When it Comes to Travel Arithmetic, I Prefer Subtraction

timer18 Days, 5 Hours, 59 minutes to go. That’s what my handy countdown-timer app read as I began writing this post. It is amazing how much math is involved in planning a trip. You have to calculate the cost per night multiplied by the number of nights. You have to add your expenses such as dining, transport and souvenirs. Then you have to divide your remaining money by the number of days left and live within that equation. It is little wonder then that of all the mathematical functions necessary to travel my favorite is subtraction, namely counting down the days before leaving on a trip.


Travel is often a gauge by which we mark our time, measuring things as BV or AV (before or after vacation). With the increase of anticipation it is only natural that the decrease in time before leaving (also known as subtraction) would be a source of joy. In fact, I can even express it in an equation: J=A-T (Joy equals Anticipation minus Time). With every second that passes that equation plays itself out, building to a crescendo on the day of departure.


Of course, there are other equations that factor into the one listed above. S/D=X for example, with S meaning Stuff I still have to get done before leaving, divided by Days left to do it, which equals Anxiety. But that still doesn’t trump the blissful subtraction of hour after hour until it is time to check in.


Now I’m not one to bash the education system–I have nothing but respect for educators and their fields. But I have to be honest. Since leaving high school I’ve yet to extrapolate anything, use the Quadratic Equation, or encounter a radical number. All the math I need I learned in grade school, and when it comes to subtraction, both then and now, I’ve got nothing but straight A’s. And as my counter now reads 18 Days, 5 Hours, and 34 Minutes I know that regardless of whether or not I’ve communicated effectively, I’m now 24 minutes closer to takeoff. Yep, I’ll take subtraction every time.

Is there a “travel equation” you’d like to share? Leave a comment!


One thought on “When it Comes to Travel Arithmetic, I Prefer Subtraction

  1. Oh, yes! “If a car traveling at 80 miles an hour mistakenly goes through the EZPass lane without an account, how long will it take for the state police officer traveling in the opposite direction at 60 miles an hour to catch up? Answer: Never, as long as there is a Dunkin Donuts between both traveling cars.”


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