From the number of things to see to how much it’ll cost to fill up, the latest study from WalletHub should be a go-to reference guide and cheat sheet.
While motorcycle enthusiasts may think they’ve perfected the open road, taking to the highway is an all-American past time regardless how many wheels are used. For roughly 77% of Americans, 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 that can be packed into the two-wheeled itinerary.
WalletHub’s latest study, ‘2016’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips’ details breaks down the cost of laying down those long miles using 21 key metrics, including each state’s attractions, road conditions, costs and even weather patterns which all roll up into three categories, Driving & Lodging Costs, Road Conditions & Safety and Fun & Scenic Attractions, all counting for a third of the overall results.
Although gas is relatively cheap these days, filling up the motorcycle tank along a long road trip will still cost a pretty penny, particularly given the 40% rebound in prices at the pump over the last four months. Plus, there are accommodations, activities and dining to consider. All of that certainly contributes to the $600+ billion that the public spends on leisure travel each year.
With easy ways to save, why throw away money?
The first category Clutch and Chrome reviews from the WalletHub study is its Driving & Lodging Costs, Road Conditions. This includes the following considerations and how much they contribute to this particular third.
- Average Gas Prices: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
- Maximum Toll Costs: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
- Average Cost of Car Repairs: Half Weight (~2.56 Points)
- Lowest Price of Three-Star Hotel: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
- Lowest Price of Camping: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
- Number of Lodging Units (campgrounds, hostels, condominiums, villas, lodges) per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
- Cost of Living Index: Full Weight (~5.13 Points)
The Southern states appear to enjoy the cheapest gasoline prices with South Carolina taking the number one slot followed by, Mississippi and Arkansas. The most expensive places to fill that motorcycle tank; California, Hawaii and Alaska.
A segment of bikers prefer camping to the nicest hotel rooms and for them, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming are the best place to pitch a pup tent with Maryland Connecticut and California the more expensive.
The next category of Road Conditions & Safety takes into account
- Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
- Population Density: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
- Driving Laws Rating: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
- Quality of Roads: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
- Quality of Bridges: Quarter Weight (~0.90 Points)
- Number of Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled: Triple Weight (~10.81 Points)
- Number of Car Thefts per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
- Violent Crime Rate per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight (~3.60 Points)
While the study looked at car thefts, it’s a good indication of how comfortable bikers can feel leaving their motorcycle parked overnight at the curb. Using this metric, the safest states are Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Not so good are Nevada, Washington and California.
The final category of Fun & Scenic Attractions may not have a cool-biker feel to its title, but it covers many things riders want on most road trips. This would include National Park Units per 100,000 Square Mile, Number of Attractions, Number of Nightlife Options per 100,000 Residents, Number of Scenic Byways as well as how many Accommodation and Food Services Establishments per 1,000 Residents the state offers.
Easily the highlight of any motorcycle road trip, the number of National Parks has some very interesting results. The first four places are all tied for number one by states that don’t jump to mind, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island. It’s obvious this category was heavily influenced by the physical size of the state with a smaller number of parks having more weight for less-populates and smaller states.
However, something that can’t be faked, the number of scenic byways. California finds a number one slot in this section followed by North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. The bottom three of this group? South Dakota, Connecticut and Delaware.
Adding all these numbers together and Oregon comes out as the number state for a technically smart choice. Nevada and Utah enjoy two and three positions. Mississippi, Alaska and Connecticut are the states at the bottom of WalletHub’s latest study, ‘2016’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips’.
The study makes for an interesting read and should give some insight and tips when planning the next motorcycle road trip. However, no amount of results should stop any rider from discovering any part of the country that’s caught the biker-eye.
Here are the total combined results from WalletHub’s latest study, ‘2016’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips’.