How To Prepare For Driving Abroad
One of the most exciting and liberating things about having a driver’s license is the ability to drive wherever you want.
Whether it be to the next town or on a road trip, being able to drive and explore new places is one of the greatest benefits of being an adult!
Having this privilege does come with some risks, however. That is why many people wait until they’re old enough and have taken the necessary precautions before driving abroad for the first time.
Depending on where you are going and how long you plan on being there, there are several different things that you need to prepare to stay safe while driving abroad.
Also Read: 10 Popular Stag Do Ideas Abroad
This checklist will go through all the things you need to keep in mind before driving abroad to remain as safe as possible while exploring new places.
Check Your Car
If you’re planning on driving abroad, you should first check your car to make sure it’s roadworthy.
If you are going to be driving a relatively new car, you don’t necessarily have to go out and get it inspected, but you should at least look over the vehicle and make sure that everything about your vehicle is in good condition.
When looking at your car, ensure there aren’t any cracks or dents in the body, the tyres are in good shape, and your brakes, lights, and windshield wipers all work correctly.
Essential points to check before travelling abroad are:
- Brake fluid
- Windscreen wash
- Tyre pressures
Ensure you also have enough fuel in your tank to get where you’re going. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere because you didn’t think to fill up before leaving!
Making a fuel stop plan along your route is one of the safest things you can do to get to where you need to be with no stress!
Road Safety While Travelling Abroad
When you’re driving abroad, it’s essential to remember that the laws and road safety standards might differ from what you’re used to.
Driving on an alternative side of the road than normal, driving with the wrong type of license, or driving a car that is unreliable or deemed unroadworthy can get you in a lot of trouble if you aren’t extremely cautious.
The best way to avoid these problems is to get familiar with the laws and rules of the road in the area you are visiting before you even get in the car.
That said, even if you know the rules, staying safe on the road may be challenging when driving in a new place, so knowledge will be your best friend.
Make sure you are extra cautious while driving wherever you are visiting so that you don’t put yourself or others in danger. If you have passengers, ensure they are also aware of the risks and what they need to look out for while driving.
Make Sure You Have the Right Documents
When driving abroad or crossing borders, it’s crucial to have the correct documents and paperwork accessible.
Make sure that you have your:
- Driver’s license
- Travel documentation
- A valid international driver’s permit (IDP) where required
- Proof of insurance
- Vehicle’s registration paperwork
All on hand, just in case you are pulled over or get asked to show proof of these things.
Having these documents will help you avoid trouble if you get pulled over or stopped at a border checkpoint.
Suppose you don’t have the correct documents on hand. In that case, you risk getting fined, having your car impounded, or even refused entry at a border, depending on the individual situation.
Currency Exchange and Electronic Payment Options
Before you embark on driving abroad, make sure you have the correct currency to pay for fuel, food, and any accommodation you may need.
If you don’t have the right amount of cash in the correct currency, you could get hit with some pretty hefty fees when it comes time to pay for your travel expenses, not to mention that paying with credit might get expensive pretty quickly.
Some fuel stations and hotels might not accept credit cards, and even if they do, you might be charged a higher price because of how expensive international transactions can be.
Avoid these problems by exchanging the amount of cash you need before leaving and keep an emergency digital payment option, such as a credit or debit card, as backup, for unexpected expenses.
If you’re driving abroad or in unfamiliar areas, it’s a good idea to install a dash cam in your car. This small device is designed to record everything that happens in front of or around your vehicle while driving so that you have video proof if you ever get into an accident.
Dash cams can also come in really handy if you get pulled over or are involved in a traffic accident. A recording of these things can help you prove that you weren’t at fault.
Some dash cams are even smart enough to start recording when they detect sudden movement in front of the car or if your car gets bumped by another vehicle or by hitting something in the road.
This can help you prove that the accident wasn’t your fault if someone tries to blame you or if they try to file a false insurance claim against you.
GPS Navigation App
Finally, before driving abroad, it’s a good idea to download an offline navigation app to still use navigation and directions even if you don’t have GPS service.
Driving abroad without a navigation app can be difficult, especially if you are driving in a new area where you don’t know the roads. It can help you avoid getting lost, finding places, and navigating tricky situations like traffic jams or construction.
Make sure you have the up-to-date version of a navigation app and information downloaded before you leave so that you can utilise it immediately when you start driving.
It’s also a good idea to download a secondary navigation app just in case your main one runs into problems or has trouble finding your location.
The Final Word
Travelling by your car overseas doesn’t have to be stressful.
With the proper preparation, you can make sure that everything goes smoothly. Stay informed, and you’ll be ready to drive abroad with ease.
Now that you know what you absolutely must do before you drive abroad, you can get ready to go!
Make sure you have everything on hand and organised so you can stay safe while driving in another country.
You also need to be particularly aware of any road rules and regulations in the area you’re visiting so that you don’t get into trouble.
Finally, remember that even if you have all of the necessary documents, you still need to make sure that your car is roadworthy before you go.