Nearly 51 million Americans will be traveling for the holidays this year, which means lots of sleeping passengers, legs falling asleep, and unhealthy travel snacks. We here at Car Talk have a better idea. We humbly suggest that our readers rent a car for one-off road trips and vacations. Aside from the benefit of not putting useless miles on your everyday vehicle, you also have the added bonus of dropping crumbs in a different car for a change. (Variety is the spice of life, after all!)
Here are the top five reasons you should travel by (someone else's) car for the holidays!
5. Roadside Attractions.
Wee'l Turtle made of 2,000 wheel rims in Dunseith, ND
There are roadside attractions all over these United States like those in the pictures. Sure you could get there faster by flying, but then you’d miss these amazing feats of architecture. Not to mention the opportunity for improving your mind on the go, afforded by a Drive Thru Art Gallery.
If you're not driving, you won't get to experience the unique fusion of the Guggenheim and McDonald's! All the great things about a museum but with no pretentious curator!
4. Traffic: The perfect excuse!
Your mother-in-law's infamous fruit cake is coming out of the oven. With a pre-scheduled plane, train, or bus ticket, you'd better get to work on those insincere compliments. With your own wheels you can leave whenever you want.
3. The train is full of things that can break.
You'd think you'd be safe from stop and go traffic on the train. Not always! One redditor reported that while traveling from DC to Chicago, via Amtrak, the train kept stopping and starting because the tracks were frozen. After that, the heat on the train went out, the toilets backed up, and the mess car ran out of food. Unless you've made some serious modifications to your car, you'll never have a problem with the toilets or the canteen!
2. The bus is a bust.
A Car Talk user who shall remain nameless took an overnight trip from Spokane to Seattle via Greyhound this summer. It’s a great trip unless you enjoy any of the following while sleeping: being warm while sleeping, not getting kneed in the kidneys while sleeping, sleeping at all. At least in the car, you might be able to minimize back kicks and whining of fellow passengers with idle threats to "turn this car around."
1. You control the playlist.
This fall, Southwest Airlines began bringing live concerts into some flights. That’s a great idea right? It’s not like people have their own taste in music, or would like to not be bothered while a strapped into a tiny seat a mile up in the air. Early reviews of the new “feature" include quotes like, “because air travel isn’t torture enough” and “Southwest will regularly inflict live music on trapped passengers.”
On the plus side, the feedback for the musicians could be invaluable; if someone walks out of your concert at 30,000 feet, it's a sure sign that it's time to seek the proverbial day job.
But you know what? Good on you Southwest. Meanwhile, the rest of us will make a custom playlist for our road trip, hop in the rental and hit the road!