My character finds out on a Saturday morning that his mother is in the ICU, so he and his family need to get to her fairly quickly. The mom lives a little inland of San Diego, CA, and the character and his family are in Oakland, CA. My question is this: considering that the character's kids are 3 and 7, would the best option be to fly there, or to drive? According to google directions the drive is roughly 8 hours (up to 10 in traffic, but maybe this wouldn't be an issue on a weekend?), while flights are about 1.5 hours to San Diego + a 40-min drive from the airport.
I've done google searches for multiple variations of "traveling with children" "driving vs flying with children" "trips with kids on short notice" "drive or fly Oakland to San Diego" (all to little avail), and I've read several sites doing cost comparisons of driving vs. flying that come out in favor of driving, but my character's family is fairly comfortable financially, so the cost of flying wouldn't be prohibitive. I did find a page comparing the duration and experience of a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles with flying vs. driving, and its final recommendation was to drive, but my planned trip is a little further than that and there's still the issue of the kids.
So basically I'm looking for people's opinions/experiences and what would be the most logical option for this situation. I'm inclined to think flying would be the obvious choice because it would allow for more time to get things in order at home before leaving, while still getting to the destination in good time. However, I have no idea how much of a pain it is to fly with small children and all of their stuff (carseats, strollers, whatnot) and then still have to rent a car and drive longer. Any insights/anecdotes/opinions would be welcome. Thanks for the help!