i’ve found myself in more planes, trains, buses, cabs, and cars in september/october than i have over the course of the entire rest of the year. i suppose this is why my summer was so slow. it was the calm before the frenzy of fall travel. as i sit here, in my apartment, sandwiched between two weekends away, i can’t help but think about the art of traveling.
AIR TRAVEL. this route allows you to go the further the fastest. great for international and cross country travel. however, with all of the security measures at airports, you have to make sure your shoes are easy to slip on/off, that your carry on bag can in fact fit into the overhead compartment, that your jewelry/accessories/coat/sweater are easy to take off so you don’t send that metal detector into a beeping fit, and that all your toiletries are 3 oz or less and fit into one minuscule zip lock bag. your ipod (or cd player and stack of cd’s, if that’s how you roll) is a must to drown out the crying babies OR seat mate who can’t take the hint that you’d rather sleep (or watch tv or pull out your own fingernails) than hear about their aunt linda’s nephew’s twin sister’s daughter who wrote a really awesome book about napkins that should totally be published by the company you work for.
ROAD TRAVEL. this option allows you the most control. you drive the car. you pick the route. you can see what’s going on ahead, behind, and next to you at all times. you can pack as much as you want. in no particular shape or form or container. however, there are other cars (with idiot drivers) in them that you have to contend with. and bathrooms aren’t readily accessible. and radio stations come and go. and traffic. you never know exactly when or where or how long you’ll be stuck there. and those cops sure know how to show up just when you press the accelerator.
RAIL TRAVEL. this option deletes the traffic on the road problem, but it’s about as expensive as a flight, without the quickness factor. it takes about the same time as driving (well, if you drove on roads without other cars or construction). it’s got almost the same (must fit into the overhead compartment) packing issues as the plane, but it does not have the whole security thing. which means, oh yeah, liquids in a container larger than 3 ounces. party! of course, all of this applies to US trains. if you’re in, say, italy, YOU SHOULD TAKE THE TRAIN. the system is practically flawless. the destinations are endless. and, well, you’ve probably already got your tiny suitcase packed from the plane ride over.
BUS TRAVEL. this is by far the most economical. the most expensive ticket i’ve ever purchased was $13. and that one i giggled at because, really, $13. i can totally afford that. (i should have paid more attention to the evil sounding 13. it was just the start of a horrid bus ride home. let’s just say that megabus has the worst customer service ever. both rides (to and from NYC) were beyond ridiculous. i got there in one piece, so yes, that was good, but no, i’ll never take them again. i’ll cough up $4 more to take the bolt bus.) you can pack a bag with no size restrictions because the undercarriage of the bus can hold a lot of luggage. and there are no security measures, so again, party on with your big bottles. (of course, you must keep in mind that you still have to take public transportation to and from the bus, so you’ll have to drag/carry whatever you packed. think of your back! and the uneven brick sidewalks! pack light.) there is that road traffic to contend with, so keep that in mind while planning the trip, especially if you’re going into Manhattan around rush hour. eesh. bad idea.
and now that you have my travel breakdown, let’s hope your (or my) plane, train, car, or bus doesn’t break down on your next trip away from home.