Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Travels, and a Defense of Rest Areas as a Hotel Alternative

Today I'll be driving from my ancestral home of Louisiana on the way to National Harbor, Maryland, where MAGfest will take place.

Road trips, it turns out, are one of my weird strengths. I enjoy them, insofar as I enjoy any mostly-mindless task that allows me to listen to music and podcasts for hours at a time.

My first major road trip ever was just a little over five years ago, for my first ever Starmen.Net convention in Chicago. Technically it was Michigan City, Indiana, but it was driving distance to Chicago. That was where I first met several of the people I work with today, and that combination fear/excitement fueled the 15 hour drive.

I only remember two things from that trip: a fancy Burger King with table service and free Wi-Fi (a luxury in the olden days of 2008) and the endless, boring fields of whatever they grow in most of Illinois. I don't even remember sleeping. Did I sleep? I know that it was late afternoon when I arrived at the con house. I must have slept at a rest stop somewhere. It's an ongoing habit.

Speaking of which, I feel it's worth defending my tendency to sleep at rest stops. If you have a vehicle in which you can stretch out and sleep comfortably, there's really no reason to get a hotel. The van I'm in right now, for instance, is plenty wide enough for me to sleep in one of the back seats. If you need a shower, you can probably get one at a truck stop. (I'm guessing here. I've never used a truck stop shower.)

There are several reasons I would not sleep at a rest stop, however. Most of these are from lessons learned from experience. If I'm traveling with a companion, for instance, a hotel is probably worthwhile. Likewise, if there's no comfortable place to stretch out and sleep due to a small vehicle (my car) or a full van (filled with PAX stuff), a hotel is pretty much necessary.

Over time I've developed quite a few road trip habits, but I don't think I'll go into them all right now. I've got 365 blogs to write next year, starting tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll be desperate for material at some point, if not constantly.

1 comment:

  1. I snore. I don't know if that was a problem for you guys that one time, but it can't have been pleasant.