Since we started travelling together more than four years ago, we’ve become bonafide road trip experts.

We do at least two long-haul (more than 2,000 km) road trips and dozens more shorter trips (less than 1,000 km). So, it’s fair to say we’ve learned a few things two about choosing a road trip vehicle.

Durability

How rugged is the vehicle and how much adventure can it take? We’re adventurers by nature and we love getting off the beaten path and blazing new trails, exploring and getting lost. So for us, that eliminates most sedans.

We need a vehicle that can tolerate rough roads, sand, fields, mud and snow. We also like a vehicle that has good clearance from the ground.

Gas mileage

What length of travel are you tackling and what sort of terrain are you planning to traverse? If you’re sticking to the roads, you might weigh gas mileage over clearance but if you’re an adventurer and you need the durability of a truck or SUV, then mileage is a concession you might consider making.

Storage

Storage is always a factor for any type of trip. The obvious consideration of trunk space is a given but the often overlooked factor of accessibility is something we weigh even more than the actual storage. A storage space that allows you to easily access anything you need without having to unpack your entire trunk is a must.

This is another reason we err on the side of trucks and SUVs for road trips. The collapsible seats, removable floor panels and easy access trunk space makes life so much simpler on the road.

Comfort features

There are two key features that are a “must have” on our list for the perfect road trip vehicle.

  1. Air conditioning: long haul driving is challenging enough without having to worry about melting while you’re trying to focus on your driving. Trust us, get the AC.
  2. Cruise control: let’s be honest, driving can be exhausting enough so having a couple of features that make your life easier are well worth the money. Not to mention, these things come standard in most SUVs and trucks now.

And then there are those “luxury” features that just make your trips more enjoyable so if you’ve got the budget, we suggest splurging on these little gems:

  • Sun/moon roof: it’s a luxury, yes, but if it’s feasible for you it’s worth the extra cost.
  • Drive assist: this is a relatively new feature in vehicles and it’s also quite handy on road trips.
  • Bluetooth and sound system: being able to connect your mobile device to listen to podcasts or your favourite playlists is a great option and fabulous sound system is just plain fun on the road.

Expert tip: check the Bluetooth. You would assume, in 2017, that all Bluetooth systems would work with all phones but they don’t. If you’re on the road a lot, this is a major consideration to make.