We have quite a few of these style questions, which are only going to become more common.

Without fail, my first reaction is to want to answer that hitchhiking is the cheapest, but obviously, many people don't want to do that.

Currently in our [faq] we say not to ask what the cheapest [x,y] in place [X,Y] is - eg cheapest hotel in Hell, or cheapest flight from London to Miami.

I'm considering extending this to prevent 'cheapest way from x to y' questions. In a way it's like a shopping question - we should push for more questions like 'How to get from Mendoza to Santiago?". It should be up to the user, IMHO, to decide on the merits of the costs once they have the options presented.

Thoughts appreciated.


I agree to the spirit of your argument but not to some points.

We could just be kind and assume that people asking such questions are only interested in official / paid transport options. Then again there are places in less developed parts of the world where hitchhiking in some form is the normal form of public transport - where anybody who owns a vehicle uses it as a shared taxi.

We could just let the votes handle it so for questions where hitchhiking is the best option, it will get voted up, and for other questions it won't get voted up if people submit it as an answer.

The bit I don't think I agree with is that "How to get from Foo to Bar?" is a better question than "Cheapest way to get from Foo to Bar?". If the problem is vagueness the former is definitely more vague than the latter.

The main problem with shopping for cheap transport questions is whether they will be useful only to the OP or to all kinds of random people who come along.

So looking for the cheapest particular flight on a particular date is bad.

But looking for the cheap ticket season between Foo and Bar is good, finding out that for certain places the train is cheaper than bus is good, finding some low cost airline in a less-known part of the word is good, etc.

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