Road Trip!

It’s an American tradition. Piling into the car and setting off an adventure.

When I graduated college, two friends and I took a road trip from Pennsylvania to Vail to visit another one of our friends. It was a great trip. The day we arrived, our friend in Vail quit his job so he could hang out with us. I vaguely recall visiting a hot spring outside of Steamboat Springs where no one was wearing clothes. We felt it necessary to follow local traditions, but I have to admit that once I took off my glasses, I could see nothing.

Fast forward a few years, and I was part of a very different road trip. My wife and I, along with our two children (six and three; our youngest was not yet born) drove from Pennsylvania straight through to Disneyworld. It was another great trip, although I must admit the drive down was much more exciting than the drive home.

Several years later, we had plans to take another major road trip, this one all of the way out to Alberta, Canada. I had been offered the opportunity to teach a summer course at the University of Lethbridge, and we decided to drive there. It was going to be our chance to visit the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and many other famous sites. We even bought a conversion van for the trip. But then, a couple of weeks before we were scheduled to leave, the course was canceled for lack of enrollment. I guess my reputation had somehow crossed the border ๐Ÿ™‚

We still have not visited any of those places out West that I just mentioned, but we did get several good years out of the van.

All those memories came back to me as I read about a survey conducted by OnePoll of 2,000 drivers on behalf of EconomyBookings.com that offered some interesting facts about road trips:

  • 42 percent worry about driving in the dark
  • 41 percent worry about driving on foreign roads
  • 37 percent worry about driving on unfamiliar roads
  • 61 percent claim they would only go on a road trip if they didnโ€™t have to drive.
  • Seven and a half hours, on average, is the longest theyโ€™re willing to take a journey.
  • The typical person has taken about seven road tripsย in their lifetime.
  • 78 percent of Americans have found hidden gems along the road that they wouldnโ€™t have seen if they were traveling another way.
  • 35 percent prefer a mix of both planned and unexpected stops, with the most popular destinations being restaurants (46%), historic locations (40%), and roadside attractions (38%). We do like to eat…
  • 32 percent prefer to listen to a curated playlist
  • 40 percent feel the driver should get to choose what comes out of the speakers, but 42 percent end up taking turns with their passengers anyway.
  • 74 percent of respondents believe the journey is more important than the destination
  • 70 percent of people would prefer to rent a car that is different from their current vehicle. One-third of respondents say theyโ€™d choose a convertible.
  • Other perks of road tripping include bonding time with family and friends (51%), the opportunity to make stops (48%), and saving money on a more cost-effective method of travel (46%).
  • 51 percent say their partner or spouse is the best person to travel with. I hope the other 49 percent aren’t married to some of those 51 percent.
  • 76 percent would actually choose driving over flying if they knew the drive would be enjoyable.

And my personal favorite, and one I would include myself in:

  • 40 percent think theyโ€™re the best driver they know

Now I’m in the mood for a good old-fashioned road trip.

But don’t worry America, I’ll be sure to keep my clothes on…

Source: StudyFinds

*image from Oprah Daily

100 thoughts on “Road Trip!

    1. Not odd, to enjoy your own company is a great thing! I think too many people are too afraid to be alone with their thoughts and that is sad.
      I prefer a road trip with one other person, just because I don’t like to drive. I do like the chance for a lot of serious conservation.
      Get too many peoples on a road trip, then you can never decide where to eat!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL! It is, but Ok, when my friend and I go on 4 hour road trips there are a lot of not serious conversations as well! Same with my husband and I. Then other times he listens to his music and I listen to my good music. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 4 people

  1. I’m surprised that the typical American has only gone on 7 road trips. I’ve been on dozens of them. I wonder how young these survey respondents were.

    And I agree with Bitchy. Why did you take your glasses off? You could have kept wiping the steam away.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I’m guessing Art dies a lot.

        and I think I did hear some laughing while I was stepping into the hot spring. But that was one advantage of not being able to see; I have no idea who they were laughing at…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love road trips, though [ agree with the percentage who don’t want to be the driver. Really glad that Brad enjoys driving. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We went on a lot of them as a child and I found it relaxing, looking out the window, listening to music, reading. Playing the Alphabet game. Oh, the memories.

    Brad and I have made the road trip 2x a year to Indiana for the past 26 years!
    Took one to Niagara Falls . ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Road trips are popular here in SA too, Jim. It is probably because both countries have vast areas of fairly unpopulated land and lots of natural delights. You do realise that you could have gotten a lot of milage out of this post. You could have posted about each road trip separately. Just saying [grin].

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I wish I had thought of that earlier – there are probably at least three separate posts here…

      maybe when I start doing reruns, I’ll split this one up…

      Like

  4. The statistic that I thought was odd was that the typical person has taken an average of 7 road trips in their life. I suppose there could be some debate about what constitutes a road trip, but that number seems incredibly low to me. We were forever taking road trips when I grew up. I would have already taken more than seven road trips by the time I was seven years old.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yep, way more than 7 so I make up for someone who doesn’t go on road trips. I have been to all 50 states along the way but could not drive to Hawaii. I also learned I am not a good driver and freely admit it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I love a good road trip, although as you have pointed out, their popularity has seemed to be on the decline. The best part of a road trip is all the memories made before you even get to your destination. I do agree there seems to be an odd trick to physics. It seems to take twice as long to get home as it did to get there. Great post, Jim! Happy travels!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. i love, love road trips, especially the part about finding odd/interesting things and people along the way. i think the reason some make a playlist is as an alternative for out of the way places that may not have radio you enjoy, but with so much music streaming these days there are options. your choice to road trip sans clothing, as long as you don’t take off your glasses.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. and you have a gift for finding those odd/interesting things and people. good point about the value of a playlist. I wonder if there are places where you can’t access streaming services.

      and yes, glasses are necessary if I’m driving, clothes optional, but highly desirable…

      Like

  8. Road trips are fun, analysis notwithstanding. I drove 20 hours to school and back when I was in college. Many times solo. My longest non-stop solo drive was 44 hours from Indy to Winnemucca, NV. I was going to San Francisco and may have made it but pulled over to watch the Pleiades meteor shower and fell asleep.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 44 hours! that jusat sounds crazy! what did you do stay awake? coffee? Coke? and stopping to see the meteor shower seems like it was the right thing to do. that must have been quite the trip…

      Like

  9. So many thoughts!
    1. I loved hearing about your life in this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. I LOVE road trips… there’s something so magical about enjoying the journey/travel and while anticipating a particular destination!

    3. When my husband and I were dating, we drove from Toronto all the way to the east coast of Canada in 13 hours (it was such a fun time and we think about it all the time), of course I don’t think we’d be able to do it now as only one of us would come back LOL that’s a long time to be in a car with someone you’ve quarantined with for almost 2 years now (love him so much)! LOL

    Liked by 4 people

    1. thanks, bossybabe! the Toronto trip sounds like it was a fun trip. Maybe once the quarantine is over, you can start easing back into things with shorter road trips. before you know you’ll be ready fro that 13-hour one again…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Of course your drive down was much more exciting than the drive home, Jim; the latter was uphill.
    Whilst acknowledging that the distances in the US are far greater than those in the UK, I have always loved taking to the road. You need a general plan on where you’re going, with the attitude to stop or divert along the way if you feel the urge. Driving on the other side of the road in Europe isn’t a problem – why the fuss? – you just get on with it. That said, I wouldn’t risk Italy; sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that uphill drive must have been the problem ๐Ÿ™‚

      and it nice to have that freedome to stop or not along the way

      I’ve driven in Ireland, and it didn’t take too long to get used to drivingonthe other side of the road.

      And what is the problem driving in Italy?

      Like

  11. Didn’t we all go skinny dipping back in the day? Hubby and I always talked about a road trip out west to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore. Somehow that never happened. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

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