High top van, Overlanding roof-top tent, station wagon or even the humble bicycle. All of the aforementioned are epic ways to travel around, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, but equally fulfilling in their own right. There isn’t actually any right way to road trip, or even a wrong way, just different. It all depends on your situation, your needs and at the end of the day, budget.
Here, we’re going to look at a couple of different adventure rigs, and discuss the perks, the flaws and everything in between to determine which type of vehicle is best for every type of adventure, and what your car says about you!
When you think of adventure travel, the first thing that comes to mind is beautiful-vanlife-sunrise mornings overlooking a nondescript, epic landscape. I’m not gonna lie, vanlife mornings are pretty damn nice. I spent a good few months doing exactly that travelling around Australia, and it’s a pretty amazing way to travel around.
The vanlife craze isn’t a new thing though; since the 60s, adventurous travellers have lived in vans around the world. From the great US road trip to hopping around Europe, vans have been a chosen form of transportation of the wandering nomad since being a wandering nomad became a thing.
So, why is a van such a popular mode of transport for adventure? Well, the extra space a van affords you is the main pull. Being able to sleep inside comfortably, maybe even stand up completely is a huge benefit if you’re spending a lot of time in the van.
The downsides of travelling in a van are that it can be more expensive than other modes of transport, and that you might not be able to access those off-grid locations you’ve dreamt of.
And so enters overlanding. Like van life in a lot of ways but with more ground clearance, more options for adventure and a little less luxury, perhaps. If you’ve been to New Zealand or the US, you’ve no doubt seen decked out adventure wagons with roof-top tents, 20” mud slinger tyres and enough air between the ground and undercarriage to go-anywhere-do-anything.
Sure, you can’t stand up inside a Land Cruiser, and setting up a roof-top tent – or even regular ground tent – can be inconvenient, but the possibilities that come with a truck are endless. Rather than driving past the dirt road and wondering what could be at the end as you do in a van, you can swiftly haul down the dusty track to have a look without a second thought.
And more often than not, the best spots lie at the end of the hidden dirt track!
The humble station wagon
Finally, we arrive at the regular, every day, run of the mill- car. Yeah, it might not be as Instagram-worthy as a Landy Defender or a split-screen V-dub, however, for most adventurous souls out there, the car is what you’ve got and all you need. No frills, nothing fancy, just a mode of transport full to the brim with belongings and camping kit.
What the car lacks in comfort and convenience, it makes up for in accessibility and affordability. No need to invest thousands into a new truck or van, just pack up the car in your garage and go!
To summarise, there isn’t one form of transport that is better than the other; it simply depends on your circumstances and needs. All that really matters is that you’re out there exploring, sleeping in the dirt and having fun.
So, what are you waiting for? Shouldn’t you be packing the car?