Allegiant Air: Is Cheaper to Fly or Drive?

So what does the arrival of this new airline mean to you? In short, they could save your family some big bucks on a beach vacation, but we wondered, with fares as low as 50 dollars one way, could it actually be cheaper than driving?

Allegiant's business strategy focuses on vacationers, not business travelers, and they specialize in packaging up airfare and hotel reservations to the cities they serve. The top tourist destinations of Orlando, Saint Petersburg, and Las Vegas.

Right now, Knoxville gets service to St. Petersburg, so we'll concentrate on that.

A week-long holiday vacation, including airfare for two adults and two children, plus a room at an oceanfront hotel in Clearwater Beach just outside Tampa costs about $3,100 dollars if you're booking through Orbitz and flying US Air. If you book on Allegiant, you'll see a huge savings. Total cost for that trip, just under two grand.

Not sure you want to fly? Pack up the family Dodge Caravan and head for Clearwater Beach. The gas is going to cost you about $135 dollars.
Add in the beachfront room at the Hilton, that you've got to book separately, and the total cost is about $1,900. Cheaper than flying, but when you think about the ten hours together in the car, some families may decide to pay the extra $150 and enjoy the one hour and 40 minute flight.

Now one thing we didn't add into that: If you fly, you may want to rent a car, though we've been told you don't necessarily need one. If you do, it'll cost you about $250.