For many Americans, summer is the time to hit the open road.
About 85 percent of Americans, or 198 million people, are planning time away in the coming months, up 13 percent from 2014. And 89 percent of them will take a summer road trip.
Although the majority (68 percent) of these Americans are planning at least one week-long road trip, (on par with 2014), more are opting for extended vacations and setting out for at least two weeks this year (36 percent vs. 32 percent in 2014).
With school out for the summer break and the weather warm, the possibilities are endless.
But where to go? How to decide on the destination? Where to point the RV for the very best fun, scenic, and relaxing escape?
Each state has unique appeal, with great camping and outdoor activities available. There are national parks, state parks, county and regional parks, wilderness areas, national wildlife refuges, All American Roads and other scenic byways, historic sites and cities, mountain retreats, museums, and theme parks.
Every major journey begins with a plan: where you’re going, where you’re stopping along the way, and how you’re getting there.
And for financially conscious travelers, the budget will make the call though it doesn’t have to mean less enjoyment.
To assist frugal travelers plan their summer road trips, WalletHub compared the 50 US states to find the most fun, scenic, and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations—and the ones that’ll have them busting a U-turn.
To find the most road trip-friendly destinations in the US, the states were compared across three equally weighted dimensions, including driving and camping costs, road conditions and safety, and fun and scenic attractions. Next they identified 20 relevant metrics including fuel prices; quality of roads and bridges; and number of national parks, scenic byways, and attractions.
Selected results follow:
Overall Ranking (Best 5; 1-5): Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, Ohio
Overall Ranking (Worst 5: 46-50): South Dakota, Mississippi, Delaware, North Dakota, Connecticut
Lowest Average Fuel Prices (1-5): South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri
Highest Average Fuel Prices (46-50): Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, California
Lowest Price of Camping (1-5): Nevada, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona
Highest Price of Camping (46-50): Maine, California, Road Island, Maryland, Connecticut
Most National Parks Per Square Mile (1-5): Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii
Fewest National Parks Per Square Mile (46-50): Iowa, Alaska, Wisconsin, Nevada, Illinois
Most Scenic Byways (1-5): California, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Idaho
Fewest Scenic Byways (46-50): Hawaii, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Connecticut, Delaware
Fewest Car Thefts Per Capita (1-5): Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Idaho
Most Car Thefts Per Capita (46-50): New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Washington, California
Lowest Average Cost of Car Repairs (1-5): Nebraska, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Michigan, New Mexico
Highest Average Cost of Car Repairs: (46-50): Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina
What then should we take away from the results of the research? What are the implications? Will it alter our travel plans? If not, why not?
For many RVers and other summer road trippers, scenic attractions and national parks will override fuel or camping costs.
In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, we detailed four states that stood out from the rest as great RV travel and camping destinations: two in the West (New Mexico and Utah) and two Eastern states (South Carolina, and Georgia). Interestingly, in the overall ranking, these four states ranked number 22, 6, 12, and 13 respectively.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.