10 Handy Tips for Driving Overseas

You’ve arranged your hire car, looked up local driving laws and have packed your bags – now it’s time to actually head to your destination and hit the road! If you’ll be driving overseas on your upcoming holiday, take a look at our top ten tips for enjoying every minute spent behind the wheel.

1) Plan, plan, plan

While having your whole holiday planned out with military precision isn’t exactly conducive to a carefree, fun break, there’s a lot to be said for doing a little planning on the driving side of things. After all, getting lost on foreign roads as soon as you leave the airport isn’t exactly likely to be a relaxing experience!

big attractions

So, take the time to plan out your major journeys – the airport to your accommodation, for example, and routes to any big attractions you’d like to visit. ( Image by Gary Burke )

2) Take regular breaks

We all know that regular breaks should be part of any long journey, and this actually becomes more important once you’re overseas. Why? Well, having to concentrate on driving on another side of the road, remembering new rules and regulations, and being constantly ready for the unexpected are all tiring.

3) Print out a copy of road rules

Reading through local road rules before you leave is important, and it’s also worth printing them out so you can take them with you. Highlight things you suspect you’re likely to forget, and keep the printouts in the car. That way, you’ll have them to hand if you feel you need to check anything at any point.

4) Stick to local driving laws

It’s all very well reading through and knowing the road rules of your chosen destination, but you need to actually make sure you stick to them too. To avoid any hassle (and irritating the locals), stick to speed limits very strictly, take care where you park and always be mindful of any quirks in driving etiquette.

5) Be on the alert

Even if you’ve driven in the country in question before, you should always drive defensively when behind the wheel overseas, because you can’t be fully prepared for what other drivers will do. After all, driving culture can vary considerably from one place to the next. So, stay alert and expect the unexpected.

6) Keep spare change handy

Another useful tip is to keep plenty of spare change in the car in case you need to pay for toll roads or parking meters. Obviously you usually don’t have much change when you arrive, so it can be worth buying something small at the airport or grabbing a coffee at a cafe before you get behind the wheel so you have a little change you can use in situations like these. ( image by hn )

grabbing a coffee at a cafe

7) Invest in decent sunglasses

Chances are you’ll be hitting the road somewhere sunny, and driving in strong sunshine without a decent pair of sunglasses can really take its toll on your eyes. So, invest in a good pair – and remember, if you require glasses to drive, you’ll need a prescription pair (that said, if you have contact lenses you can always combine these with standard sunglasses).

8) Take extra care when parking

When familiarising yourself with road rules, make sure you do the same for parking, and then take plenty of care once you’re out and about. Always keep your eyes peeled for things like parking meters, and if you need a special parking permit, get one in good time!

9) Carry plenty of entertainment in the car

If you’re travelling with children, it’s really important to bring along a few things to keep them entertained in the car – and to make sure that these are things you don’t find too distracting. Puzzle books are ideal, as are games consoles – bring earphones if you’re worried about the noise diverting your attention from the road.

10) Look up scenic local drives

Last up is to hit the most scenic local roads. After all, if you’re driving overseas, you may as well enjoy it! Destinations such as the Amalfi Coast in Italy are particularly known for their picturesque drives.

Featured Courtesy by oldmantravels


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