What should you drive for a summer road trip? The benefits (and drawbacks) of RVs, rental cars and other options

It’s going to be another summer big on driving vacations. But what should you drive?

Lucas Travis is renting a car – specifically a “rugged” SUV. He’ll need it. He plans a week-long road trip across Alaska in July.

“I would love to venture into the wilderness to get away from the crowds,” says Travis, the founder of a skateboarding website in Leesville, Louisiana. 

A recent survey by RVShare suggests most Americans will follow Travis by driving somewhere for their summer vacations. About two-thirds of consumers prefer road trips over flying. And 54% of respondents said they’ll avoid air travel.

How they get there is another matter. You can drive a car – either your own or a rental – or splurge on an RV. Each transportation option has its pluses and minuses, which have never been more evident than now.

A $750 car rental for three days? Don’t wait to book a rental car and other tips to avoid sticker shock

Hitting the road? Tips for navigating rest stops, gas stations and hotels

Drive your car this summer – or upgrade to a new one

A vast majority of Americans will bring their personal vehicle on a summer road trip. For Benin Lee, that means driving his Hyundai Sonata from Columbus, Ohio, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee says he likes the smaller car because it’s more fuel-efficient and handles well. 

“The ride is smooth, and it’s easier to park,” says Benin, a physician’s assistant from Columbus.

Toby Russell, the co-CEO of the car-buying site Shift, says he’s noticed more consumers want to buy a new vehicle before their summer road trip. 

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