Going on a road trip is a very unique experience that has everything to do with the people that jam into the car with you. When a vacation consists of hours on end spent in a cramped space together, your mode of transportation also turns into a home and hangout space of sorts, and there's no real escaping the people around you. So whether it's with family, close friends, co-workers, or maybe even a few random people all on the way to somewhere new, a road trip can produce some amazing stories and bonding you'd never get by air travel.
Beyond its status as a well-written, energetic novel, Jack Kerouac's On the Road strikes a chord within people because it so well captures the spirit of getting into a car to drive somewhere not only for the destination, but purely for the joy of the journey itself. This is what road trips are all about — getting away from the humdrum quality of everyday life and taking on a new adventure that's never the same for any group that tries it, even if they all follow identical directions. The same can't really be said in a meaningful way for air travel.
So next time you think you want to break away for a vacation, strongly consider hitting the road. Here's what you'll get that a regular flight won't provide:
1. A totally unpredictable journey.
Sure, you can map out your journey entirely, pick each spot you want to see along the way, know where you're going to spend the night, and so on. But even with all that structure, something has to fill the gaps of time when you're just driving and there seems to be nothing notable in sight. Whether that's a weird attraction that pops up out of nowhere or a fun game someone comes up with inside the car, you really have no idea what direction your trip will go, even if you have one in mind when you start.
2. The feeling of hitting the open road.
When you start out any road trip in good company, the first hour of the trip is marked by an unmistakable excitement for what's ahead. Although that may fade away eventually, there's no equal feeling in the world like that initial spike. It's almost worth all the combined downtimes on its own.
3. It's cheap.
Driving to a destination with a full car of people who split gas is almost always cheaper than buying individual flights. It's as simple as that.
4. It's all in your control.
On a road trip, there's no waiting in lines at the airport around thousands of other weary, irritable travelers. When you get behind the steering wheel, the trip is literally in your control. You can change plans at any moment and not be a slave to plane delays and the like.
5. See what the vast majority of land looks like.
The rural parts of America and other countries around the world might not be as "exciting" and full of life as a city, but they have a sort of peace and beauty you'd never find in places overrun with people. While traveling by plane just soars totally over this idea, a road trip allows you to see what the majority of your country really looks like. You can find some real gems in what is often considered just the "in between" on the way from one place to another.
6. Meet new people.
At an airport, no one's that excited to talk to someone they don't know. On the road, where there aren't nearly as many people, you'll find that most people you come across are beyond friendly.
7. The music, the podcasts, the learning.
Everyone needs a soundtrack to their road trip, and sharing in the experience together is a big part of the fun. When you're tired of music, pop on a podcast and learn something new.
8. Deep conversations.
When you're stuck in a car with the same people, some of life's most existential questions inevitably pop up. If you indulge in the deep conversation, the time will fly by and you'll find yourself experiencing a catharsis you can't get anywhere else.
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