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Road Trip Ideas: The Hot Travel Style This Summer

By May 22, 2020August 11th, 20205 Comments

This summer isn’t going to look like any other. Maybe you’ve had to postpone a getaway abroad, or your plans for domestic flights are on the fritz. While hopping on a plane every other week might not be a reality for summer 2020, there could be a solution for those itching to explore: road tripsAs restaurants, stores and other businesses slowly reopen, setting out on one of your favorite road trip ideas may be a safe and fun way to get out of town.

Experts are predicting that most summer travelers will choose to avoid air travel and hit the open road instead. This way, people can avoid crowds and uncertainty at an airport and limit contact with strangers. 

best road trip ideas

Not to mention, a road trip is the perfect travel style for seeing the great outdoors. It’s easy to just hop in your car and get from point A to point B at your own pace. One of our favorite parts of a road trip? You get to be flexible. Set out on your adventure with a loose plan, and improvise a bit along the way.

While we totally understand the desire to get out and hit the open road, it’s still important to acknowledge the seriousness of our current situation. Due to the pandemic, we do NOT encourage multi-state or border-hopping trips if lockdowns are still in place. And even if government-mandated lockdowns have ended, be sure to practice proper safety protocols: maintain social distancing from those you don’t live with, wear masks when recommended, and wash those hands!

Keep track of updates per state and guidelines posted by the CDC to protect yourself, your friends and family.

That being said, here are some road trip ideas to consider for later this summer. Read our guidelines for where to go and what to do, then make the trip your own!

New England Road Trip Ideas: Vermont and Maine

I am a little biased as a born and raised New Englander, but the region has some of the best spots for a weekend road trip destination. 

If you’ve never been to Vermont, it’s a great state to visit. We recommend staying at Mt. Philo Inn if you want to make it a weekend trip. If you’d prefer to visit for the day and aren’t driving too far, there are plenty of activities – Burlington and Charlotte are two great areas to explore. Plus, Vermont is an ideal state for hiking and relaxing in nature.

New England road trip ideas

Another idyllic New England destination? Maine. It’s an easy place to get to from Boston, and well worth the drive. We dubbed it the classic mini east coast road trip, and the state has multiple gorgeous locations to check out – Ogunquit, Freeport, and Portland, to name a few. Unwind by the water and indulge in the classic beachy vibe!


Some of the best road trip ideas involve time with nature. “Montana is grand and gorgeous, in a quiet, all-knowing way.” Eileen’s Montana road trip landed her in Billings and through a few other towns as she made her way to Glacier National Park. Her ultimate destination was Flathead Lake, one of the largest and cleanest bodies of water west of the Mississippi. Check out her detailed guide to the ultimate outdoorsy road trip!


If you want to head to Miami from Boston, good news: there are a ton of cool places to see along the (admittedly long!) way. From Atlantic City to Savannah Georgia, make sure that you take full advantage of the route. If your road trip ideas are ambitious like this, you’ll have a blast at all of the pit stops.

miami skyline with bridge to south beach

Road Trip Ideas Worldwide

If you live abroad and are looking for some road trip ideas – we’ve got you covered! Alternatively, maybe you want to travel from the US, take just one flight, and then stick to the car. Read on for more road trip recommendations: abroad-style!

Portugal & Spain

Our 10-day itinerary for traveling around Portugal and Spain is one of the best road trip ideas for groups. Beginning in Southern Portugal and making your way to Marbella. Spain, you’ll see hidden beaches, spectacular harbor views, rich architecture and so much more.


If you want to really see Germany, check driving the autobahn off your bucket list! You can stop and explore the cultural history of Berlin, see castles in Bavaria and (hopefully) get to visit vineyards and wineries.

Black Forest hike on the Romantic Road Germany Itinerary

Black Forest hike on the Romantic Road Germany Itinerary


Looking to road trip Aussie-style? You’ll need at least three weeks in order to really take in all the sights. Spend one week on the North Island of New Zealand, then a week in Sydney, and round out the vacation with a week in Cairns. Australia is huge, so it’s best to rent or take your vehicle in order to get around efficiently.

Southern Italy

A mini road trip through Southern Italy is just what the doctor ordered after being stuck inside. Driving along the cliffside coastline offers gorgeous views that you can take in at a slower pace. Eileen wrote about her travels from Amalfi to Sorrento, Pompeii and other lovely cities. To really get a taste of what Italy has to offer, take to the road and soak it all in. This is one of the best road trip ideas for those who love slow travel and European charm!

fiat 500 vintage rome italy eileen cotter wright

Before you set out on any of these adventures, make sure you read our checklist for how to make a successful road trip. And of course, follow CDC and public health protocols as they develop, whatever they may be. Wherever you end up this summer, getting outside and breathing in the fresh air is always the best course of action!

Do you prefer to travel by car, plane or train? Have you ever rented a car abroad to see more of the country? Which of these locations would you pick to visit first?

summer road trip ideas

Sara Frazier

Author Sara Frazier

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