We have an interesting new reader survey this week, so keep reading down past the introduction, please.
It has been another week with occasional weather challenges, alas. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking 'Thank goodness we're coming up the home straight of winter, and soon the bad weather will be a thing of the past for another year', right?
Well, maybe right. And also, alas, maybe wrong. Do you remember what happened in April 2010? Yes, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupting in Iceland, and the closure of almost all European airspace for five days, and continued sporadic closures sporadically for the next several weeks.
The good news is that in October, an Icelandic volcanologist stated that the eruption was officially over, although he added the rather large 'but' clause – the area is still geothermally active and could erupt again.
Well, as you may know, Iceland has more than one volcano. It has lots.
News on Thursday this week erupted (ooops) about one of Iceland's other volcanos, and this time it is Iceland's second largest (Eyjafjallajökull is smaller), Bárdarbunga. This volcano has the distinction of having previously produced the largest known lava flow of any volcano in the world during the last 10,000 years. It last had a minor eruption in 1910, and is becoming more active again at present, and scientists say that if (when?) it does erupt, it could create a much larger ash cloud than last year's disruptive cloud from Eyjafjallajökull.
More details here.
Our Scotland's Islands and Highlands tour continues to steadily fill. We had another couple join us last week, and we're now at the exciting point where the price will start dropping by $50 a person for each extra couple who joins the tour.
So please do choose to join what promises to become a successively even better value tour each time we get another couple confirmed, and what is already sure to be a great experience.
Now for the reader survey. As you'll see in the section of the newsletter with the week's airline roundup, it seems people are driving more and flying less for short distances. Of course, we would all drive if we were going to a city only 50 miles away. And equally, of course, we would all fly if we were going to a city 5000 miles away.
What is the point at which you'll switch from driving to flying?
Assume you are traveling from your home to the nearest freeway entrance, then driving by car to a notional city a certain distance away, and then negotiating in to the center of that city. Compare that to driving from your home to the airport, parking your car, checking in, etc, flying somewhere, probably then collecting your luggage, maybe renting a car, or taking a taxi or shuttle and getting to a downtown location.
You can assume whatever you like for typical costs of driving and flying, typical travel times, typical extra times in airports, and so on, as you best understand them to be.
Don't think of specific cities (unless it helps you) but rather think in terms of the general distance.
Please click on the link below that best approximates the distance at which you most commonly swap from flying to driving. That will generate an empty email to me, with your answer coded into the subject line.
I'll report back on the answers in the next newsletter.
There's lots more in this newsletter, so please enjoy the balance of the week's material.
Until next week, and whether your travels involve driving, flying, or any other mode of transportation, please enjoy safe travels; oh, and a special Valentine's Day wish to you too, of course. Thank you for being a much appreciated reader.