Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the Road: Choosing a Departure Time

English: The face of a black windup alarm clock
English: The face of a black windup alarm clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My choice of departure time can be affected by several factors. The first consideration is the rush hour times for any major city along the way. I do not want to spend my time and gas waiting in traffic. I usually look at how far I hope to travel in the day and calculate the estimated time of arrival for each city.

When I try to determine how far I will get in one day, I use 70 mph as my normal speed, so if I drive for 12 hours, I would expect to cover approximately 840 miles. If I want to be settled in a hotel room in time for dinner, I would have to leave by 5:30-6:00 in the morning.

Another factor is how well I do in the morning. I usually hate to get up early. I would rather wake up naturally without the jarring noise of the alarm clock.

I always tell myself that whenever I wake up naturally is when I will get on the road. For the past few years that has been 3:00-4:00 in the morning. That gives me the luxury of having the road to myself. I usually have a problem with tossing and turning the night before a trip and not getting much sleep at all, so this year I tried an experiment. I went to bed really early the night before and rested as much as possible. I woke up at 12:45 and thought it was too early and tried to go back to sleep. When I woke up again at 1:00, I realized I was never going to get back to sleep and thought I would just get on the road. Although this is not something I would recommend to anyone, it did work for me that time.
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