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    2023’s Best States For Summer Road Trips

    2023’s Best States For Summer Road Trips

    Summer 2023 is the summer of the American road trip!

    With nearly 80% of U.S. adults saying they will take some sort of road trip this summer, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2023’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips, along with expert commentary.

    To help travelers plan a fun and wallet-friendly road trip, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 32 key metrics. The data set ranges from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs.

    Best States for Summer Road Trips

    1. Texas
    2. New York
    3. North Carolina
    4. Ohio
    5. Idaho

    Worst States for Summer Road Trips:

    46. Montana
    47. Hawaii
    48. Connecticut
    49. Delaware
    50. Rhode Island

    Best vs. Worst

    • California has the highest number of scenic byways, 66, which is 22 times higher than in Connecticut and Delaware, the states with the lowest at three each.
    • Mississippi has the lowest daily price for camping, $36.86, which is 3.5 times lower than in California, the state with the highest at $129.19.
    • Oklahoma has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $62, which is 2.8 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at $173.
    • Vermont has the lowest number of car thefts per 1,000 residents, 0.42, which is 12.5 times lower than in Colorado, the state with the highest at 5.24.

    To view the full report and your state’s rank, please click HERE.

    Expert Commentary

    Do you have any budget saving tips for those looking to hit the open road?

    “Look for ‘the road less traveled’: it is likely to be another record-breaking summer for travel so finding places that are not in demand is key. Small mountain towns, quaint seaside villages, and other off-the-beaten-path spots could result in lower costs. If you are willing to take the risk, since it is too late to book ahead for good deals, it is now time to take the last-minute approach. Rolling into a Mom-and-Pop cottage or locally owned retro motel and asking for a deal if there is availability can sometimes save you a lot! Of course, camping is always a good value if you have the right equipment. Shopping at grocery stores for dinner instead of restaurants can also save a lot! A cooler in the car and a kitchenette in your accommodation is a great return on investment. Check at local tourism/visitor centers for free or inexpensive attractions. They often have package deals as well.”

    Nancy G McGehee – Professor, Virginia Tech; Co-editor, Journal of Travel Research

    “First, make sure your vehicle is in proper working order (tires inflated, recently serviced, etc.) – this will help optimize your fuel efficiency. Furthermore, excessive speeding also worsens your fuel economy, so make sure to obey all speed limits. You should also plan an efficient route that minimizes extra miles and think about the time of day and the day of the week you will be traveling through popular or congested areas (if you are sitting still in traffic, you are getting 0 miles per gallon). Another great budget tip is to try to minimize the miles you need to drive – can you do a walking tour of the area you are visiting or maybe there is free or low-cost public transportation available in that location? Along those same lines, make sure you are realistic about how far you can drive in the amount of time you have available – you do not want to spend all of your time in the vehicle when you should be enjoying the sites you went to visit.”

    Daniel J. Findley, Ph.D., PE – Associate Director, Institute for Transportation Research and Education; Adjunct Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University

    Do you think more people will take road trips this summer than in previous years?

    “People are ready to get out and travel and this has been evidenced by a surge in air travel. I expect road trips to be on the rise. The highways will be busy, so think about when you drive and when you want to stop for the day. Again, regional travel and local tourism has become more attractive, and communities are excited to have tourists visit.”

    Robert M. O’Halloran, Ph.D. – Professor; Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

    “Yes, research supports that people want to travel and to travel domestically more than ever. Households want and strongly desire a return to ‘normal’ and ‘authentic’ travel planning and vacations in Summer 2023.”

    Rod Warnick – Professor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    How can local officials enhance safety and promote tourism during the busy summer road trip season?

    “Information dissemination is key! Utilizing interstate information boards and keeping them up to date is super helpful. Partnering with map platforms like Waze and Google Maps to assure accurate information is also useful. Promoting shoulder seasons (for the US that’s Spring and Fall for most places) and highlighting less-busy destinations are great ways to spread the impacts (both good and less wonderful). But our tourism professionals know this! We are fortunate to have great DMOs (destination management organizations) all across the US, and they are working hard to both promote and plan for guests.”

    Nancy G McGehee – Professor, Virginia Tech; Co-editor, Journal of Travel Research

    “Planning for safety should start well before the busy summer travel season. But, as these busier times draw near, local officials can work with their hospitality and entertainment operators and law enforcement in their local areas to have an active presence in tourist areas to deter crime. Most destination management organizations and local officials already work closely with the partners to ensure the best possible experience for their visitors.”

    Kevin R. Roberts, Ph.D. – Professor and Interim Department Head; Director, Undergraduate Program in Hospitality Management, Kansas State University

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    2023’s Best States…

    by The Editors Of The Fox Magazine Time to read this article: 13 min