You like to travel? Here's an idea. Why not travel—to Mars? Bad idea!

For hundreds of years, mankind has dreamed of one day visiting Mars. Why? Probably due to the inherent stupidity of mankind. Has mankind considered how much more conveniently located and affordable Aruba is, compared to Mars? It is hard for any rational person to deduce why someone would rather spend billions of dollars to travel 140 million miles to an asteroid-scarred frigid dead planet bombarded by deadly solar radiation, rather than spending just $989 for four nights all inclusive at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba—airfare included.

It doesn't make sense.

Nonetheless, the fact is that crazy people are planning to go to Mars, and we must accept that these sorts of people live among us, and learn to deal with it. NASA has an entire decades-long "Mars campaign... aimed at sending humans to the Red Planet and its moons," which is all the proof you need that the money spent on NASA would be better spent sending America's neediest citizens to the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba. Going to Mars is not even fun at all! Consider, if you will, today's New Yorker story by Tom Kizzia, which details an ongoing study that seeks to replicate the condition of a voyage to Mars, in order to learn just how fucked up it will make the unfortunate people trapped on a small spacecraft, millions of miles from home, with months to contemplate how they could have gone to Aruba instead. The University of Hawaii has erected a 1200-square-foot geodesic dome structure on the side of a barren Hawaiian mountain, and inside of that structure are six volunteers, who will stay in there from last October through this coming June, like a decidedly non-glamorous version of Big Brother. It's so boring!!! And if you think the eight-month simulation is bad, consider what a real Mars mission would look like:

Eight months is a long time in a dome, but on a real voyage that’s when the crew might just be reaching its destination. The trip home could be significantly longer. Mars takes about twice as long as Earth to complete an orbit of the sun, and, as the orbits go out of phase, the distance between the planets ranges from thirty-five million miles to more than two hundred million. The designers of a mission face a difficult choice: stay on Mars for a year and a half, waiting for the planets to draw close enough for a quick trip home, or make a sixty-day stopover, which could mean a homeward journey of more than a year—drawing heavily on whatever stores of rocket fuel and human patience remain.

Just to let you know you could also upgrade to five nights in the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba for only $1199, where every room features "chairs and tables, cable TV, direct dial telephone, iron with ironing board, hair dryer and fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes," and a location on planet Earth.

[Then you get there and there's nothing but rocks! Photo: Flickr]