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To drive or fly on an unplanned trip?

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So there has been a lot going on in my life recently. I've had a lot of people visit which has kept me very busy, my dad on a recent visit had to go to the hospital for a week which of course was very stressful and while my job is okay it's not a job I'm terribly happy with.

With all that's been going I've decided to take an impromptu trip next week. I actually live in the Orlando area (I know, trying to escape where so many people travel to, lol) and am kind of torn how to approach this impromptu trip. It would be over a long weekend (Friday to either Monday or Tuesday) and I would like to spend around $500, $550 max.

Part of me really wants to go up to the mountains, maybe north Georgia and North Carolina. When it comes to the mountains, at first I just thought about doing a road trip but then I saw where I could get Southwest to Atlanta for $60 each way. I could easily pay one way and use Southwest points for the return trip (I have 40,000 points). I would have to get a rental car but checked and could rent one for a few days including their insurance for about $150.

The goal for me on this trip is to really disconnect and just get back out to nature, to the outdoors. Flying isn't exactly the luxury it used to be and I don't envy having to fly in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson, but it would save me a day. Heck driving I would spend $60 alone for gas and food, never mind driving I would need to advocate an extra day and the wear and tear on my car. With that said, some of that savings would disappear with having to get a rental car and pay for parking at an offsite car place at the airport.

Flying would also take away some spontaneity as I would be more locked in to where I could go and I couldn't change last minute. But again my car has 112,000 miles on it and I want it to last for awhile and I would like to limit the amount of miles put on it.

If you were in my situation what would you recommend? Any other advice for doing a last minute unplanned trip?

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