I have always had the travelling bug and I have travelled across the globe numerous times for holidays as well business meetings thanks to my job. But over the last few years I realized that I am no longer interested in discovering new places by myself and would rather share that journey with my husband and kids. But everyone knows travelling with kids in tow can be quite the feat and I learnt the hard way just like most parents. That said, I have learned the hard way in some instances and thanks to a few trips over the last few years, I am well aware of what is needed for a comfortable and enjoyable road trip with my family.
Now one might think why take the trouble of driving when you can disperse the hassle of traffic and countless idiotic drivers on the road by taking a flight to your destination? Who would want to drive for hours in a closed space? There seem to be so many reasons not to embark on a road trip and take the easy way out. As much as I would love to reach the destination quickly and hassle free, if the chosen holiday spot is within 10-12 hours drive, then I have felt that it is right to go by road as it is a great bonding experience for making lifelong memories. My hubby and I are at a point where we are fit and healthy enough to drive long distances and we want our kids to have some road trip memories too.
But while I am all gung ho about taking road trips, some of our experiences have been quite forgetful and one of the main reasons for that was our choice of vehicle for the journey. Choosing the right vehicle for travel is something we both realized is very important part of the decision to travel by road. Our numerous road trips with the family in tow, has helped us to know a thing or to about choosing the right road trip vehicle. especially when it comes to what necessities we need in a road trip vehicle and what comforts we want.
Here are a few things to look for when selecting your road trip vehicle in no particular order:
This is the most important factor of choosing a car be it for everyday use or for road trips with family. Some of the safety features which is a must are seat belts especially compulsory for the front passengers with seat belt alarms. Seat belts ensure our first level of safety and one must never compromise on it. Especially on highways, air bags should be mandatory to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident. When travelling with children, child locks, rear window locks are additional necessities and not to be considered a luxury. Having a vehicle with top notch safety features takes the stress out of driving.
Be a flight or a road trip, my OCD never allows me to travel light and hence good amount of storage space is an absolute necessity in my books. The trip maybe a 2 days or longer ones but my trunk space is sacred and I cannot do without it, minimum 500+ litres boot space. For delicate stored items such as food or beverages, an a/c cooled glove compartment can be very useful.
While the above are all necessities, a few comfort features are mandatory to make the drive all the more pleasurable. Road trips means more time sitting in the car so you have to be comfortable.
Seats and Headrest: Both my hubby and I have issues with our neck and sittings for hours in a car has created a few problems in the past. We have never looked at seating and head rest in our earlier car buying days but nowadays it is must as we grow older. Some car manufacturers do not seem to have put much thought into the ergonomics such as angle of the headrest, leg room, hand rest etc. Luckily enough there are so many options available nowadays for adjusting the seats with some cars having comfortable bucket style seating.
Air Conditioning : This is an essential feature in any car I would choose thanks to the extremely hot and humid weather coupled with the pollution factor. Multi directional rear ac vents would be an additional requirement for family travel. Some cars have been known not to have a great filtering system which is a must, eliminating all possibility of dust, smoke, bad odour etc from entering into the car. Read up a few reviews about this feature in your preferred vehicle to ensure it is the best.
Bluetooth / Hands-Free / Audio System: While I do not promote driving and talking, sometimes we just have to take a few calls and answering a call via bluetooth is the only option I suggest. Once on the road, radio may not be an option post city limits so I rely on the music on my phone to tide us through the journey. Everyone has a playlist and its easier handled via my phone and the bluetooth is a extremely useful option to have. After all, half the fun of road trips is singing along to all your favorite tunes!
While I know that no one buys a vehicle based on just road trips, many of the above points are crucial for day to day driving and cannot be ignored when looking for that perfect buy. If you are planning to pick up a new car and the type who intends to take to the open road for a holiday then the above points would definitely factor into your buying decision. If you’re looking for assistance in selecting your own road trip worthy vehicle, head over to Cars.com which would give you a host of options to help you choose wisely.
Wishing you all a safe travel and an enjoyable journey.
What do you look for when choosing a road trip vehicle? Would love to hear from you.
Pic courtesy : Pexels and RJ Heart & Soul.