In graduate school we took these trips quite often. Many conferences meet in the Northeast and we would pile into cars and drive out. A good chance to bond with your fellow students.
Fewer conference meet in the Midwest and in Chicago you tend to fly to travel. But we do have the occasional reason to take the long drive. We will be in a closed environment with no internet (assuming everyone stays off their cell phones). We'll actually have to talk to each other, maybe even try and prove a theorem. How quaint.