Why I love to drive to my destination alone when I travel

Road flares are visible on Indian Canyon Drive, south of Dillon Road, where two people died in a head-on collision early Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020.Double Fatal Collision
Road flares are visible on Indian Canyon Drive, south of Dillon Road, where two people died in a head-on collision early Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020.Double Fatal Collision /

Most of the time when we travel, we have someone else with us but traveling alone can be fun too.

There is something to be said about going alone when you go on a travel trip and unless your single, those trips are rare if they are not for business.

I have been married for almost 26 years and since that time I rarely get the chance to travel by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling with my wife and the kids even though not a single one of them have the same bathroom needs.

Traveling alone may seem like a boring option but for millions of people who travel by themselves for work each day, it probably is. Let us not count them here because the every night at a different hotel room isn’t something we long for.

No, this is about that surprise or planned trip whether it is for business or pleasure, or both.

For the last 13 years I have taken a business/pleasure trip once a year to south Florida. It started out as a weekend business trip but as friends around the continent were made, it turned in to a four day pleasure trip ahead of the business and as the year’s progressed it all became business in some form.

This year, that trip will be modified due to COVID but it is still something I am looking forward to. So what is the benefit of making an 8-12 hour journey on your own? Well aside from the endless stops to use the bathroom right after you pass the rest stop, there are other things that can be quite fun.

For starters, you have time. Something you really don’t have when the family is with you. With all the noise, bickering, and constant complaining about space, being alone offers you time to get off the highway and check out the historical site in any given state. Maybe it’s a quick trip to see something as simple as the Tuskegee Airmen memorial off I-95 in South Carolina.

Tuskegee Airmen
Part of a display honoring the Tuskegee Airmen of WW II. The Veterans Memorial Center Museum at 400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway in Merritt Island is free to the public. They have exhibits of wars and veterans from the American Revolution up to the current War on Terror. For more info, call (321) 453-1776 or visit www.veteransmemorialcenter.orgVeterans Memorial Center Museum In Merritt Island /

While you could do that with the family, do you really want to make an extra stop and turn that eight hour drive into 13? No.

My second best reason to travel is that I can really relax. I don’t tend to drive as fast because I’m not trying to get the kids out of the car. In addition, I get to listen to my music without my wife telling me to turn it down or my kids begging for Disney movie songs. I don’t have to listen to my 17-year-old telling me to turn it down because he can’t hear his gaming podcast through his earphones.

Eating when I travel has always been hit or miss. I’m not a fan of fast food and really never have been. As we all know, traveling doesn’t provide you a lot of options for food except quick on and off fast food joints that every kid loves. When I announce to the carload of family that we are stopping to eat, get gas, and get back on the road, I get a littany of “I want…” recommendations. Honestly, I swear it never fails they all settle on Taco Bell. Ever try to eat tacos while driving? Yeah, me neither.

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When I make my southerly trip however, I can get off the highway and drive a few miles off the exit and get that hometown food or try out a local establishment that you have read about. I don’t have to worry so much about my kids telling me they don’t want anything.

This isn’t a complaint about my wife or my kids. 99.9% of my year, I would take traveling with them as the best part of my entire 365 days in that calendar but just once it is nice to get away and not have to hear the “turn your Ipad down”, “turn the radio down”, “stop at the next rest stop” “I don’t want to use the bathroom at a gas station”, or “We want Taco Bell!”, and just lean back a tad bit more in the seat because the baby isn’t behind you kicking it.

So the next time you need to take a quick trip and you might be feeling guilty about possibly going it alone, don’t. It’s not that boring, can be quite relaxing, and you just may get to see a little more than you are used to seeing on that same route you have been on before.