Friday, October 31, 2008

Traveling at Night

For some time now traveling on the highway at the wrong time of day has been bothering me. In particular the older I get the more I am annoyed by heavy traffic while traveling. The answer of course, which because of slowing reflexes and worsening eyesight is also harder enjoy with age, is simply driving at night when the roads are less congested.

This morning for example I had a great trip to the Columbus Airport. For us the drive was about 100 miles one way. If you have not been to the Columbus Airport you should know this pretty much requires a drive right though the middle of the city. Columbus at the wrong time of day can be a nightmare on the interstates. However we arrived on the outskirts of town around 4:30 a.m. and the traffic was delightfully almost nonexistent. Our flight departed at 6:00 so we had plenty of time to get to the Airport and get checked in.

Longer trips can also benefit from traveling late at night. My Father-In-Law for example departs his cabin in Tennessee, a 4 hour drive, at 2:00 a.m. every time he comes home. This gets him though Lexington and Cincinnati long before the morning rush hour commuters have even gotten out of bed. He admittedly dislikes traffic even more than I do. He is of course much older so I would not be surprised if I find myself at that level someday.

The only time I have trouble with this scheme is when the check-in time for the hotel and the travel time don’t work together nicely and I am forced to chose between traveling at night and arriving early or traveling during the day so as to arrive within an hour or so of an expected check-in time. One such problem is our trip to Destin Florida. A 12 hour drive with a typical check-in of 4:00 p.m. On the last trip we left at 4:00 a.m. and arrived at a good time for check-in but I had little time with the highway to myself. Perhaps next time we will shoot for a 9:00 p.m. departure and, if weather permits, simply hit the beach and nap till check-in time -- sounds good in theory anyway.

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