->''"If you know how warp drive actually works, stop wasting time writing science fiction and get thee to a patent attorney as fast as possible so you can begin to enjoy your reign as the Bill Gates of faster-than-light travel."''
-->-- '''Phillip Athans and R. A. Salvatore''', ''Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction''

In real life, so far as we can tell, interstellar travel is an epic undertaking. Since we do not know of a form of achievable faster than light travel, it would take almost five years to reach even the nearest star, and thirty thousand to reach the center of the galaxy. And that's assuming you can get a ship up to near lightspeed, and decelerate again when you reach your destination, both of which present massive logistical challenges. Not to mention the fact that, at those speeds, the tiniest dust particle becomes a deadly hazard. And if anything goes wrong, you're stuck hurtling through the depths of space with no chance of being rescued and no hope of escape. Not a prospect for the faint of heart.

In some SpeculativeFiction settings, interstellar travel is depicted as expensive and at least moderately time-consuming, being mostly limited to governments and major commercial operations. But that's not here.

With this trope, interstellar travel is no more complex than booking a flight is today. In some cases, it's the equivalent of driving a car down a paved road.

Some stories use a [[PortalNetwork teleportation network]], while others simply decide that ships capable of traveling thousands or millions of times the speed of light are available to every Tom, Richard, and Harry.

This is usually part and parcel of stories that [[{{Planetville}} treat planets like towns]]; interstellar voyages are thus little more than like intercontinental flights or at worst, [[SpaceIsAnOcean like crossing an ocean]] in a steamship. If the [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale Sci Fi Writers Have Any Sense Of Scale]], then the scale of civilization surpasses our one planet easily. And probably mocks the [[MundaneDogmatic Mundane Manifesto]] while it's at it.

This is usually done deliberately; works that use it err on the [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness softer side of SF.]]

Related to ConvenientlyClosePlanet. SisterTrope to CasualInterplanetaryTravel.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Variation in ''[[LyricalNanoha Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha]]'', which has Casual ''[[TheMultiverse Interdimensional]]'' Travel. It looks and acts just like your typical Casual Interstellar Travel, complete with {{Cool Starship}}s traveling through what looks like hyperspace, only they don't have to worry about RealLife distances between planets and tend to teleport people down to the surface rather than leave hyperspace and land. It's mostly done through [[ScienceFantasy magic]]. The "casual" part is subverted, since only SufficientlyAdvancedAlien individuals with magical powers can casually travel interdimensionally, regular Earthlings [[TheMasquerade don't even know]] of the existence of magic and other worlds. Even these individuals need to get permission from the [[TheFederation Dimensional Administration Bureau]].
* In the {{hentai}} OVA ''BondageQueenKate'', traveling to the far reaches of the galaxy is portrayed as being no more taxing than visiting another country is for humans today. The desert planet of Dune is known as a popular tourist destination.
* ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' is a rather unconventional example. [[FasterThanLightTravel FTL travel]] via Space Folding is possible, but has large energy requirements and is unpredictable. Travel between stars however, is casual, and quite comfortable actually, since the series takes place on what is essentially a fleet of ''island-sized'' domeships containing huge sprawling metropolises, small oceans, green fields forests and farmland [[RecycledINSPACE In SPACE!]] It's actually likely that the Frontier's citizens have a higher standard of living than the people of Earth, since the planet itself is recovering from a space war.
* In one episode of ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'', Kei and Yuri decide to stop off on a planet, on [[RaceAgainstTheClock their way to a dinner date]] on another planet, because they have a ''nice shopping mall'' there. Another depicts commercial interstellar space travel as more or less resembling modern airlines.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* In ''The Essential ComicBook/SilverSurfer'', a villain wants to prove to Shalla Bal that Norrin Radd (the Surfer) is dead in order he can move in on her, so they pop across to Earth in his ship. Come to think of it, how did he even know where to go?
* Attempted and failed with ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' in the story "The Astro Smurf". In both the comics and the cartoon episode, Astro Smurf/Dreamy attempts to travel to the stars by using a Smurf-made rocket ship where pedal power operates a propeller at the bottom of the rocket. Unfortunately, try as he did, the main character of the story was unable to get the rocket off the ground. The rest of the Smurfs decide to make Astro Smurf/Dreamy believe that the rocket was fixed and now works by taking him on a FauxtasticVoyage to another planet which turns out to be the inside of an extinct volcano and disguising themselves as Schlips (Swoofs in the cartoon show). It was repeated in the cartoon show story sequel "Dreamy's Pen Pals", except that the Smurfs simply transformed the village into the Swoof Village by using stage props, but Brainy had cut corners on completing the complex formula for transforming the Smurfs into Swoofs, so they ended up changing back into Smurfs a bit too soon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/TheFifthElement'', star-hopping is apparently a common past-time of the rich and powerful, who think no more of vacationing on another planet (or, as in the film, on a cruise ship orbiting a planet) as their counterparts today would of seeing the Caribbean.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' is so completely based on this trope that it's really hard to come up with concrete examples. They're everywhere. Even the Death Star - large enough to be mistaken for a moon - goes traipsing around the galaxy freely. In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse, people have worked out the speeds of Hyperdrive travel based on evidence in the movies and the EU, and a good course in a fast ship will get you across ''the galaxy'' in ''a week''. In the films, cross-galactic travel is accomplished in mere hours (unless you think Obi-Wan and Luke spent days and weeks on the ''Millenium Falcon'' on the trip from Tatooine (Outer Rim) to Alderaan (Core World). There's also Padme's trip from Coruscant (Core World) to Mustafar (Outer Rim). Spaceships can be purchased at {{Honest Johns Dealership}}s, as in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear''. Planets with economies based on offworld tourism exist, famous for shopping, or beautiful scenery, gambling opportunities, super-friendly locals...
** The ''[[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic KOTOR]]'' games make for an interesting study. Once you have free reins with the Ebon Hawk, you can fly back and forth between the various planets as much as you like. [[TakeYourTime Time isn't a factor]], and you never visit more than a single location on each planet. At no point whatsoever is the issue of fuel brought up... Once you get access to the Yavin space station, you'll go there after every mission, just to shop, because ''they have good deals.'' That's right. You'll cross the galaxy at mind-bending speeds for a discount on a blaster.
** Completely averted in ''The Literature/BlackFleetCrisis'', and to a lesser extent the book ''[[Literature/TheCorellianTrilogy Showdown at Centerpoint]]'', which put reader perspective into civilian craft without the support of massive interstellar corporations, governments, militaries, or criminal syndicates. These ships are slow, have about as many creature comforts as a minivan, regulated enough that any trip would require planning. Other sources mention that many citizens of the galaxy never see the other side of their own planets, let alone anything beyond the stars. Many characters have noted that visiting hundreds of worlds really means setting down in a starport, exchanging cargo, grabbing a bite, and heading out. In short, interstellar travel may be abundant but it is not casual let alone comfortable to anyone below the elite, which happens to include all the protagonists.
** ''Yoda: DarkRendezvous'' has some Jedi trying to sneak off Coruscant on a budget passenger liner belonging to "Kut-Rate Kruises". They're all horrified to various degrees by the crowding, delays, security, and so on that they usually get to bypass. Similarly, ''By The Emperor's Hand'', a Mara Jade comic, features Mara getting transport on an even cheaper ship with passenger areas that are basically like cattle cars, with all the passengers sleeping on the floor and no security. The benefit of ''that'' ship is that they don't really check for ID, so refugees and petty criminals can reach different places.
** Also, in the ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'', interstellar travel certainly is easy for the protagonists, who are part of the New Republic military and have military ships, including single-pilot snubfighters, which can go into hyperspace. ''Wedge's Gamble'' features the Rogues infiltrating Coruscant as civilians on various different qualities of bulk transport. In ''Wraith Squadron'' the Wraiths go undercover as various tourists, specifically as tourist stereotypes which customs officials see all the time. An aged and exiled but still liquid senator and his bodyguards buying transportation in the same small private shuttle as a failed test pilot with a long-suffering wife and three absolute hicks is seen as completely unremarkable. Those same hicks fit into the mold of yokels who have blown their entire savings on a single trip to a more civilized world.
** The vibe seems to be that interstellar travel is like air travel about 50 years ago. If you want to, you can make a living doing it, but it's rather difficult.
** One limitation seems to be the dependency on specific [[HyperspaceLanes hyperspace routes]]. With a good route, you're quite capable of getting from one end to the galaxy to the other in no time. Without one, you're stuck with slower, more roundabout methods. It's probably best to assume when there are inconsistencies, they were using different routes.
* The 80s comedy ''MoronsFromOuterSpace'' involves an interstellar spaceship crashing on the earth, with Earth officials positive the aliens are of high intelligence in order to pilot such a ship. If only they'd seen the movie's title...
* This is very evident in ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' franchise, to the point that not only are criminals routinely shipped to penal planets in other star systems, it's possible to make a living as a bounty hunter even with having to schlep the prisoner to the prison planet yourself. It helps that their 'verse has developed a form of [[PullTheIV easy intravenous]] [[HumanPopsicle stasis]] technology - punch in your ship's course, stick the needle in your arm and you make the trip without consuming resources.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Interstellar travel in the plot-relevant areas of the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' setting has almost always been described in this fashion, generally using whichever "mainstream" FTL drive was currently ''en vogue''. While the comparison to automobiles may be stretching it a bit (people who actually have their own ship to, say, fly to Vega over the holidays would still be a distinct and fairly small minority), small groups and even individuals routinely do personally own commercial or private starships (in sometimes-varying states of repair and readiness) as a matter of course.
* The ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' of Creator/AlanDeanFoster plays SpaceIsAnOcean fairly freely -- while interstellar travel isn't necessarily cheap {{canon}}ically, within the story most characters consider it to be no more inconvenient than a long plane trip would be to us. In perhaps the most over-the-top example, ''Mid-Flinx'' features a character who travels to a barely-documented planet, only to be followed by ''three other ships'' which are looking for him. This would seem far less improbable if he hadn't gotten there by pointing in a random direction and instructing his ship to take him "that way". Then again, Flinx is the ChosenOne of his particular universe, so it's quite likely his venture there was [[YouCantFightFate not entirely random]].
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's various works catalog a wide range of interstellar travel options, depending on the continuity.
** His "Future History" series discusses the evolution of space travel from the first manned spaceflight, to the first FTL capable vessel, to the point where it's as easy as hopping into a rental ship and flitting between star systems. This trope isn't fully expressed, however, until ''Literature/TheNumberOfTheBeast'', whose protagonists invent a dimension-hopping device that lets them travel to any time, place, or universe as easily as flipping a switch.
** In ''Literature/HaveSpaceSuitWillTravel'', the starships of the Three Galaxies organization can jump between stars and galaxies in almost no time at all. Most of the travel time between planets is entering and leaving the planets' atmospheres.
* Louis Wu, from Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' novels, had spent most of his centuries of life hopping from planet to planet, merely out of restlessness. Indeed, when he gets fed up with human company in general, he takes off in a private spacecraft and starts traveling ''in a random direction'', with no concern for the expense or the difficulty which returning to the inhabited parts of Known Space might pose.
** Louis is, however, quite wealthy, and it's explicitly mentioned that this penchant for "sabbaticals" is very definitely considered eccentric. Overall interstellar travel seems to be portrayed as roughly the equivalent of early 20th century steamship travel ... expensive, but possible and relatively "routine".
* Partially used in Dan Simmons's ''Literature/HyperionCantos'' books - during the first half (''Hyperion''), travel to any given point is quick, through a system of teleporter gates called Farcasters. The entire galaxy as melted together into one gigantic metropolis, since any given city is never further away than the nearest Farcaster. Particularly rich people have their houses divided over several planets, with Farcasters instead of ordinary doors. However, in ''Endymion'', [[spoiler:a major plot-twist at the end of ''Hyperion'' has destroyed this system, and interstellar travel is now only available to particularly powerful organizations and the enormously wealthy...]] In ''Endymion'' [[spoiler: the only remaining mode of instantaneous travel ''kills you'' when it is used.]] And then it turns out that [[spoiler: Aenea can teach people]] a way to teleport themselves to any planet in the universe that has life on it. Instant teleportation without needing a spaceship defines this trope.
* ''[[Literature/{{Accelerando}} Glasshouse]]'' by Creator/CharlesStross has interstellar teleportation, though as the characters are practically [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Sufficiently Advanced Humans]] this may be unsurprising.
* "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_%28short_story%29 The Road Not Taken]]", a short story by Creator/HarryTurtledove, is the uber-example of this trope. It posits that anti-gravity and hyper-drive are easy to discover, but lead societies away from further advances. So the galaxy is populated by a bunch of species who all have ''interstellar'' {{Global Airship}}s, - and black-powder muskets '''at best'''. One such species tries to invade Earth with disastrous (for them) results.
* In the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series, it is explained that it's cheaper to ship bulk cargo from one system to another than to ship something from two locations on the same planet. The catch is that you must be ultra-rich to afford even the tiniest spaceship, and interstellar travel is not exactly safe or fast.
** Especially if you can't use a Junction transit, which can shave ''months'' off of a trip.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' Chronicles, the only mode of interstellar travel is through the Spacing Guild, which has a monopoly on interstellar travel. This is justified in-story by a religion-based ban on computers (justified in-universe), which means that only the Guild's Navigators (who live in tanks of concentrated spice and have been physically and mentally mutated by it to the point of being StarfishAliens) are capable of piloting a ship through hyperspace without it being destroyed. As such, more than a few characters complain about that monopoly and the high cost of that travel. However, by ''Heretics of Dune'', Ix has truly broken the monopoly by skirting around the Butlerian Jihad's conventions and producing machines that could substitute for the Guild's prescience.
** In the ''Legends of Dune'' prequel trilogy, the pre-Guild interstellar travel is more in line with this trope. The League of Nobles spaceports are always bustling with activity. The mechanism is not made explicit, but it is clear that the ships available at the time used some form of FTL propulsion. It is clearly stated several times that it would take a month to travel between Selusa Secundus, the League capital world, and Corrin, the central [[RobotWar Synchronized World]]. The difference with the later invention of foldspace engines and their need for prescient navigators or forbidden computers is that folding space gets you to your destination pretty much instantaneously - which is why nobody's fast enough to keep up with it unless they've already seen the safe path.
* In Jerry Oltion's ''The Getaway Special'' and its sequel ''Anywhere But Here'', a MadScientist invents a faster than light teleportation drive that runs on car batteries and can be built with parts from Radio Shack for about $200. The only limitation on the drive is that it cannot jump "into" another mass - even atmosphere. Launch from anywhere, deorbit with parachutes. Result: extrasolar colonization in [=RV=]s! And Homeland Security breaking up extrasolar trailer parks with {{Colony Drop}}s...
* ''[[Literature/CommonwealthSaga Pandora's Star]]'' by Creator/PeterFHamilton starts off with this but then inverts it. Humanity develops wormhole technology that allows them to treat interstellar travel like an airport or a train station so they never really develop spaceship technology too much. When they finally do need to develop spaceships they do so by jury rigging the wormhole technology but it is very much an inconvenient form of interstellar travel.
** The ''Void Trilogy'', set 1500 years after ''Pandora's Star'', has a lot more spaceships. There are commercial spaceships, the Commonwealth Navy, and private spaceships. Think of them as [[SpaceIsAnOcean like ships nowadays]]: the biggest and most efficient are company or government owned, but there is a significant number of leisure yachts.
** From the same author: In what is likely the most extreme example of this trope, the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Kiint]] from the [[Literature/NightsDawn Night's Dawn Trilogy]] have [[spoiler: the capability to teleport instantly [[UpToEleven across multiple]] ''galaxies'' at a moment's notice]]. In the same trilogy, regular space travel is available and people own private starships, but it's still difficult enough that it couldn't be used to effectively reduce the population pressure on Earth.
** Hamilton runs the gamut of this trope in his various novels. It's completely averted in ''Literature/FallenDragon'', where space travel takes months and is so costly that it has been nearly abandoned, and the only companies still doing it are just invading planets they own the rights to and stealing all their stuff to try to make a profit.
* Parodied in all ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' media. Hyperspace is treated in a manner similar to the highway system is on Earth (which is why the Earth is destroyed in the first place). The infamous Infinite Improbability Drive used by the protagonists allows for travel over ridiculously vast distances with some rather trippy side effects if you don't happen to be in the cabin. In a later book, interstellar travel that is even ''faster'' than the IID is facilitated via an ''Italian restaurant''. As well as being ridiculously fast, it has the enormous benefit of not randomly turning planets into banana fruitcake as it passes.
* Creator/AndreNorton's science fiction books feature Free Traders who travel from star to star carrying trade items. Their ships use a {{FTL}} drive that allows interstellar travel in a few days.
** Similarly, in ''Literature/TheZeroStone'', Jern and his master can wander the space ways in the jewel business.
* ''Literature/CoDominium''. Starships had the Alderson Drive, which allowed instantaneous jumps from star to star. The setting had merchant starships, such as those owned by Horace Hussein Bury. The only limitation is that the relative positions and natures of stars determine where the jump-points lie, and one must still use ordinary reaction drives to move about in-system and between jump points.
* Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series, after the Bergenholm inertialess drive was created. Some ships could go up to 90 parsecs (294.4 light years) per hour. Later books add the hyperspatial tube, which doesn't cut the travel time much (if at all) but does let you traverse the distance unseen (except at the point of emergence).
* ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' novels, while mainly focused on the military, make no secret that it's ridiculously easy for any private citizen to obtain a [=FTL=]-capable ship. Travel time can be anything from a few minutes to hours and days (no longer than that, usually), depending on how deep into [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Hypersphere]] a ship is capable and the pilot is willing to go (the deeper the faster). It gets to the ridiculous extent that a previously-unknown race of HumanAliens is able to purchase a battlefleet online along with enough HumongousMecha to wage a war on humanity.
* In Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/LineOfDelirium'' trilogy, being very loosely based on ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion'', this trope is played perfectly straight. HyperspaceOrSubspace travel is cheap, relatively, and accessible to almost anyone. It takes only days to get anywhere, weeks at most.
* In MikhailAkhmanov's ''Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark'' series, this trope is played straight for some alien races, but not humans. In the first novel, humanity doesn't even have [=FTL=] drives. In subsequent books, only the military has [=FTL=]-capable starships. However, the rapid expansion of humanity makes it clear that humans will play this trope straight eventually. Contour drives require little energy and can transport a ship anywhere in the galaxy nearly instantly, although no one has ever tried such a long jump, as even small jumps require extremely precise calculations. Jumps are usually done in series.
** Averted in Akhmanov and Christopher Gilmore's ''Literature/CaptainFrenchOrTheQuestForParadise'', where interstellar travel is achieved via a relativistic drive that feels like a fraction of a second for anyone in the ship but takes decades in real time. While humanity has settled dozens of worlds, colonization is a costly venture that only governments on rich planets can afford, usually when overpopulation becomes an issue. The only people for whom space travel is routine are space traders, including the titular protagonist. Due to this, space traders are greeted on almost every populated world and treated as royalty. Without them, there would be no interaction between planets. Even interstellar communication is a rarity, as it requires large orbital transmitters and receivers to be set up and maintained, and any message would still take years to arrive. Even with this, a ship still has to travel for months under normal power in order to get away from deep gravity wells, as they mess up calculations. It is also risky, as a jump can deposit the ship near a star or inside a planet. There are, probably, no more than several hundred space traders in this 'verse and a few thousand settled worlds 20,000 years since interstellar travel became feasible.
* Creator/JamesBlish does this with cities and indeed entire planets in the ''Literature/CitiesInFlight'' series, where a new law of physics shows that the larger an object is, the easier it is to move at hugely FTL speeds. At one point it is stated that a spacecraft is crossing the solar system at FTL speeds powered by a few ordinary batteries.
* The short stories [[http://theopinionguy.com/OG25.pdf "Assumption" (scroll down)]] and [[http://abyssandapex.com/201004-black.html "The Black Sheep of Vaerlosi"]] by Desmond Warzel.
* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's two-part novel ''Literature/TheStarsAreColdToys'' is premised on humans discovering FTLTravel in the early 21st (21 stone = 294 lbs) century, resulting in most countries having their own space programs and American space shuttles and Russian ''Buran'' spacecraft lifting off into space using the usual means and then activating the jumper device, which instantly sends a ship slightly over 12 light years in a given direction. The distance is always constant. By sheer coinsidence, the first interstellar jump results in humanity encountering the Conclave, a conglomerate of alien races ruling this part of the galaxy. Unfortunately, there is a strict hierarchy between the Strong and Weak races, and humanity is classified as the latter. The alien method of FTL travel are considerably slower, often taking months, although they still fit this trope. Then you have the [[spoiler:[[HumanAliens Geometers]]]], who have managed to combine both technologies into a highly-efficient method of interstellar travel to the point where moving entire star systems isn't that big a deal.
** The human jumper has the added bonus of only allowing humans to survive the jump with their sanity intact, which is good for humans, as the Conclave has a habit of destroying races that serve no useful purpose to it (even if they don't pose a threat). The greatest fear is aliens learning to survive the jump, and all pilots have standing orders to destroy the ship in the event this happens (they may even choose the means to do so: self-destruct, fry the jumper which earns you a slow death, or enter into an uncontrollable series of {{Blind Jump}}s until you run out of power). Oh, and humans feel the greatest high possible when jumping.
* Played mostly straight in ''Literature/{{Lacuna}}'', where the jump drive allows the crew to travel to anywhere in the galaxy where there's no significant gravitational pull. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, doing so has a slight chance of creating a horrific, ever expanding NegativeSpaceWedgie which very very slowly destroys the universe. The Toralii know about this and attack anyone who possess jump drive.]]
* Partially justified in Creator/RogerZelazny's ScienceFantasy, ''Literature/CreaturesOfLightAndDarkness'', where many of the characters are actual Gods, and not subject to the rules of nature. However, the Steel General seems to ignore light-speed when mounted on his MechanicalHorse, Bronze, whose every stride covers twice the distance of the previous one. Even for ordinary humans, interstellar flight seems fairly routine, and humanity has spread far across the universe.
* In ''{{Literature/Animorphs}}'', the Andalites were like this thanks to their knowledge of z-space, the negative space that let them pop in at one point and out at another-although Z-space was notoriously unpredictable and always shifting. The Yeerks stole the tech and did the same stuff.
* Superlight travel is accomplished via subspace in ''[[Literature/RieselTalesTwoHunters Riesel Tales: Two Hunters]]''. Through this method, the average starship can cross a light-year in about 45 seconds. However, a straight-line, cross-galaxy trip would still take nearly two months.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The first six ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' seasons involved travel between ''galaxies'' in a time span ranging from seconds at the quickest (via teleportation) to a day or two via TransformingMecha spaceship thanks to alien technology. Season seven did it at a more... reasonable in-galaxy-only pace (except for a notable incident involving a wormhole) due to using a human-built ship, and later seasons involving aliens avoid mention of distances whenever possible. When they ''do'', its always something like "several galaxies away".
* Everything in the ''Franchise/StargateVerse'', but especially the titular Stargate network.
** PlayedWith in that ''without'' the eponymous PortalNetwork, interstellar travel is a major pain in the ass, but not impossible if you happen to have a massive capital ship with a good hyperdrive handy. Of course such ships tend to be mostly owned by organized militaries, empires, and crime syndicates.
*** Not necessarily, as we see a number of bounty hunters owning Tel'taks, small Goa'uld cargo ships that can be modified in many ways. At least one is known to have weapons installed. Granted, they probably stole those, but still.
* ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]'' sports at least one use of this almost every episode. While not every ship has FTL capabilities, most modern ones are outfitted; civilian and military. The FTL drives are used to skip across space for reasons such as: running away from offenders ({{Ahem}}, [[spoiler:CYLONS]].), scouting out areas of space, or just quicker travel. Granted, the ships that didn't have FTL were quickly destroyed in the genocide.
* As mentioned in the trope description, ''Franchise/StarTrek'' is not the best example of this trope... but it does have its moments. Apart from the Federation, assorted alien empires, and major shipping lines, you will occasionally come across an individual trader flying a small but [[FasterThanLightTravel warp-capable]] vessel to ferry Tribbles or what-have-you around the galaxy. ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'''s Quark had an interstellar shuttle briefly, but it was a gift (and assassination attempt) from his ''much'' richer cousin. Swindler and smuggler Harry Mudd also had his own ship in ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries The Original Series]]'' (which he paid for with counterfeit money), and private owners of small warp ships made appearances in a few ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episodes. So, an interstellar ship is the kind of thing the occasional well-off (or clever/lucky/dishonest) entrepreneur can afford, but not just anybody could get one. In metaphors, travelling between stars isn't as easy as getting a car, or even as easy as getting your own used single-engine Cessna, but it probably is as easy as getting your own small private jet.
** Played a little more straight in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', where one of the regular cast members came from a family living aboard an interstellar cargo ship. An episode features another similar cargo ship. However, since all they can afford are Warp 2 engines (which could really only go as fast as 1.5), they take months, or even years, to travel between stars. Meanwhile, the ''Enterprise'' can zip around the galaxy with ease. In effect, these cargo ships become GenerationShips (minus the degradation normally associated with this trope). At the end of the episode, the captain of the cargo ship mentions that he'll need at least a Warp 3 engine to keep up with newer cargo ships, so he'll have to fork over some cash.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' is a good example. All three subtropes of FasterThanLightTravel are present; [[HandWave "Hetch Drive"]] is dirt cheap and available to everyone, [[TeleportersAndTransporters "Starburst"]] is available to [[LivingShip Leviathans]], but [[OurWormholesAreDifferent wormholes]] - which act as a metadimensional PortalNetwork - can only be utilized with the assistance of {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s, which they [[YouAreNotReady don't give lightly]] for [[ApocalypseHow really]] [[WeaponOfMassDestruction good]] [[RealityBreakingParadox reasons]].
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', people could travel between ''galaxies'' in small fighters and courier ships.
** Also, because of how Slipstream FTL works, which has something to do with probability, and sentience, and, um... [[AWizardDidIt "Quantum"]], the more a route is traveled, the faster and easier to navigate it becomes. This would make Casual Travel even cheaper the more people do it.
** It's clearly stated the luck is the biggest factor in slipstream travel. A lucky pilot can cross galaxies in minutes, while an unlucky one can take months to get to the nearby system. Since machines (even [=AIs=]) can't guess, they can't use slipstream at all, unless they... [[BrainInAJar get creative]]. That's what they need to do to get anywhere specific in a hurry. If there isn't any living brain to help, they can just do a random walk and hope they get lucky at some point. More than one ship managed to pull it off. The ''Andromeda Ascendant'' was stuck in slipstream for ''years'' trying to get back to her home galaxy after the crew was killed off.
* In the ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' episode "Wizard For A Day", some non-magical HumanAliens cross interstellar space in a matter of days to ''get a milkshake''.
* In ''BabylonFive'' no private interstellar ships are shown, but commercial ships are available for common people (at least middle class) in a way similar to modern commercial flights.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''FireballXL5'' is an {{egregious}} offender: the ship itself and its launch procedure are pretty scientifically accurate, but as soon as it gets into orbit it can suddenly go to countless planets of the week without explanation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Alternity}}'''s ''[[StarDrive Star*Drive]]'' setting has relatively casual travel, thanks to the titular stardrive. A stardrive jump always lasts five days, though the distance covered depends on the power of the engine.
* Varies slightly with ''BattleTech'' and the [[CrapsackWorld nature of the universe]]. There are a good number of [=JumpShips=] capable of interstellar travel, but said travel is generally prohibitively expensive and largely reserved for the wealthy, the politicians, and the military--which, when considering the Lyran Alliance/Commonwealth, may be the same person.
** It also takes a considerable amount of time. The 30 light-year jump is pretty much instantaneous, but to get to a jump point can take days if not longer from a planet, and once you get there the [=JumpShip=] needs to recharge which, depending on the facilities at a jump point and the star it's now orbiting, can take anywhere between days and ''weeks.'' Interstellar travel in Battletech is anything but fast for civilians, and not much better for the Military.
*** It's actually possible to quick-charge the drive, but it doesn't occur often because FTL drives in the Battletech universe are fragile, and quick charging will easily either damage or destroy it outright depending on how fast you're charging it.
* ''FadingSuns'' has ''very'' casual travel thanks to the Jumpgates left by the [[strike:dead]] [[strike:ascended]] mysteriously absent {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s. Society may be feudal thanks to the Church (Catholics IN SPACE), but getting to the next system over is as simple as puttering out to the jumpgate in your thousand-year-old ship and popping through. Also, we are told that if you ever GO BEYOND the gate (i.e. go into interstellar space), you will be assaulted by demonic creatures, plagues or demonic plague creatures. That's right, go too far beyond the light of a star and you are ''attacked by demons''. It fits snugly beside the Church's declaration that 'technology is evil' - except starships, computers, blaster guns (heaven forbid), personal energy shields, medical scanners, healing serum, planes, phones, lights, satellites, space stations, jumpgates, hovercars, SAM launchers, grenades, gravity emitters....
* ''{{Traveller}}''. Starships could travel up to 6 parsecs (19.6 light years) per week regardless of how powerful the ship was, and people routinely took interstellar trips the way we take ocean cruises today.
** That's only partially true. Only the very fastest ships can do six parsecs. Jump engines take up space and a privately owned vessel usually can't afford more then 3 parsecs. Most [[SpaceTrucker Free Traders]] can only do Jump-1 with a few doing Jump-2. Large merchants as well usually are Jump-1 to make room for cargo.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' both plays straight and subverts this trope. While there is enough cargo traffic to keep entire [[CityPlanet hive worlds]] fed, watered, and supplied, interstellar travel, especially civilian interstellar travel on ships that rely on charts instead of Navigators, tends to be (relatively) slow, and [[FateWorseThanDeath very]] [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace dangerous]]. The Tau method is much less dangerous, but even slower. Neither Chaos nor Orks likely care about the wait or dangers as long as they have someone to kill at the destination (or along the way), and the trope is played straight by Eldar and Necrons, who either get there through a portal network, use [[HandWave inertial drives]], or are [[SealedEvilInACan already there]]. A lot of the earlier material often states that a ship CAN jump from one end of the galaxy to the other in the space of a few weeks... from the point of view of the ship. To an outsider, that ship will be gone for months, if not ''years''. Some sources also state it can take up to a week to get from a world to a 'safe' spot where you can enter the Warp, thus extending transit time quite considerably. While Tyranids do not have any real FTL capability, they are a HordeOfAlienLocusts who [[PlanetEater go around eating every single planet they can find]], so it doesn't really matter how long it takes for them to get anywhere.
* In the ''{{Rifts}} Three Galaxies'' {{Sourcebook}}s, interstellar travel is not only a breeze, but [[UpToEleven intergalactic travel]] as well. This is partially justified in that the eponymous galaxies are [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale unusually close to each other]]. In the main setting, [[AvertedTrope there is no interstellar travel at all]].
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* For the Capsuleers (players) of ''EveOnline'', a regular shopping trip can take one through a dozen star systems. {{Muggles}} are mostly planetbound, though.
** Inversely, outfitting a spaceworthy ship costs a few hundred million to a few billion ISK (Inter-Stellar Kredits, the de facto currency of the galaxy). It has been said that one single ISK is worth enough to allow you to live in comfort planetside for the rest of your life.
* ''{{Freelancer}}'' runneth over with this kind of travel, enabled by the Trade Lanes and the [[PortalNetwork inter-system Jump Gates]], plus the Pirate-infested, naturally occuring Jumpholes.
* In both ''IndependenceWar'' games, Linear Displacement System (LDS) drives are practically standard equipment for spacecraft, which allow for quick inter-system travel and escape from threats (if one doesn't get hit with an LDS inhibitor missile to prevent that). [[FasterthanLightTravel Capsule drives]], on the other hand, are most certainly NOT standard equipment, as shown in ''Independence War 2'': Cal and friends don't even get a capsule drive until about the time the game transitions from Act I to Act II, where [[spoiler:they trade a blue, alien ring hidden in Lucrecia's hoard to Haven Station for the capsule drive. You're going to need it, as you'll see next mission...]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' plays it straight and averts it.
** Played straight with [[PortalNetwork Mass Relays]], which are capable of transporting a starship hundreds to thousands of light years instantaneously. Because all ships have element zero drive cores, you could take off from Earth, travel to a colony world thousands of light years distant to visit a friend, and make it back to Earth in a ''single day''.
** Averted when it comes to ''non''-relay FTL travel. Without the mass relays, the civilian ships make about 12 LY per day (military ships might be faster, but it's never specified). You also need an {{Unobtanium}} drive core. Plus, you have to discharge the drive regularly, which must be done on the surface of a planet or in a strong magnetic field. Otherwise, the core releases the gigawatt equivalent of a rub-your-shoes-on-the-carpet-and-touch-the-doorknob static discharge. This is invariably lethal.
** And at the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Shepard destroys the [[EldritchAbomination Reapers']] backup plan. Their response is to just fly back into the galaxy from darkspace. That's right, the Reapers have Casual '''Intergalactic''' Travel, which further emphasizes just how much more advanced the millions-of-years-old Reapers are compared to even the most advanced galactic races. The ''Arrival'' DLC shows that the Reapers can get from far outside the galaxy to the edges of the Milky Way in a very short time. They were smart enough not to put all their eggs in one basket. The third game's codex says that while the best non-relay FTL the Citadel races has is between 12 and 14 LY per day, the Reapers can go 30 LY in a day... and their unknown power source doesn't have that lethal static discharge due to whatever unknown fuel source they have.
* ''{{Halo}}'', to an extent. FTL travel is relatively slow for humans (about 4 LY/day), but also pretty cheap. And since the UNSC has mastered terraforming, most of the UNSC's colonies are within about a month's travel.
** Covenant FTL technology is much more refined, despite being merely inferior copies of [[{{Precursor}} Forerunner]] technology. In an ExpandedUniverse novel, [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Cortana]] compares human Shaw-Fujikawa FTL drives and the Covenant ones to a blunt instrument and a scalpel, respectively. Human ships almost literally punch a large hole in space/time into slipspace. The power requirements are enormous. Covenant drives cut a tiny slit in space, which massively reduces their power costs, vastly decreases their travel times, and allows them to exit slipspace with pinpoint accuracy. It's also heavily implied that humans could easily improve on the Covenant tech if they got their hands on it. Every Covenant ship captured in the novels gets conveniently destroyed before it can be brought back for study... until around the ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'' era, anyways.
** The Forerunners are in a class all their own. The fact that it took longer than an hour to cross the galaxy was actually a sign that something was wrong. The Forerunner's own precursors were even more advanced.
* ''RatchetAndClank'', FTL there is ''ludicrously'' fast. The fact that series' events unfold not in one, but ''three'' [[ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway Galaxies Far Far Away]] should make speeds' monstrosity fairly obvious. [[MST3KMantra But then again]], it's all for [[RuleOfFun fun]], not any kind of realism.
* The ''StarOcean'' games involve travel through something that looks like outer space, but is much much easier to get around in. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the games takes place within a 4-dimensional {{MMORPG}}, and it's only natural that the programmers would design their universe-powering game engine's physics to include FTL if they wanted a science fiction game. Yes, it's quite {{metafiction}}al.
* Ten thousand credits will net your civilian clunker a jump drive, with a mere 50 creds per landing to refuel, in ''[[VideoGame/WingCommander Privateer]]''. ''Privateer 2'' doesn't even bother with the cost of a jump drive, it's built in to all ships.
* {{Descent}} 2 starts the game telling you that you have been kept on retainer for 'up to 72 hours'. In that time you manage to travel to several different planets (in several different systems) and destroy lots of robots.
* Played straight in ''SinsOfASolarEmpire''. Until the arrival of the Vasari, the Trade Order was a loose group of worlds, where most of the interstellar trading was done by civilians. With the start of the Vasari conquest, the Trade Order reformed into the Trade Emergency Coalition. However, you can still build trade stations in space that automatically spawn trade ships (that you can't control), which prowl the phase lanes between planets and stars.
* With the addition of trading to ''SwordOfTheStars'', it's clear that this is the case with the case with the traders. Instead of assigning them to a specific system, they are instead assigned to a sector that includes one or more systems. They then travel from system to system, increasing the empire's revenue. It's not entirely clear how the [[BeePeople Hivers]] trade with systems not joined with their PortalNetwork, but the game just {{Hand Wave}}s this.
* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' and its sequels treat the hyperdrive like this; however, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation there is nowhere near enough]] [[FridgeLogic space traffic as in-universe sources would suggest.]]
* Particularly in the later games in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series, space is pretty damn crowded with (damn annoying) civilian ships.
* Likewise ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity''. A basic cargo shuttle costs maybe ten to twenty grand.
* Seemingly [[AvertedTrope averted]] in ''VideoGame/SluggishMorss'', though possibly played straight in the sequel.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Interstellar travel was already pretty casual in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' ''before'' the Teraport was re-invented, when everything depended on the PortalNetwork -- there are even interstellar taxis for transporting individuals between stars -- though it is mentioned that only the wealthiest 10% had access. Then again, this is a sci-fi so far up the [[AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit Kardashev Scale]] that ''{{antimatter}}'' is yesterday's technology.
* ''Webcomic/{{Starslip}}'' subverts it with the 'Starslip Drive', which abuses [[AlternateDimension alternate dimensions]]. As the original title (Starslip ''Crisis'') suggests, it isn't without consequences.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'': They ''do'' have a form of [[FasterThanLightTravel FTL]] -- known as the [[FunWithAcronyms Dangerous And Very Expensive]] drive. All but the very rich[[note]]the "Expensive" in the name isn't there just for acronym value[[/note]] are stuck with GenerationShips.
* In the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' StoryArc "GOFOTRON: Champion of the Cosmos" space travel within the Punyverse seems to be quite easy. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] since, unlike our universe, the hundred or so solar systems in the Punyverse are all bundled up right next to each other.
* ''Webcomic/FarOutThere'' takes this as a given. It's been [[http://faroutthere.smackjeeves.com/comics/1027276/page-30-all-aboard/ stated]] that the cast could have a ship of their own if Ichabod wasn't too lazy to buy one.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Interstellar travel is moderately casual in ''OrionsArm''. While regular travel by spaceship is slower-than-light, the spaceships are generally relativistic and experience time dilation, and most people(or things, or things who are people) are immortal anyway and can go into suspended animation or turn themselves off if they get bored. Also, the wormhole network does allow for more or less casual fast interstellar travel within the terragen bubble for those who can withstand the limitations.
* Space travel in NexusGate is a very casual thing. People commute to work regularly on public transit ships and own their own private craft.
* Literature/WhateleyUniverse: the underlying premise of "Tennyo's Easter" since Tennyo only has one week of Easter break and she's traveling all over the Milky Way galaxy. Having found and rescued an [[CoolShip ultra-fast sentient starship]] built by the [[{{Precursors}} Isokist]] - possibly the same ones which created the Star Stalker in the first place - helps a lot.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' is a weird example: in the first episode, it takes Zim six months to travel from Conventia to Earth, but later episodes show him traveling to Irken or other planets in what one presumes is a relatively short time (Dib mentions Zim had been gone "three days" when he went to Foodcourtia). [[WildMassGuessing Perhaps the tallest put him on a cheap flight?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' does this a lot, primarily out of [[RuleOfFunny sheer comedic value]]. Not only does the Planet Express ship routinely make deliveries to distant planets as a matter of normal business, not only are there highway-like lines of other space ships waiting to travel similar distances, not only has the crew rocketed off to the edge of the universe and come right back to earth in a matter of a week, but Cubert and Dwight have once ''delivered newspapers'' to homes in a ''nearby asteroid belt'' (supposedly not our solar system's) using what amounts to a ''do-it-yourself bicycle-powered rocket''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'', the heroes get their own SpacePlane that can make good time anywhere the galaxy, though this may be justified by the fact they are part of the SpacePolice and would need such equipment. CIT seems to be common in the setting with even one of Ben's alien forms (Jetray) having the ability to travel at ''warp speed'' to catch up to the others when they take the space plane to another planet.
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