The fly or drive score is an estimate of the true cost of travel. A lower score is better. Our score includes factors like airline prices and fuel costs, but it also takes into account the value of your time spent traveling. If you're taking time off work because you have to drive an extra day, it might be better to fly even if driving is technically cheaper. You can adjust any of the variables below to your particular trip, just click on any blue values and you'll be able to type in your own numbers or calculate other data.
|Number of travelers = 1 person
Cheapest airfare = $485.00 round trip
Total airfare for all travelers = $485.00
Extra costs (local transportation) = $0.00
|cheaper ⇒||Number of passengers = 1 person|
Number of cars = 1 car
Cost of gas for each car = $479.76 round trip
Fuel efficiency = 25 mpg
Current gas price = $2.86
Total fuel costs for all cars = $479.76
|Flight distance = 1,803 miles one-way||⇐ shorter||Driving distance = 2,095 miles one-way|
|Getting to MEM airport = 25 minutes
Memphis International Airport
Check-in and wait time at the airport = 60 minutes
Flight time = 4 hours, 15 minutes
San Francisco International Airport
Getting from SFO airport to your destination = 33 minutes
Total travel time = 6 hours, 13 minutes
|⇐ faster||Driving time = 30 hours, 53 minutes|
2 hotel nights = $150.00
Extra costs (tolls, food, rental car) = $0.00
Wear and tear cost = $0.10 per mile
Total wear and tear on your car = $419.00
|Value of time factor = $62.17||⇐ better||Value of time factor = $308.84|
|Fly Score = 547||⇐ winner||Drive Score = 1358|
Enter the total number of travelers. This will be used to calculate the sum of plane tickets for everyone, as well as the number of cars you need if you're planning a road trip. We assume a max of 4 passengers per car, but you can change the number of cars if your situation is different.
We estimated the cheapest price for a round trip plane ticket from MEM to SFO at $485. Want to search for a better deal?
Or if you want to do a more detailed search, you can use the form at the top left of the page to search for flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages. Once you find the best price for your flight, enter it here:
The total airfare is calculated automatically. To change this number, adjust the number of travelers or the cheapest airfare.
Enter the total amount you're planning to spend on extra costs for local transportation at your destination. This might include a rental car to drive around the area, or the cost of a cab or airport shuttle to get to your hotel. You could also include an extra cost for food at the airport, and any other miscellaneous spending along the way. Enter your total estimate below.
Enter the total number of cars you'll be taking on the road trip. This will be used to calculate the total cost of driving for everyone. The default is a max of 4 passengers per car, but you can adjust the number of cars to fit your situation.
The total fuel cost is calculated automatically based on the other variables. To change this number, adjust the fuel efficiency for your car's make and model, or change the gas price based on the route.
Enter the fuel efficiency of your vehicle in miles per gallon (mpg). If you're unsure of the exact number, you can look it up on the fueleconomy.gov site.
Enter the average fuel price for your trip in U.S. dollars. If you're taking a long road trip, the gas price in each state may vary. Remember to adjust for premium or diesel fuel prices.
The total fuel cost is calculated automatically. To change this number, adjust the number of passengers, number of cars, fuel efficiency, or current gas price.
The flight distance is calculated automatically based on your locations. To change this number, enter new "From" and "To" locations to get the fly or drive score for that trip.
The driving distance is calculated automatically based on your locations. To change this number, enter new "From" and "To" locations to get the fly or drive score for that trip.
The flight time is calculated automatically based on your locations. To change this number, enter new "From" and "To" locations to get the fly or drive score for that trip.
The total travel time is calculated automatically based on the other variables. To change this number, adjust the time spent getting to the departure airport, checking in, or reaching your destination from the arrival airport.
The driving time is calculated automatically based on your locations. To change this number, enter new "From" and "To" locations to get the fly or drive score for that trip.
Enter the total amount you're planning to spend on hotel nights. We estimate you'll need to stay at a hotel for every 12 hours of driving, and the average cost of a hotel will be around $75. It doesn't really matter how many times you stay overnight, the important thing is the total sum of all of your hotel costs. Enter that number below.
Enter the total amount you're planning to spend on extra costs for the road trip. Think about the cost of tolls, food or snacks if you're bringing groceries or stopping at restaurants, and any other miscellaneous spending along the way. You can also include the cost of a rental car here. Enter your total estimate below.
Enter the amount per mile you want to use to estimate the wear and tear on your car. This can vary depending on your preference. Some companies might pay 50 cents per mile for business travel, and the IRS has various rules for standard mileage rates. On the other hand, you may want to focus more on typical maintenance costs and depreciation, which might be closer to 10 cents per mile. Set this to zero if you're renting a car. Enter your wear and tear cost per mile below.
The total wear and tear cost is calculated automatically. To change this number, adjust the wear and tear cost per mile, or the number of cars.
We chose Memphis International Airport (MEM) as your departure airport. For your home location, this is the only nearby major airport. If you are looking for another airport, enter new "From" and "To" locations in the main search.
Enter the amount of time it takes you to get to the departure airport. This can vary depending on whether you take a cab, get a ride from a friend, or drive your own car. Make sure you include extra time for parking if you are driving yourself.
Enter the amount of time you plan to allow for check-in at the airport. Some airlines require you to check-in by a certain time if you haven't done it online beforehand. Remember to leave enough time to get through security lines.
We chose San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as your arrival airport. You can change it to another nearby airport by selecting one below. If the airport you want isn't listed, try changing your destination in the main search.
Enter the amount of time it takes you to get to your destination after you've landed at the arrival airport. This can vary depending on whether you take a cab, get a ride from a friend, or drive a rental car. Make sure you include extra time to get to the rental agency and pick up the rental car if you are choosing that option.
Driving is usually cheaper, but it takes a lot longer. So in order to get a better comparison, we include a special "value of time factor" that estimates how much your time is worth. If you take a day off work for a long road trip instead of a quick flight, you might add up your lost earnings. The default we use is $10/hr but you can enter any value you want below. If there are multiple travelers, you can enter the sum of everyone's value.
You can adjust any of the settings above to customize the calculation for your exact trip. We assume some simple default values to get a quick answer to start.
The Fly Score is an estimate of how much it would cost you to take a flight, including factors to account for the value of your time getting to the airport, checking in, and waiting for the plane to take off and land. The default fly score is 547 from Memphis, TN to San Francisco, CA.
The Drive Score is a comparable calculation that estimates the total cost of doing a road trip. You might spend less on gas than the price of airfare, but it could take you longer to get there if you're driving. So we include the value of your time spent in the car, as well as additional costs for things like hotel, tolls, food, and whatever else you want to include. The default drive score from Memphis, TN to San Francisco, CA is 1358.
So in this case, it's better to fly from Memphis, TN to San Francisco, CA. It's significantly cheaper to fly on this trip, unless you made adjustments to the numbers above to alter the calculation.
If you end up driving, you'll go through about 83.8 gallons of gas during this trip. This is equal to 317.2 litres.
If you fill your tank with unleaded gasoline, the carbon emissions will be around 1,639 lbs CO2. This is equivalent to 744 kg CO2e or 0.74 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. These numbers may change depending on the exact make and model of your car. If your vehicle uses diesel instead, the CO2 emissions will be around 1,920 lbs CO2, which is equivalent to 871 kg CO2e or 0.87 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.
These results are based on the actual driving distance from Memphis, TN to San Francisco, CA, which is 2,095 miles or 3 372 kilometers.
Your trip begins in Memphis, Tennessee. The price of regular gas is currently averaging $2.32 in Tennessee.
Your trip ends in San Francisco, California. The price of regular gas is around $3.40 in California.
Gas prices were last updated on Monday, April 27th, 2015. Currently, we only have exact data for locations in the United States. To improve the accuracy of your fuel cost estimate, you can enter the actual price you pay for gas or petrol at the local pump in the table above.
Travelmath provides an online cost calculator to help you determine whether it's better to fly or drive to your destination. You can calculate the cost of getting to the airport and booking a flight versus paying for gas and driving your own car or a rental car. There are lots of other factors, like travel time, number of passengers, hotel stops, and other details that can affect your decision. So while we offer a quick "best case scenario" that is completely automated, you also have the option to customize every detail to your particular needs. Use this tool to find out if it's cheaper to fly or drive to your destination!