Road trips are often memorable for two reasons. One, they’re an incredible journey with scenic views, friends, and wonderful experiences, like the kind of adventures we fantasize about. Then there’s the other kind, the one where you’re stuck in traffic with a broken air conditioner and everything that can go wrong, does.
To that end, there are a lot of things you can’t control on a road trip. Luckily, choosing the right car isn’t one of them. Whether you’re gearing up for your next adventure or work has you hitting the road, here are some things to consider when choosing your mechanical steed.
Make Comfort a Priority
Nobody wants to travel halfway across the country cramped in the backseat or with suitcases piled around them. Depending on what your activities are, plan on getting a vehicle that can house everything and everyone comfortably. For example, if you’re planning a coastal road trip to surf in all the best spots, you should invest in a vehicle large enough to hold all the boards, wetsuits, and then comfortably seat the passengers. Sacrificing one or the other will cause a headache.
Secondly, make comfort a priority for the driver. If you think you have it bad as a passenger, imagine being in the driver’s seat with no extra room to relax. Some components to look for are:
- AC and heating – Whether you’re in the Texas summer sun or Ohio’s blizzarding winters, having a working HVAC system can be a lifesaver.
- Adjustable seating – Make sure there’s plenty of legroom for everybody involved. You don’t want the person in the back complaining about space three hours into a 20-hour road trip.
- Sound system – Any road trip is incomplete without your favorite tunes blasting through the speakers. It might seem insignificant but having a dependable sound system with an aux cord or Bluetooth adapter is a make-or-break feature of a road trip.
Find The Right Ride
Let’s face it. How often do you have the opportunity to go on a road trip? For most people, road trips happen once or twice in a decade. So, you might as well embrace it and ride in style. Paying the additional cost for dependability and luxury is well worth it. The last thing you want to be worried about during your trip is whether or not the car you’ve chosen is about to break down.
For some, that means buying a new car. But road trips don’t have to break the bank. Renting is a one-time expenditure that allows you to upgrade your trip and still come out the other end with your retirement savings intact. You can find deals on luxury vehicles at rental car stores like Enterprise.
Have your heart set on buying a new car? Another consideration is finding a used car in your local area – it’s often cheaper. Local doesn’t have to mean your city only; for example, if you’re departing from Austin, Texas, expand your search to used Audis near Dallas to find a luxury car that’s budget-friendly.
Something else to keep in mind for picking that perfect car is safety. Checking the airbags, seatbelts, and safety rating is important when heading out on the open road. Plus, modern safety features now come equipped with many useful accessories. Think backup cameras, hands-free Bluetooth technology, and lane assist sensors. Not only will these gadgets improve the drive, but they will help improve your skills as a driver.
Once you’re on the road, your biggest expense is going to be gas. Finding a car that is fuel efficient is necessary when planning a road trip. Plus, a good gas mileage means avoiding unnecessary pit stops. Sure, the extra time spent stretching your stiff back is great, but so is saving a thousand dollars on gas.
Last Tip: Test Drive Before Deciding
That wraps up everything you need to pick the right car. As a final bit of advice, once you’ve found the perfect car, make sure you give it a test drive. This way you can check the brakes, the alignment, and anything else you might find worrisome. Plus, you’ll familiarize with the car, giving you a better sense of how a longer drive will feel in it.