You have decided to embark on a road trip! This is not surprising, as road travel popularity in the US is on the rise. In 2015, road trips represented 22 percent of vacations taken by US travelers, and in 2016, this increased to 39 percent. Traveling by car presents a number of conveniences and savings. One can easily travel with pets in a car, take breaks as needed, and enjoy the scenery all around. Road trips can also provide significant savings when compared to air and rail travel, particularly for large groups.
Choosing your road trip vehicle is an important decision, involving some planning and thought. Below are some tips of what to consider when thinking about your road trip car:
How To Plan A Road Trip
Tip #1: Consider How Many People are Traveling Together
Comfort and convenience are key to have an enjoyable trip. If you are traveling with a larger group, consider a van or large sports utility vehicle (SUV) with a third-row seat. Even if you do not need all three rows based on how many people are in the vehicle, the extra row may come in handy if anyone in your party wants to take a nap, enjoy some space away from the group or be able to work or take a call while riding.
Tip #2: Consider Who in Your Party will be Driving
It is common during road trips to have drivers take turns. If that is the case for your trip, consider all the people that are likely to be behind the wheel. Are these people used to certain types of cars? Do they know how to drive a stick shift? Talk to your co-drivers and discuss what type of vehicles they are most comfortable with.
Tip #3: Consider the Amount of Time you will Spend Driving
Road trips vary. A four-hour drive stretch feels very different than spending most of a day or night on the road. Plan accordingly – choose a smaller car for shorter distances and driving time periods, and select larger, more comfort-focused options for longer drives.
Tip #4: Consider the Types of Roads you will Take, and Where You are Likely to Lodge
This is an important tip as not all road trips are created equal. Whether you are driving on large highways, or country roads, consider what type of car will give you the handling and mileage desired. City driving and long distances can do well with smaller sedans, hybrids or electrical vehicles. Larger groups might consider splitting up into two smaller cars or trading fuel efficiency for space.
Tip #5: Consider the Weather
Nothing compromises a road trip like inclement weather, but having the right vehicle can make a big difference. Prior to your trip, research day by day weather for the areas you are going to be passing, Consider the weather that tends to be common for the areas you drive through. Mountainous regions are known for snow and ice on the roads, while flat areas may carry the threat of tornadoes. Make sure you select a vehicle that can handle anticipated conditions.
What Is The Best Car For Road Trips Today?
The top five vehicles for road tripping are detailed below, with some information about the unique advantages of each option:
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
This option is roomy, without sacrificing its fuel efficiency. Because this is a hybrid vehicle, it gets thirty miles per gallon of gas. It has a great entertainment system, sliding doors, and a third-row seat. Consider this car if you may need to take sleep breaks in the vehicle – it definitely offers that level of comfort.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas
Another great larger option is the Volkswagen Atlas. This SUV has three rows of seats, but its overall size keeps it easy to maneuver. It has a V6 engine and all-wheel drive, so it is a solid option for rougher terrain or bad weather.
2019 Ford Mustang
For couples or duos looking for a little fun, the Ford Mustang is an iconic option. If traveling in warmer climates, consider the convertible option. Keep your packing light, though – its trunk is fairly small
2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-Door
Great sporty option with efficient gas mileage, and comes standard with 4-wheel-drive, has a roof rack for extra cargo hauling and has a sleep silhouette. This vehicle’s hatchback-style makes for easy storage and mid-trip item retrieval.
2019 Ford Fusion
Looking for a classic sedan? This make and model is a wonderful option. It seats five comfortably, has a good size trunk, and comes in hybrid options. Non-hybrid models offer good gas mileage as well, particularly for highway driving.
No matter which direction you go into with your road trip vehicle decision, consider all the factors detailed in this article and you are sure to be happy with your choice. Renting a car for a road trip is a wonderful way to experiment with a vehicle without making a full commitment.