Travelling by car is one of the best ways to experience a vast number of cultures and landscapes within Europe. Driving through Europe, rather than taking a flight or getting the train, means that you get to explore parts of the continent that are slightly off the beaten track. This means that you can get away from the tourist hotspots in order to have a more authentic travel experience.
However, before you travel to Europe by car, it is important to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of driving in European countries. See below to find out six top tips for travelling in Europe by car:
#1 Drive on the right-hand side of the road
Most European countries drive on the right-hand side of the road (the exceptions are the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta).
This can seem like a real challenge for those who live in countries that drive on the left-hand side of the road! However, with a little bit of practice, driving on the ‘opposite’ side of the road will soon feel natural. Just make sure to use extra caution at roundabouts and when overtaking, as these can be particularly tricky when you’re sitting on the opposite side of the car.
#2 Have the correct documents
If you are travelling to another country, you will want to make sure that you have all the necessary visas, passports, tickets, and insurance prepared before you travel. However, driving through Europe involves extra administrative work. If you are driving your own car, for instance, you will need to make sure that your insurance and breakdown cover applies to driving abroad.
The extra complications which come from driving your own car mean that many people turn to car rental services as a way of simplifying their holiday in Europe.
#3 Get your navigation sorted
Before you begin your journey, it’s best to plan out a basic route to and from your chosen destination. Of course, you may decide to change this en route, but having a good idea of your plan gives you peace of mind. Remember to take physical maps as well as a sat-nav, as relying on this may create problems if the satellite connection ever drops.
#4 Be familiar with the rules
Some European countries have very specific rules about driving safety. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the rules of the countries you visit if you want to make sure that you avoid legal trouble which could potentially ruin your holiday. In Spain, for example, drivers who wear glasses are required to carry an extra pair in case the first breaks. In Cyprus, it’s illegal to drink anything while driving – even water!
#5 Create a travel pack
In many European countries, you are legally required to carry certain safety equipment in your car. Before leaving your own country you should research what these items are and make sure that you take them with you or check that your rental car company will provide them. Some examples of necessary items include reflective jackets, warning triangles, a breathalyser, and a country identification sticker.
#6 Take breaks and enjoy
Remember that travelling by car across Europe should be an enjoyable experience. If you are driving for long periods of time to get from A to B, you may be missing out on some fantastic attractions, so try to take regular breaks. Most of all, remember to enjoy the journey because it is as important as the destination – if not more!
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