Choosing the right vehicle for an extended trip

Which vehicle to take for a big trip around the world? This question occupies all travelers from time to time. Because the requirements change with you. We will show you here later already completed world trips done by a motorcycle, with an old VW Beetle with attached caravan trailer, vans, heavy modded 4x4 till the bigger trucks - nothing is impossible. 

In the depths of the Internet I also discovered this "Buyers Guide", which tries to break down the whole thing with a bit of humor and shows the options amazingly successful.

The ultimate car / vehicle buyers guide for vanlife and overlanding. From truck till pickup

What is the right vehicle for you has a lot to do with the road comfort and the living comfort you want on your journey. And the amount of days you like to be able to stay self-sufficiency at remote spots.
We will show you, that the availability of spare parts is helpful, will show you too that dhl is working worldwide as another way to handle that.

Some buy a smaller touring vehicle after a while, others increase their size. There are enough examples of both in the depths of the Internet. But let's first get a trip around the world behind us before we turn our attention to the final useful life of our vehicles. 

General rule, a station wagon has more space than a normal car, a van brings more space than a suv can deliver. Finding the best individual compromise is always the biggest challenge. Than many of us have just the dream about the journey or livestyle - and did not try to think through the details of your daily life soon you hit the road.

If you remember back to your trip after some years or live stage, you will also talk about what happens on the way, who you meet, the vehicle is mostly not mentioned a lot, is way to overrated through our planning.

If I look what is important for extended travelling, not the vehicle itself is in focus.

Vehicle choice

The most optimal vehicle choice for a world trip - the search for the suitable vehicle. I don't think all the statements are right - but there's a lot of really good thoughts captured here, with pictures about the different travel vehicles and their necessary equipment.
The ultimate car / vehicle buyers guide for vanlife and overlanding. From truck till pickup

Does it need 4x4

Here, too, I refer in a similarly humorous way to a past motorshow who did end in mud:

A little rain is enough if you are wild camping on a meadow - and even with 4x4 you will not get out of there by yourself, if you have not also mounted MT tires (coarse profile).
Of course, you can also get up at night in the rain, break off the camp and look for a solid ground first, or do not even drive up to meadows, which can also contain damp passages...
It is possible without 4x4 for shure, but it could be handy, depending on how you like to play in the mud / sand during your journey. 
Hint: most of us did carry so much weight and stuff, that it isnt that fun for driving offroad, we did carry a lot of overweight. So offroading isnt that fun most did guess before, weight always could lead to a lot of work soon offroad as named as something harder than driving some dirt roads.

So you dont need 4x4. But It can help to avoid some detours, because of muddy sections. If your vehicle is less capable, you will experience a bigger adventure, more adrenaline if a track gets nasty. 

Practical vs theoretical approach

Of course, you should first try out whether this form of travel is something for you. Even if you have camped with your parents as a child, you have to find out again in adulthood. On world trip there is not always the suitable Campsite, one should have made oneself familiar with the topic Wildcamping and feel thereby well.  
The ultimate car / vehicle buyers guide for vanlife and overlanding. From truck till pickup

Certain themes are given in all travel vehicles, travel, wild camp site search, cooking, washing up, cleaning up, sleeping, breakfast, washing up cleaning up and repeat. Just a typical travel day on the road. Spiced up by standing days, sightseeing, hiking or just standing for a week. 

Whether one likes this travel life in itself, can be found out also quite simply with the own vehicle, with tent, sleeping bag and something camping equipmenten. I have even enjoyed rental car overlanding abroad, with tent, sleeping bag and some rudimentary equipment.

If you like, you can refine this practice in the following practical or theoretical way. 

Practical approach means - you rent solage vehicles of different categories, until you have found the right one. Or the more theoretical approach you read travel blogs, travel forums (themed) and soak up what others have done for experiences. Why they have changed the vehicle, why they no longer want a roof tent, etc.. Always imagine whether the statements made would also apply to you, or whether you would not bother mentioned points. Why someone changes from an expedition truck to a box van, or why he changed from an off-road vehicle with a roof tent to "sleeping in the vehicle". 

The ultimate car / vehicle buyers guide for vanlife and overlanding. From truck till pickup
Both approaches should lead to a travel vehicle, which will meet your needs. Depending on the vehicle then comes the exciting topic of the expansion of the travel vehicle - but for this we take then better a separate article. 

However, you can then also save a lot if, for example, you buy the touring vehicle you want already dismantled and only have to dismantle it. This may not be perfect for your needs, but you save time and money.  I would make the vehicle choice outlined above beforehand - and not let it be determined by others on the basis of the offers on the internet portals.

The vehicle height is an important point - which can bring some restrictions. Bridges, tunnels, beach accesses in France with 2m, parking lots in Italy with 2.5m - here even an off-road capable touring vehicle like a Defender can quickly be left out.

The vehicle weight is difficult to keep legal especially in the 3.5to class. Try to travel without overweight, everything else leads to higher repair cycles.
The ultimate car / vehicle buyers guide for vanlife and overlanding. From truck till pickup

In the >3.5to class there are other restrictions besides the vehicle height. Bridges and roads often have a restriction because of the weight. You have higher tolls, you have to take the lane of the heavy traffic at the border, but there is a lot of living comfort in addition.  

I can imagine traveling with any vehicle class very well, but I try to get along as long as possible with little(er) living comfort - but with carefree travel with no restrictions on height and weight. Meanwhile, but also within the 3.5to limit all-wheel travel vehicles on the market, which let you miss nothing... 

Too the spare part situation has to be watched carefully - if your car is not sold at the countrys you plan to travel, you will have high shipping/tax bills if you need new spare parts