10 Pros & 10 Cons Of Road Tripping

10 Pros & 10 Cons Of Road Tripping

As packed airports and ridiculous airfare costs become more and more prevalent in today’s travel landscape, many have taken to good old-fashioned road-tripping as a fun and cost-effective alternative to flying. There are several benefits to flying and many people swear by it, but it’s certainly not without its drawbacks. Here are 10 pros and cons of road-tripping that you should consider before planning your next trip.

1. Flexibility and Spontaneity

By allowing you to set a personalized schedule and go at your own pace, road trips provide you with unmatched freedom and flexibility. You have free reign to decide where you’re going, when you’re stopping, and how often you’re stopping, ensuring that a trip is completely built around your liking. 

RoadthumbPhoto by Dino Reichmuth

2. Cost-Effectient Travel

Unless you manage to stumble on the perfect deal, flying is a costly ordeal that many families simply can’t afford. Luckily, road trips can provide you with a relatively cheap form of travel that allows you to save on airfare, luggage fees, and overpriced food and drinks. 

Alexander-Grey--8A5Ej1-Mmq-UnsplashPhoto by Alexander Grey

3. Scenic Routes and Natural Beauty

Road-tripping will afford you an unparalleled intimate look at the natural beauty that often accompanies the open road. Whether it's mountains, forests, coastlines, or the scenic countryside, road-tripping will give you an unimpeded look at a diverse range of picturesque landscapes you would not have seen otherwise. 

Karl-Fredrickson-U7Dyp9L7Krc-UnsplashPhoto by Karl Fredrickson

4. Quality Time with Companions

Road trips are easily one of the most engaging and intimate forms of travel, as it provides you with a unique opportunity to bond with friends or family. Devoid of the distractions that plague most public modes of transport, road-tripping gives you unbridled access to your loved ones allowing you to enjoy each other’s company and create long-lasting memories. 

Jorge-Saavedra-Ikc4Goykcde-UnsplashPhoto by Jorge Saavedra


5. Cultural Immersion

Unlike flying, driving gives you an up close and personal look at the places you’re travelling through. Whether it’s a local diner, farmer’s market, concert, or anything in between, there’s nothing quite like being able to stop on a whim and explore firsthand what’s outside your car window.

Nick-Dunlap-Ez8Mcovcl E-UnsplashPhoto by Nick Dunlap

6. Flexibility in Packing

Strict baggage limits and fees are a thing of the past when you’re on the road! Your ability to pack is merely limited to the space afforded to you by your car. Everything from essential goods to outdoor gear and snacks can now comfortably fit in your car. 

Swansway-Motor-Group-Io5Qcs7K3My-UnsplashPhoto by Swansway Motor Group

7. Pet-Friendly Travel

As any pet owner would know, travelling is a constant source of stress and concern — no one wants to leave their furry friend behind. With many pet-friendly accommodations and the freedom to map out an itinerary to you and your furry friend’s liking, road trips are an excellent way to bring your pets along for the ride worry-free.

Emerson-Peters-Obct3Obz6Oy-UnsplashPhoto by Emerson Peters

8. Discovering Hidden Gems

Traversing the open road is a great way to stumble on unique attractions you never would have found otherwise. Roadside attractions, natural landscapes, and a plethora of hidden gems (including restaurants, bars, museums, etc) are yours to discover when you’re travelling off the beaten path.

Sergey-Tarasov--Jfvzbddj8M-UnsplashPhoto by Sergey Tarasov

9. Improved Local Economy

Road trips are a fantastic way to contribute to burgeoning local economies in a number of small towns and rural areas. Lodging, food, and attractions are the bread and butter of many local communities and potential road trippers like you help keep these homegrown businesses alive, making your trip a lot more meaningful and impactful for the regions you visit. 

Michelle-Oude-Maatman-D Xarc-Hbmu-UnsplashPhoto by Michelle Oude Maatman

10. Reduced Travel Stress

Most importantly, road trips offer a far more relaxed and stress-free alternative to flying. Without the hustle and bustle of airports — with their persistent delays, long security lines, and miserable in-flight experience — you’re able to experience a stress-free journey in the comfort and convenience of your own car. 

Toa-Heftiba-Yhrbns8Xdwy-UnsplashPhoto by Toa Heftiba


1. Long Hours of Driving

Much like with flying, spending extensive hours seated in the same place can be tiring and monotonous. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s also not good for you. When it comes to road trips, it’s crucial that take ample time to stop and have a break before venturing back out on the open road. 

Johan-Funke-Fsshfki0Www-UnsplashPhoto by Johan Funke

2. Unpredictable Weather

Vacations are always at the mercy of weather, but this becomes even more pronounced while road-tripping. Inclement weather such as thunderstorms, snow, or even extreme heat with no A/C can quickly put a damper on things. Always be sure to stay updated on local weather forecasts and plan accordingly. 

Imaad-Whd-Xsogmwnkyx8-UnsplashPhoto by imaad whd

3. Vehicle Maintenance and Breakdowns

Road trips are highly dependent on the quality and overall maintenance of your vehicle, as driving for prolonged periods will put a lot of strain on your car. Unexpected maintenance issues and breakdowns are always a possibility — not to mention collisions. Be sure to only road trip with vehicles you know can withstand long drives to minimize the likelihood of costly delays. 

Matthew-Brodeur-Ycfnrvk9Hpq-UnsplashPhoto by Matthew Brodeur

4. Navigation Challenges

Although much less of a concern with the introduction of modern-day GPS technology, navigation can still prove to be a challenge — especially in rural areas that aren’t as frequent. Detours, road closures, and confusing signage can all quickly amount to a frustrating road trip experience. 

Kal-Visuals-Ig1M3Romhpi-UnsplashPhoto by KAL VISUALS

5. Limited Food Options

Road-tripping does afford you greater freedom, but oftentimes this freedom is limited to where you are. Sure, you can stop for food whenever you want, but you may likely find yourself in a place that doesn’t fulfill your specific dietary preferences. For some people, fast food and gas station snacks just won’t cut it. 

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-Xs2Rdwvoqks-UnsplashPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya

6. Accommodation Uncertainty

The problem with popular destinations is just that: they’re popular! Limited space, especially during peak seasons, can quickly get in the way of the road trip of your dreams — making your vacation stressful and unpredictable. Moreover, depending on your preferences, many destinations may fall significantly short of your expectations. Always be sure to book in advance to avoid any further complications. 

Shaz-Sedighzadeh-Boybur58Rxw-UnsplashPhoto by Shaz Sedighzadeh


7. Increased Travel Time

Compared to flying, road trips are significantly more time-consuming. This may be fine if your overall vacation revolves around stopping at places along the way, but if you’re aiming to go somewhere in particular and only have a limited amount of time to do so, you may be better off flying. 

Cara-Fuller-Tusebuynwjg-UnsplashPhoto by Cara Fuller

8. Traffic and Road Conditions

Easily one of the most irritating and rage-inducing facets of any road trip, traffic and poor road conditions can quickly turn a fun trip sour. Unexpected construction, accidents, and general congestion can lead to significant delays, hindering your ability to tick everything off on your adventure. 

Aleksandr-Popov-Xbh Oglrfum-UnsplashPhoto by Aleksandr Popov

9. Limited Space and Comfort

No matter how large and spacious your vehicle is, prolonged road trips with several people in one car can start to feel cramped. Discomfort and restlessness are a common downside of road-tripping especially in confined spaces and during longer journeys. 

Anja-Dt86Cdoh-X4-UnsplashPhoto by anja.

10. Limited Connectivity

Road trips often require you to drive through rural areas with little or no reception/internet connectivity. With growing mobile networks, this is becoming less and less of an issue each day, but it still may be an issue in certain areas, making it crucial that you plan for offline access especially when it comes to navigation.

Brett-Jordan-Ocfhtab5Thq-UnsplashPhoto by Brett Jordan