Traveling with your car can be a way to save travel costs, especially if the destination is a neighboring country. It could also be a way to see more of the world, as you get to have a closer view of places and people as you move from place to place. However, it also involves much more responsibility on your part than if you had to fly or travel by train because when you take your car outside your country, all the responsibility that would have been on the airline or rail company falls on you. What then do you need to know so as you prepare to travel abroad?
You should know the route you are going to take to your destination. This goes beyond having a map ready for the trip – it involves studying the countries you might be passing through to understand their laws, their requirement if there are any roadworks ongoing, etc. You should know, for instance, if you have to drive on the right or left side of the road in the countries you pass through. You should also be very alert when you buy fuel or do something familiar so you do not get on the wrong side of the road. Other things you should do before you hit the road are
- Be sure of the condition of your car. Have it serviced, fix any repairs that need to be done, and be careful to remember that what you might be able to get away within your country of residence or origin might attract fines or cause unnecessary hassles elsewhere, so do not leave anything to chance. Also, do not wait until the last minute before you repair or service your car – determine the condition of your car is the first step in the travel plan of anyone driving abroad;
- Get the necessary documentation. Apart from your driver’s license, you might require an international driver’s license depending on where you are headed. Your vehicle registration must also be intact, as should be your travel documents like passports and visas (some countries require them);
- Check your insurance: You can get the insurance requirements for a trip abroad from platforms like Good Sam Auto-insurance. You should read Good Sam Auto-insurance reviews first, especially if you are going through multiple countries during your road trip. Travel insurance, motor vehicle insurance, and medical insurance should be handy, with copies made just in case you might need to give it out along the way.
- Ensure that you have the details of your emergency contact handy. Nobody prays for an emergency, but like the Boys’ Scout, it is better to be prepared always. Emergency numbers of the countries you might be traveling through would also be important information to have in your arsenal. You can check other insurances reviews for information that might be helpful in this regard.
- You also need to be mentally and physically prepared. Driving for a long stretch can become monotonous, so you might need to have some favorite music handy, some snacks, water, etc. A GPS would also aid the convenience of your travel, but holding a phone while driving is not acceptable in almost all countries, so ensure that your car’s GPS is functional. If your car does not have a GPS, please get a map handy, even if you have gone through the road before.
- Take breaks along the way. Driving can become subconscious to the level that the driver zones out, and you do not want that to happen to you in a foreign country. Park along the way when you get tired. Check out the malls, the restaurants, the view, and the parks as you drive by. This will keep you refreshed and alert through your journey as you add these experiences to the memories you create. Try to add a few extra hours to your schedule, and don’t be rigid with it. Many accidents can be avoided if only the divers took a break sometime during the journey. Better late than sorry!
In sum, traveling with your car is not an endeavor you should just embark upon spontaneously, and mostly, that is for your good. However, the above list might not be stringent requirements in areas where regional alliances exist, but again, you need to put in the research to be sure. Have a safe and memorable journey!