Why is everybody in such a hurry nowadays? Just a couple of generations ago the American road trip was for many people a regular event, even a rite of passage. America was discovered and mapped by adventurers and even today a road trip can be an adventure: a way to explore new areas, relive forgotten memories and discover the real America.
There are so many cultural references to travelling by car in American culture, especially in songs. Roy Orbison sung I Drove All Night, Willie Nelson was often On The Road Again, Miranda Lambert was Greyhound Bound for Nowhere and Rodney Atkins enjoyed to Take A Back Road. And we must not forget John Denver’s Country Roads (Take Me Home). One of the oldest songs of the road is Bobby Troup’s (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66, famously sung by Nat King Cole and The Rolling Stones. Can you name a song about flying?
Flying does have some obvious advantages over driving. For the longest journeys flying is essential if time is short. It takes almost six hours to fly from LA to New York, but almost two days to drive. However, few journeys are that long in America and often you are simply not in such a hurry.
When to drive?
If you are visiting friends or relations in another state why not take the car instead? Even short business trips can be done by car. It is often far more economical to drive and some journeys are not as long as you may think. By the time you have driven to an airport, checked in, waited for your flight, flown and then traveled to your destination, many hours will pass. Sometimes driving is just as quick.
For example, if you need to travel from New York to Boston it will take around three hours and 47 minutes door-to-door, and cost around $400. To drive will take three hours and 40 minutes and only cost $50. If there are two people traveling the cost is halved in a car.
If you do not own a car that is no problem either; it is often still cheaper to hire a car and drive than to fly, especially if you shop around for car rentals to find the best available deal.
Driving across the states is not only a positive thing because of the money saved. Driving can be a real adventure. America has some of the most stunning scenery in the world and a trip around the Great Lakes or across the Rockies is an experience that you will never forget.
The problem with flying is that the journey is usually stressful. Every part of it is rushed, from getting to the airport on time to go through security to finding transport when you land. When you drive you are in control all the way.
Next time you plan to visit friends in another state, or maybe when you head home for Thanksgiving, why not enjoy the ride, feel the wind in your hair and make the journey a part of your vacation. Get on the road again.