Do Road Trips Justify The Costs of Owning A Car? | VinFast
Do Road Trips Justify The Costs of Owning A Car?
Buying a road-trip-ready car is an expensive, time-consuming process. Is it worth the hassle? You can travel with it, speed up your commute, and make your grocery shopping a lot easier. But given how hard it is sometimes to find parking and rising gas prices, and, will you be using it enough to offset its downsides?
This is a legitimate concern. Car ownership is a big expense. Gas prices fluctuate often, and in some regions car owners are more heavily taxed than in others. Environmentalists also have ethical concerns. Then there’s the question of how much use you will get out of the car. Will you really use it every day and be happy about it?
That’s an especially important question to ask if you’re getting a car capable of long-distance travel and jaunts into nature in the US or Canada. Both countries are huge, with a diverse, mountainous landscape and weather conditions that can range from 115-degree desert to areas with 12 feet of snow in the winter. In North America, you need a tougher car for the road, probably an SUV, than you may need in other places. But SUVs burn more gas than sedans and constructing an SUV uses more materials than many other cars do. They’re more expensive and harder to park. So what other uses can you get out of it?
Owning a car opens up possibilities to you that would simply otherwise not be available—especially if you have a truck or an SUV capable of handling long trips and inclement weather.
Exploring Nature, Especially with Others
One of the best things about having a road-trip ready vehicle is the ease with which you can get out into nature. Whether it’s kayaking, hiking, or just looking at pretty trees or a unique landscape like that of Yosemite or Yellowstone, simply being in nature is good for your mental and physical health. Then there are the physical benefits of outdoor activities.
Moreover, by visiting state and national parks and paying fees to do so, you’re helping to show that people want places like these and are willing to pay to preserve them. When you bring others, especially kids, you’re instilling a respect for the natural world that we could all use more of.
Helping Others and Doing Nonprofit Work
Many non-profits work on a shoestring budget. Their staff do whatever it takes to keep the mission going, often sinking their own money into the organization. One thing they desperately need is transportation. Whether they need to carry members, clients, kids to an after-school program or food to a shelter, it can be hard to find a vehicle with enough space to fit everything they need. If you’ve got a car and some free time, you can help by providing a reliable vehicle. A tough car like an SUV is very good at transporting gear and passengers.
You can also help your friends. It can be annoying to be the person who’s always called for a ride or for help with a move. (As any pickup owner will tell you.) But as long as you set clear boundaries, you should be alright!
You can’t exactly predict and plan for blizzards, rainstorms, and injuries. But you can predict that what people often need most in an emergency—whether a family member stranded by a blizzard or a coworker who has slashed his arm open while lifting crates—is solid transport. Although an SUV will never outdo dedicated emergency vehicles, it can still be a great benefit to you, your family, and your friends when things go wrong. In the case of a natural disaster, you can use it to help carry goods and people in and out of the danger zone.
An SUV can even save your life and the lives of others.
But you can’t do very much of this with a tiny sedan that can barely chug along the highway. For such work, you need a vehicle that is strong and reliable.
Seeing the Country and Its Diversity
Neither the US nor Canada has very well-developed public transit. Part of the problem is geography. The US and Canada are very large countries, two of the biggest in the world in terms of area. But they also have relatively low population densities. When you add the dramatic terrain of North America to the mix, you can understand that it’s just hard to create public transit systems that are reliable and comprehensive in these countries.
This means that if you lack a car or you do own one but don’t use it to travel out of town, your view of these countries is very limited. Their states, territories, and provinces differ substantially. Even the counties within these divisions can differ starkly from one another. Taking a three-hour drive from Clovis in California’s Central Valley to San Francisco in the very same state feels like traveling to a different planet.
Without a car, you’re limited to places reachable by train and plane. But you probably won’t pay for a train ride to some obscure town in Iowa or Manitoba. You miss what the countries are like outside of their social and political powerhouses, which can cause confusion. When you see how people vote and the kinds of opinions they have, you may wonder, “Where the hell is this coming from?” Or, worse, you may vote without considering how the candidates and policies you favor would affect people living in a region of the country with circumstances very different from those you’re most familiar with.
A road-trip-ready car enables you to see the country in a more nuanced way, a benefit that will make you a smarter, more well-rounded person.
Seeing the Unknown
Having an SUV or other solid vehicle also makes it possible to see unique places that you just couldn’t reach without one.
Human beings—and especially creative people—crave stimulation and novelty. If you see the same thing day in and day out, you’re probably going to get bored. And there’s so much to see. There’s much more to the US and Canada than your home town plus a handful of national parks and big cities. There are interesting towns, delicious diners in small mountain villages of a hundred people, and areas of awe-inspiring natural beauty. You will never see them unless you wander off the beaten path.
Having a tough road-trip-ready car like an SUV makes it possible to see sights that you may well be the only one to ever see and appreciate. You could wind up with a special view of the mountains, a favorite spot in the desert, or a quiet little ghost town that you just can’t get out of your mind. Maybe that favorite spot in the desert will even have a phone booth.
A tough vehicle gives you access to the diversity of the people of a country. In this way, it also widens and deepens your view of the world.
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