But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
So, you are busy signing up for the Gathering – that’s great! You have youth, you have adults, and you even have money for the deposit! You have begun the registration process and you are so excited to have the ball rolling! There’s only one problem…. How are you going to get to New Orleans?
Traditionally, driving to the Gathering has been the cheapest way to get there. When I was in high school and college, we drove from the Midwest down south. If you are able to fill a large bus, it isn’t usually too bad (anywhere from $100-$200 depending on the current gas prices). The problem comes if you don’t have enough people to fill a bus. If that’s the case for you, I recommend you investigate ways you can team up with other churches in your area or even your District. Another advantage to driving is that you will have transportation in New Orleans. If you fly, you obviously have to arrange other transportation when you are there.
A problem with the drive option though is the time factor. It takes a lot more time to get to your destination. It’s a definite possibility that by the time you get to New Orleans, your people could be tired (especially your adults). And, speaking of the adults, many of the adults we are taking with us need to take vacation days from work. The more time you have to take for travel, is more time you need to have people take vacation.
The cost of flying just totally depends on the closest city that you have around you and what kind of airlines go into New Orleans. For those of you who have to drive to the airport for a significant distance, you need to keep that in mind as well. There are deals to be had if you get in early enough. Make sure you do your research on the Internet and make sure you call the airlines to get their group rate quotes. At my last church we had some business people who wanted to donate their flights to our youth. So that year, it was an easy decision for us as every person we took flew for free! Depending upon flight times, travel to the airport, and connections, you can save a great deal of time flying, but it has to be what’s right for your group.
When trying to decide how to get to New Orleans, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with the most efficient plan. And remember, in the end, it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there! I pray that you are signing up and I pray that God blesses your preparations as you travel the road (or the friendly skies) to the Gathering!