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Hit the road, Jack—Part 1 Oct 14

I think that’s the title of a song. (If you wrote the song and don’t want the free plug, tell me and I’ll change the title of this post. To Fred.)

Anyway, One of the first posts on this blog touches on several types of vacations, and several recent posts have mentioned those types in a bit more detail. Now it’s time to mention the road trip.

Road trips come in several varieties, depending on the vehicle, the passengers, and the destination.


  • Starting at the bottom, you can do without your own vehicle. Stand well into the shoulder of the road and put your thumb out. A sign helps, and wearing a shirt and tie helps. I did a lot of this in college. Maybe I should stop while I’m ahead, and mention that I’m not recommending you attempt this kind of travel. Maybe I’ll post more about hitchhiking some other time.
  • Next up is riding a two-wheeled conveyance, such as a bicycle. Human-powered bicycling is a whole subculture all its own, and if you want to consider this kind of trip, you probably already have plenty of connections within the community.
  • So is motorcycling a subculture, but you’ll find a lot of short-distance riders out there. One motorcycle club, the Iron Butt Association (real name) has plenty of advice on how to commit a long motorcycle ride. To join them, you have to document a ride of 1000 miles or more in 24 hours or less. Enough said, for now. Yes, mea culpa; I belong.
  • Finally we get to automobiles. Consider renting a car instead of using your own. Especially if you belong to a travel club that offers steep discounts, such as (ahem) Serenity Travel, renting can be less expensive than putting all that stress on the old heap, and you have fewer worries about breakdowns and accidents. Your insurance company’s web site probably has a good list of things to check on regarding your car before you head out.
  • You can go bigger than a mere automobile. I definitely recommend that you rent that RV. Unless you make road trips a lifestyle (subculture-based groups for that, too), you won’t get enough use out of an RV to justify the cost. I see more RVs parked in driveways than I see on the road. And you have fewer maintenance and repair hassles with a rental RV, too. Perhaps the best thing is that RVs are great for small groups, say two or three couples. You can split the cost, and you can enjoy good fun and fellowship while traveling, not just at your destination. Put some bicycles on the carrier in the back.

This is getting too long to cover passengers and destinations, so look for parts 2 and 3.

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