Being on the road is no walk in the park. In fact, the romance of the road can be highly overrated when you factor in mishaps and perils that make you lose valuable time. And not even your best designer mechanical pocket watch can recoup the time lost (not even Big Ben itself). Here then are practical travel tips to help you avoid common time wasters on the road.

Avoid Shortcuts

Unless you know the terrain like the back of your hand, you should avoid alleged shortcuts through dirt roads and unmarked paths. You might not see anything of interest on the interstates but at least you can go from coast to coast on good roads, hopefully without too many hassles.

Besides, Hollywood movies do have a grain of truth to them. You certainly do not want your mechanical pocket watch to be the only thing left as you explored a dirt road with a maniac at its end. Then again, if the purpose of your travel is to see the back roads of America, then you are welcome to them.

Take the Train

Between traveling by car and traveling by train, the latter is often more desirable. At least, in terms of time since train systems can be timed to the last minute of your mechanical pocket watch. No more flat tires, overheated radiators, busted air conditioners, psycho hitchhikers and other perils of the road, which use up your time.

Unless Bonnie & Clyde’s successors exist, you also avoid highway robberies and road rage. And you do not have to drive! The downside is that you cannot get out of a train to admire the scenery up close but it is a disadvantage well worth it.

Bring a Bandage to Airports (And Your Acting Self)

You are probably incredulous about the connection between a bandage and saving traveling time. Well, it is quiet simple really. When you are in a very busy airline hub, you can wrap the bandage around your ankle and then limp like your life depends on it. If you are lucky, and dumb luck plays a big role in traveling, you will probably get an electric cart for the disabled. No more running around chasing after the time on your mechanical pocket watch! You will be whisked to your flight, which certainly beats missing it as you have often done in the past.

Be Picky About Where You Eat

If it is possible, stick to reputable fast food chains. Even if your stomach is growling in hunger, never risk your health on road side shacks posing as diners. You will almost certainly get diarrhea and stomach cramps, which will hold you back holed up in a motel’s dingy bathroom. Now those illnesses will take many revolutions of your mechanical pocket watch, yet another timewaster.

If you can, you should stick to diners with trucks parked outside. These usually serve palatable food and passable coffee, and if you are lucky, you will get good company with truckers and friendly staff.

Remember that even the best traveler among us will commit mistakes. But if you follow these tips, you might actually make good time and arrive in your destination ahead of time. Safe traveling!