way and the none too generous base cost of approximately .50 per mile the IRS has established as a valid mileage cost, which is based on fuel, vehicle maintenance, depreciation, etc... In many ways it is probably cheaper to rent a vehicle if you plan to drive.
4. Lodging or campground fees, plus the additional cost of eating while on the road. Roughly 100.00 per day
5. It is a pretty boring drive. If you plan to make it more interesting by doing some sightseeing or visiting it is less boring but takes more time.
6. I found the four days sitting in the car unbearable after the burn - your mileage may vary.
7 Total cost for us for 2 people was approximately 3,500.00 (not including the extra time missed from work).
These are just my observations since we drove in 2011 and flew in 2012. Obviously if you are bringing an RV or trucking out a lot of stuff most of this doesn't apply and your costs will be higher. If you enjoy road trips, have time to spare, and enjoy seeing the sights then driving may make more sense for you even if it is more expensive.
I too have driven and flown to the burn. My drive is slightly shorter though (only 3000Km to BRC from here).
Flying is quicker. Driving allows me to bring more gear.
I also found the drive home to be very harsh. Especially when I was the only driver. Nothing like 24 hours on the highway to stress your sanity. It is amazing how tired I actually felt. At least with flying, I was able to recoup at home!
I have a friend in the Bay Area who I camp with. She is storing the heavy gear for us (Tent, Shade, tables, lawn chairs, etc..) I fly down with two hockey bags full of clothing and optional gear (back packs, camel bags, water bottles, etc). She also has a vehicle! If I had to camp by myself, I would need to buy and discard gear (and rent a car/van, etc.). Thankfully I have a functioning plan
Flying decreases my sense of Self-Reliance. Even though we have a plan, I still feel uneasy until I have been on the playa for a few days. Without our shared lists and responsibilities, I would not be able to do my burns this way. I was on-playa for three weeks this year, and only had to leave the playa once (for extra smokes & beer)...