Sunday, March 21, 2010

the world's most boring travel blog post

I have three trips coming up in the next ten months and I'm trying to figure out the best approach to booking travel. Yeah, this is how I spend glorious early spring Sundays. Shut up.

Memorial Day weekend: DC to Boston for my college reunion. (Also: hello, Internet! Now you sort of know how old I am!)
Fourth of July weekend: DC to Ann Arbor for a wedding.
Weekend of November 13th: DC to Sonoma County, CA, for a wedding.

Details: I can take some extra vacation days around the first to see friends and family. The last might also be extended for some vacationing in California wine country. The middle one will be an up-and-back.
Resources: One round trip ticket available via miles on US Air. One 2008 Mazda 3i five-door. Lots of luggage.
Obstacles: Vile and deep-seated loathing for the process of scheduling travel.

I realize that sounds a bit vitriolic, but have you tried to book a flight these days? There is no such thing as the lowest fare, and if you manage to find an airplane leaving your desired airport at a time when normal humans are actually awake and available to travel, then more power to you.

All of my options come up as leaving at dark-thirty in the morning, or with a layover lasting the length of an elephant's gestational period, which at least is somewhat convenient in that you can just sleep in the terminal and give up on booking a nice hotel.

I'm thinking it makes the most sense to use the miles trip for the California journey, as those tickets are the most expensive (and that trip will also require a rental car). Of course, it's also the trip least likely to be available on that particular airline.

Whereas USAir flies to Boston approximately every forty-eight seconds here, so it would be super-easy to use the miles on that trip. Still, the Boston trip is the only one that could conceivably be done via car. If so, then in at least one direction it will be just me, and while I don't mind that drive, I can think of better ways to spend eight hours at a stretch. And the one-way plane fare to get my ride-share up to Boston is almost as expensive as a round-trip (awesome!) in the first place.

The easiest option is just to suck it up, book all three trips, and be done with it, but of course that feels like a cop-out. What if fares go down? What if fares go up? What if we get to keep our shoes on but have to fly naked? Honestly, if we can achieve this, why can't we dematerialize and reconstruct our atoms in a new place?

The fallout of all of this is that I just don't want to travel anymore and my brain is looking for new and creative ways to avoid it. Yes, that's right; instead of just forking over some cash to the airlines, my brain is going, "What if you tried to hitchhike/bike/run across the country for charity instead?" or "Surely you're developing viral encephalitis and won't be able to go." This is a ridiculous statement for many very obvious reasons, not least if which is that travel is one of my few major passions; there's no way I should be so willing to chuck it all and hole up in my house instead. It's just such a pain to try to get it all squared away.

I think it'd be easier to go back for that advanced degree in physics and build the damn transporter.

1 comment:

Alisa said...

Look into flying to Providence rather than Boston--you may get lucky with flight costs (especially from BWI). Depending on flight schedules and when you get it, Dick or I could totally drive down there to pick you up.