Important Things to Know About Driving Abroad

Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash

Unless you’re not planning to leave your hotel, getting around is a necessary part of almost any vacation. Depending on your destination, it may be possible to get by using public transport, but if you’re looking to venture somewhere more remote, you may be better off renting a car. That said, it’s essential to be aware of any logistical requirements and familiarize yourself with local driving laws before hitting the road in a foreign country. Here are some key things to be aware of.

Understand Local Traffic Laws

Traffic laws differ from country to country, and it’s essential to be familiar with the rules and regulations in your destination in order to stay safe. Before you go, take some time to familiarize yourself with local driving customs, including which side of the road is used for driving, the meanings of common signs, and how traffic lights work. Not only will this make you less likely to get in an accident, but it will also help you steer clear of traffic fines.

Check Your Documents

Depending on your destination and where you’re coming from, a regular, valid driver’s license may be sufficient. However, some countries also require a special international license, especially if you want to rent a car. Read up on what’s required in the country you plan to visit in advance so that you have enough time to prepare all necessary documents. During your travels, keep everything together in a safe, easy-to-access place in case you need to present something to local authorities.

Plan Your Routes

GPS can be a lifesaver when it comes to navigating unfamiliar territory, but it’s not 100% fool-proof. Rather than just winging it and ending up lost, research available routes to the place you want to go before you hit the road, considering factors like weather and construction that can lead to road closures. Use navigation apps to download a map of the area that you can access offline, or keep it old school with a paper map.