There is not much that captures the American character better than the idea of road travel. Romanticized by Jack Kerouac & # 39; s In the path In 1957 and countless books and films that have debuted in subsequent decades, road trips are considered the ultimate embodiment of freedom.
Such a claim is not without foundation. Cars represent a certain type of freedom, giving their drivers the ability to go wherever they want, whenever they want. The United States has excellent roads, and point-to-point driving instructions can be obtained directly from sites such as MapQuest and Google. What could be better than jumping in the car for a cross country adventure?
Road trips are terribly expensive. It may not seem so at first, because people tend to think that using their own cars is free. Could not be farther from the truth.
When he drives, he uses gasoline, which costs money.
Mileage also costs money, perhaps not in immediate terms of dollars and cents, but in the life of your car. Putting twenty miles in your car every day is much smoother than driving six thousand miles (both ways, remember) on a hike through the country.
How about the physical wear of your body? It is exhausting to drive for six, ten or fourteen hours every day.
Tolls? Yes, that has to be paid.
Transit taxes? Could occur.
Oh, and don't forget the time you lose every time you lose yourself. You can avoid the risk by following their instructions exactly as they are written, but if you are going to do that, what was the point of driving in the first place? What happened to all that freedom?
Save time and money by taking advantage of the extensive bus networks in the United States. Greyhound and its partners serve virtually every place in the nation daily. You can buy individual tickets or get an unlimited pass valid for weeks or even months, and it is not expensive.
What is it like to ride the bus? Very similar to traveling by car. Except you don't pay for gas. Or tolls. Or tickets. The bus is not lost. And you don't have to worry about mileage, because you're not paying for maintenance.
All that adds up to an interesting fact: over long distances, driving is the most expensive way to travel, while taking the bus is the cheapest.
Do you lose flexibility on the bus? A little, but not as much as you think. Again, the bus passes almost everywhere . With a bus pass, you can get on or off wherever you want. There are stops to eat and stretch your legs, the same stops you would do if you were driving, but the bathroom is on board.
Then, the next time you start thinking about that road trip, do yourself a favor and look at Greyhound.
And if you feel the absolute need to drive, at least put all those miles in a rented car instead of driving yours.