Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Born To Be (not so) Wild

Next week, I am planning a road trip. Sick of airline travel, I decided I'm going to have a mini-road trip adventure and drive to my client in Cincinnati. It's a 10-hour drive and I'm going easy and doing it over two days. Faster, cheaper, is not the point. Having made this trip multi-times a year for 17 years (today is my 17th "service anniversary" with this client), I need something new.

I have plotted my route on both MapQuest and Google. Same time, approximately same number of miles so I'll have to decide which route to take. One decision I hadn't made is whether to get a hotel room in advance for the night I spend getting there.

Of course, this is such an exciting event for me that I fancy myself roaring off on a motorcycle to the strains of "Born to be Wild" rather than going to a client in Cincinnati in a rented full-size car.

I sort of wanted to just see where the first day took me, but I have gotten stuck twice in my career having great difficulty getting a hotel room that night. Once when I was flying early out of Milwaukee Airport and I thought I could just get one of many airport hotel rooms -- it was a Saturday night in the summer and I thought "how crowded could it be?"

Well, I hadn't figured on the Wisconsin State Fair and I could not get a room anywhere. I drove for a while and then ran smack into some sort of huge Bingo tournament. It was getting later and later and I was seriously considering finding some sort of safe parking lot but that scared me.

Finally I decided to drive to O'Hare thinking there's got to be an empty room on a Saturday night and there was -- but it was so much hassle.

I was still willing to take pot luck until I was talking to someone at this client about it. He said that when some of the guys drove a trade show exhibit to Florida for a show, they didn't have a room and when it was time to stop for the night, they ran into this huge cheerleading tournament-- this was a week night in Tennessee. They had to drive another 100 miles to get a room.

That was enough to convince me I don't want that stress, so I'll figure out a halfway mark and book a room in advance.

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