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Friday, March 29, 2013

Questioning travel assumptions



My lovely wife and I were discussing our bills. (One of the least fun things to do with a lovely wife.) Once in a while we look at a bill for something and wonder if we really need that thing. This time we looked at AAA roadside service. The better plans are not cheap.

We travel a lot, but during our longest trips we usually are towing a boat. AAA does nothing for boat trailer problems. For that we now have Boat US towing service. We used it once, and if we don't use it again for a dozen years, we'll still be way ahead. Anyone towing a boat any distance should look into it. Outside of being a happy customer, I've no connection to the company.

In the end, we decided to keep AAA. We tend to drive older, weirder vehicles, so having decent towing insurance has been useful.

Once in a while I ask myself if having a car is worth it. Cars are an expensive constant drain on finances. They cost money every month, even if they never leave the driveway. Of course, we do live out in the woods far from any public transportation. It would take some serious work arounds. Maybe we should just live on a sailboat and have home and transportation all in one package.

There's always the option of moving into a city where's there's public transportation. My lovely wife like to dabble in public transportation. She had a doctor's appointment in Boston where they were going to do some tests. We parked our car at my daughter's place north of the city. We took the train into the city, then the subway to the hospital. The best that can be said for the experience is that it's better than driving a car in Boston. Of course, when my lovely wife had an invasive procedure done in Boston, we took a car. Imagine trying to hop subways and trains with a bandaged leg.

Then again, I'm not a city person in the first place.

Forget plane travel. Everyone complains about the TSA. I boycott flying. Yes, I'm a cantankerous old grump, so what? The only time I'm going to let someone touch me that way is if I can touch them right back. That's usually a private thing involving soft music and wine.

Anyway, that's the sort of though processes set in motion by contemplating one single bill.

Well, that's one bill down. Now for the next one on the pile.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. AAA is handy when you are in unknown areas travlin.OH keep the car to when us large country folks take public transportation the other riders look at us and hear banjo music!!! :}

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    1. Hard to haul a canoe on the bus, or a dead deer after hunting.

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  2. I wouldn't wish city living on anyone, even though I live in Houston.

    Better off keeping at least one old clunker, I think. Living on a boat does sound pretty good, however!

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    1. I've a sister-in-law in Channelview so I've been to Houston a few times. Don't know how you do it.

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  3. I have thought about the high cost of owning a vehicle many times, especially after a repair! The labor rate down here is hovering at $90+ and hour. I just had my clutch replaced and the bill was just shy of $1,200.00! When you look at it as $100 a month for a year there is a lot of things I could do with that much money. Then there are all the insurance and plate costs. Just sitting still in the driveway costs nearly $70 a month. Would I like to be able to live without a vehicle? YES, and may have too if taxes go any higher.

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    1. I see you thought it through. Many people just assume they need two or three cars, never mind getting rid of all of them.

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  4. Living on a boat can be great. Although there isn't much storage room it just means you won't collect much stuff. I lived on a boat for a number of years and the only bad thing was people walking down the dock and looking in. I was asked the address of a couple who were peeking in. When they asked why I told them I wanted to repay the visit.

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  5. Replies
    1. That's great! Wish I could have seen their faces.

      Just makes me want to live out on the hook a lot.

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  6. 1. ANYthing is better than driving in boston.
    2. do not give up AAA. we always have used and donated cars due to no finances. AAA has saved us several times and we had the extra coverage available at the time for long-distance towing which we had to use once. God bless them. it's that or be abandoned all night long in a strange place, possibly in the outback. now there are cell phones, so if you have one and unless you are in the mountains at least the police are available.
    AAA is much cheaper than a car payment for those of us money-poor and mechanically challenged.
    3. what if you have to go to the hospital and there's no ambulance or the only ambulance is out on another call?
    love you.
    deb harvey

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    Replies
    1. Just sent out the AAA check. Good to have.

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  7. It is hard to sail your boat to the grocery or hardware store.

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    Replies
    1. Depends where you are sailing. Not so good from my mountain home.

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  8. I'm with you on the TSA....alas, can't completely boycott planes, trying to get my youngest home for a couple days before he leaves for Afghanistan. But I don't fly any more!

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