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Best States for Affordable Summer Road Trips


Road trips make for great family vacations. WalletHub's 2017 Best Road Trip Destinations for Summer crunches data to come up with the best and the worst states for road trips that lead you to diverse activities at reasonable prices. Colorado features the highest number of scenic byways, while Connecticut has the fewest. Find out where to go to enjoy the scenery, have the most choice of activities and stretch your budget.

Make like your favorite literary heros and take a money-saving roadtrip this summer

Road trips are classic American summer vacations. Oregon ranks as the best state for a budget-friendly drive and sightseeing getaway this season while Connecticut came in last among a 50-state study by WalletHub. The personal financial planning site analyzed the U.S.’s 50 states according to 22 key indicators of fun and frugality. Among them are road conditions, bridge safety, number of attractions, nightlife options, shoreline, access to scenic byways, gas prices, tolls, lowest prices for three-star hotels and lodging units per capita.

With gasoline prices at or near their lowest since 2005, driving trips across the U.S. not only stretch your budget, but enable you to pace your trip to please yourself, which is especially important when traveling with kids. Some 79 percent of families traveling this summer plan to take a road trip, an increase of 10 percent since 2016, according to the American Automobile Association.

If you haven’t yet planned your summer driving vacation, consider using WalletHub’s report as a guide. As always, temper the findings with common sense and your definition of a great summer road trip. Wyoming, a beautiful state with scenic byways, came in first for the lowest costs, but 22nd for activities and 41st for safety, giving the state a total rank of 16 out of the 50 states.


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WalletHub’s Best 5 States for Road Trips

1. Oregon scored 59.68 out of a possible score of 100. The state earned third place for activities, sixth place for safety but came in at 39 for costs.

2. Utah scored 58.35, ranking seventh for safety, 11th for activities and 17th for costs.

3. Washington state scored 57.89, ranking second in activities, no.8 in safety, but 41 in costs.

4. North Carolina scored 57.69, ranking ninth in activities, 24th in safety and 11th in costs.

5. Louisiana, scored 57.65, ranking sixth in activities, 36 in safety and 15 in cost.

WalletHub’s Worst 5 States for Road Trips

46. North Dakota scored 40.78, ranking 41st in activities, 35th in safety and 33rd in costs.

47. Pennsylvania scored 40.04, ranking 24th in activities, 39th in safety and 44th in costs.

48. Mississippi scored 39.68, ranking 48th in activities, 49th in safety, but came in at an affordable sixth place in costs.

49. Rhode Island scored 38.69, ranking 47th in activities, third in safety, and 49th in costs.

50. Connecticut scored 33.04, ranking the lowest in activities, 25th in safety and 48th in costs.

WalletHub’s States with the Lowest Camping Prices

1. Nevada

2. Wyoming

3. Nebraska

4. Georgia

5. Alabama

WalletHub’s States with the Highest Price of Camping

46. Maine

47. Massachusetts

48. Maryland

49. Connecticut

50. Rhode Island

WalletHub’s State’s with the Most Scenic Byways

1. California and North Carolina

2. Oregon and Utah

3. Idaho

WalletHub’s States with the Fewest Scenic Byways

46. Hawaii, Wisconsin and South Dakota

47. Connecticut and Delaware

Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips

Discover more Dentist’s Money Digest® news here.

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