When trying to determine what kind of national park vacation is right for you, you have a few options. You can pick a single park and spend several days exploring it in-depth. Or, you can take a road trip and visit several destinations in the same state or region. If you’ve got an adventurous spirit and some extra time on your hands, you might want to consider the following pros and cons of road trips.
Road Trips: Pros
1.) You’ll see more than if you vacation in just one park.
A road trip gives you the freedom to expand your itinerary and cross multiple destinations off your bucket list during one trip. If you want to make the most of your sightseeing, this is an excellent opportunity.
Photo by Austin Neill
2.) They give you a fantastic overview of an entire geographic region.
Select destinations that belong to the same area for a general idea of that region’s natural and cultural character. Consult our list of region-specific itineraries for help choosing a road trip that is comprehensive and educational!
3.) You can be spontaneous.
When you make campsite or hotel reservations at one national park, you’re stuck there for a few days. When you take a road trip, though, it’s easier to change your mind and go somewhere else! And spending all that time in the car means you might see some fun detours to take, from ghost towns and amusement parks to roadside wonders.
Photo by Derek Johnson
Road Trips: Cons
1.) You’ll see a lot, but you won’t get to savor any place for an extended period of time.
You’ll cover a lot of ground when you take a road trip. But you’ll have to move quickly from place to place to see everything on your agenda! So you won’t have much time to relax and explore anywhere specific.
Photo by Leio McLaren
2.) You’ll have to make multiple hotel or campsite reservations.
Making reservations for multiple destinations can get challenging, especially when you have to keep track of everything! It could get pricey, too, depending on how long you’ll be traveling and where you want to stay.
Photo by Ben Duchac
3.) You’ll spend a LOT of time in the car.
There’s a reason that “road trip” has the word “road” in its name: you’ll spend a lot of time on it. And close, cramped quarters could lead to grumpy travel companions. Make sure you pick the right road trip vehicle to avoid any complications. Choosing a good travel partner is another key to an enjoyable road trip.
Photo by Christoph Krichenbauer
Do you still have questions about whether a road trip could be right for you? Contact the experts at Visit USA Parks for help planning your next vacation. We’ll make sure to answer all of your questions!