Filipinos love family, bonding, and spending weekends together with loved ones. Sometimes, a quick trip to the beach or even a staycaction at your favorite hotel can be good enough to get you relaxed and pampered, far away from the stress and deadlines that may plague our daily lives. The automobile has, of course, been our main mode of transportation, and it’s an extremely common sight to see families packing up and filling a van to go to their favorite destination.
Here at AutoDeal, we love our long drives and road trips as much as anyone, and we are lucky to have experienced some of the best cars for the job firsthand. While cramming a ton of people and maximizing passenger space may be a key consideration for some, there’s more to it than that to have an enjoyable drive and getaway. Because for us, driving isn’t just from point A to point B, sometimes it is the point. Here’s what you should consider when choosing the best vehicle for that long weekend.
1. How many can you fit? What stuff can you fit?
Sure, a van that seats 12 people plus a driver would be at the top of of the list for many, and that’s a fair point. But, you also have to consider the amount of luggage that each person will bring, and the number of people you’ll want to bring in the first place. Some of your passengers will pack lightly, and some will bring their wardrobe.
Remember, just because it fits doesn’t mean it doesn’t compromise comfort and safety for everyone. Each person must have their own seat and seatbelt to use while on the trip, and bags must be safely secured in the trunk or under the bench seats if riding a van.
2. How far is the destination and how much fuel will I use?
Many modern vehicles now have sizable fuel tanks for maximizing kilometers on the road. Of course, the larger the tank, the larger the vehicle, and it usually means that the engine is bigger, as well.
If you’re aiming to maximize distance and fuel efficiency, regardless of engine size, it’s best to drive smoothly and avoid sudden braking and acceleration. Cruise as much as possible and anticipate road conditions. Doing so will keep you on the road, and lessen stops at the pump as much as possible. Oh, and you won’t have the “Are we there yet?” question too often.
It’s also good practice to plan your stops and choose a vehicle that will have a good combination of high kilometers per liter with a fairly large fuel capacity.
3. Will I be okay sitting for 4-6 hours on the road?
Save for fuel stops, there are times when it’s necessary to keep moving and maximize time. A good out-of-town car is one that has comfortable and supportive seats, big windows for that feeling of space and taking in the view, an enjoyable and easy to use entertainment system, and, most importantly, safety features such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS), complete seatbelts, and airbags.
Since you’re going to be spending much of the time on the road, the car you’ll be using must be up to the task of keeping everyone safe, comfortable, and entertained, especially when kids are involved.
4. What kind of roads will I be passing?
Often overlooked by many, and a key part of planning ahead is surveying the type of roads you may encounter on the way to your destination. Will it be smooth and mostly flat all the way? Maybe the family sedan is a good choice. Maybe there’s some portions of off-road, and the pickup truck or SUV is the better and safer option. Sometimes you may also only have one vehicle, so choosing another route or alternate way may be the best option.
Nothing’s worse than making it more than halfway to the resort, only to find out that you have to scale boulders the size of your wheel and climb out of potholes that will swallow a sedan whole. Trust me, there are roads like that. Plan ahead and save everyone from disappointment, or, worse, being stranded.