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Author Topic: Least favorite road trip you have been on?  (Read 531 times)

Roadgeekteen

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Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« on: May 17, 2017, 10:18:30 AM »

What is it?
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hbelkins

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 11:06:05 AM »

None of mine have been "least favorite" in terms of things I've seen or places I've been.

However, there have been two instances where I had car trouble on the road, and a few trips I've had to cut short because of family emergencies, pets that were dying or very ill/injured (and at least twice when a pet died while I was traveling), and the like.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 08:53:58 PM »

There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 09:23:53 PM »

On one of my family trips to Hilton Head Island, SC, we had solid rain the whole week! I remember watching a lot of Nickelodeon, which was exciting for us since we couldn't get that channel in Canada. Other than that, it was pretty depressing to see so much rain on our holiday.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 09:27:55 PM »

2006 trip to Hillsdale, NY. Was the second of three annual trips to a folk music festival. The weather was brutally hot all week with a car that had no air conditioning. My mom's friend who drove out with us had planned part of the trip which included a number of boring attractions in Ohio and Pennsylvania. I slept in a cheap tent that wasn't waterproof enough to prevent me from ending up with a ruined phone and was like waking up in an oven. Many of our belongings ended up soaked due to heavy rain a group of three irritated and smelly people headed back west. Mom's friend from earlier and her husband (who traveled separately) bring an ungodly amount of gear to camp. So much unnecessary shit. We had to both help bring it to camp and then help bring it back to their home in Chicago. So we stopped at their house and set off their alarm system trying to drop their shit.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 09:29:15 PM »

There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 09:35:01 PM »

There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.

The big difference is that you weren't the one who was driving everyone up to the timeshare.  I pulled over somewhere near Heber and told the passengers that the car wasn't moving unless one of them took the wheel.  This was all before GPS units were a really big deal, so it was extra fun trying explain to a freaked out designee to just stay on AZ 260 and look for a specific mile marker.

When I was your age I had my fair share sudden illness on a road trip.  I ended up with an ear infection on a family house hunting trip we drove from Detroit to go do out in New York.  That one even required a stop at the Urgent Care which wasn't a walk in the park in those days since it was on a weekend and the place had to be found in the Yellowpages. 
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 10:35:46 PM »

1982 coming back from Florida.  Beginning and end of the trip were fun (only time I ever set foot in the states of North and South Carolina, and passed through Georgia outside of Hartsfield-Jackson).  Flew down, and I enjoyed my time in the Keys.  We  started the drive back, and stopped in Orlando, where I was stricken with a horrible case of the flu.  I had to lay low in a hotel room with my mother taking care of me while my dad and cousin got to go to Disney World (traumatic for a 6 year old, but at least I got to go back 4 years later).  After that, it was a 2 day trip back to CT, including a stop at South of the Border and crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.  I use that incident as a sort of reference point: I have only thrown up 5 times since then.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 10:38:52 PM »

There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.


The big difference is that you weren't the one who was driving everyone up to the timeshare.  I pulled over somewhere near Heber and told the passengers that the car wasn't moving unless one of them took the wheel.  This was all before GPS units were a really big deal, so it was extra fun trying explain to a freaked out designee to just stay on AZ 260 and look for a specific mile marker.

When I was your age I had my fair share sudden illness on a road trip.  I ended up with an ear infection on a family house hunting trip we drove from Detroit to go do out in New York.  That one even required a stop at the Urgent Care which wasn't a walk in the park in those days since it was on a weekend and the place had to be found in the Yellowpages.
This is the second time I have gotten sick on a trip, first time was another cold in Vermont. It was very short-lived though, and I was feeling better at the end of the day.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 11:06:55 PM »

I forgot -- I became ill during the New Hampshire meet a few years ago. I think the heat got to me. I stayed in the car (I was riding with PHLBOS) for most of the stops. I think it was a reaction to a new medication I had started the day before, combined with unseasonable warmth in the northeast.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 12:01:06 AM »

Depends.
If we're talking about worst due to issues with the driver/passenger, probably the trip down NY 104 from Lewiston to Rochester, feeling both nauseous and overcrowded  :-o
If we're talking about worst due to the road itself/lack of scenery, I'd have to say I-29 from Fargo to Pembina, ND. (although Fargo was not the origin - does that count?)
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 02:36:07 AM »

December, 1998. First time my wife and I took a trip together (we weren't married yet). New Bern NC to Hallandale Beach, FL.

I had not known about all the I-95 construction in Georgia. Said construction was causing I-95 southbound to be backed up all the way to just south of the US-17 exit near Ridgeland SC (Exit 22). This was also my first road trip as a driver in a vehicle with a manual transmission.

At first the traffic just became slower than normal (below 50 mph) and then we would all have to stop for 10-15 seconds and then back up to 45-50. Ok, no problem, I grew up in a big city, this wasn't that bad. Things got progressively slower, and just after I passed Exit 18 it was a dead stop. Creep forward, hit neutral, creep until it stopped, hold brakes, clutch in, first gear, creep forward, hit neutral, creep until it stopped hold brakes. Repeat the cycle for the next 35 miles or so.

I had a planned meal/gas stop coming up at the Mcdonald's and Shell on GA-204 just south of Savannah (now Exit 94 not sure what the exit #was back then in the sequential numbering days) and I was beginning to worry about the gas situation. My 94 S-10 didn't have a low fuel light, and the gas guage was in that little red sliver just above E. Finally, just as I crossed over the I-16 exit traffic started to flow again-heavy at first, but at least we were moving. It took over 2 hours to cover a distance that usually takes about 30 minutes to cover!

The return trip was just as interesting, but for a differnt reason. We left Hallandale Beach at about 2AM. As we were driving north on I-95 we could see a constant wall of lightning off to our left, up and down the line for as far as the eye could see. Sky just as clear as it could be over head, we could even see the stars. Well, between West  Palm Beach and Fort Pierce that solid wall of thunderstorms made it to I-95 and it rained just as hard as I had ever seen it rain. My windshield wipers picked that exact moment to quit. Slow down, hazards on, cycle the switch, nothing. I went to pull over onto the shoulder and almost wiped out an abandoned vehicle that was sitting there. I saw it just in the nick of time, swerved around it and parked somewhere ahead of it.

I kept cycling that damn wiper switch and nothing. No matter what I did nothing worked. I finally got mad and smacked the steering column with my Maglight in disgust and guess what? The wipers, still in high speed mode kicked in and all of a sudden I could see. The rest of the trip home, every time it rained and I turned on the wipers they would work for about 2-3 minutes and then quit. I smacked the column with the maglight and they came back on, every single time.

By far this was my all time least favorite road trip ever. I have been lucky ever since to not have any mechanical issues or really serious time killing back ups (knock on wood).
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 07:52:04 PM »

I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2017, 08:25:03 PM »

Has anyone ever been snowbound on a place they traveled to?  It used to happen to me once or twice a year when I was on the road 120-150 nights out of the year.  Probably the worst was when I-10 shut down entirely in New Mexico and back west into Arizona at US 191.  I spent the night in Willcox which has to be one of the most boring "old west" towns out there until well into the next day.  For some reason NMDOT wasn't handling reopening the pass on US 70 through the Organ Mountains but rather it was Army.  I had to detour through El Paso to get up US 54 and Ruidoso for the night.  The road was so icy climbing the Sierra Blancas on US 70 that it was actually reflecting in the moonlight.  I had forgotten to switch to windshield wiper fluid with anti-freeze which made a much more difficult morning chipping ice off the windshield at -9F.

On the flip side I was also stuck in Show Low, Arizona for three days during a work trip at a Sleep Inn after 20 something inches of snow got dumped on the Mogollon Rim.  The city reopened US 60/AZ 260 relatively quickly but the highways were still shut down towards Payson and Globe.  I had access to a grocery store and a couple really nice places to eat, it was actually really relaxing since I had the whole town basically to myself and there was no point in anyone from work bothering me with phone calls.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 11:24:24 PM »

I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.

I used to prefer getting reimbursed since I could easily live under the per diem.  But, I think the rules have changed about that and a travel card makes things a whole lot easier. 

Isn't travel expected in your position every now and then?  I have a travel card from the years where I had to head out to Buffalo once a month to meet with NITTEC, but they've let me keep it even though since those days I've traveled less than once a year on average for NYSDOT (for the last decade or so).

Have to say I've never had a problem with traveling for NYSDOT, either when I was getting reimbursed or using the travel card.

*  *  *

Regarding the OP: My worst road trip was actually a sad one.  It was just a leisurely weekend group trip out to Jamestown, NY and environs.  One of my travelling companions had just had her medication for her depression adjusted just prior to the trip.  Add to that the following:  Prior to this trip, she had always been just a passenger on other trips she had taken; she just accepted other people's plans.  This time, she decided to have a hand in the planning and she wanted to go to the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown and we all were fine with that and even looked forward to how hokey the place could be.  Unfortunately, she expected more from the museum and thought she had let us all down.

So, she had a meltdown and we had to take her back to her hotel room and see her through it.

I've been on trips where things don't go as planned (e.g., not being able to see lava flows in Hawaii because the wind's blowing the volcanic fumes the wrong way; getting stuck in Dulles Airport overnight; visiting Yosemite when it happened to be on fire...), but that one just sucked, not just because the plans were thrown out of whack, but because it involved a friend hitting a hard time.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2017, 11:52:10 PM »

Least favorite roadtrip was driving home from Tampa to Jacksonville... We had to drop a friend off in Cocoa Beach... I was up for a total of 36 hours... It was in college days and it was a crazy weekend to say the least

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hbelkins

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 11:48:31 AM »

Re: Valerie and Rothman's work-related travel...

We have to pay out of our pockets and then file for reimbursement. Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment. The good thing is, whenever the travel involves a meal that is not part of the event being attended, per-diem reimbursement rates are $8, $10 and $18 for the three meals. I can generally eat much cheaper than that so I end up making money on the deal.

Be thankful that you are allowed to use state-issued credit cards for your travel expenses. Food and lodging are expressly prohibited on Kentucky procurement cards, one of which I do not have.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 03:30:38 PM »

I go on a trip that's a total dud once every couple years. I think the worst was a four day clinching weekend in southeast Montana in January 2015.

I drove to Billings after work on Friday to get a headstart. On Saturday morning, I woke up with the idea of clinching a bunch of highways and ending up in Spearfish, SD that night, then up to Glasgow on Sunday, than back to Helena on Monday.

An hour into my drive, on Secondary 313, I saw a pheasant on the side of the road  and swerved out of its way. The dumb pheasant was startled,  jumped up like pheasants do, and took out my passenger side mirror. Annoying but not the end of the world. I was in a 2001 Honda Accord and the mirrors on those are very easy to replace - a $40 fix for a matching junkyard mirror on eBay and about 30 minutes of my own labor.

I drive for a couple more hours. Fast forward to Secondary 484. I clinch this partially unpaved highway and just before I get back on the paved part, I blow a tire.

The Honda only has a donut so I put the donut on and drive back up to Ashland where there is cell service to try to find a tire place open on weekends - not easy to find. Turns out I was pretty much equidistant from Billings, Spearfish, and Gillette.  It's a little closer to Miles City, but Miles City doesn't have a tire place open on Saturdays. So I'm a three hour drive at donut speeds from a Walmart tire place, which is the only place that would be open at 5  PM on a Saturday.

So I decide to limp back to Billings, because that's the biggest city and seemed to have the best options (and the most consistent cell service along the way if the donut gave out). I drive three hours back on the donut, never exceeding 45 MPH or so, even on the freeway. At least the roads were good.

I limp into the Billings Walmart at 5:30 PM or so and spend four hours waiting for a new tire, but they get it done for me.

At this point I'm exhausted (and irrecoverably off schedule) so abort the rest of the trip and drive home. So I lost a mirror and a tire within a couple hundred miles of each other and had to spend​four hours in a Walmart. That's pretty much my personal hell.



« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 03:38:11 PM by corco »
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 09:26:10 PM »

My 2002 "I-73 roadtrip" would be my least favorite. Only because I developed car trouble in South Carolina (between Charleston & Savannah).
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2017, 06:36:10 AM »



Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment.

Hm.  That would only be a problem if you accrue more expenses than you can afford to pay off in a month (i.e., pay off the card with the bill the expenses are accrued).

Have to say that there was a lack of understanding amongst my superiors at NYSDOT of the burden of waiting for reimbursement, though, when I was just starting out.  The spend-less-than-per diem-game helped, though, but I think you are kept to what you actually spend now per your receipts (is that true, vdeane?).

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2017, 03:58:52 PM »

Kentucky gives a flat per-diem (with regular and high-rate areas spelled out) instead of requiring receipts, as long as you are in travel status for an entire period as defined in policy -- which is handy if you drive through and get something and forget to ask for a receipt, if they don't automatically give you one. Lodging does require a receipt, however.


Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment.

Hm.  That would only be a problem if you accrue more expenses than you can afford to pay off in a month (i.e., pay off the card with the bill the expenses are accrued).

A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 04:01:12 PM by hbelkins »
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2017, 04:29:40 PM »

Least favorite road trip would have to be in January or February 2001, I think. Might have been 2002, but I don't think so. I had to go to some depositions in Carteret, New Jersey (Exit 12 on the Turnpike), and given the location it made more sense to drive than to fly and rent a car (much less take Amtrak to Metropark). The drive up was fine, and driving around there was fine if somewhat depressing since the deposition location was back in the heavy industrial area near the Superfund site that was the reason for the depositions. Driving home.....that took seven or eight hours because it began to snow. The southern end of the Turnpike was closed, so I went through Pennsylvania and hit massive Philadelphia snow-day traffic. In the rear view I saw a car spin out across four lanes of traffic (somehow he didn't hit anything). At one point it took two hours to go five miles. Later, after I broke free of the traffic, I wound up stopping the car in the right lane under an overpass to use the ice scraper to clean off the windshield wipers because they had become useless. I-95 in Delaware and Maryland wasn't cleared very well at all....EXCEPT near the toll plazas, where it was immaculate. Shows you where their priorities were! It was pretty much 40 mph on rutted or packed snow all the way home from Delaware on down to Virginia. I thought about stopping somewhere for the night but was too stubborn and I wasn't sure I'd get reimbursed for it.

Also, to make it worse, my boss's wife was pregnant and two weeks from her due date, and when I stopped at the Delaware service plaza to hit the head, I checked my voicemails and found a message from a colleague telling me my boss's wife had lost the baby—it choked on the umbilical cord.
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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2017, 06:20:46 PM »

Least favorite road trip would have to be in January or February 2001, I think. Might have been 2002, but I don't think so. I had to go to some depositions in Carteret, New Jersey (Exit 12 on the Turnpike), and given the location it made more sense to drive than to fly and rent a car (much less take Amtrak to Metropark). The drive up was fine, and driving around there was fine if somewhat depressing since the deposition location was back in the heavy industrial area near the Superfund site that was the reason for the depositions. Driving home.....that took seven or eight hours because it began to snow. The southern end of the Turnpike was closed, so I went through Pennsylvania and hit massive Philadelphia snow-day traffic. In the rear view I saw a car spin out across four lanes of traffic (somehow he didn't hit anything). At one point it took two hours to go five miles. Later, after I broke free of the traffic, I wound up stopping the car in the right lane under an overpass to use the ice scraper to clean off the windshield wipers because they had become useless. I-95 in Delaware and Maryland wasn't cleared very well at all....EXCEPT near the toll plazas, where it was immaculate. Shows you where their priorities were! It was pretty much 40 mph on rutted or packed snow all the way home from Delaware on down to Virginia. I thought about stopping somewhere for the night but was too stubborn and I wasn't sure I'd get reimbursed for it.

Also, to make it worse, my boss's wife was pregnant and two weeks from her due date, and when I stopped at the Delaware service plaza to hit the head, I checked my voicemails and found a message from a colleague telling me my boss's wife had lost the baby—it choked on the umbilical cord.
And I whine during light traffic...
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vdeane

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2017, 11:24:18 PM »

I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.

I used to prefer getting reimbursed since I could easily live under the per diem.  But, I think the rules have changed about that and a travel card makes things a whole lot easier. 

Isn't travel expected in your position every now and then?  I have a travel card from the years where I had to head out to Buffalo once a month to meet with NITTEC, but they've let me keep it even though since those days I've traveled less than once a year on average for NYSDOT (for the last decade or so).

Have to say I've never had a problem with traveling for NYSDOT, either when I was getting reimbursed or using the travel card.
It's the hotels that always complicate things.  I've only had a couple times with them.  The one time was because management didn't decide to tell us we could go until literally the last day to sign up, and since we had never gone to a multi-day conference before (Highway Data Services doesn't count because we're Region 1), we didn't have travel cards, which managment implied as being required (honestly, reimbursement seems easier, and I only use the card about once per year).  The current one is because apparently not all of a hotel's rooms are available at the state rate, and those (as well as the group rate ones for the conference) were all booked.  Clearly NYSAMPO needs to raise their registration fees!

Otherwise my travel is almost always meetings that are less than two hours away and field surveys for data services stuff and ADA.  Things are much simpler when booking a car is all that's required (or just eating the mileage, like I did for my most recent meeting since it meant significantly less driving to stop on the way back from Rochester than to come back to Albany just to drive to Binghamton the next day).

The spend-less-than-per diem-game helped, though, but I think you are kept to what you actually spend now per your receipts (is that true, vdeane?).
That's how my coworker and I did it for our last conference, though whether that's required, I'm not sure.  For what it's worth, Expense Anywhere still doesn't allow one to attach a receipt for meals.
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Rothman

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Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2017, 11:46:07 PM »





A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.

Stay at a cheaper hotel.
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