If you’re thinking about traveling abroad, there are many things to plan, but transportation should be one of your first priorities. Having the freedom to get around n without relying on public transit or a taxicab can be very liberating, plus make it easier to see the sights and feel more like a local.
However, if you’re coming from a place like the United States where people traditionally drive on the right side of the road, you may have just one more thing to get used to in the new destination. Fortunately, the Perceptive Travel blog posted that in 2010, about 10% of United States population decided to travel internationally, and that only 7% where doing so for the first time. Even if you’re feeling nervous, there’s a good chance that others on the road are sharing some of the same feeling. Keep reading for five tips that can bring a smoother driving experience.
You May Need a Warning Triangle
Some places, like Spain and Australia and have required new motorists to place a visible symbol on their car to indicate they’re not from the area. The graphic varies in color by country, but generally is shaped like a triangle and made from reflective material. Officially, it’s called a warning triangle, and you can buy one online or once you arrive at your destination.
Insurance Could Be Compulsory
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because your home vehicle is insured, you can get away with not being insured abroad, even if you’re only driving for a short time. Some websites make it simple to get a quote online, so you can budget for the cost of insurance and get back to planning other phases of your trip. According to the Automobile Association Limited, insurance is required in some of the most popular European destinations, including Germany, Ireland, France and Italy.
911 Might Not Be a Valid Emergency Number
Many Americans have had the 911 emergency number drilled into their heads from early childhood. Hopefully, everything will go well abroad, and you’ll have no need to ask for emergency assistance. However, it’s better to be prepared, just in case. Start memorizing the number 112, especially if you’re going to the European Union. It works throughout the European Union, and can be used in instances like road accidents or assaults. Other destinations may use other types of emergency numbers, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of research before going somewhere outside of the European Union. Also, some countries have different numbers
depending on the type of emergency.
International Driving Permits May Be a Requirement
An international driving permit is only valid along with a driver’s license from your home country, but it may be required before you can drive in a new place. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are some countries that don’t recognize a driver’s license from your home country, and will be more familiar with an international driving permit. Perhaps, this is because the document is only about the size of a passport, but has information translated into 10 languages. Also, it’s valid in more than 150 countries, so if you’re a frequent globetrotter, it’s the way to go. Keep in mind that an international driving permit must be obtained in your country of origin, and is no longer valid if you become a resident of a new country.
You Could Be Subject to a Drug Test
There’s no doubt that driving under the influence of drugs can be very dangerous, even if those substances are prescribed by a doctor. Also, one post online recently warned that drivers in the United Kingdom may find themselves subject to drug tests after a road accident, even if they’re not to blame. Also, in Norway, drug tests are already routinely given alongside the usual tests to determine if a driver has been drinking, and is now driving under the influence. Although specific laws vary by destination, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and refrain from driving if you’ve been taking drugs, even those that you’ve been prescribed by a healthcare
Driving abroad can be an overwhelming experience, but if you keep these tips in mind, it’ll be easier to start off on the right foot and avoid making potentially costly mistakes. Good luck!