(This is a guest post by Trevor McDonald.)

According to the Airlines for America air travel survey, Americans traveling by air have doubled since 1977. Sure, flying is considered the safest mode of travel, but let’s consider other factors.

why road travel in the US is better than flying

Photo by Ariana P. Habich / Shutterstock.com

When you travel by plane, you hustle through traffic to get to the airport 2-3 hours before your departure time, get processed through security, board a crowded plane, maneuver your luggage, try to seek comfort in your tight seating space, take your pick from an awful food selection, and arrive at your destination airport groggy. Along the way, you’re probably asleep. If you’re not asleep, clouds are what you see the majority of the time. That’s if you’re lucky enough to get a seat by the window and if you’re flying during the day. You’ve just wasted several hours on an uneventful air travel experience.

When choosing to travel by vehicle, be prepared for a captivating and enriching adventure. You should experience a road trip at least once in your life, if your travel schedule is flexible at all. Here are six reasons why traveling by road within the U.S. is far superior to flying.

1. Tailor your trip your way

The saying “getting there is half the fun” is true with road trips. When traveling by air, it’s anything but fun. When traveling by road, suddenly your options open up. You can tailor your trip your way. You’re on your time. Create a road trip music playlist and turn up the volume as loud as you like. Pick your own stops to scenic lookout points and choose little nooks for great places to eat. What better way to go on an adventure than being in control of your own experience?

2. Discover photo opportunities

Travelling by road offers photo opportunities (road travel in the US)

Photo by Tom Wang / Shutterstock.com

When boarding a plane, the cliché snapshot is to capture the wing of the plane. When traveling by road in the U.S., you’ll be overwhelmed by all the photo opportunities. Numerous lookout points, panoramic views, sunrises, sunsets, interesting people, and notable landmarks will clamor for your attention. You may even discover beautiful hidden sites you didn’t even know were there. It’ll be hard to put your camera down.

3. Gain quality time

A simple conversation is a dying communication medium in a world filled with texting, emailing, and social media posts. We’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to have a pleasurable, intimate dialogue. When traveling by road, you’ll get to know each other more. You can have deeper, more meaningful talks with your kids or grandkids, laugh it up with your friends, or perhaps learn more about your spouse or partner than you ever have before. If no one feels like chatting, play some music that you all can agree on. It’ll be such a blast singing along to all your favorite tunes that time will go by fast. You’ll find yourself arriving at your destination much sooner than you think.

Road travel gives you quality time (road travel in the US)

Photo by Estrada Anton / Shutterstock.com

4. Learn the lay of the land

There is a plethora of historic sites across the U.S. When planning your road trip, take note of the cities and landmarks you may come across. You’ll be surprised by what you discover. Many of these places are nowhere near any airports. Just by having a reliable car, you’ll suddenly have access to many areas that may have historical significance. It can be a great learning experience to come across small museums, famous statues, historical towns or cities, and geological wonders. For those who are into pop culture, get off the beaten path to find filming locations, homes of famous people, and favorite celebrity spots.

5. BYOD – Bring your own dog

Bring your dog on a road trip (road travel in the US)

Photo by MPH / Shutterstock.com

Ever wanted to bring your dog along with you when you travel, but your pooch failed the airline’s pet policy weight limit, or the pet fee wasn’t in your budget? Now you can. Probably one of the most enjoyable reasons to travel by road is to bring your dog or whatever pet you have that’s suited for the adventure. Your pet will be excited and it’ll be fun for the entire family. If you’re traveling alone, you can now have your furry friend along with you for the ride.

6. Spend less money

If you have a family of 3 or more, plane tickets are expensive. You’ll save hundreds of dollars if you opt to travel by road. Not to mention, many airlines are charging for food that you’ll probably hate, extra baggage fees, and entertainment. When venturing off in an automobile, you won’t need to worry about that. You’ll get to choose what you or your companions want to eat and do. Plus, you’ll have a lot more room to pack whatever you want with the amount of space you’ll have available in your vehicle.

Save money with a road trip (road travel in the US)

Photo by Maria Maerz / Shutterstock.com

Every travel itinerary has a time limit, especially when it’s work related. You might be headed from one side of the country to another. If that’s the case, driving isn’t in the cards. When you do have the option to drive though, go for it. You’ll be able to tailor your trip your way, share quality time, see things you would have never seen by plane, learn some history, and save money. Remember to be cautious and drive safely. Hit the road! I guarantee that you’ll have a thrilling experience and remember it for the rest of your life.

About the author:

Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed “Travelholic”. He enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, conversing with locals, and sharing his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him planning his next trip or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

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