Orlando MCO personal reflections road trip travel planning

He travels the fastest who travels alone

Rudyard Kipling wrote the words “He travels the fastest who travels alone” in poetry. Bruce Springsteen wrote these words in the song Valentine’s Day, one of my favorite Bruce tunes, as the last song on ‘Tunnel of Love’ album.

They say he travels fastest who travels alone
But tonight I miss my girl mister tonight I miss my home

Bruce Springsteen – Valentine’s Day lyrics

Bruce cut out ‘the’ from the Kipling line version. Seems to me the Springsteen song would sing the same even with the addition of ‘the’.

Alone together when her reluctance is the travel part

I like to travel alone. Fewer considerations when decision making.

A blogger friend of mine once introduced us at a blogger party in Toronto as two travel writers who have spouses reluctant to travel. My wife likes the idea of being a traveler, but her reluctance is actually the travel part.

Being in a car, getting on an airplane, renting a car, finding public transportation when traveling are things Kelley hates to do. Forget the cruise ship. Boats are her worse travel phobia. She spent half of a 7-night Alaska cruise quarantined to our cabin due to vomiting. I don’t know if the cruise ship balcony cabin helped with fresh air and the ability to be outside or if the view of a sea in motion and a landscape passing by the window made her feel worse?

Kelley would rather just stay at home. Outside of Europe, she has little interest in traveling to other places. She loves to say, “I live in Monterey. Why do I want to go anywhere else?” Instant teleportation to another place is a travel time she is awaiting and will unlikely see this lifetime.

I will be calling her next week talking about amazing DisneyWorld and Universal Studios, like I have from many events over many years of travel. She will listen to me talk about the parties and free beer and food at IPW Orlando and she will be envious. No denying it is fun to be in Disneyworld for work.

The 4am wake-up and hours writing when tired, hard pillows, noisy rooms, the wait for shuttle buses, the heat and humidity of Florida and the sweat are not transmitted with clarity over the phone. Travel is envious when all the details are whitewashed in the amazing final picture of the trip.

Hotels near Disneyworld

Points, Miles & Martinis posted an article today Hotels near Disney on points. He made a list of chain brand hotels near Disneyworld Florida.

“I’m working on a trip to Disney for 2016.” is the first line of the piece and I was instantly thinking how I don’t even have hotels set for my five day road trip leaving from Orlando next week after I spend six days touring, partying and meeting travel industry people at IPW Orlando.

Five day road trip from Orlando

My point is I am not concerned at all that I do not have hotel reservations for my road trip at the end of next week.

Last night there was a show I watched about the development of roads in the USA and the rise of the road motel.

One of the ideas I recall from the show is motels became popular across the USA to provide overnight lodging to people on automobile road trips. The country that had taken pioneers six months to traverse the west in the 19th century before railroads were established had placed much of the previously inaccessible country into sightseeing itineraries for anyone who had a car. And every year more and more people in the early 20th century had cars in America. Car ownership grew so rapidly between 1910 and 1930 that the primary impediment to seeing the USA were the road conditions limiting how fast a car could travel safely over the course of a day.

The original Mo-Tel in San Luis Obispo, California

What blew my mind from the TV show was hearing the first lodging place to use the word motel was in San Luis Obispo, California. That is somewhat of a local place for me in Monterey, California – in the global sense, since SLO as we abbreviate the town name here on the Central Coast is about 135 miles south from Monterey.

In 1925 road conditions in the USA were poorly suited to automobiles. A road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco took two days by automobile. Albert Heineman opened the Milestone Mo-Tel on December 12, 1925 in San Luis Obispo, California, about half-way along the Los Angeles to San Francisco drive. Mo-Tel referred to the construction of a single building with individual rooms where doors faced the parking lot as a motor hotel. Heineman hoped to establish a chain of motels along the west coast, however, the Great Depression resulted in the foreclosure of his one motel. The property operated as the Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo until 1991.

This story of automobiles, road trips, road conditions and the rise of chain hotels is told with highly informative displays at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan where I spent a day last year. The museum exhibits fascinated me and the place is truly on par with great museums of the world for an educational experience in Americana.

Loyalty Traveler – Travel Remembrances of Things Past at the Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, Michigan (Jan 14, 2014).

All that history was to get back to the point that in the TV show the commentary stated people use to take road trips in the mid-20th century and know there would be a roadside motel to stay when they were ready to stop driving for the night.

That is still an option today. But if you want a nice place to stay, then you need to be prepared to lay out some cash or have points to spend at the last minute.

The Mills House Charleston, Wyndham Grand Hotel

I have two nights booked in Charleston using 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night under their new scheme of all hotels for 15,000 points. The published rate cost is $750 for those two nights. That is great redemption value for Wyndham Rewards points.

If Kelley were on this trip I would definitely be looking forward to The Mills House. As it is now, I am not sure if I even want to go to Charleston, South Carolina. The place is lovely with antebellum mansion homes on the waterfront. Fort Sumter is major American history. But my travel dreams also fall into sitting by a mountain lake drinking beer with some local black fishermen and learning about the area from real locals as something I would likely find more engaging as a travel adventure.

That is my dilemma when traveling. I could spend a week in Orlando and write 25 articles on DisneyWorld hotels, park attractions and tips and Florida visitor information. That is the smart business choice when it comes to my travels as source material for writing articles that make money.

Many of those article topics do not motivate me, even though I do write a travel blog where more readers will read those articles. I like the unpredictable and the spontaneous moments of unplanned travel.

The Road to Nowhere in Particular

I’ll be in a car driving 662 miles from Orlando International Airport MCO to Knoxville Airport TYS in a five day, 120 hours road trip. What happens over those five days and nights remains to be seen. I am not worried in the least about creating the perfect itinerary. No way will I be bored.

I might drive one thousand miles or more.

That is the great adventure of travel for travelers. Travel planning involves asking important questions: What will I see? Where will I sleep? What will I do? What will I eat? How much will it cost?

I have Wyndham Rewards points, Starpoints for Starwood Hotels, Choice Privileges points, IHG Rewards Club points and a couple of PointBreaks options, and even enough Marriott Rewards points for a category 2 reward night and the Southeast USA is one of the best spots in the world to find a category 2 hotel. I have sat in the lobby of hotels redeeming my Wyndham Rewards points and Choice Privileges points many times for a hotel free night after stopping in a town for the night on a road trip.

No worries for this trip.

The freedom of the road.

He travels the fastest who travels alone.

Summer in Europe is a totally different travel planning style. With the wife, all travel plans are in place for July. Kelley even mentioned the other day how she would like to take a cruise on the Thames when we are in London.

I better prepare for that travel adventure and remember to snag some barf bags from the airplane flights.


  • tom May 26, 2015

    I like to travel so will put up with it, but this is very true……

    “The 4am wake-up and hours writing when tired, hard pillows, noisy rooms, the wait for shuttle buses, the heat and humidity of Florida and the sweat are not transmitted with clarity over the phone. Travel is envious when all the details are whitewashed in the amazing final picture of the trip”

  • robert May 27, 2015

    That’s great trips. very fun, but also challenging. Fast travel requires a consideration and plans are very mature. and this can not be done if you are not alone. This course will be a very hard act for some people. but this is interesting information. of course, you are a very skilled for this. nice post. thanks.

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