Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road: School’s out, the weather’s warm, and the possibilities are endless. The only dilemmas? Deciding on a destination and somehow affording everything you want to pack into your itinerary.
Gas prices might be one thing to worry about. They’ve been growing this year, with the national average rising 67 cents between January 1 and May 4. On top of that, you’ll need to consider accommodations, activities and dining. All of these certainly contribute to the more than $761 billion we spend on leisure travel each year.
None of the expense and hassle, however, seems to discourage Americans from traveling. In fact, 53 percent of families traveling this summer still plan to take road trips, according to AAA.
With road warriors in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 33 key metrics to find the most fun, scenic and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations — plus those that’ll have travelers pulling a quick U-turn.
WalletHub’s road trip report found that New York ranks 6th nationally for summer driving, and you can find out why below.
Road Tripping in New York (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 2nd – Number of Attractions
- 3rd – Nightlife Options per Capita
- 1st – Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita
- 3rd – Car Thefts per Capita
- 14th – Access to Scenic Byways
- 19th – Lowest Price of Camping
- 7th – Driving Laws Rating
- 4th – Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled
Best Road-Trip Destinations for Summer
(1 = Best)
|State||Total Score||‘Costs’ Rank||‘Safety’ Rank||‘Activities’ Rank|
Survey Key Findings & Best Gas Rewards Cards:
- 84 million people think each individual should have to take a test to get a credit card, just like a driver’s license.
- 11X more people want gas rewards from a credit card than rewards for Uber/Lyft rides.
- 51% of drivers choose where to get gas based on price, followed by convenience (36%) and the brand (11%).
- 63% of people want rewards on gas more than any other type of travel purchase.
- The Wells Fargo Propel Card is one of 2019’s best gas rewards cards, offering 3% back on gas, travel, dining, and rideshares, along with 1% back on other purchases and a $300 initial bonus. It has no annual fee.
Q&A with WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou
What is the best type of gas rewards credit card?
“The real value right now can be found among credit cards that give bonus rewards on gas at any station, along with purchases in other popular spending categories, or on all travel purchases including gas,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Such general-purpose cards offer much more flexibility in earning and redeeming rewards than cards tied to specific gas stations. And unlike station-specific cards, many have big initial rewards bonuses for new cardholders.”
When is it worth applying for a gas credit card?
“Roughly 62% of people say they’d apply for a credit card with gas rewards if it would save them at least $30 per month at the pump,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Well, you probably won’t be able to get that from gas rewards alone, but it’s a good idea to consider applying for a gas rewards credit card if you spend at least $200 per month on gas. When you factor in an initial rewards bonus, which many cards currently offer, you’re looking at some worthwhile savings.”
Do you agree with the 1 in 3 people who say you should have to take a test before getting a credit card?
“Looking at credit card debt levels, you can certainly understand why one-third of adults think you should have to pass a test in order to qualify for a credit card,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “We collectively owe more than $1 trillion, and that kind of balance could do a lot of damage if left unchecked. However, I believe a lot of our issues can be solved with more financial literacy education from a young age. Besides, if we created a credit card test, where would we draw the line? Would you need a test for mortgages, auto loans and business loans? How about cell phone financing – can we trust people with that with no test? It’s just an avenue that wouldn’t really make much sense to go down. ”
Do credit cards offer ridesharing rewards?
“Ridesharing rewards are becoming increasingly common on credit cards,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “The Wells Fargo Propel Card and the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card are two good options. But the fact that 11 times more people want gas rewards should be no surprise given the record-setting auto sales in recent years.”