The Practical Traveller

The holidays are back again, and everyone is preparing for their holiday trip. Our European roads are stuffed with cars filled with people and their luggage. They all share a common goal:

“Get there co-travellers as fast and comfortable possible to their destination”

There are of course different ways for drivers to prepare for the trip.

The Theoretical Traveller

The Theoretical Traveller is the kind of traveller who prepares his trip very thorough. He buys maps of every piece of country and city he will cross and has an up to the minute scheme to which he will adhere during his trip. This scheme is in a standardized language (the Universal Travelling Language) stating:

  • Start point and time of departure.
  • Endpoint and time of arrival.
  • Every junction is named and it is described:
    • Number Of Arms
    • Direction of each arm
    • Which arm to take.

Handling of detours: when things cannot work as planned

The handling of roadblocks and detours is a bit of a hassle for the Theoretical Traveller.
His first line of defense for roadblocks is of course documenting himself about ongoing road-work.
Once he gets at an unforeseen roadblock he opens his roadmap and starts searching for alternatives. When he has found a valid alternative, he recalculates all the departure times, and makes a new summary of junctions and branches to take. There isn’t really any checking of direction because “he does not need that, he has his maps”.

Handling of traffic jams: when things slow down

There isn’t really a handling of traffic jams by the Theoretical Traveller. When he ends up in one, he simple keeps to his junction map, but does recalculate the arrival time.

Arrival at their destination

The theoretical traveller nearly never arrives in time at his destination. Because the handling of unforeseen events like roadblocks and traffic jams takes so mush time, he spends more time recalculating his scheme then driving. At the arrival there is also a checking if they are at the right place. But mostly there is an offset in which case the whole process starts all over again.

Passenger satisfaction

Although no one doubts that passenger satisfaction is something of great value to the theoretical traveller, it is very low. When passengers are asked for their experience, the most common complaints are arrival times are always late and the costs are always over budget.

The Punk Traveller

The Punk Traveller is the complete opposite of the Theoretical Traveller. He starts his journey without much preparation and trusts his past experience. Because he thinks there is No Future, why should you prepare for one? He does check which direction he should be going and sets off in that direction. When at a junction he makes an estimate of which arm to take based on past experiences, takes that arm and then continuously checks if he is still in the right direction, adapting if he is not. His experiences are written down in a non standardized language which only he understands. As such he can not share any experience except by sitting with other Punk Travelers and exchanging knowledge in a verbal way.

Handling of roadblocks: when things cannot work as planned

Roadblock handling is rather simplistic for this type of traveller: he simply picks a new direction and sets off. He then continuously checks if he is still going in the right direction and adapts if necessary. He calls it “Emerging Direction-Map”.

Handling of traffic jams: when things slow down

The handling of traffic jams is done the same as the handling of roadblocks: a shortcut is taken and continuously checking direction follows.

Arrival at their destination

The Punk Traveller almost never arrives at his destination although sometimes he gets very close. Because of the lack of preparation he is constantly adapting his direction to where he should be going, but in the end he doesn’t get their because of wasting time driving in circles. Although if he gets more experience, he gets better at it. But isn’t it always like that?

Passenger satisfaction

Passenger satisfaction is varying but not really that high, although the Punk Traveller claims the opposite. Passengers hardly ever get where they would like or get there late. The trip is also very chaotic with constant changing of direction and “trying” some direction on crossroads. When passengers are asked for their impression, a lack of professionalism is a common answer.

The Practical Traveller

The Practical traveller is somewhere in between the Theoretical and the Punk Traveller. He believes in a good preparation, but is realistic and knows that you can not foresee every situation and detailing your roadmap to much won’t help you either.
In order to prepare for a trip, he documents himself using the Universal Travelling Language. This allows him to share his experiences with other travellers and to learn from the experience of other travellers. He writes down the most important junctions and directions to take, trusting his experience to handle unforeseen circumstances.

Handling of roadblocks: when things cannot work as planned

Of course, the Practical Traveller isn’t free of roadblocks. But his preparation also includes listening to the radio to hear if any roadblocks are ahead. When eventually at an unforeseen roadblock the Practical Traveller will check his maps to see his options and try to pick the best one. He also has a book with experiences from previous travellers in which he can find some of his options. He will then re-arrange his trip to incorporate the changes made. There is of course also the checking of direction to see if he is heading for his goal.

Handling of traffic jams: when things slow down

The handling of traffic jams is like a mini travel session inside the original travel session, but with a re-focus on a different nearby target and agreed upon by the passengers.

Arrival at their destination

The Practical Traveller is, as all travellers, subject to the environment that he travels in: things like roadblocks and traffic jams can affect his trip in a negative way. But because of his preparation he is better equipped to deal with them and sometimes even avoid them. This way he stands a better chance to arrive in time.

Passenger satisfaction

Passenger satisfaction is varying for the Practical Traveller. But it is agreed that he exhibits a great deal of professionalism and his chances of success are better because of his preparation. Customers, as always, are satisfied when they arrive at their location in time and are dissatisfied when they arrive late. The question is, how do you maximize your chances of arriving in time, and when you cannot, what are the alternatives you can offer? And that requires preparation and experience.

Who are You?

What kind of a traveller are you?
And where are you on the scale?

Theoretical Practical Punk
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