Re: 7,8,or 9 passenger van?
A minivan worked for us when we were a family of 6--and though I eventually got all the seats in right we had really outgrown it when we became a family of 7. We are in the process of buying a 12-15 pass van now because we also road trip (husband is in the military) and it was a nightmare. We had to use the roof rack which killed has mileage anyway.
Mom to: Clover(10) Violet(9),Twins; Scarlet & Ryland(7), Thistle(3) Twins Clementine & Royal 12/15 Super Surprise Baby 12/16