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Best and worst states for summer road trips this year

Bryce-canyon Utah Road Goes Through Orange Rock Mountain Blue Sky 4689032_640Summer is a great time for a road trip.

While travel was limited last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, many states are opening up now. This summer, more than two-thirds of Americans plan to take a vacation, and 59 percent say they are more likely to drive than fly.

After you look at your budget and select a destination, you’ll need to consider gas prices. They’ve been growing this year, with the national average at more than $3 per gallon. In addition, you’ll need to consider accommodations, activities, and dining.

Vacations are expensive, and Americans spend more than $792 billion on leisure travel each year.

Source: WalletHub

To help consumers plan their summer road trips this year, WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 50 U.S. states based on 33 items to find the most fun, scenic, and money friendly road-trip destinations.

The items range from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs.

Below are the best and worst states from WalletHub analysis:

Best states for summer road trips

Worst states for summer road trips

1. New York

46. Arkansas

2. Texas

47. Hawaii

3. Louisiana

48. Connecticut

4. Maine

49. Delaware

5. North Carolina

50. Rhode Island

Kathleen Richards, assistant professor at Madonna University’s School of Business, said one of the best ways to save money on a road trip is to pack your own food and drinks.

“Freeway rest stops are usually very high priced,” said Richards. “Don’t forget snacks such as fruit and healthy treats such as granolas, peanut butter, and popcorn, too.”

She also suggests monitoring gas prices from state to state. “Choose and fill-up at the most economical sites since gas prices vary from state to state.”

Richards also recommends:

  • Plan your route so there are no unexpected wrong turns or detours. Also, try to stay clear of toll roads, if possible.
  • Camp, it’s cheap or sometimes free. If you can’t camp, look for money-saving deals at motels. Often chains will offer specials and discounted rates.

For Richards, the top five factors to look for in the top states are:

  1. Proximity to water, beaches, resorts, and national parks. This includes any of the coastal states both east, west, and southern coasts, starting at Maine and going south to Florida. States in the south such as Alabama, Louisiana, Texas. Western states such as Arizona with the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, California, Washington, and Oregon.
  2. Proximity to resorts such as Disney Land and Six Flags.
  3. Proximity to national parks such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokey Mountains.
  4. Proximity to landmarks such as monuments, cemeteries, and battlefields.
  5. Proximity to family, friends, and relatives.

Enjoy your road trip and be sure to plan ahead.

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