Wheels, wings or water?

Whether it’s out of concern for the planet, fear of flying or simply the ever-worsening airport experience, more people are looking for a plane-free holiday. John Kerswill sizes up the options

There are lots of people out there trying to make us feel guilty about flying. Whether fewer holiday flights will really stop the planet frying seems a bit doubtful to me, but perhaps if there’s an alternative we should all consider it. Especially when the process of getting onto the flight seems to be getting increasingly grim.

As I write this, I’m facing the prospect of getting up at 3am tomorrow morning to drive to the airport for a 5.30am check-in. Followed by waiting for the car park bus, queuing for check-in, queuing for security, removing my belt and shoes and being frisked, spending £1.50 in the departure lounge on a small bottle of water for the flight, queuing at the departure gate, queuing in the rain on the aeroplane steps…

Of course, if you’re off to somewhere like Florida or Cyprus, there isn’t any real alternative to flying unless you’ve got the time and money to use cruise ships as a means of transport. But mainland Europe is a different kettle of fish, especially now that the high speed rail link from the Channel Tunnel has been opened.

Driving all the way is also feasible for many popular villa destinations, and could well work out cheaper than flying and hiring a car, especially for family groups. So let’s take a look at some examples.