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Author Topic: What is a "long way to travel" for you?  (Read 8659 times)

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What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« on: January 01, 2013, 07:51:38 AM »
Over on another thread (housewarming party invite) I noticed several comments on "30 minutes not seeming such a long distance to drive", after the OP said it was a possible problem - being such a long way to go.  I gather that peoples' perceptions will vary, depending on region and experiences.

I just found it funny, as I've returned home tonight after a day-trip to the beach.  10 hours of driving.  Had a lovely 2 hours at the coast!  For me, this is not unusual, but then I drive a LOT to get anywhere! (And I quite like driving, enjoying the trip as much as anything.)

So, what say you?

How far is "far" to you?  Traffic details, weather conditions, windy roads, dirt roads, travel by mountains goat - all stories welcome!   ;D
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 07:53:16 AM by Redsoil »
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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 08:01:31 AM »
For me, context matters a great deal. In the city I grew up in, half an hour isn't all that far, because I regularly had to drive for that length of time to get to the places I went to most often. In the city I live in now, half an hour is incredibly far, because it takes me entirely outside the city limits (no matter where I start from). Half an hour in a large city feels relatively nearby, but half an hour in a small city can often take you from one end to the other (or more).

On the other hand, where I live now, I regularly drive to other cities for day trips, and have to drive at least an hour and a half one way (but I'll drive up to two hours away). Where I used to live, the closest city was two and a half hours one way, so I never drove there unless I was spending at least one night (although I had family there, so I rarely had to pay for accommodations).

I do like driving, so I'm willing to go relatively far afield if it seems worth it to me. I usually won't go somewhere (without a really compelling reason) unless I am going to spend at least as much time at the destination as I will driving to and from. Otherwise, I can usually find other ways to get what I want, wait until I have a more compelling reason to go, or find other things to do closer to home. I'm more likely to spend more time driving than being in a location if the drive itself is new to me, because then it becomes part of the entertainment. I don't enjoy driving on routes I'm familiar with quite as much, although I often don't especially mind it, either.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 08:06:17 AM »
Weather has a lot to do with it.  Since neither of us drive, we're dependent on public transportation. 

Visiting MIL involves a bus ride of 5 hours minimum.  The bus is very comfortable with movies, music channels, a galley with fruit and snacks as well as hot and cold drinks.  There are even conference tables.

  When the weather is good, the trip is actually enjoyable.  When the weather or the traffic is bad, it can be a bit of a chore.  Therefore, we try to make our visits during reasonable times of the year.   


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 08:12:14 AM »
For me, "far" depends on how long I'm staying at the destination. For example, DH and I drove from Ohio, where we live, to Provincetown, MA. It's the very end of the curly part of the state. That was 13 hours each way, and we were only there for a day and a half. That was FAR. But we were visiting my baby brother, whose show had just opened and we were being supportive (  ;D) so it was worth it.

On the other hand, we drove to Vermont for our anniversary a few months ago and it was 12 hours each way, but we stayed for a week, so that seemed reasonable. We also drove pretty much all over the state while we were there. YUMMMM Ben & Jerry's!

For driving somewhere and back in a day, I'd say my limit is about 5 hours. But then it depends on how badly I want to go to the place. Like how you said you went to the beach. I would do that, no problem. But I wouldn't commute to work daily more than 30 minutes one way, because who wants to spend all that time (and money!) driving to WORK?

Wow, I've certainly rambled a bit there. In order to answer your main question about 30 minutes, I'd say that's a pretty reasonable travel time. I regularly drive that far for church every week.
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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 08:13:55 AM »
I go to NYC two or three times a year. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there (driving & commuter train). If it took longer than that, I probably wouldn't go as often. These are all day trips. We never stay overnight.

I am the one who moved away and have, over the years, been the one to travel to see family members. These are multiple-day trips. One family is 650 miles away. The others have since moved here, but they were about 1200 miles away. My extended family members are in the midwest and I haven't seen them since 2005.

I hope to see my cousins again before we all get too old to travel.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 08:23:35 AM »
Context is everything.  For a visit to my friends upstate it's just over 2 hours via subway and commuter train; no big deal.  For work any more than an hour by subway is too far.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 08:44:23 AM »
For me, 2 Ė 3 hours in a car is plenty.  Beyond that, it gets tedious.

A couple of months ago I had to go to a city thatís only about 35 miles from where I live.  I hadnít been to that area in awhile, and I knew there had been quite a bit of construction.  Thereís also a very popular mall on the way.  (I wasnít driving, I was a passenger.)  Under normal circumstances it would have taken maybe 30 minutes.  But the return trip was horrific.  Weather was good, but we left at 4:30 and got caught up in rush hour traffic as we approached my city.

Lots of time sitting in traffic, barely moving.  Several bottlenecks, an accident, and I was very frustrated.  The return trip took over 2 hours.  Ugh.  What an ordeal.   >:(  It wasnít the driverís fault; it was just one of those things.  But I remarked that I didnít see how people who have to deal with that mess every day can stand it.

When I was younger, several hours in a car was nothing (as long as the traffic flow was reasonable).  Now, I donít care for long trips, although nice scenery helps.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 08:44:42 AM »
It takes about 20 minutes each way to get to the store where we do our weekly shopping, 45ish to get to a mall or big store (Best Buy, Costco, etc). We'd probably drive 2 hours each way without factoring in if the thing we're going to see/do is worth the drive. Anything more than 4 hours each way will probably be an overnight visit, definitely a "get there early and stay late" trip. If I'm planning to be somewhere several days I'd drive all day to get there. Not sure if I'd be willing to spend two full days in the car for a one day visit. A special circumstance, yes, but probably not a casual visit. I'd wait until I could stay a full weekend.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 08:45:00 AM »
Context is everything.  A 30 min drive for me doesn't register as long at all.  That is my daily commute to work.  Most people in my city commute for an hour or more.  For an event like a party I don't register that there is an effort until it takes over an hour.

For a day drive, less than 4 hours is reasonable to me.  A few weeks ago, DH and I drove 3 hours to get to a 10am funeral, had lunch with his family and was home before 4pm.  No biggie.  In November, I drove 4 hours to visit my sis for 3 hrs and then drove home.  I left by 8am and was home before 8pm, again no biggie.  We drive an hour and a half to a restaurant in a rural town we like about twice a year.  Leave by 5, dinner at 7:00, home before 10pm. Tomorrow, I'm driving two and a half hours to put flowers out at a family cemetery, I'll stop at a store I like on the way back and will be home by dinner.  Then on Friday we'll be driving 5 hrs to go to a college bowl game, spend the night and then head home on Saturday.

For vacations we really don't have much of a limit.  Last spring we were doing college visits and we logged 2500 miles leaving on a Saturday and returning on a Saturday.  Then the next weekend DD and I left on a Thursday after school drove 29 hours visiting two more more colleges before coming home on Sunday.

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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 08:45:39 AM »
Depends on what i'm doing. I drive an hour to the main shops to get most of our foods.

But, I don't like it ;)

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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 08:49:33 AM »
Exactly!  Context really makes a difference.  Mercifully I no longer have to commute to work - when I did, 45 minutes was about the minimum possible, but more than an hour would have felt like too long.

It's a 45-minute walk into town, which I sometimes do if I'm in the mood, which isn't too far; similarly, a 45-minute drive isn't too far to the nearest good shopping centre when I'm in the mood to shop.  Otherwise, nah, not worth it.

Visiting my children occasionally, two hours' drive away - not too far.  Visiting my father after he'd had a stroke, two and a half hours away, felt like a long way, especially on a weekly basis.  Visiting pre-stroke, for a New Year stay, it wasn't that far.  I suppose there's a difference between a visit+overnight stay and something that's all in a day.

Then again, I did go from the UK to Australia for a wedding, once...


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 09:04:57 AM »
Day to day, about 30-45 minutes one way is reasonable, for visiting friends and shopping and the like.

If I'm going to drive more than an hour, I like to be able to stay where I'm going for at least as long as it will take me to drive there and back. So, before Christmas, I drove two hours to visit a friend and bake Christmas cookies. I was there pretty much all day--7 hours--before driving the two hours back home.

Somewhere between 2-3 hours is about my limit for traveling to showers and parties and the like. Beyond that, it's too long a trip for the event. Weddings, I'll travel whatever distance it takes.

I'll drive 7 hours to visit my brother, but I will usually stay 4-7 days with his family. Six hours of driving in a day is about the most I'll do for a day trip. After 6 hours of driving, I'm *tired*, and I need to rest/sleep over.

There are some stores and things that simply aren't available in my area. The nearest Ikea is 3 hours away. So I'll save up a few things to do in that area--shop at Ikea, visit a friend, shop at other stores, visit a museum--and make a day trip out of it. I wouldn't drive 3 hours to Ikea, shop for an hour, and drive 3 hours home. The amount of driving (and the cost of the gas) just don't balance with the amount of time spent on the errand.
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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 09:06:50 AM »
Depends on what for. My longest work commute was three hours each way, thankfully by train, and I would never do that again, but for a day out the same three hour trip seems reasonable. If I'm staying a weekend or overnight, then longer is manageable.

I think my daily commute limit is about and hour and a half by public transport, and an hour by car because I can't stick my head in a book when I'm driving.


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 09:07:22 AM »
My commute is currently about 20 minutes, and that's when using public transportation so I have become very spoiled.
I live in a city with a very small center, walking distance really - about 1h from one end to the other, so anything that is not easily accessible with the buses that run by my house and requires moving the car is far.
I will not drive an hour nowadays just to go out with some friends.
I do drive an hour to see my parents once or twice a month, but I usually try to incorporate other activities in that area so as not to make the trip twice.
Add to that the fact that I am pregnant, so any long-distance trip requires multiple trips to the bathroom - anywhere further than 30 minutes is a big deal now!


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Re: What is a "long way to travel" for you?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 09:10:49 AM »
For a shopping trip, 30 - 45 minutes driving is long. Then again, our normal grocery story is within 3 - 5 minutes driving distance of us.

For travel to see people, I use what I call the "meds test." If I have to take my anti - motion sickness meds (which I have to for any trip longer than 1 hour), I consider it long. Granted, my family has traveled 17 hours by car to see family, but that was far from normal, and I hope we never drive for that length of time again (yes, my parents drove 17 hours without stopping, meals and gas aside).
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