When you're exploring what's your real goal? Is it to stop and smell the roses per se or is it to get from A to B as quick as possible? If it's the latter you're not exploring you're travelling.
I always see posts telling players that you need 50+ ly or that you should run X Y or Z for an exploration ship and that's complete nonsense. If you're jumping that far each time not only are you following in the footsteps of every faux explorer before you but you're missing out on a lot of cool stuff that's most likely undiscovered. Isn't the goal of exploration to find new things?
If you're new and looking to explore just throw a Fuel Scoop on any ship that you enjoy using and hoof it. I've posted a few times about my 27 Vette that I've travelled most of the Milky Way in. From the Bubble to Colonia to Sag A to most of the major nebulae in between. Yes it may have taken me hundreds if not thousands of jumps to do it but at least I got to explore the galaxy and slap my name on a carrier load of planets along the way.
Now will you be able to go everywhere like this? To be honest I'm sure. It's worked for me so far but that's anecdotal so take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes you might have to plot weird routes to go around fields of non-scoopable stars or permit locked mystery systems but as long as you pay attention you wont need to call the Fuel Rats and even if you do they'd be glad to help like the heroes they are.
Don't believe the hype, use what you like, but never leave home without your Fuel Scoop.