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Road trips don't sound like a very green family vacation option. For those of you with kids who are trying to be more environmentally conscious by driving a Toyota Prius or other "green car," here's an idea: Make your road trip more green. My friend at Road Trips for Families tipped us all off to this post earlier today. It has some great ideas for off-setting the miles you drive by keeping your drive shorter, monitoring garbage production, and staying in certified environmentally friendly facilities.
Families that are this conscious may also drive a "green" car. Whether it's a Prius or downsized minivan-style Mazda 5, the reality is that those smaller vehicles aren't very fun to take on a family road trip. Here's an alternative: rent a minivan that gets 20-30 miles per gallong. Yes, they exist!
Example: The 2009 Kia Rondo.
Okay, I'll give you that it's ugly. Heck, TheCarConnection.com gave it a 5 of 10 for styling. Get over it. You're just renting it for a family car trip. The Rondo makes up for it in safety, comfort and features. TCC has collected some very creative descriptions of what other reviewers liked about the Rondo's interior here. As long as it's roomy and safe, find a minivan with great gas mileage and you have the makings of a greener trip. By the way, the Rondo gets 26-27 MPG on the highway, which is the bulk of family road trip driving, anyway.
So, here's the idea: Go check out some of the "inside the vehicle" ideas for reducing your carbon footprint during your road trip, then do a little investigation on the vehicle you'll drive. If you can be comfy in your car, and it has an acceptable MPG rating (you be the judge, it's your trip!), go for it. If you predict all kinds of mayhem as you cram three kids in the back row for more than an hour, take a look at some minivans and SUVs. You'll be surprised what you can rent that gets gas mileage that'll make the road trip easier on your wallet and the environment.
How 'bout it? Any other ideas for making that summer family road trip more pallatable? Leave me a comment or drop me a line at xybrewer at gmail dot com.