Taking a road trip is both an economical way to travel and a rite of passage. But for it to be anything other than a disaster, you have to have the right car.
There are countless considerations you have to make when choosing a new car. Things like safety ratings, features, and the car’s general performance. Yet, you should also make sure to consider how you’re going to use the vehicle. You wouldn’t get a sleek, Italian sports car if you planned to use the vehicle to haul debris, firewood, or anything like that. So, if you plan to take a lot of great road trips, you will need to make sure you choose a vehicle that can handle it. Driving long distances, especially for an extended period of time, puts great stress on cars that aren’t used to it. Your car may be perfect for your 40-minute commute every day and running errands. Yet, if it’s not able to go the distance on a long drive, that’s something you’ll want to know about before you take to the open highway.
Of course, cars are made to be driven. So, in theory, any car should be able to do the trick, especially if it is new. Still, you can’t be too cautious when it comes to take long car trips. So, along with the things people normally expect from a new car, like great mileage or performance, road trippers have needs. Below we list four quick tips to consider when choosing a car that will ensure you’ll be able to have plenty of great road trips in it. It’s not just about performance but also about comfort. The luxury road tripper should expect their vehicle to be able to handle both expertly.
Basic Car Necessities for a Great Road Trip
Of course, all road trips are about taking the road less traveled. However, if your car isn’t in tip-top shape, the road less traveled could be your worst nightmare. Be sure your car is reliable with these basic car necessities before hitting the road.
1: Maintenance and Tune-Ups
If you’re going to hit the road and go far from home, you will not regret making sure your car can handle the trip. Even if you have a newer car, a trip like this will put more stress on it than daily driving. Nothing makes great road trips turn into nightmares more quickly than breaking down in a strange place. While you can’t foresee every problem, sometimes a little preemptive maintenance can make sure it doesn’t happen.
One good way to do this is to take the car in for a tune-up right before a road trip. Change the oil, replace the filters, rotate the tires, and anything else you can think of to make sure that your car is in top shape when you take off. In fact, whether you take road trips or not, you should make sure that your new car comes with a comprehensive and reliable service package with roadside assistance.
2: Make Sure You Have Top-of-the-Line GPS
The best part about traveling this way is that you have the freedom to take detours whenever you see something interesting. Any smart planner knows to bring written directions and hard copy maps in case you lose signal or something like that. However, in most cases, you can rely on GPS to help you navigate a new area. You’ll want to keep your phone free for music, internet searches, or snapping pictures.
So, make sure that your car has a good GPS system. Update your maps every chance you get and learn how to utilize features that find stores and services you need. A good GPS system can display nearby restaurants, hotels, or whatever else you might need. Most cars today come with one pre-installed, or you can turn to third-party GPS providers. Either way, you want to make sure your navigation system is top-of-the-line.
3: A Solid Bluetooth Connection
We live in a connected world, and that means that you should want your car to be able to keep up. There will likely be more than one person in the car, and that means different tastes and sensibilities for in-car entertainment. Most of us use our phones for music these days, so a good Bluetooth connection means that anyone can take control of the radio.
Sure, great road trips facilitate learning more about where you visit. But they can also help us learn more about our friends and loved ones. You could take turns controlling the radio or simply allow whoever is in the driver’s seat to also pick what you listen to. Either way, this makes the trip more of a communal event. Sure, everyone could be wearing headphones, some watching movies or listening to audiobooks. But forcing everyone to listen to the same thing hearkens back to the road trips of old. At least it will keep the trip interesting.
4: Lots of Legroom
Taking a drive across the country to a far away destination should not be like packing up all of your belongings in the car to move to the big city. It is crucial that you pack light on a road trip, because there is limited space for such things. Even if you just fill up the trunk, that means any things you pick up along the way will have nowhere to go but inside the car.
Great road trips mean spending a lot of time in the car with each other, and part of avoiding unpleasantness is to ensure everyone is comfortable. Sitting in a space packed with bags or other items is the opposite of that. So, if you plan on taking a lot of them, make sure you choose a car with enough room to hold all your stuff while keeping everyone comfortable.
Great road trips are only great because your vehicle did its job, delivering you from point A to point B and back again with little discomfort.
The differences between an agonizing car ride from one place to another and a life-changing leisure trip are varied and real. Yet, the wrong vehicle can definitely make the latter feel like the former. The beauty of the road trip is that it’s one of the few vacations you can just start on a whim. You get in the car and just go, letting the road take you wherever it leads. As romantic as this sounds, every smart road-tripper makes plans ahead of time. Yet, rarely are people so prepared that they consider these things when buying a car that they will use for so much else, like that commute or those errands. Thankfully, we’ve got your back and hope our list helps you find a car that will take care of you both on the road and On The Road.
What do you think? Do you know of any great road trips considerations we missed? Share them, along with your reactions and own experiences, in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media to get your friends in on the discussion.