Freedom, progress, diversity, and perpetually moving forward. These are quintessential American principles, so it’s no wonder that the Great American Road Trip has consistently been so popular over the decades.
Cross-country road trips embody those very same principles — they offer freedom in many ways, symbolize the ongoing progress and development in the United States (think of all the road infrastructure, national parks, and road trip technology), showcase the country’s incredibly diverse terrain, and very literally move people forward.
Not to mention that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will provide countless memories!
It turns out that aside from being awesome, going on a Great American Road Trip actually has several benefits, too.
The Power of the Open Road
Call it science or something else entirely, but there’s no denying that driving on the open road is incredibly freeing. For many, it’s a tried-and-true form of therapy, allowing you to clear your head, decompress, and get a very literal change of scenery from the everyday hustle and bustle.
Studies consistently show that both traveling and leisurely driving help reduce cortisol levels (i.e., the main “stress hormone”). This means that the Great American Road Trip can have double the effect since you’re simultaneously traveling and driving, lowering stress and improving overall mental health.
A Lifetime of Memories
When it’s just you, or perhaps you and some loved ones, and the open road, there are endless opportunities to connect and make memories. Without the distraction of numerous electronic devices and the stress of day-to-day responsibilities and schedules, spending uninterrupted quality time together comes easy.
You may also find that you’re more willing to say “yes” to trying new things in that relaxed, adventurous state!
Get To Know Yourself
Building onto that last point, when you’re more relaxed and comfortable, and you have fewer distractions, it’s far easier to spend some quiet time reflecting. This may sound like such a small, simple thing, but in this world where we are over-scheduled and spend more time than ever before consuming various media, it’s actually a rare opportunity!
Time on the open road can help provide clarity, so it’s a great time to ask yourself some difficult questions and spend time thinking it over.
Bucket List on a Budget
No matter how savvy a traveler you are, flying around the world — or even the country — quickly gets expensive. Renting an RV from Cruise America and embarking on a Great American Road Trip, however, allows you to combine your vehicle and accommodations, adding up to substantial savings.
And with so many bucket list-worthy destinations right here in the US, you can create an unforgettable road trip route and check several off in one go!
Experience the Benefits of Slow Travel
Shorter, frequent trips are great for many reasons, but they also usually mean cramming as much into your schedule as possible and running from place to place.
Slow travel is exactly the opposite, encouraging travelers to stay longer and move at a slower pace to get a more authentic experience from a destination. Of course, the Great American Road Trip goes hand-in-hand with slow travel!
If a particular place really resonates with you, consider extending your trip to enjoy it even longer. Eat and shop at locally-owned restaurants, and be sure to spend time off the beaten path, exploring the place’s non-touristy offerings. For example, state and regional parks are often just as spectacular as famous national parks.
Ultimate Convenience & Flexibility
Traveling in a house on wheels puts you in total control. You don’t have to work around flight or train schedules, you can easily make last-minute changes to your itinerary or even route, and you don’t have to worry about checking into your hotel on time.
If you’re comfortable boondocking, you don’t even have to make campground reservations! That in itself adds a whole new layer of flexibility to the Great American Road Trip — if you decide to stay in one area longer than originally planned, there’s no need to stress about finding a campsite. If you get too tired to keep driving and need to make an unplanned overnight stop, all you have to do is find a safe place to pull over and boondock!
Just be sure to familiarize yourself with rules on where and how long you can boondock in different areas, such as BLM land and national forests.
Plan Your Great American Roadtrip With Cruise America
Sold on the idea of hitting the road and exploring the country but not sure where to go? Pick up a Cruise America RV from one of over 120 convenient locations throughout the US and Canada, then consider one of these amazing cross-country routes: