During this holiday season travel around the country increases as people come and go from city to city visiting family members in celebration of this joyous time of year. However, it can also be a very stressful time as travelers have had to deal with increased airport security, increased baggage fees, airport parking fees, long airport lines, all to spend hours in a seat with limited reclining angles, almost no leg room, next to complete strangers who have just gone through the same stressful process. Flying most certainly has time-saving benefits to offer travelers, but unless you’re going overseas or have a strict time-table, the added stresses and increased expenses is not something that should be associated with the magic of the season. In this article I would like to discuss my experiences driving around during the holiday season and how you might have a better time avoiding the stress of flying by packing your vehicle, filling up your tank, and enjoying the scenery as you relax your way down the open road on a journey to join your family members in a distant area.
As an experienced driver who puts on many miles a year around the American southwest, I’ve come to appreciate the scenery, majesty, colors, variety, and adventure that come with going down the open road. It’s not all truck stops, cows, tourist traps, and diners. There’s a freedom that comes from the open road, a freedom that says “I don’t have to be a slave to the typical methods of airline travel; I do things at my own pace and make my own stories along the way.” If you think about it, nobody wants to hear depressing stories about how you got pat down at the airport, people would be much more interested in how you saw the ghost lights in Missouri on Route 66 or how there was an amazing meteor shower as you drove through the night to the family home.
Many national parks can be found with a just a slight detour from the main interstates. It would be memorable to take the family to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or Mt. Rushmore if they are close enough to your route, just to name a few examples. Look online to see if there’s a national park or attraction along the way that you and your family might enjoy. If you’re into photography, you’ll have the opportunity to take some amazing pictures along the way such as fall foliage, snow, animals, theme parks, statues, you name it. In addition to the beauty of nature, there are many restaurants, (not just the typical Route 66 diner, but anything you want from Denny’s to 5-star restaurants.) No matter what your taste, chances are that the town up ahead has just the type of food you’re in the mood for.
One of the best Christmas Eve’s I ever had was one where I was driving from northern Arizona to southern Arizona and I happened to turn on a radio show that was playing a performance of “A Christmas Carol.” The performance was very well done, and the performance was presented in such a way that it really brought me into the story as I drove down a quiet night road. Almost everywhere you happen to drive these days there’s numerous radio stations to which you can tune in. If you do decide to drive somewhere on Christmas Eve, be sure to listen for your favorite Christmas songs and performances as you go along. (On the airlines you typically have to buy the headphones to listen to anything.)
This holiday season, with all the fees, stress, expenses, and security scares that will be prevalent in airline transportation during this time of year, I’m encouraging people to relax their way by jumping in the car and driving to see their family members. Take a lot of the travel stress out of the holidays by listening to the radio, seeing sights along the way. While driving typically does take longer, it becomes worth it in the end when you have a chance to potentially save on paying all the fees associated with airports and airlines, as well as the stress that comes with airports and delayed airplanes. Take some of the stress off this holiday season and get onto the open road where you’re in charge and you stop and go on your schedule, but however you decide to travel,