Craving a change of pace? Get outside and go for a drive. Here are 15 reasons why you should consider taking a road trip this year.
1. It’s a Nice Change of Scenery
If you’ve gotten stuck in a routine lately, taking a road trip is a great way to shake things up. Visit another city, go camping in a faraway state or simply start driving and see where you end up. Explore small towns along the way that you usually wouldn’t have noticed. You might just be surprised by how much culture and history you encounter.
2. You’re in Control
On a road trip, you have flexibility. Want to sleep in one morning? There’s no plane to catch. Enjoy taking a few extra hours to relax and eat at a bed and breakfast. You can stop driving when you feel like it, too, so if you see an interesting roadside attraction, you can totally get out and visit it. Who knew picking your own strawberries would be so fun?
Plus, you’re also in charge of the thermostat. Enough said.
3. It’s More Private
As fun as it is getting to know fellow travelers on a flight, it’s also really nice to stick to your circle of friends and family. You won’t have to make small talk and can avoid the oh-so-awkward moment of waking someone up so you can squeeze past them in the aisle. You can also sleep peacefully without hearing periodic announcements. Plus, if you have a baby or toddler, you’ll have more room to nurse them or do diaper changes.
4. Your Pets Can Come Along
Public transportation can be very stressful for animals. On a road trip, your pets will have a smoother, quieter ride and will have you for comfort. Odds are they’ve been in the car many times before, so it’s a familiar environment. You can let them take breaks as often as they need on the way.
5. You Can Skip the Lines
There’s no need to go through security, queue up at the gate, stand in yet another line to get a rental car or wait for your suitcase to show up at the baggage claim. Just hop in the car and go.
6. You Can Pack More Stuff
You can take back souvenirs that normally wouldn’t fit in your luggage or items forbidden on a plane. That might break during the rough ride in a plane’s storage compartment are also fair game. Extra blankets, fishing tackle, bottles of wine and camp stove fuel are all good to go.
7. It’s a Chance to Bond
A road trip is the perfect time to get to know your friends and family better. You can play games like 20 questions, I spy and the alphabet game, where you have to list items in a category from A to Z. Find out each other’s favorite foods, hobbies and books or enjoy the peaceful silence as you watch the sun setting. You’ll make a lot of good memories.
8. It’s Fun to Jam Out
On a plane, it’s generally frowned upon to play your music at full volume and have an impromptu karaoke party. On a road trip, however, all bets are off.
9. You Can Bring More Food
You’ll probably save money by bringing your own groceries rather than eating out several times during your trip. Pack all of the ingredients for a barbecue in your cooler, then stop at a park or campsite to grill them up and have a picnic. And, of course, whatever you bring is practically guaranteed to be better than airplane snacks. Do you know anyone who actually enjoys plain pretzels or toasted corn kernels? Do those even count as food?
10. It’s Relaxing
On a road trip, you can take off your shoes, cozy up with a big, fluffy blanket and watch a movie on your phone. Not you, drivers. Stick to small, reasonable blankets instead.
11. You’ll Get to See More
Strange road signs, blooming flowers, small-town bakeries and colorful houses are just a few things you might see on the way. You won’t get to stop and take in the sights on public transportation. In a car, however, you can pull over and watch as a family of quail cross the road or a double rainbow arcs above the river. Everyone can get out and take a picture and you have all the time in the world for your spouse to retake the photo from twenty different angles. It’s all worth it for that perfect shot.
12. You Might Save Money
Plane tickets, rental cars and checked bags add up quickly. If you’re in a group, you could save money by carpooling and putting your funds together for hotel rooms, food and gas. Save even more by camping or sleeping in the car.
13. It Can Be Faster
With planes, you have layovers and idle time sitting on the tarmac. With trains and buses, you have frequent stops and they often drive more slowly than cars. One reason to consider taking a road trip this year is you might get where you’re going faster.
14. You Can Change Your Plans
Were you heading to Great Sand Dunes National Park but got intrigued by the nearby alligator farm? Now’s your chance to pay it a visit. You’re not stuck on a direct flight, so you’re free to change your plans anytime.
15. You Can Enjoy the Solitude
Taking a road trip with loved ones is a lot of fun, but so is driving alone. Listen to your favorite audiobooks, play the weird music only you seem to like or simply enjoy the peace and quiet, reveling in the time spent by yourself.
Go for a Drive
If you want to break out of your routine, you should consider taking a road trip this year. There’s so much to see and experience in the world beyond your door.