This is the first year I’ve begun with a comprehensive month by month travel plan. Nick asked me to plan several years ahead for our international trips and that has worked out so well that I’m applying this “planning” thing to my more local slow travel as well. Although one of my plans was to hike on the beach at Ft. Tilden this morning and instead I’m in my pajamas drinking tea at home, so note that these plans are not rigid.
Plans by the numbers
- 6 trips to Western Massachusetts for family gatherings and holidays
- 2 trips to far away islands by plane (St. John USVI and England)
- 1 trip to Maine by train
- 1 conference in Denver half train/half plane
- 2-4 trips by bus to Boston or the Catskills
Planes vs. Trains
I don’t enjoy flying and one of my goals is to eliminate my use of air travel and airports. That’s the main reason you won’t find any “travel hacking” advice or strategy on this site. I don’t encourage myself or anyone else to fly or buy more than they require in order to earn “free” flights or hotel stays.
The best travel hack ever is to walk, bike, or take public transport and enjoy the wonderful place where you already happen to be.
Of course this winning philosophy is immediately contradicted by my 2016 travel plans. I don’t have an excuse that holds up under examination. Two trips are sentimental- England is my favorite country and I want to take Nick to visit my relatives in their village and see his sister and my dear friend from college. St. John we visited our first year together and have returned to the Caribbean each year since. I looked for slow and environmentally sound transport to the Caribbean and the UK and I have not found it. Yet. Journeys like these will be the hardest for me to give up.
I didn’t want to take an extra two days off from work for the train back from Denver, but the timing worked out to experiment with Amtrak for the journey there and I hope to plan all future conference attendance around ground transport based on the success of the experiment.
To counteract my fast travel plans I just offset 5 metric tons for my two and a half trips through The Nature Conservancy. My donation was tax-deductible, so it’s a tiny travel hack.
Why stop there? I should offset my entire carbon footprint. And, wait a minute, shouldn’t the companies emitting the CO2 be responsible for sorting out the carbon offsets? Capitalism, making me work on my day off again to enrich billionaires and destroy the planet. Sigh. Back to travel planning and Happy New Year!