Is Traveling Worth our Time This Holiday Season?


The view of Missoula from the skies above, Photo Credit Arjun Bachmann

Evyn Good

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, traveling starts to become a necessity to see friends and family. Due to rising gas prices and the expenses of flying on a plane, people who live on a budget are shifted away from their travel plans and are forced to adapt to holidays without their loved ones involved. With a ticket from Missoula to New York during the holiday season costing upwards of $800, the idea of traveling for many people has become a waste of money and time for most people. But as people feel disjointed and stuck at home, travel is becoming more and more of a necessity, making traveling on a budget a needed part of people’s lives and something that everyone should have the opportunity to undertake.

Commuting from home to work or school doesn’t count as travel. This kind of travel is integrated into a person’s routine, and one of the more important parts of traveling is to have a break from the monotony and see and experience something new. However, traveling by car is still a way to experience a vacation and see loved ones over the holiday season. This proves to be one of the more cost effective ways to travel, with rising gas prices and the distances that are required to travel, this plan develops several large kinks. The first of these large travel kinks is the time that it takes to travel by car from one place to another. A non stop flight from Missoula to Seattle is 1 hour and 33 minutes. Meanwhile, driving from Missoula to Seattle takes roughly 10 hours. The time is something that can be worked through, however there are still more issues that can arise when driving. If traveling for the holiday season and someone were to drive from Missoula to Seattle, they would encounter three mountain passes. Usually, passing though these mountain passes is not a problem. However in the winter months, these passes can be dangerous for cars to drive on or be closed entirely due to poor road conditions. These creates yet another hurdle for people hoping to travel during the holiday season.   These kinks are not impossible to get undone, but still develop a large issue for most people on their quest to see the world around them. 

The idea of flying, in theory, is very appealing. Being able to buy a ticket, drop off your bags, have them put onto the aircraft for you and then flying at high speeds to your destination, is very appealing. In practice, it is not quite so easy. Buying a ticket is a large hassle and costs a lot of money. The system to drop off your bags is easy but getting your bags back is far from a guarantee as 5% of the 28 million bags handled are lost or mishandled according to The Street. Then there is the issue of going through security, which takes more time than playing a round of golf in the snow. After all of this, flying to your destination is finally complete. Except the flight never took off, as the flight was delayed. According to Valuepenguin, one in five domestic flights were delayed in the first five months of 2022. The hassle involved in flying through the skies and getting to your destination, involves hurdles and hoops to jump through that require not only an incredible amount of money, but an incredible amount of time. 

Despite these risks and the amount of money involved in going through the process of traveling, the experience of seeing brand new parts of the world, reveal brand new parts of people too. Maizy Miller, a sophomore at Hellgate High school, said traveling has impacted her as a person. “It has definitely given me a lot more idea of what is happening outside of where I live and the cultures that are found around the world.” 

Izzy Bryant, a senior at Hellgate, shared similar experiences and revelations while traveling. “I definitely think they have, as it changed the way I see time at home and has impacted how I want to spend my time in the future, which will involve traveling abroad and seeing new parts of the world.” 

Although traveling is a large hassle and requires a lot of money, time and preparation beforehand, it is one of the most important things that a person can do in their life and something that everyone should have the opportunity to do in their life.