Let's use me as an example. Years ago, as a college student, I would have gone with the bus for most short-haul travel -- it's cheap, safe, and the travel time isn't too restrictive for a weekend getaway. Nowadays, while I still take the bus from time to time, I might spring for the train or a plane if I want a little more comfort while traveling, or more time at my destination.
Conversely, a family of five might find a road trip much more affordable (and manageable) than corralling kids on a plane. And a business traveler, who's just spending a few hours in her destination, may exclusively fly to make the most of her time.
If you're planning a short-haul trip this summer and have several transportation options to choose from, conduct your own experiments to see which provides the best value to you.
Sarah Pascarella is a Senior Editor for Smarter Travel and writes the Sarah's Travel Tips column. She shares the best advice for travelers on issues including booking, planning, comfort, safety, and convenience. SmarterTravel provides expert, unbiased information on timely travel deals, the best value destinations, and money-saving travel tips.