The type of space vehicle used depends on the mission you are going on.
The "Space Shuttle" is useful for near Earth orbit, but does not help much for going to the moon and would not work in the thin atmosphere of Mars.
Rocket with moon type landing pod would work for landing on the Moon or Mars, but would be a one shot deal.
Something like the X-15 might work as a landing vehicle on Mars, but will need a vertical landing mode, since Mars does not have landing strips yet.
A von Braun style Orbital Space Station would work great for making the trip if they have mobility added such as a rocket booster to get it where you want to be. If this Mobile Space Station Platform was large enough to carry a crew of over 100 members, you could accomplish in one trip as much as 50 trips with a crew of 5 or 10.
Add a rocket booster section large enough to also double as a space barge. This booster section would be constructed so that it's center would be the fuel containment core. The core would be surrounded by a superstructure that would become framework that the cargo containers are attached to in the same manner that containers are attached to sea going barges.
This entire system would have to be built in space, since it is so large it will never be able to lift off or land. Once built, it will spend it's entire life in space moving between Earth and Mars and maybe beyond to the moons of Jupiter or Saturn...
If you could combine the best features of all the above. You would have a means of getting a crew of 100 to 500 members in one trip. With a potential outcome many times more than making separate trips.
Follow the links on this site to see how a manned mission to Mars can be accomplished much sooner than others have proposed.