Feeling cooped up at home and ready to take in some sunshine and hit the open road? You have plenty of options. According to the Federal Highway Administration, America has over 164,000 miles of highways. Of these 47,000 miles, Interstates in rural areas (65%) and urban areas (35%).
Whether you prefer driving on the main streets, back roads, or highways, taking a road trip this summer with your family, partner, or solo, here are 7 reasons to take a road trip this summer.
1. Stretch your travel dollars
The estimated cost of driving from Chicago to Orlando is $111.60 one way and $223.20 round trip. So, if you’re a family of four, it only costs $55.80 per person to drive. You’ll have to pay more to fly from Chicago to Orlando. Also, take into consideration the cost of getting round trip transfers from your home to the airport and the airport to your hotel at the destination, or a rental car when you arrive at the destination.
Road trips give you the liberty to pack snacks, drinks, and meals while you’re on the road. You’ll have ample opportunity to stop at a supermarket to get more food and the ability to stretch your travel dollars. Having your car with you also allows you to find an accommodation that is further from the city center, which translates to more savings because most hotels outside the city center are much more affordable.
2. Travel to small towns and places off the beaten track
Road trips can get you to unusual tourist places, and you don’t have to rely on private tours or public transportation to get to these places.
There are plenty of small towns in America worth traveling to. They are usually cheaper and have a much more serene and laid-back environment, suitable for anyone looking for a place to relax and are not overcrowded. If you’ve been to Zion National Park, you’ll notice that Springdale, UT, a town 307 miles from Salt Lake City, and 158 miles from Las Vegas is a fantastic place to visit or stay a night or two before heading to the park. Springdale has a local brewery (Zion Brewery), beautiful art galleries, excellent places to eat, and the best part is the breathtaking views of towering cliffs of Zion.
Springdale is just one example of a small town you can visit while on a road trip. If you’re in New York City or Boston, take a road trip to Gillette Castle State Park in Connecticut to see the medieval-looking fortress built by William Gillette (the actor who played Sherlock Holmes) in 1914.
3. Stop wherever you want
You have the freedom to choose wherever you want to stop. Unlike taking a flight, road trips allow you to take spontaneous or planned stops along the way before you arrive at your final destination. For example, if you are driving from Chicago to Orlando, you may want to stop at Chattanooga, the halfway point for the night or more to explore before continuing your journey.
4. Create your own personalized schedule
Road trips allow you to create your own schedule. You don’t have to follow an airline time table. And you won’t have the stress of missing your flight, facing flight delays or cancellations.
Besides that, we live in a golden age of technology, and there’s an app for almost everything you need, making it even easier to navigate your trip. There are apps to find a hotel near you, find gas by location and price, where to stay, eat and find places of interest, and more. Travelmath’s cost of driving calculator will help you figure out how much you might spend on fuel on your road trip.
Need more reasons to take a road trip this summer? Read How to Plan the Perfect Summer Vacation.
5. You don’t have to worry about liquids or limit to travel-size containers
Road trips give you the freedom to pack. You can have a cooler filled with all your favorite drinks, have a pair of scissors if you want to, or large containers of shampoo and liquid soap if you are so inclined to bring.
Make sure you don’t drink and drive. Don’t get into your vehicle with any type of opened alcohol container.
6. Family bonding time
You’ll have many uninterrupted hours to connect with your family when on a long road trip. It provides parents and kids opportunities to talk, learn, and enjoy the refreshing change of scene from the usual.
7. No air travel stress
These days, air travel can be stressful if you’re flying with your family on basic economy seats. Basic economy class means you can only choose your seats at check-in. If you’re a frequent flyer, you’d know that good seats are usually taken if you fail to request your seat in advance. Often, families traveling with kids find themselves sitting with strangers, and sometimes kids are given seats separated from mom and dad.
Another problem that most travelers face is the lack of overhead compartment spaces in airlines. Most of these compartments are usually taken if you are one of the last to board.
You won’t have these problems on road trips.