Road trips are fun. They promise an opportunity to see the world through a different lens. You can explore anywhere your thirst for adventure takes you, as long as you spend every moment with those closest to you. Feel free to sing songs, talk about everything, take pictures, and try new foods if that’s what it takes to break the monotony of a normal week.
If you think that road trips can’t get any better, try exploring a completely different country, one whose roads you barely know. While it might be thrilling to explore places outside your comfort zone, you should take more caution than when road tripping within your country’s borders. All it takes is some preparation to have the time of your life.
Here is how to prepare for a road trip abroad:
Pick a Confident Driver
Who among your travel partners is the most confident driver? The chances are that you might have to drive in a completely different environment. For instance, some countries will drive on the opposite side of the road. Roundabouts are also quite common in countries like the UK, whereas the USA doesn’t have that many.
On the other hand, you might also have to shift the side you drive from, not to mention, adjust to driving a manual vehicle. If you are used to driving automatic vehicles, manual ones might take some time to understand. Ideally, choosing a person who is confident with their driving skills is wise. If you don’t know how to drive and still want to enjoy being on the wheel, you can learn how to drive without waiting ages by signing up weeks earlier for an intensive driving course.
Get Familiar with the Driving Laws
The ‘foreigner’ card will not always work in your favor when driving abroad. It can be pretty easy to get into trouble with the law if you fail to follow traffic rules. Even worse, while some practices might be completely normal in your country, you may break the law by following them on roads abroad.
Familiarize yourself with the driving laws of the country you will be visiting. Be sure to research on whether you will need an IDP or not to be safe. Since car damage laws might be different from your home country, consider getting some insurance, even if you will be driving a rental. Also, be on the lookout for laws that apply specifically to the areas you will be driving.
Carry Snacks and Medical Supplies
Snacks can be a great way to fill your stomach before you get to a hotel or restaurant. While most gas stations might offer snacks, you cannot always trust that they will be nutritionist-approved. Furthermore, it might take hours to get to a great place to eat from. Be sure to stock up the right amount of snacks for the road trip, whether you buy snacks from home or not.
Also, ensure that you carry your own medical supplies. You don’t want to have a headache slow you down. Sadly, the medical products in the foreign country might not be what you are used to. While some of the ingredients in the products might be foreign, there is the chance that you might not manage to read the ingredient list without a translator.
Watch Out For Traffic Warnings
Road accidents lead to the loss of 1.25 million people globally each year, according to the WHO. Poor roads and bad weather are among the main culprits. In most cases, news and weather forecast sites tend to warn against unsafe roads to prevent this. If you don’t want to turn into another statistic, pay attention to such news.
Be sure to research on how safe the roads will be before you set out for your road trip. The trip will not be worth it if you have to risk your lives or end up getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. With that being said, there is a chance that most cars now have a telematics system (you can look here for more info) that provides data to the relevant people that displays your location and driving habits, so if anything were to happen to you, someone would definitely know about it. But any preparation that you do could be key to how successful your road trip will be.
It might only take a small hiccup to ruin your road trip. With the right level of planning, you can both enjoy the trip and get back home safely. Focus on the insights above to make the trip unforgettable.