If you are planning on taking your family on a road trip the next time vacation time comes around, you are certainly in good company! The average American spends around 23 hours in their vehicle on summer road trips, and that means that factors like comfort, storage, and entertainment are key. This is especially true if you are traveling with small children and pets, since they can find it difficult to be ‘cooped up’ for so long. Follow these tips to match your family’s needs to those of the ideal road trip vehicle.
RV vs Hotel Accommodation
If you are traveling with babies or toddlers, then an RV may be the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, RVs offer the luxury of space. You won’t have to worry about where to fit carriages, toys, bottle sterilization equipment, etc. Additionally, RVs will allow you to save on hotel and resort costs, and to be more flexible about how much time you spend in one spot, and enable you to stop and attend to your kids well when the situation calls for it. If you are considering purchasing a motorhome, look for features such as spaciousness, drop-down overhead bunks (which will enable you to enjoy more space during the day), and full wall slides that create significant space when extended.
Reliability is Key
When you are on the road, traveling through areas with little infrastructure, you need to know that your vehicle is recognized for its reliability. Look at dependability ratings for various types of vehicles such as SUVs, minivans, and large cars. According to market research firm, JD Power, the top three brands in terms of reliability are Hyundai, Ford, and Toyota. To do your own research on the subject if you are interested in other brands, look up statistics on the number of problems per every 100 vehicles. Check out online forums as well, looking at features such as mileage, electronics, battery, etc. If you already have a vehicle you’d like to use, ensure it is well maintained so that problems with oil/filters/brake pads etc do not leave you stuck in the middle of the road.
Space is Vital
If you will be driving mainly through city roads, then a large 4×4 may just be too fuel-inefficient to be your ideal match. Different cars have features that appeal during road trips – including sportiness, range, GPS systems, etc. The second consideration (after safety, which is always the first) should be room. Everyone should have enough space to stretch out and to avoid back or leg ache from sitting in a cramped space for too long.
Making the Most of Technology
A road trip can be taxing on the driver and passengers alike so when looking to purchase a new vehicle, compare what different brands can offer in terms of technology for everyone in the vehicle. For instances, if you are traveling in the winter, then remote start technology will allow you to start your car from your home or while you are finishing lunch at a restaurant (via your smartphone). This way, your car will be nice and warm when your family gets in. Quality stereo systems will enable your car to enjoy great music without the characteristic ‘crackling’ noises that less sophisticated sound systems sometimes produce. Cruise control, car surround view cameras, and torques brake are just a few more features that can help you feel more secure when taking the wheel.
There is no perfect car for road trips, since each family’s needs may vary. Universal features that come in handy include dependability, cruise control, and plenty of space. Your car doesn’t have to be luxurious to fit the bill. In fact, research shows that many affordable brands actually have a great reputation for dependability!