Have you ever fallen asleep during an episode of Law & Order, only to wake up in a different episode during a Law & Order Marathon on TV? It’s a weird feeling. It’s the same thing, but it’s just different enough to make you wonder… “Who’s that guy? Where did he come from?” Air travel is like this. If you take enough trips in a row, suddenly Philadelphia and Boston look a LOT alike. You get a few hints now and then that you may be watching a “different episode” in a new city, but you’re still conducting the same business in a similar environment, wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, etc.
One way to keep things “fresh” is to change up your method of travel. Just as you might pick up the remote to click through some crazy new channels in search of something OTHER than Law & Order, it might be time to change how you travel for a trip or two. I say, consider a road trip! Have you ever seen the badlands of South Dakota? Arizona’s meteor crater? The beauty of Washington state, outside of Seattle? West Texas? The rich culture of the great plains? I am telling you, there’s “gold” in those hills!
Most companies have a fairly generous reimbursement allowance for people who prefer driving to flying. There are more of those people than you think. Last year, I raced a colleague to Chicago from Minneapolis. I drove, he flew. When you factor in the additional airport wait times, rental car lines, etc, our “time to destination” was extremely close (within an hour). Had he been delayed for ? hour, I’d have beaten him.
Now, I’m not suggesting that a scenic drive from Seattle to Miami would be a fabulous idea (unless you took a two week vacation to do it in an RV or something), but an occasional road trip seems to keep me on an even keel. For business, my limit is 500 miles. If I push it, I can drive 500 miles in 8 hours, but who would want to? I want some roadside barbecue! I want some truck stop pot roast! I want to look at the little hand carved rock animals in the local rock shops, buy honey from local beekeepers, meet some local folks in a town square or two, and sample this country’s best cheeseburgers! You can’t do any of these things from an airplane.
There’s a website out there that can help you choose some of America’s least known, but richest and most cultural drives. Head to Road Trip America. Here, you will find suggested routes to all points of the country, that will keep you off of the main superhighways and interstates. If you haven’t twisted your way through Arkansas on rural highway 7, then you haven’t really seen the Ozark Mountains (for example). Their featured drive today is a beautiful stretch along the crest of the Blueridge Mountains.
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and sent to him. You can also follow Ken on Twitter @foodbreeze!