Road trips are thrills in Australia. Whether it is the Queensland Scenic RIm, Kangaroo Island, The Great Ocean Road, or any of the several other thrilling road trips, it is a fun way to see nature, the country, and enjoy some quality bonding.
A road trip is just as challenging as it is fun, so it’s not easy to choose the best car for the road trip. Do you choose a station wagon or a campervan or a 4-wheel drive? Do you prefer to buy or rent a vehicle?
There are many factors to consider, and you need to think about each one carefully. Here, we look at some of the factors that you should put into consideration when choosing a vehicle for a group road trip.
Every vehicle on the road today is built to create a secure barrier around the passengers that holds up pretty well, except in the most horrible of crashes. The best vehicles practically create a safe buffer around you in the event of an accident, with all manner of airbags that operate alongside seatbelts.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a long and exciting road trip or just want to drive down to the end of the city, make sure the car you choose has serious security features. They could save your life on the road.
Consider distance and fuel efficiency
Most modern vehicles come with large fuel tanks to increase the number of kilometers on the road. Of course, the bigger the tank, the bigger the vehicle, and it also means that the engine is larger, too. But it’s also a good idea to factor in the fuel efficiency of the vehicle you’re thinking about, particularly if you’re driving very far.
If the plan is to optimize distance and fuel consumption, regardless of the size of the engine, it is best to drive smoothly and avoid sudden acceleration and braking. Maintain a steady speed as much as possible and pay attention to the conditions of the road. Doing so helps you on the route and conserves fuel as much as possible.
Air conditioning is a key feature for any car that will be going on a long trip as it will help in combating the hot and humid weather as well as roadside emissions.
AC vents at the rear of the vehicle should be an additional requirement for travel. Also, be sure the vehicle has a good filtering system, which is a must for preventing smoke, dust, and bad smell from entering the car.
Are you mechanically savvy?
If you cannot buy a brand-new vehicle and want to go for a used one or rent, look for something that is sound and will carry you on your trips.
However, if you can find your way around the innards of a car, then you can afford to take the risk of buying or renting just any vehicle. Even if it breaks down when you’re on your road trip, you might be able to work out the problems and don’t have to look for a mechanic.
However, to be on the safe side, it is a good idea you learn how to jump-start a car, in case your battery runs out and you need to get juice from a fellow road user.
Remember to carry out research on the reliability of your vehicle, taking into account the model and the year.
Global positioning system
The Global Positioning System or GPS is an excellent addition to the road trip experience. The main advantage of GPS is that it removes a major source of travel stress – confusion and distractions while trying to navigate the road signs or map.
Although many smartphones now have built-in GPS systems, small displays, low volumes, and undependable internet coverage in remote locations can be a downside.
Stand-alone GPS is more consistent and will not be affected when you receive a call on your phone. Most late-model vehicles do have GPS built-in, but if not, you can always get one mounted as an aftermarket add-on.
If you’re going to be on the road for more than a few days, you need to be sure that you have enough storage space in your vehicle.
Think about who’s going on the road trip with you. You’re going to need enough space for everyone’s clothes and personal stuff, and you may also want to carry along a cooler to hold drinks and food.
Also, think about how much space you’re going to need for books, equipment, and other in-car entertainment, and try to save room for provisions.
Comfort and convenience
A long road trip means you will be doing a lot of sitting in the car. Therefore, look for a car that is quiet and comfortable. It’s not all about comfortable seats, it’s also about other things, such as the entertainment system, cruise control, air conditioning and more will help make your ride more enjoyable.
Will you be spending nights in the car?
Sleeping in a car is a simple, easy, fun, and cheap way to travel. Of course, if you’re going to be sleeping in a vehicle, you have to look for a particular type of vehicle like a caravan or a motorhome.
Station wagons are also perfect for road trips. For example, some people like to mix sleeping in a car and in a tent when on road trips. If that’s what you want to do, don’t forget to bring with you the necessities like pillows and blankets.
Find out the vehicle’s safety ratings
It is not enough to choose a vehicle that is the right size or is fuel efficient if it’s not safe. With an increasing number of vehicles being recalled by manufacturers every day, researching the safety rating of a vehicle before taking it on a road trip is a must. Research recalls, find out how it holds up in crashes, whether it’s easy to navigate around sharp corners, whether it’s perfect for different types of terrain, and so on.
If you’re renting a car for the road trip or using a friend’s car and have never driven it, first take a few test drives to make sure you can handle it on the road.
Ultimately, unless you’re really wealthy, the perfect road trip vehicle will have to match your budget. Don’t forget it’s not just purchasing price, but also gas mileage, insurance, and repair costs. So, make your budget, consider all the extra costs and look for the best deal that fits your budget, but still include some or all of the features covered above.
Do you have all these covered? Then you are set for your road trip on` the Outback of Australia!
James is a business psychologist, serial entrepreneur, and a frequent traveler. He has traveled to several countries including Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Belarus, Netherland, US, and Nigeria. He is the Founder and CEO of www.dailyposts.co.uk.