With holiday season fast approaching you might be ready to pile into your old family car and head off for a couple of weeks away. But on long car journeys space or rather lack of it often becomes a major headache for a lot of families. You spend the morning packing and fill the car, only to realise you have another three suitcases to cram into the back. Then there is the journey itself! A lack of head and leg room can make long drives uncomfortable for everyone especially children. Maybe it's time to consider buying a bigger family car like an MPV? Here is a bit of information to help you decide and hopefully avoid holiday hell.MPV stands for multi-purpose vehicle and the term is usually associated with European family cars. The first vehicle to claim this classification was the award winning Renault Scenic voted European car of the year in 1996. Other car manufacturers soon followed suit releasing a variety of models including the Citoen C4 Picasso, Ford Focus C-MAX and the Peugeot 5008. When it comes to safety most modern compact MPV's come with a 5 star NCAP safety rating and good handling. Giving you the confidence that your family have the best protection should you be involved in an accident. Modern compact MPV's often offer excellent flexibility especially when it comes to seating with some models offering dozens of possible seating configurations. Innovative storage is also standard with most models of MPV. Many MPV's offer plenty of compartments and nooks and crannies to put all those little holiday essentials. Panoramic roofs are a nice optional extra to look for when buying your MPV. A large windscreen and panoramic roof can really open the interior out flooding it with light and giving you and the family better visibility of the countryside, which should hopefully help keep the kids entertained. With the price of fuel at an all time high fuel economy is going to be a big thing to consider, especially if you plan to use your MPV daily for school runs.As with most cars the newer the model usually means the better the fuel economy. Robust diesels are available on a range of models giving you 50+ MPG on a combined cycle. Lower MPG come with the petrol engine offerings from manufacturers. An electric MPV called the optimal energy joule has also been released on pilot schemes during 2010 with the view to rolling it out to South Africa and Europe from 2014. Future developments in engine technology should see the first hybrid MPV coming within the next couple of years reducing fuel consumption and the amount of money you spend at the pumps. With a bigger cabin, 7 flexible seats, excellent safety features and improved fuel efficiency choosing an MPV over your standard smaller family car can make holiday travel a doddle. Taking the stress out of driving on holiday will give you and your family more time to enjoy yourselves without suffering the cramped conditions of a long car journey.