When people tell me they want to travel — but don’t have the time or money — what I really hear is that travel isn’t a priority for them.
And that’s totally okay! No judgement here.
Travel isn’t for everyone, and, even if it is, we all go through seasons where other things will take a higher priority (like paying off debt, learning a new skill, taking on more responsibility at work, etc.).
BUT if you really do want to travel, I don’t want to hear any excuses! One of the easiest ways to travel? Take a road trip! You can go when you want, for however long your schedule allows, and do whatever you want.
Road trip doesn’t sound all that appealing? Well, here are 9 reasons you should consider taking a road trip to feed that pesky little travel bug:
1. It’s a flexible travel option.
Let’s face it: flying can be a hassle. The stress of booking your flight, getting to the airport in time, connections, missed flights, delays… anyone else already getting a headache? But that’s the great thing about road trips. You can literally go whenever you want! You don’t need to book tickets (maybe a hotel if you don’t want to sleep in your car. But I’ve booked places to stay the same day I’ve gotten to my destination as well… don’t tell my mom). Just hop in your car and drive.
2. See a different side of the country.
Driving through winding mountain roads or out across desert plains will give you a different view (and hopefully a new appreciation!) of the beautiful country you live in (or are visiting). You aren’t looking at the landscape from above the clouds. You are driving through, forced to take a more mindful approach. And hey, you may even get to meet some locals on the way! 😋
3. It’s an opportunity to visit friends who live in different parts of the country.
While it’s always sad when friends move away, it’s also a great excuse for a road trip! Especially once you’ve all graduated from college, who knows where life (aka your job) will take you. When two of my good friends moved to Boston, it was sad not to have them around all year. But I’ve been able to take several trips up to visit them and explore more of the northeast in the process!
4. Spend less than you would to fly.
This may not always be the case (my sister and I scored plane tickets under $100 to Florida last spring), but take advantage of when gas prices are down to reduce the cost of your trip. Plus, if you have multiple people in your car, you get to divide that number in half (or maybe even less than that) — and you can always sleep in your car instead of renting a hotel if worst comes to worst!
5. Different ways of travel teach you different things.
I like variety in my travels. Sometimes I fly, sometimes I drive. Each trip offers new opportunities to learn things about myself, about my travel partner(s), or about where I am exploring. If you always fly, take a road trip! Or vice versa. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable in your travels.
6. You can be spontaneous!
One of the best things about a road trip? You can do whatever you want! That cool antique store by the side of the road? Pull over and take some time to browse. That state park you just passed? Spend some time exploring and getting lost in the woods (okay, maybe not too lost). When you are flying, taking a train or a bus, you don’t have the same flexibility as when you are at the wheel. The goal isn’t just to get from point A to point B (although, that is usually a plus); the journey is what makes road trips memorable.
7. You have lots of time to think.
If you are anything like a typical American, your schedule is probably jam packed. Between your job, social life, side job, hobbies, schooling, and everything else you are doing, we often don’t have time to just sit and think. But when you are stuck in a car for 8+ hours, there’s only so much you can do before you end up being still with your mind. And that’s a good thing. Get comfortable with silence.
8. Catch up with friends.
Similar to the previous point, if you take friends with you on your road trip (and I’d suggest trying both ways!), you have lots of time to catch up. And I don’t mean the shallow “so how’s your week been” way. I mean the you-are-stuck-in-the-car-together-for-8-hours-so-let’s-get-real way. You have time to get into deep conversations that might feel awkward under normal circumstances. But once you’ve run out of normal things to talk about, it’s easier dive into conversations that make you think and challenge what you believe .
9. Who doesn’t love a good road trip playlist?!
Turn up the music, roll down the windows, and rock out like the star you are! 😉 I love music, and you probably do too (if not, I have some serious questions for you). Road trips are a great chance to listen to your favorites, make fun of your friend’s country playlist, and discover new music. Besides, jamming out to Disney songs on the open highway is never a bad way to spend your time.
So what are you waiting for? You aren’t getting any younger! Lol, jk, but seriously. Jump in your car and head out! Maybe it’s just for a day trip or a weekend. Either works. Just don’t let time or money stop you from exploring!
Did I miss any reasons to take a road trip? Share what you would add in the comments below!