Thursday, December 17, 2009

Travelin'

             As you read this I am on a plane, or in an airport, or perhaps even in my rental van on my way to my destination in New Jersey.  I will have been on a plane all night, probably having gotten very little sleep. Traveling by plane is certainly the fastest way to go from L.A. to New Jersey like I've done, but is it the best?  The question I would like to pose for today is:

If time is not an essential issue, how do you prefer to travel?

         
          I'm not a huge fan of flying.  Getting to New Jersey I was on a deadline so I didn't have much choice.  However, if I didn't have to worry about my wife's work schedule and the amount of time we needed to get to our destination I would have left a few days sooner and driven across country.  We did just that a couple of years ago and it was  a grand experience.  In fact, we compared the cost of flying (including incidentals like transportation to the airport or parking) to driving (including gas, hotels, extra meals) and it came out to similar numbers.  Of course you have wear and tear on your car, but when you have a new car it's not too bad. 

           When we did our cross-country drive we allowed ourselves a leisurely eight days from L.A. to East Tennessee with lots of stops and side trips. What I like best is that you can enjoy the scenery and don't have to be in close quarters with a lot of people you don't know.  You can stop when you like, eat whenever you want, and change your route if you're so inclined.  We stopped in a place the plane would have never taken us in order to spend the night with an aunt and uncle who I hadn't seen in many years.  We went to see the arch in St. Louis and spend a day in Washington, DC.  We spent an afternoon in Richmond, VA, where we were joined by my sister and my daughter.  There was so much flexibility in our schedule and I was relaxed the whole time we travelled.  

          On our return trip we allowed seven days to return to L.A.  We drove leisurely on the Natchez Trace Parkway; spent New Year's Eve in Natchitoches, LA where we went to see the beautiful Christmas lights on the river; visited a daughter in Houston; stopped for breakfast in San Antonio; visited my sister in Phoenix--how could we have done all of that if we had flown?

        Of course there are other options.  I've taken train trips, but never across the country.  Train is not a bad way to travel, but like the plane you are on their schedule.  I've never taken a cruise or travelled by ship, other than ferries.  I've heard that a cruise is an absolutely wonderful experience.  I'm not big on being out in the water, but I might enjoy a cruise. I used to travel by bus occasionally, but I can't imagine anyone saying that's how they would want to travel.

       The bottom line though is that I'm a road person.  I love being in my car with the stereo going and being able to have the independence of deciding when and where I want to go.  So I want to know what is your preferred method of travel and why?  Have you ever taken a really long road trip?  Do you prefer a nice comfortable car and hotels or luxury RV?   Or would you rather just stay home and could care less about travelling anywhere?  I'm just tossing it out there.  How about tossing it back?

9 comments:

  1. I prefer flying personally. Driving can get so tiring and boring on planes it feels exciting and there is the film to entertain

    Kate x
    http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com/

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  2. Stick me on a plane any day! Long road trips make my nerves bad. When I was eight we drove from Texas to Philadelphia, and I wanted someone to bury me alive. I'm too antsy!

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  3. I prefer to fly long distances. That nap on the plane is pretty crucial.

    Oh, and welcome to NJ, good sir.

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  4. I'd love to travel overseas someday perhaps live abroad but for obvious reasons flying is definitely not my mode of transportation. Since time would not be essential perhaps by ship if it's doable. I prefer driving though, wish there was a bridge or tunnel from here to Japan or Spain.

    Have a safe trip! Enjoy your holiday.

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  5. >>[As you read this I am on a plane, or in an airport, or perhaps even in my rental van on my way to my destination in New Jersey.]<<

    NO! SAY IT AIN'T SO!
    But I never got a chance to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Margarita Day.

    Oh. I did? More than once?
    Well, go on with yer bad self then.

    Like you, I'm a road man, rLEE-b. Best trip ever was The 1983 Jack Daniels' Cross-Country Tour with my buddy Eric. From New Yahk City to Los Angeles - nearly three weeks in a VW Bug. That's the trip in which we got lost one night in the Okefenokee Swamp with alligators closing in on us. I should probably write that story up on my "Stuffs" Blog someday.

    Yak When Yer Back.

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

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  6. My overnight flight went without a hitch, but I'd still have rather been driving. Except for Newark--I'd probably rather fly over Newark than drive thru it-- that part was miserable. But it feels good to be in my rental van driving thru middle New Jersey.
    The Hotel's got a business center with internet so looks like I'll be on some. Thanks for your comments. I can see most of you are not road people like me-- you really got to give it a good chance!

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  7. Only from Ohio to Fl and also Ohio to Texas. Once to Copper Harbor Mi, to Montana (with four kids) and mysself compared to renting a cabin in Mich and when we went to Canada, I prefer motels/hotels and eating out. Between flying and driving, I prefer the driving, even though my husband never let me drive. The most fun trip we had was in my little Red 88 Sprint. Wasn't a comfortable ride, but we stopped often and it was just my husband and myself. We laughed a lot about how uncomfortable it was, but we got good gas mileage in that little car. I doubt our poor old aching bodies could stand a trip like that again. But it was fun then and it's one that stands out in my mind the most. Flying from Ca to NJ, don't think I would ever attempt that one. I just don't like flying.

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  8. I LOVE traveling! Especially out of the US. I have been to many countries in Europe, and also China, Tibet and Cambodia. Put me on an airplane (even though I hate being cramped for many hours) the reward at the end of the flight has always made it worth while.

    Otherwise, within the US, if time and money is no consideration, then I like driving and seeing the sights on the way. The trip itself is as much fun as the destination!

    Sig

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