Why Do I Love Road Trips? Finding Adventure On Open Road

As a kid, my family drove long road trips twice a year to see our extended family. We didn’t take crazy fun vacations to national parks or theme parks. And still, these are some of my favorite childhood memories. So why do I love road trips?

There are countless reasons, but let’s start with the spirit of adventure and family bonding. But that’s just the beginning.

Together, we will explore all of the reasons that the open road calls. Grab your favorite road trip snacks and buckle up.

Why Do I Love Road Trips?

As much as I love road trips, it’s undeniable that they can also be uncomfortable and stressful. Long hours in the car, unpredictable traffic, and disagreements over everything from directions to pit stops will test your patience.

On the other hand, these challenges also can result in incredibly rewarding experiences. Just with life, the best road trips are about the journey more than the destination. And this is the true essence of adventure.

You don’t know when you will see that breathtaking sunset or connect with loved ones over that new insider joke. Along the journey, new experiences will later rank among your favorite memories, and that is why I love road trips.

Pedestrian Bridge.

The Freedom of the Open Road

Road trips offer the opportunity to step away from our daily routines and schedules. Sure, you might set out with a general plan, but the best road trips offer plenty of flexibility for you to enjoy life along the way.

Some people plan out their road trips in great detail, while others pick a general route or destination and hit the road. Most people likely fall somewhere in the middle.

Great road trip routes include beautiful scenery and interesting towns along the way. You might find that experiencing these new places makes your trip more enjoyable than you were planning.

Once, we were driving through Maine and happened across a major suspension bridge with an observation deck on top. We hadn’t planned to stop. In fact, we didn’t even know the bridge existed. But now, that observation deck is a fun part of our family memories.

Road trips give you a chance to live life on your own terms. Road trips offer flexibility to enjoy your journey and experience life along the way. Forget common road trip trends, and choose the journey that works best for you.

So why do I love road trips? In large part because of the freedom that the open road offers.

Why do I love road trips? The unexpected journey.

Unplanned Detours and Hidden Gems

That observation deck is just one of the many hidden gems we’ve found along the way. Many other times, we encountered beautiful scenery that pictures don’t capture, and words don’t do justice.

Once, we drove from San Diego to Las Vegas and then on to Zion National Park. The desert is surprisingly beautiful, and the experience was one I wouldn’t soon forget. That desert is the only place that I have ever seen a sign telling people to turn off their air conditioners to prevent cars from overheating!

And as you learn more about the places you are visiting, you might decide to take some detours along the way. Sometimes, the smallest unplanned stops are the most memorable.

For instance, we recommend asking the locals for food recommendations. You might find yourself off the beaten path, but there is a good chance you will be glad you tried something new.

Why do I love road trips? Bonding with my kids.

Quality Time with Loved Ones

While the scenic views and new attractions are fun, quality time with loved ones is one of the biggest reasons that I love road trips.

I took that drive from San Diego to Zion National Park with my wife when she was pregnant with our first child. Then we took a road trip through Maine with our entire family of four. Those are some of my favorite memories of all time.

That doesn’t mean that everything was perfect along the way. It was 120 degrees in Utah as we tried canyoneering through The Narrows at Zion. And before our road trip through Maine, we went flew to Boston with two car seats in tow. My arm popped out of the socket as I lugged the car seats through the airport.

And even so, those shared experiences are special. I wouldn’t trade even the most uncomfortable portions of those memories for anything.

While I road trip with my family, the same premise is true for anyone you might road trip alongside. Those are bonding experiences you won’t form hanging out at a brewery for an hour on Friday night.

So why do I love road trips? I love road trips because they helped forge deep relationships with my family, and they can do the same for you.

Coastal highway

The Perfect Road Trip Playlist

While we fully expect your next road trip will be epic, there may be lulls along the way. That comes with the territory when you spend hours buckled in one spot.

Embrace the moment. One way to do that is to put together an epic playlist to match your journey. You can certainly listen to audiobooks and podcasts too. In fact, I often prefer audiobooks and podcasts to music.

Still, music can enhance the overall road trip experience, help pass the time, and maybe inspire a little wanderlust along the way. Whether you prefer classic rock, country, R&B, or something completely different, plan out some music with good vibes, and it will improve your road trip experience.

Embracing the Journey, Not Just the Destination

There is an extent to which the road trip is more about the journey than the destination. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes the destination will be epic. Still, you will form many memories along the way.

You might remember the epic views and the fun attractions from your final destination. Even so, the inside jokes and deep bonding experiences will likely form as you and your travel mates experience the journey together.

It’s worth mentioning that you need the right mindset to get the most out of the journey. You can focus on every little discomfort and complain, or you can accept a little discomfort as part of the trip. You might even learn to appreciate a little discomfort along the way because it is part of the journey.

And embracing some of that discomfort might be a little easier than it sounds. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve tried to stretch out pit stops as far as possible on a long stretch of interstate. I prefer stops about every two hours, but my wife can often make it three or four hours without stopping.

That type of simple game, to see how long you can make it between stops, is just one example of how easy it is to be present in the moment.

So stop scrolling, put your phone away, and listen to some music or podcast with your road trip crew. Be present in the moment, and embrace the journey.

That’s the stuff that epic memories are made of.

Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge

Capturing Memories Through Photography

Some memories stick with you, while others slip away over time. Looking through old photos will add a smile to your face every time. We are not ones for knick-knacks and random filler items on our walls. Instead, we cover all walls with pictures of the places we went together and reminders of our favorite bonding experiences.

It doesn’t matter whether you simply like to look at old photos on social media or if you like to print photos to put on your walls. Regardless, it is important to capture the unique experiences, the beautiful views, and the beautiful people you road-tripped alongside.

Even so, as much as we love photos capturing memories, we also recognize there are some views and some experiences that a picture simply can’t capture. And that’s ok too.

To quote one of my favorite bands from high school, which might be an obscure reference for most of you:

“Have you ever tried to photograph the moon?
Well, I have too, I have too
I find it funny how it never turns out right

It’s like someone poked a pinhole in the canvas of the night
And that’s not what it’s about

I’m so tired of missing out
I look on up to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty and my eyes

It’s time I put down my devices, and I start to live my life”

So find a balance, and take some advice from Relient K and their song Look On Up. Capture memories through pictures along the way. You will regret not having some pictures to help you reminisce later. But don’t get so caught up in pictures and Instagram that you forget to look on up.

Why Do I love Road Trips? To enjoy the journey along the way.

The Verdict: Why I Love Road Trips

I love road trips because they offer an opportunity to escape your daily routine and find joy in the moment. We get so caught up in our schedules and our task lists that we forget to breathe. Road trips offer a chance to breathe.

I also love road trips because they offer incomparable bonding opportunities with your loved ones. Don’t take your family and friends for granted. Through the seasons of life, people will come and go. Road trips offer an opportunity to connect on a deeper level.

So why do I love road trips? There are countless reasons. Road trips offer so many benefits and flexibility too. A road trip is a great way to spend any vacation or staycation.

Don’t be deterred. Road trips are worth the investment in time and money and are often cheaper than other types of travel.

For instance, Road trips also offer the chance to see new places and experience new cultures. When you combine the opportunity for adventure with the chance to bond with people that are important, you might start to wonder why you don’t take road trips more often.

If money is a concern, you can consider camping vs. hotels on your road trip as a way to make it even more affordable. Find ways to explore, and don’t be deterred by circumstance.

Now it is your turn to make memories. Don’t fret over how long a road trip should be or where you will go. Set aside time for the open road, and grab your family and friends. We can’t wait for you to share all of the reasons you love road trips.

Jeremiah moved to the Charlotte area with his wife, Erin, back in 2013. The family has grown over the years, and they now call the Carolinas home. They enjoy hiking and adventures, road trips, backyard fire pits, and pizza night. Jeremiah loves to explore, and looks forward to sharing tips, tricks, and resources for your next trip.