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The Restorative Powers Of An American Road Trip

Going on a classic American road trip is a surefire way to boost mental health and rejuvenate the soul. In 2018, 43% of road trippers planned a weekend escape to de-stress, while 39% wanted a break from the news, 38% from the political climate, and 24% from social media, the Enterprise Annual Weekend Getaway Survey found. Road trips are a unique opportunity to escape the grind, immerse yourself in new environments, and see the beauty of the natural world up close.
Lower stress
Taking a break from the responsibilities, structure, and routine of everyday life can lower stress levels. 80% of Americans reported significant reductions in stress after only one or two days of being out on the open road. Being free to move around and explore new locations does wonders for your mood. You can ensure your road trip is as stress-free as possible by leaving with a reliable, well-maintained vehicleIf you’re in the market for a new car, reading consumer and expert reviews can help you make an informed purchase decision. Otherwise, get your car serviced beforehand to ensure safety, avoid breakdowns, and have a relaxing drive. 
Boost health
Road trips don’t have to mean buying unhealthy snacks at the gas station or drive through. Wherever you are on the road, look for your nearest farmers market. Purchasing delicious, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables is not only better for your health, but also for the environment (meat and other animal-based products have a huge carbon footprint). Download the FarmStand app, which lets you find your nearest farmers market. HappyCow is also a great resource. It’s an online service (also available as an app) which lists every vegan and vegetarian restaurant, health food store, or farmers market in over 180 countries.   
Enhance creativity
Studies have shown travel is great for creativity. In fact, an Indiana University study demonstrated that even the suggestion of distance opens people up to more creative thinking. Participants were tasked with solving a series of puzzles. One group was told the puzzles came from California (rather than locally); they came up with more creative solutions and were more likely to solve the puzzles as a result. On a road trip, driving through exciting, new lands gives you a break from the familiar. You gain a fresh perspective, which gets those creative juices flowing.
Make it zero-waste
Taking the care to make sure your road trip is zero-waste will give you peace of mind that your vacation isn’t unnecessarily harming the environment. There are several ways you can do this. Bringing your own water supply can eliminate the need to buy bottled water. Fill some large mason jars (or other suitable large containers) with water before you leave. You then won’t have to worry so much about finding water filling stations en-route. Packing sustainable items like a cloth napkin, glass containers, and reusable bamboo cutlery also means you won’t need wasteful plastic cutlery, paper napkins, and polystyrene containers. 
Offset your carbon footprint
Driving obviously isn’t the most environmentally-friendly mode of travel, but it’s possible to minimize and offset  your carbon footprint. In particular, GiveO2 is an amazing app to use on your road trip. It uses your smartphone’s 3G or GPS connection to track your carbon footprint as you drive — it’s easy to both use and understand. The app then gives you the opportunity to purchase premium carbon credits to offset your carbon footprint. For example, you can invest in sustainable projects like planting trees. You can therefore rest assured you’re making a positive impact on the environment on your vacation.  

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