In these uncertain times, your dream vacation to a tropical island or a bustling foreign city may have been put on hold—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great holiday.
Perhaps all you need to do is re-conceptualize what your holiday will look like. The key to your next fantastic vacation may already be sitting in your driveway or garage. Here are seven reasons why taking yourself on a road trip is the best way to get away.
You have your own space
Your car is your safe space where you and your traveling companions can talk freely, have sing-a-longs, play games, listen to music, eat, and let yourself get rocked to sleep by the movement of the drive. You don’t need to worry about sitting next to a stranger while you strap yourself in for a long flight, and there’s no awkward elbow-bumping or reluctant small talk. Essentially, you can take the comfort of home with you wherever you go.
You’re in the driver’s seat
If you have a couple of travel buddies who will take shifts at the wheel, you might not always be in the driver’s seat, however, going on a road trip means that you’re in control. You don’t need to adhere to the schedule of other modes of transportation. You will never find yourself rushing because of an unexpected gate change or killing time because of a departure delay.
If you start getting motion sick, then you can decide when to stop the car. Do you suddenly feel like changing your destination? No problem, you can change your trajectory with a spin of the wheel. You are in charge, so take advantage of it!
You have way more flexibility
You can design your trip to fit your schedule. Whether it’s just a few days you can spare off of work or a full month of your hoarded paid days off, you can customize your itinerary for your specific needs.
It’s doable on a budget
If you put in a bit of planning beforehand, a road trip can be one of the most cost-effective ways to travel. Here are some money-saving tips to consider:
Bring your own…
You can bring your own food, books, booze, and anything else that will fit. On average, Americans will spend about a quarter of their vacation budget on food and alcohol, so curb that expenditure by packing your own.
Use your rewards
Before embarking on your adventure, list all of the reward programs you’re a part of and plan accordingly, making sure to stop wherever you can cash in on those rewards or earn more for a later date.
Take advantage of free activities
There’s no need to break the bank when exploring a new destination. Search online for free parks, shows, and outdoor spaces that you should visit, or download a city guide app that will let you search for events and restaurants based on your price range.
Don’t spend all your money on a place to sleep
Instead of opting for an expensive hotel, try a work exchange or house-sitting. If you’re in a city where you have some connections, then maybe ask to stay for a night or two or try couch surfing. You may even find a safe campground to turn your car into a tent.
You can pack (almost) whatever you want
Don’t be restricted by weight limits on luggage. You can bring whatever you want (within reason) if you’re in a car. So grab that yoga mat, big fluffy pillow, and extra heavy book—it may take a bit Tetris-ing but it’ll be worth having everything you need for an enjoyable trip.
Invite your pets for the ride
Road tripping means that you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home. Bring them along for the ride; they’ll be happier with you and won’t criticize your driving.
Getting there is half the fun
Use a long drive to listen to your favorite podcasts or delve into that audiobook you’ve been meaning to get into. A solo road trip is a perfect time for quiet reflection while traveling with friends offers the opportunity to use the time to reconnect and further your relationships.
Entertain yourself with fun road games or your own version of “Carpool Karaoke,” or keep it classic by counting license plates. A long road trip is much more than the destination, but the entire holiday is enhanced by the company you keep, the people you meet, and the memories you create.