Time to hit the road (and hope it doesn’t hit back)


By Neil Offen

Memorial Day is passed, July 4th is approaching—it’s vacation time! But before you can take a vacation and luxuriate in the fact that you’re on vacation and don’t have to plan taking a vacation, there are things you need to do.

You must decide where you want to go.

I like the mountains. My wife likes the beach. In an attempt at compromise, we think we’ll go to Poughkeepsie.

You must decide how you’re going to get there.

You could fly. You could also spend three and a half hours in the airport before your delayed flight is canceled, but they can get you there on Wednesday if you don’t mind standing, which may be preferable to sitting in the middle economy seat.

Also, please note that the airline is not responsible for the cancellation because it is weather-related, and they had no idea there would be weather on the day you were traveling.

Also, the airline is not responsible because, well, the airline is never responsible, despite all governmental efforts.

Instead, you could drive. This would allow you to take as much stuff as you want, throw everything in the trunk, and not pay for your first bag or take off your shoes in the security line when you are wearing very old socks.

However, there’s a good chance there will be other cars on the road, and the majority of them will be in your lane. Plus, the car in front of you at the tollbooth in West Virginia will be asking for directions to Utah.

You need to make reservations.

If you’re traveling by plane, remember to make your reservations right now before the price goes up. If you have to change planes in Poughkeepsie, the only seat left will be next to a life insurance salesman with a bad head cold.

If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to reserve a room with a bed. A bathroom would be nice, too.

Alternatively, you could sleep in your car, but you shouldn’t do that while merging onto the interstate.

You must decide what you want to do when you get to your vacation spot.

Some people like to just relax on their vacations, while others like to explore and discover. Still others like to argue with the airline about where their suitcases are.

Don’t forget to put a vacation stop on your mail.

Obviously, you don’t get any mail anymore and communicate with relatives and friends only via Instagram and the occasional text. But you do want to make sure that when you return home your mailbox won’t be filled with 17 credit card solicitations, 14 mountain foreclosure sale advertisements, 11 political ads, nine clothing catalogs and three postcards telling you you’ve won a free trip to Cancun if you will just call this number.

And, of course, before the vacation always remember to make a to-do list of all the things you have to do before leaving on the vacation.

Carrboro resident Neil Offen has been a humor columnist for four decades and on two continents. He is the author of “Building a Better Boomer,” available wherever books are sold.

Carrboro resident Neil Offen has been a humor columnist for four decades and on two continents. He is the author of “Building a Better Boomer,” available wherever books are sold.
This reporter can be reached at Info@TheLocalReporter.press

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