Non-Dorky Polls: Travel Day

I’m going to be spending the bulk of today in transit between Albany and Houston, with a layover in Orlando (whee!), so here’s a pair of related poll questions for you to consider:



I think the answers are pretty clear, but I’m interested to see what other people think about the subject.

Comments

  1. #1 Mary Aileen
    May 25, 2010

    I voted for Train as the most comfortable, but Driving My Own Car would be my choice for shorter trips (~4 hours or under).

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    May 25, 2010

    I also voted for the train as the best way to travel, but it depends on where you are going and what your time constraints are. The train works quite well to get from where I live (New Hampshire) to Boston, and decently enough to reach NYC or DC if I have all day, but even if we had a Japan-style shinkansen network it would take too long to get anywhere beyond Chicago or Atlanta. If I’m going somewhere reasonably close where the train doesn’t run, the car (preferably with somebody else when the drive is more than two hours–being able to switch drivers is a plus) is the best option (e.g., I generally drive if I’m going to Montreal, which is about five hours), but it quickly becomes annoying if you get into congested traffic. Otherwise, I fly, but that is seldom an enjoyable experience.

    I also have to note a caveat to my vote for the bus as the worst way to travel. I happen to live in one of the few areas of the country where bus service works acceptably, at least if I can use one of the lines going to or from Boston. But for anything beyond Boston, the bus sucks: you get almost all of the disadvantages of driving and none of the advantages.

  3. #3 Clay B
    May 25, 2010

    For a given amount of time, I’d rather be in my own car (or with friends) but obviously the best/most enjoyable overall experience depends on the distance. I’ve never been a long distance on a train (in the US) so I can’t judge that.

  4. #4 Cherish
    May 25, 2010

    I love, love, love to drive…but that’s because I love to stop and see everything along the way, which means it takes me a very long time to get any place. :-)

  5. #5 Rose Colored Glasses
    May 25, 2010

    The best way to travel is by corporate jet. The limo takes you directly to the runway, and the pilots have the engines running when you arrive. You fly in grand style. Your civil rights are respected.

    You have no worry about parking, getting anywhere early, or waiting, or any of the TSA’s 27 layers of security: all those are for the little people who deserve them.

  6. #6 Beige
    May 25, 2010

    I like bicycling, but it does depend on how far apart those cities are! And how much time you have. But 50km for a Saturday afternoon visit to something, that’s nice.

  7. #7 Bethany
    May 25, 2010

    I LOVE roadtrips!! We take an annual “family” (however many 20-somethings care to share a 3-bedroom condo) vacation in Colorado (I live near Kansas City) and the drive through Western Kansas (though visually monotonous) is always punctuated with stops to oogle road-side oddities and truck-stop trinkets. Ex: A walnut glued to a stick for sale as an “ozark nutscratcher”. (No, I am not kidding.) Last year one of our party purchased a 5-Wolf-Moon t-shirt because it had 66% more wolf.

    I’d like to take a train, but I get motion sick so I’m not sure how that would turn out. I do abhor air travel; the lack of privacy, the “herd” atmosphere and the inconvenience make it my second to least favorite.

    Great, now you’ve got me fantasizing about the next trip out West… July 25th can’t come around fast enough! :D

  8. #8 CCPhysicist
    May 25, 2010

    You need a geographical distribution poll to explain those results for travel by train. I have to drive hundreds of miles to catch a passenger train to anywhere, and good luck making that connection from Albany to Houston by way of Orlando.

    My answer depends on destination and distance. KC to Colorado is a pleasant jaunt. Orlando to Houston is not a very pretty drive unless you have the time to avoid interstates completely, and Albany to Orlando is a LONG LONG trip by car. If it can’t be done in an 18 hour day of driving, I’d rather fly.

  9. #9 CCPhysicist
    May 25, 2010

    How about a “longest trip” poll: longest trip by bus, longest single day drive by car, and longest single day trip by plane. The last one might need to have ground rules about flight delays, since I remember one trip where I spent about 4 hours in a holding pattern. You know you are going to have a bad day when the holding pattern for Chicago starts over St. Louis.

  10. #10 Brandon
    May 26, 2010

    You need to divide the “Driving with other people” option into “Driving with people you like” and “Driving with people you hate.”

  11. #11 Jordin Kare
    May 27, 2010

    Having been lucky enough to be a guest on one once or twice, I can say from experience that the *most* enjoyable way to travel is by private jet, preferably your own. And as soon as I invent teleportation, I’ll be able to afford one… but then I won’t need it…

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