When it comes to travel, there's an age-old question regarding transportation: Take a flight, or opt to drive? The obvious differences between the two include the freedom in both schedule and destination when it comes to driving, while flights offer modern conveniences and time-saving measures. However, if the option is flexible and a traveler has the leniency to choose between the two, there are even more reasons why driving is the better - modern - choice.


Travel in 2021 will officially be known as the year when more people opted to drive than fly, and this is why we're sticking with the notion that road trips are here to stay.

Related: How (And Why) You Should Be Using Google Maps To Plan A Road Trip

Advanced Technology Gives Vehicles The Edge

Buying a new car these days feels somewhat like stepping into a spacecraft. Modern automobile technology has far surpassed anything that anyone could have anticipated in 2021, and this makes all the difference. Cars that can back themselves in, parallel park, and brake on their own are all now a reality, and this helps give them the edge in more ways than one:

  • An increase in safety while driving for everyone in the car.
  • The car's features cut down on the stress that would typically come from driving and parking (thus functioning somewhat as an 'autopilot' mode).
  • Seats come equipped with heaters and massage technology, offering even more luxury amenities that flights still don't have.
  • Statistically, more people survive car crashes than plane crashes.

While it falls on those taking a road trip to be responsible for driving, these amenities certainly help to make the drive more comfortable and stress-free.

Related: These Are The Top-Rated Road Trip Vehicles Of 2021, Depending On The Journey

Flight Boredom Now Takes Away From The Overall Journey

In recent years, the emphasis of a trip has been put less on the destination and more on the actual journey of getting there. From the moment a person's vacation starts, the focus is now on that second rather than a vacation theoretically starting as soon as the plane lands. If a flight takes up six hours then, realistically, that takes up one-fourth of the day - and that's not even including the time a person needs to sleep once they arrive. So, realistically, the first day is reduced to a half-day automatically when a flight is involved.

Rather than being stuck in an airplane cabin for hours with little to do other than activities that can be done from a plane seat, road trips offer so much more. Aside from the scenery that comes with every new county or state, there are options. Drivers might choose to pull off at a unique rest stop or factor in a unique attraction along the way. Restaurants, cafes, and even fast-food stops can be made, something that is not an option on a flight. Compact cars might be small but they still afford so much more room than on a plane, with no strangers to interact with and the ability to control the climate, radio, and even the option for fresh air. Sure, a flight will give travelers views during landing and take-off - but driving will offer the option to pull off at all of those scenic overlooks.

There's Peace Of Mind In Knowing Drivers Are In Control

It's worth acknowledging that the last couple of years have encompassed a variety of emotions, including the feeling of everything being out of one's control. Road trips have given the power back to those who have an insatiable wanderlust, in a way that flights just can't compete with. While there's less for passengers to worry about on a flight, there's no freedom in who one sits next to, where they can go, or when they can stop. It could be said that the peace of mind one will get just from being in their own car (or a luxe rental) is well worth choosing a road trip over a plane ticket.

How To Make Road Trips Safer

  • Opt for backroads when possible to avoid highly-trafficked areas.
  • Make sure there's a first-aid kit in the car.
  • Do research before leaving and rent a car with a high safety rating.
  • Bring all personal vehicles to be inspected prior to leaving.

How To Make Road Trips More Comfortable

  • Avoid the neck pillows and opt for throw pillows that can be placed in strategic spots.
  • Pack a cooler with snacks that go above and beyond the typical granola bars and beef jerky options.
  • Bring blankets in case anyone is cold with the AC on.
  • Pack eye masks and keep face masks chilled in a cooler for passengers after switching out of the driver's seat.

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