Should You Drive Or Fly For Your Vacation?

This is a question we hear quite often when we fly to nearby locations. “Why didn’t you just drive?” It’s a legitimate question and I agree there are several advantages to driving in comparison to flying. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of the airport. You aren’t on such a strict schedule, so if you’re running late you won’t miss your flight. You can bring everything you want with you including food, clothes and your pillow without worrying about how heavy your suitcase will be. However, driving also has its own perils, as it’s no fun to be sitting on a highway in a traffic jam or trying to drive through a blinding rain (or snow) storm.

There are several factors that can influence your decision. The cost of flying vs. driving is an important one. This is compounded if you have a family because any math shows that four airline tickets cost twice as much as two tickets. If you drive, you’d also have to figure out the cost of gasoline and the wear and tear on your car (or the cost of a rental car if you don’t trust your vehicle for a long drive).

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We Were Going To Travel Less This Year & Stay More Local, But…

It’s almost the end of the year and for Sharon and I, that usually means we’ve planned out our travels for the following year. I already would have asked for the vacation time and would be well into the logistics of the trip (flights, hotels, etc). This year, well, this year will be different. A number of factors have made advance plans like that impossible to schedule. I locked in a couple of weeks off from work but we have no idea if we’re actually going to go anywhere for those dates. We’re not going to stop traveling; we’re just not going to go on a 2 week road trip in 2018.

It made me think about what options were available that we could go last minute and maybe not even have to worry about airfare or rental cars. It came to me rather quickly – look local! Think about all the places that you’ve told yourself, “That’d be a neat place to visit, we should go there.” Well this is the year we’ve decided to do just that.

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Road Tripping? Here’s Some REAL Highway Music

If you’re ever traveling near or through Tijeras, New Mexico, you may want to make a pit stop (or, more appropriately, a drive by) for this, just because it’s different…and, dare I say, music to your ears.

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ROAD TRIP! Easy Ways To Find Out What’s At The Next Exit

Years ago, before smart phones were a thing, you were fairly limited in finding out what was coming up next on those long highways. Oh sure, you’d see the blue highway signs that would tell you the next rest stop was in 27 miles, or there was an amusement park, a KOA Campground and a Wawa at exit 7A. Your AAA triptych would give you some idea of what was on the way, too, but overall you were pretty limited when it came to details, especially if you were further out than just a couple of miles away.

Back in the 90s, Joe and I, along with our friend Steve, used to do a lot of road trips. We all lived in the NY/NJ/Philadelphia area at the time and visited Niagara Falls, Williamsburg VA, Cape May NJ, Cedar Point, a Disney convention in MA, and a bunch of other places. Steve had a book called The Next Exit, which had a listing of everything at, you guessed it, the next exit. Food, gas, lodging, camping, shopping, you name it. Let me tell you, that book was super important to us when we did road trips, because it had listings for every exit of every U.S. Interstate Highway in the contiguous United States, so we could know specifically where to find a Wendy’s or Holiday Inn Express (Joe may have already been doing the “points” thing), or if the next gas station was a name brand or not.

It wasn’t until the advent of smart phones that this information was at your fingertips, and even now, if you’re in a remote area without much signal and no way to become your own hot spot, you might still be out of luck. Plus, of course, you have to know where to look – I mean, if you’re on the I-90 in Anystate USA, have a picky eater in the car and want to know what restaurants are at a rest stop 2 hours ahead of you so you can plan lunch, where do you look to find out? Well, as the (not so) old saying goes, “There’s an app for that!” (and sometimes a book, too!)
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