In an age when social distancing has become the norm, travel will likely look different in the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, when it’s safe and appropriate to start taking trips again, traveling by car can be your ticket to freedom.
In fact, there are numerous reasons to take a road trip, from avoiding crowds to enjoying the tranquility of nature.
Plus, you can experience the freedom of traveling at your own pace and on your terms, putting you in control.
So if you’re considering driving when travel restrictions ease up, here are ten compelling reasons to take a road trip.
It’s no secret that social distancing is most challenging in large public forums, particularly in shared confined spaces.
Therefore, as we move into our “new normal,” travel-related safety precautions will be more important than ever before. Things like wearing masks on planes, mandatory airport health checks, and increased sanitation procedures will become commonplace.
Given the need to socially distance from one another, I predict that road trips will soon dominate the travel sphere. After all, car travel offers the undeniable appeal of built-in separation from others.
In fact, of all the reasons to take a road trip, this one tops the list at the moment.
Whether you’re traveling solo or with a partner you’ve been in close quarters with, you can loosen up a bit.
For instance, you can travel mask-free with the wind in your hair, enjoying the former freedoms you’ve been accustomed to.
Car travel is also less restrictive than flying will be and may even be considered “luxurious” by our new standards.
For example, you won’t need to constantly wipe down common surfaces or worry about maintaining a six-foot distance in the car.
Now that’s a breath of fresh air!
While there’s nothing like the feeling of flying away from it all, air travel can quickly become expensive. In fact, it can be particularly costly if your bucket list is a mile long like mine is!
Traveling by car can help offset a number of these expenses, including flight fees and hotel costs. This is especially true if you’re planning to sleep in your car or camp out.
Plus, you don’t always need to fly to visit epic places. Sometimes, bucket-list-worthy experiences are only a drive away.
In fact, a number of remote places such as the American Southwest, for example, are more conducive to car travel.
So whether you’re longing to go hiking, cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, or otherwise, a road trip can get you there.
Public transportation – while often convenient – puts the control in the hands of the transportation provider. As a traveler, you’re somewhat limited by factors like flight times, train schedules, price gauging, etc.
The amount of advance planning you do will largely dictate the experience you have.
On the other hand, when you’re traveling by car, you can enjoy many more freedoms.
For instance, you can hit the road whenever, take stretch breaks as needed, and grab chow at your desired eateries. These conveniences would simply not be possible during a long-haul flight, for example.
You’re also not subject to the whims of cancellations or changing dates when you’re in charge of all logistics.
As a result, you can spend less time stressing and more time actually enjoying your trip.
The beauty of taking a road trip is the ability to truly escape from the everyday.
While at-home staycations can be a fun alternative when travel isn’t possible, they’re no match for the rush of adventure.
If you’re traveling solo, you’ll enjoy the gift of solitude – just you and the open road. This can be a freeing experience that enables you to unwind, clear your mind, and connect with nature.
Alternatively, a road trip can also be a bonding experience. This holds true whether you’re traveling with a romantic partner, reuniting with your best bud, or taking a family trip.
You can enjoy distraction-free quality time together, unencumbered by outside obligations and pesky crowds.
In addition, traveling with a companion means you can take turns driving, swap sleeping schedules, and soak in the views.
Plus, there’s nothing like experiencing a beautiful view like a sunset with the one(s) you love.
However, regardless of how you design the journey, a road trip is a unique opportunity to reconnect and hit reset.
I love flying, but I hate spending time in airports.
There, I said it.
To be clear, flying is an amazing luxury that I’m blessed to have access to.
That said, I think a number of airports can stand to revise their procedures a bit.
Nothing deflates my sails faster than unexpected baggage fees, gratuitous airport security scoldings, and overnight layovers at Gatwick Airport.
Hey, we all have our limits.
Fortunately, however, car travel alleviates many of these annoyances.
You won’t need to wait in line, get berated for not removing your shoes quickly enough, or be subject to other irksome airport procedures.
Instead, you can load up the car at your own pace and literally drive the experience you want to have. This can be a welcome change of pace from the hustle and bustle of airport life.
However, please don’t misunderstand me; I will not be giving up flying by any means. After all, I want to continue supporting the travel industry and I know the airline sector has been heavily impacted.
Instead, my future plan is to continue flying in addition to taking more road trips when it’s safe.
This way, I’ll enjoy the best of both worlds while giving back to an industry that’s given me so much.
When you have limited time to travel but much to see, your trips can feel a bit rushed.
While short travel stints mean you can cover more ground, you won’t have much time to truly experience a place.
This is especially true if you’re a content creator, as much of your time will go toward documentation for hotel collaborations.
Traveling by car, on the other hand, lends itself to more meaningful experiences that are about the journey, not the destination.
With a car, you’ll enjoy a dynamic itinerary without rushing to catch a flight, make a check-in time, or nail a photo.
This will allow you to savor more, rather than rushing to check the next thing off your agenda.
Since you’re not beholden to a schedule, you can stop, set up camp, and soak in a destination before leaving.
If you prefer a scenic adventure, you can prioritize backroads over highways and see where they lead.
Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can set aside the map to discover some off-the-beaten path surprises.
Once you’re not racing against the clock, you can discover a whole new level of travel contentment.
As a travel blogger, there’s a constant need to create fresh content for a variety of different channels.
Having outfit changes at the ready is key for creating variety on the gram grid and pumping out “fresh” pins (a recent Pinterest push).
Unfortunately, however, putting your closet on wheels is not a viable option, particularly when you’re trying to travel light and/or fit your belongings in a carry-on.
Plus, overpacking can lead to costly baggage fees and a huge pain in your you-know-what while traipsing around. (Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.)
Enter car travel, a content creator’s dream (and one of my favorite reasons to take a road trip).
You can essentially pack your bags to your heart’s content, as long as everything fits in your vehicle.
That means more room for those cute-but-cumbersome sun hats that never quite recover from S.S.S (sad suitcase suffocation).
Oh, and those seven pairs of shoes you “absolutely need” for vacay (until you actually don’t).
While we’re at it, let’s not forget your special pillow, your favorite teddy bear, and the list goes on…
Essentially, car travel means you can take along what you actually want rather than what you can get by with. Talk about luxury!
Just make sure to leave enough space to comfortably sit and/or move around (if you’re in a camper van).
However, a road trip can offer peace and quiet, particularly if you venture out somewhere refreshingly remote.
Instead of bothersome traffic, noisy crowds, and the loud bar/restaurant scene, you can enjoy the sounds of nature.
This mode of traveling means you can connect with the world around you in a new way.
Use this opportunity to engage all of your senses. Take in the view, breathe the air, feel the earth underneath you, smell the scents, and listen to the sounds.
In addition to providing inner peace, a road trip can also be the perfect way to jumpstart your creativity. Without the constant chaos of everyday life, you’ll have more time to ruminate on ideas and the space to feel inspired.
After all, it’s no coincidence that many writers retreat into nature to find their focus!
If your least favorite part of traveling is having to leave your four-legged family member behind, fret not! A road trip means you get to make the rules, including bringing along your constant canine companion, for example.
While my husband and I don’t have a dog just yet, you can bet that when we do, he/she will be the copilot on our adventures!
A road trip can be especially beneficial for active dog breeds, as they’ll have plenty of time to explore and get their daily exercise.
Plus, you won’t have to feel guilty about abandoning/missing your pet while you’re away.
In addition, having your pet in your own vehicle is generally less of a hassle than acclimating him/her to public transportation. For one, you won’t need to worry about weight limits, additional fees, and finding pet-friendly hotels.
Secondly, you won’t need to purchase an airline-approved carrier or keep your furry friend in confinement for long stretches of time.
Instead, he or she can enjoy catching a breeze out the window or curling up in your lap.
If you’re looking to social distance and avoid hotels, a road trip affords you the option of on-the-go sleeping!
This can be a huge perk if you’re a fussy sleeper. You won’t need to adjust to awkward mattresses and itchy bed sheets or check for bed bugs.
Instead, you can enjoy whatever creature comforts you prefer, whether that’s cozying up in your camper van or reclining under the stars.
Regardless of how you arrange it, the beauty of traveling by car is that it puts the control in your hands. By arranging the schedule and traveling on your own terms, you can design an experience that’s uniquely yours.
Plus, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to go where you want, when you want, with the option to switch gears at any time.
In short, your car is your ticket to freedom when the world opens up again.
So if you’re literally looking to be in the driver’s seat, don’t miss the opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime road trip adventure!
Can you think of any other compelling reasons to take a road trip when it’s safe to travel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!