Jets, Rails & Cars: A Handy Little Guide to Choosing the Perfect Mode of Transportation When Traveling Away from Home (not legally affiliated with Planes, Trains & Automobiles)

You’ve read A Handy Little Guide to Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay When Traveling Away from Home.

You’ve booked the perfect room.

Now you’re probably wondering how to get to your destination.

Fear not! For today we bring you:

Jets, Rails & Cars: A Handy Little Guide to Choosing the Perfect Mode of Transportation When Traveling Away from Home

For most of us, we have three main choices when we’re traveling from home: we can drive (and fight the traffic), we can take a plane (and fight the security), or we can take a train (and fight the railway hobos).

You might be confused as to why I left boats and busses of the list. I’ve got two reasons (movies) why: Titanic and Midnight Cowboy. If you’ve watched those movies and still choose to travel by bus or sea, well then I really can’t help you. (But a doctor probably can. Legionnaire’s disease is no joke!)


Cars are an extremely popular form of transportation these days. In fact, they’re so popular that it’s practically impossible to get anywhere in a car because of all of the other cars on the road!

The nice thing about cars is that you’re in control of your own destiny. You can play with the radio. You can pull over for some delicious road food and coffee (calories consumed in the car don’t count!) whenever you want. You can cut people off and give them the finger if you need to blow off a little steam.

Plus, the advent of DVDs and third-row seating has made traveling with the youngsters practically a dream come true: now instead of being badgered “are we there yet” after 15 minutes, we can enjoy a full 35 minutes of peace before the whining commences. Huzzah!

Sure, cars are an expensive, inefficient and dangerous mode of transportation but they deliver one thing that you can’t get anywhere else: the illusion of control. Savor it.


On the opposite end of the spectrum are airplanes. Everything about the flying experience is tortuous: the check-in process, security shakedowns, being 47th in line on the tarmac, the pilot’s overly-loud and tedious announcements, the stupid farewells when you’re trying to get off the plane, trying not to poo at the airport, etc.

Even though I’m not particularly scared of the big ol’ stinky bus in the sky, I desperately hate everything about flying, especially the phony security experience (are planes really susceptible to sneaker-water-toothpaste bombs?) You know, if we really wanted to get revenge on the terrorists we shouldn’t torture them or lock them up in Gitmo, we should just make them spend the rest of their lives at the airport waiting in the security line. That, my friends, is what we call poetic justice.

Of course, we put up with the flying experience because it’s the fastest way to get long distances. But the real question is: do we really need to get everywhere so quickly?


That’s where trains come in. I love traveling long distances by train. I yearn for that brief period in history where there were trains but no planes. Damn those stupid Wright Brothers! I wish that we just ditched the whole airplane thing and built high-speed trains that went everywhere. If trains were the only choice for cross-country travel then we’d all accept that it takes a week to get to California and everybody would slow down a bit. Every trip would turn into a reprise of Festival Express. We’d be drinking Jack with Janis, singing with Danko and chasing the dragon with Garcia. Sure, we might need to spend a little bit more time in rehab, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a little piece of mind?

Everything about the rail experience is great. You can read, listen to music, walk around, eat, work, talk on the phone, drink, smuggle things to foreign lands, play Uno, whatever.


Whether you choose to drive, fly or take a train on your next trip, the important thing to remember is that there’s really no need to ever travel beyond the cozy confines of Route 128. As we like to say in Boston, everything that you need in life can be found within the 128 border – and if it can’t, well then you probably don’t need it.


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