Do you really think long trips are that boring?

By Rui Wang

Seagulls travel long distances in search of food

Seagulls travel long distances in search of food

If someone asked you whether you prefer short trips over the long tripsyour answer may be an instant ‘yes’. The reason is that the transportation is usually driven by other objectives such as going to work, meeting with friends, or shopping. As a result, you want to minimize your travel time to achieve these objectives.

However, in the case of biking or hiking, you may prefer a longer route . In such cases, your objective is to ‘exercise’, and thus the process of traveling serves a purpose. You may prefer a 30 minute route to a 15 minute one for the extra calories burnt. Therefore, travel time is no longer merely a cost, but has its own added value.

The added value of travel time does not limit to transportation modes that involve ‘exercise’ such as  walking or biking. Researchers also found that in commuting processes such as rail transportation, travelers sometimes prefer longer trips because of the extra ‘productivity’ can be gained during the trip. Thus, by taking a longer rail trip, you have a better chance of sitting down and getting some work done.  The longer travel time and the higher level of comfort in the train allow  passengers to utilize the travel time through ‘multitasking’.

With the development of technology, especially the broader availability of Wi-Fi, multitasking during traveling becomes increasingly popular. And thus, traveling can be more than just some boring waiting time, but the time you can utilize to gain extra value.

So, next time when you travel think about multitasking and utilizing the time wisely rather than mulling over the good and bad of a long trip over a short one.

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7 tips for a pleasant road trip

Most of us will be on the road driving to a location for the upcoming long weekend. Here are 7 tips that will help make your road trip better.

1) Rent a vehicle: Renting a vehicle seems like a better choice for multiple reasons. First, rental vehicles are up to date on their service schedule, clean, and newer (most rental car companies rent out newer models with very low miles). Second, you have a choice to rent a bigger and spacious vehicle, which gives you extra comfort on a long drive. Third, renting a vehicle over a long weekend is not very expensive either. Thus for a small price you can save on the wear and tear of your own vehicle.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

2)  Start in the AM: People tend to start their long weekend around 3 PM on a given day. As a result, most of the drivers are on the road around the same time. No wonder the roads get clogged and result in huge delays. Unless traffic jams don’t bother you that much, slightly modify the start time of your trip. Instead of starting on a Friday (or Thursday), you may choose to start at a different day and time. For example, you may start around 5 AM on the next day.

Early AM for a ride

Early in the morning is a perfect time to start your trip.

3. Drink coffee: Starting early in the morning around 5 AM, means a quick stop at the gas station to pick up coffee. It’s a great way to start your trip. First, sipping coffee as the sun is still trying to break out is simply fun. Second, the caffeine will try to fight your sleep. Moreover, you can use this opportunity to fill up your gas tank.

A nice coffee is wonderful

Wonder why coffee is so wonderful early in the morning? Umm… never mind.. Just enjoy..

4. Use rest areas: Map the rest areas on your way. Rest areas are not only scenic, but they provide you with quick access to the facilities. You don’t want to be wandering in the gas stations and waiting long lines for the restroom.

Rest areas live up to their names

Rest areas, mostly situated in scenic locations, give you the much needed quick break.

5. Listen to music: Be sure to have your favorite music CDs handy. Don’t rely on the radio or on the smart phone. Radio may be unavailable due to loss of signal, while your smart phone might be out of juice! Music is fun on the road.

Listen to good music

Music helps break the monotony of driving.

6. Take a quick lunch: If you start early around 5 AM, take the needed breaks for coffee, rest at scenic areas, etc, then you would be very close to your destination by noon. You may choose to stop for a quick lunch at a fast food place. Fast food is not only quick, but also lighter than a full course meal. You save time and money!

Great tasting food

Pick the healthy fast food place. You will love the rest of the ride!

7. Check in at a hotel after noon: Perhaps by 1 PM or so you should be able to check in at a hotel, leave your luggage, and start your memorable vacation. This way you can save a day’s worth of hotel costs.

Follow these 7 tips to receive the following benefits:

  • Avoid the most dreaded traffic congestion.
  • Save money on your hotel charges. (You might think you could start your vacation earlier by traveling on a Friday, but in reality you would reach the destination late in the night (thanks to all the traffic jams), wake up late and, start late the next day.)
  • Enjoy the early morning ride and the nature on the way.
Beach and sun are real fun

Waste no more time. Crash into your vacation.

Hope you will have a safe and fun trip. Enjoy the long weekend!

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