Nation Road Trip Day
National Road Trip Day became an official holiday in 2019, thanks to Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center operator in North America. They chose the Friday before Memorial Day because of the long weekend ahead and, with May being the start of summer, it kickstarts the travel season, too. Since travel stories are ingrained into the very history of America, with wagon trains heading out West in the 1840s and Native Americans exploring the country long before that — it makes sense to observe a day that celebrates travel by road.
The first recorded road trip across the U.S. began in 1903 with a bet. Someone bet Horatio Nelson Jackson (a physician and automobile pioneer) that he could not travel from San Francisco to New York City in less than 90 days. Accompanied by mechanic Sewall K. Crocker, and a dog named Bud, they set off in a 20-horsepower Winston to prove them wrong. Despite numerous mishaps, Jackson and Crocker completed the trip in 63 days.
By the 1930s, the famous Route 66 opened America up for cross-country travel. Many began to migrate West, while others took to the road for vacations. By the 1950s, America was the world’s largest car manufacturer, and nearly 75% of American families owned a car, which became a symbol of American pop culture. Road trips became the typical holiday of the American middle classes, leading to a boom in drive-ins and roadside motel businesses, too. Hippies in the ’60s then converted the road trip into a full-blown lifestyle, turning vans and buses into homes on wheels.
In the ’80s and ’90s, road travel dipped with the rise of air travel but, today, the road trip still has a special charm of its own. The ‘Great American Road Trip’ stands for the freedom and adventure that only the road can bring!
Are you setting off on a road trip this long holiday weekend? Part of your checklist should be to make sure your insurance is up to date, including having proof of insurance on-hand for any incidents or roadblocks you may encounter.
This is an excerpt from an article originally posted on NationalToday. To see the original article, click here.