National Road Trip Day for the year 2023 is celebrated/observed on Friday, May 26th. There are until the next observance.

National Road Trip Day is observed on the Friday preceding Memorial Day in the United States (on the final Monday of May); hence, it falls on May 26 this year. There’s a reason why “The Great American Road Trip” has become a catchphrase: the United States is the only country where road vacations are considered a holiday in and of themselves. Whether it’s to pay respect to fallen national heroes by visiting war memorials around the country or simply to get out of town for a change of scenery, Americans have always enjoyed road trips. From great works of literature inspired by the road to songs we know and love, road trips signify something different to everyone, which is why we are thrilled that the road trip gets its own holiday. Plus, who wouldn’t want to make the most of the long weekend by getting out of town? That’s where we come in, with suggestions to help you satisfy your wanderlust.

📆 When is National Road Trip Day?

This year, National Road Trip Day is on May 26th. It is the 4th Friday in May; in 2024, it is on Sunday.

Countdown to National Road Trip Day

Did you know: Apps are everywhere these days, so why not use technology to help you plan your route?

You can also learn all fun things you didn’t know about and facts about May 26, 2023.

📜 History of National Road Trip Day

In 1903, a bet led to the first known cross-country road journey in the United States. Horatio Nelson Jackson, a pioneering doctor and inventor of the vehicle, was bet that he couldn’t make the trip from San Francisco to New York City in fewer than 90 days. They go in a 20-horsepower Winston with mechanic Sewall K. Crocker and a dog named Bud to disprove them. The journey took Jackson and Crocker 63 days to complete, despite several setbacks.

By the 1930s, cross-country travel in America became possible thanks to the well-known Route 66. Many started moving to the West, while others went on road trips. Nearly 75% of American families possessed a car by the 1950s, when America had become the world’s largest automaker and the automobile had evolved into a cultural icon for the country. Driving became the norm for American middle-class vacations, which also saw a rise in the drive-in and roadside hotel industries. Then, in the 1960s, hippies turned the road trip into a full-fledged lifestyle, converting vans and buses into mobile homes.

Road travel declined in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as air travel expanded, but it continues to be popular today. The phrase “great American road trip” embodies the freedom and adventure that can only be found on the open road.

☑️ National Road Trip Day facts

Soup up your ride
Make sure everything is in working order, from wipers to registration paperwork.

Plot a course
Consider things like traffic flow, restroom breaks, and roadblocks or diversionary routes.

Compile a playlist
According to the majority of travelers, what you listen to may make or break your vacation experience, so plan ahead of time.

Things to do on National Road Trip Day

Plan your next trip
Plan your future road trip even if it does not appear to be possible this year! The best-laid plans may sometimes turn out to be the best-laid holidays, so don’t be afraid to get out your map and start making notes. This summer, a virtual road trip might be on the menu. To learn more, follow trending social media initiatives (such as #RoadTripReimagined).

Take a trip down memory lane
Scrapbook your finest road trip memories, or use social media to express yourself by uploading your favorite road trip images, stories, and memories.

Read some great American road-trip literature
Why leave the luxury of your sofa when your mind can do the work? Some classics are Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Mark Twain’s “Roughing It” John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley,” Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent,” and Simone de Beauvoir’s “America Day by Day” If you enjoy off-the-beaten-path books, Google is your best buddy!

📅 National Road Trip Day Observances

2023 May 26 Friday
2024 May 26 Sunday
2025 May 26 Monday
2026 May 26 Tuesday
2027 May 26 Wednesday

View all May holidays, including Fun and other Activities holidays.

We will continue to update this page with new information and must-know facts about National Road Trip Day. So be sure to check back soon.