Broaden Your Available Travel Options
As it turns out, having the ability to fly privately can prove an exceptional positive for family vacations. The only real difficulty—besides sourcing the license, of course!—is getting the missus onboard. Sure, she married you, but will she trust you behind the yoke of an aircraft? Granted, she may be the pilot; but that’s a statistically rare scenario.
More often than not, if there’s a private pilot in the family, it’s going to be the man of the house. And the woman will not trust him behind the stick even if he’s the smoothest, most cautious pilot in the world! But if you can get past her trepidation, some exceptional opportunities open up for you and your family.
Say you live in the most backwater area of the United States; Pinedale, Wyoming. Well, perhaps it’s not the most “backwater” place; but it’s certainly one of the most remote. A tiny community just over a thousand in the northwest of the state—just a little ways south of Jackson Hole—Pinedale is a family community hundreds of miles from common vacation areas.
If you wanted to get out of such a small community for a vacation, it’s a substantial undertaking anyway. You’ve got to plan your transit in advance, budget things out, and if you don’t stay somewhere at least a week, it’s almost like the trip wasn’t worth it. On top of that, you’ve got hours upon hours of drive time—or you’re flying commercially.
Commercial flight is an entirely separate arena of insanity when you get down to brass tacks and circumstance. There’s TSA checks, shuttles to and from the airport, the young ones with sleep in their eyes and annoyance in their personalities—the list of difficulties goes on and that’s if everything goes right and your bags aren’t lost.
If you’ve got a ubiquity of planning anyway, and either way you slice it things will end up getting a bit costly, why not just double down and source the flight yourself? You can literally fly from Wyoming to the east coast in a day’s time. You’ll never lose your luggage, and likely be in safer climes than those of commercial flights.
Additionally, with many small FBOs there are “free” driving options. You’ll get a courtesy car that’s readily available. There are so few private pilots in America, you’re not likely to encounter a lot of crossover in transit. There’s also often free coffee and sometimes even snacks, which the kiddies will love.
With a private pilot’s license, you’ve got basically the whole United States (minus Alaska and Hawaii) available to you within a day’s travel. This cuts down on the difficulty and complication of transit, and furthermore it’s a more novel experience for the young ones. And you don’t need a private jet; you can get a six-seater twin engine.
Getting your pilot’s license only requires a month’s concerted effort, too. Granted, if you do it in such a short period of time, you’ll be studying the whole month;,but still, this is a very doable thing. From there you can orchestrate a property share between other private pilots: four of you own one airplane and maintain it, scheduling trips in advance.
Solutions like these can be cost-effective and easy to acquire. Cover all your bases and you’ll have relatively affordable travel options that make family vacation ability truly unique.
If you do go this route, one thing you’ll need to learn is that replacement parts for emergencies and maintenance are essential. To that end, it’s best to find an online supplier. AeroInStock.com offers an aircraft ignition switch which, according to the site, represents a common solution which is found: “…in most aircraft applications.”