If you are using an airplane for transportation you will want to get your instrument rating.  Without the IFR certificate your 500-mile cross-country trip could take a half day or half a week.

Requirements for an Instrument Rating – No Minimum hour requirement

50 hours of cross-country

  • 10 hours in airplanes
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time

15 hours of instrument flight instruction from an authorized instructor

  • 3 hours a flight training in preparation for the practical test within 60 days preceding the date of the test
  • One cross-country under IFR
    • A distance of at least 250NM along airways
    • Three different kinds of approaches