There's nothing like traveling by car. and with all the COVID-19 restrictions on airlines and social distancing and the hustle and bustle of getting through security, I thought it might be easier to head home for the holidays by car. Now for me the drive to El Paso from Amarillo is a long one, 440+ miles 7 1/2 hours. there's a few different ways to get there. and honestly it doesn't really matter which way. the point is get out and drive.

Driving is freedom, driving is going when you want and where you want, and not having to deal with lost baggage or figuring out if you get the window seat or not. Driving puts you in total control of the how and when you get there. and while it offers its own set of obstacles as well, you're only limited to how long you want to spend in the car.

Now about those obstacles, fuel... yes this is the big one, make sure you're gassed up (or charged up for our electric friends) and understand the range of your vehicle. for me travelling 440+ miles on a car that gets 35-38 MPG isn't going to be a hassle, but if I were to take my truck... well I might just find myself visiting more small towns for gas than I'd like.

Speaking of gas... its amazing to see the difference in prices in some places that aren't so far away, sometimes as much as 25-40 cents above the city averages here in Amarillo.

By the way the folks who own these stations would love it if you came in and made a non gas purchase. it keeps the lights on too. just make sure you have your mask.

Food. now normally this is one of my favorite parts of the trip, finding new restaurants in small towns, New Mexico made that easy for me this time with its no dine in restriction. ahh.. fast food to the rescue. great in a pinch but don't make it a habit. Maybe pack a few sandwiches... great excuse for a roadside picnic

Sierra Blanca Peak in Ruidoso NM as captured on my last road trip. Source: Michael Rivera, Townsquare Media

Scenery is my other favorite. its fun to just take in the world around you... like on the return trip a view of Sierra Blanca peak near Ruidoso NM. what makes this picture so intriguing to me is normally this time of the year there should be snow here(and a lot of folks skiing). It shows the drought we're experiencing in Amarillo is certainly affecting our neighbors as well.

And let's not forget the family, we have our memories of bad road trips as children. I'm not saying yours will be perfect either but its definitely a memory making experience when it comes to the family.

Lets make 2021 the year we get back out and about. and for you nothing but safe travels!