Why Road Trips Are Essential: For Your Wallet, Your Relationship, and Your Mind

Road trips make for the best hours of education

You know that moment -- when you turn the key and start the ignition, you put your vehicle in reverse and start to roll back? The first moments of a road trip always get me excited. Mostly because I know that all of the thrilling (but small) things I have planned for the ride are about to begin. I've lived in a few small towns that require some long travel to get to family, friends, and my hometown.

The first thing people always seem to say is "that's a long drive -- must be awful".

To which I respond, "no, I love road trips actually", and they look at me like I'm some kind of lunatic.

Realizing that you can get somewhere completely new within a few hours is what makes road trips so unique. Obviously you can do the same with a quick flight, but it doesn't quite offer the same experiences or opportunities as a car ride.

Over the past few years I've started to realize why road trips are essential — for your wallet, your relationship, and your mind. 

Those reasons are endless. I could even spend an entire paragraph describing how much better road trip coffee tastes than work morning coffee, but I won't bore you with the details.

*whispers* It's because you actually get to enjoy every sip while taking in a much better view than four cubicle walls.

I will, however, bore you with the details of why it's essential in every other way. Because -- I mean, that's why you're here. So...

Your Wallet

It's much more affordable (99% of the time), to load up your vehicle and travel down some of our countries beautiful highways. Most of the time, a fuel efficient vehicle can get you where you need to go on a few tanks of gas.

Aside from the cost comparison between an airline ticket and a road trip, there are the benefits to being able to bring more with you (outfits galore), pack your own food (never be hangry again), and stopping whenever you need a break. Of course, not all of us have the luxury of endless time to get us to our destination -- thus the road trip romance daydreams begin.

Your Relationship

One of my favorite quotes (and most savage comebacks) is "You have two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. Because you will learn twice as much as what you will ever have to say." I love road trips because they tend to create open communication in our relationships. These long drives give us time to listen rather than speak.

For some reason, people feel comfortable talking in a tin on wheels, knowing that they have full attention of the people with them. I find that I spend much less time on technology that is solo-based, and more time conversing with my fellow passengers. The hours you spend on the highways will give you time to reflect and think about your favorite memories, and also help you to create new ones.

Your Mind

During the days leading up to my getaways, I spend a ton of time reading every podcast description there ever was. Listening to new ideas, intelligent conversations, or allowing myself to learn from exciting people is one of the highlights of every drive I make. Road trips make for the best hours of education. By popping on a podcast, audio book, or playing some new music, I often find my most inspired ideas and intellectual conversations stem from these platforms.

One of the other ways my mind benefits from these trips is learning the value of patience. We are always looking to get things done fast, faster, and fastest. Timing is the one thing you cannot control during these travels. No one can tell you what you may run into along the way -- whether it's construction, weather, or traffic -- patience truly is a virtue.

After getting back from my most recent road trip just less than 48 hours ago, I realized how most weekends away would cause me stress come Monday. However, I thankfully came into this week feeling refreshed and renewed.

Listening to several podcasts, reminiscing on our favorite 90s albums, and talking about all of the educational goals my husband and I have for the future — it didn't feel like a drive that we had to make. Instead, it felt like a drive we wanted to make.

It's up to you to find the joys in every challenge that comes your way. Some weeks that challenge is finding more room in your budget, and other weeks it's making a 7-hour car ride feel less like a chore, and more like a vacation.

Check out my best tips for a killer road trip. I totally know what I'm talking about. I'm actually on the board of roadtripologists.

What's your idea of a mini getaway or road trip tip that no one else would appreciate? Let me know in the comments!