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Safe Driving on a Road Trip Through Europe

There’s no better way to explore a continent like for example Europe than by car. Not only is renting a car quite budget-friendly; it’s also the preferred way of traveling if you want to quickly hop from one city to the other. Driving in another country is more than adjusting to the local traffic situation, it’s also a matter of having the write papers and licenses to be allowed to sit behind the steering wheel in these countries.

Do, Do, Do

There will be some confusion, no matter how prepared you are. In many countries like Italy and Germany there are different types of roads and highways. Each type has specific rules for motorists. You may need additional permits for certain roadways like divided highways and interstates.

Try not to hop in the rental car and drive aimlessly about, have an idea in advance of the roadways and where they lead. No one enjoys feeling lost so do bring a map, do write down the directions for quick reference. Do have contact numbers programmed in your phone.

An International Driver's Permit (IDP)

Your Library Card Isn’t Enough

An International Drivers Permit or IDP is a good thing to have should you plan on hitting the roads. Avoid any inconvenience; make sure you have an IDP if you are driving. You should also have your license from your home country available for inspection, as well as your passport. Laws from country to country vary.

Being unfamiliar with laws and traffic patterns, you do not want to be personally liable should a car accident occur. Make your experience more pleasurable with trip planning and forethought. Don’t take any risks, be sure you have liability and the best package of rental car insurance. Secure copies of your paperwork that will be kept outside of the vehicle.

You Can Be The Safest Driver But…

Driving a rental car through EuropeCar accidents are not all you have to worry about. Car thefts, acts of vandalism, and car jacking occur both at home and abroad. Add to your overall security by having the rental car insurance. Make sure your rental car is in good operating condition prior to acceptance. Note the mileage and take your own photos.

Tips for safe driving while abroad can be obtained from the foreign country’s embassy within the United States, or any existing government tourism offices. Try to obtain a copy of the driving rules for the country before departure.

If you are lodging in a local hotel, take the time to check out the surrounding area and the connecting cross streets. Knowing nearby locations will be helpful should an emergency situation occur. Imagine if you needed help but didn’t know where to direct emergency personnel.

Don’t sit around the hotel or pay high taxi fees, safe driving while abroad is possible. You only live once so take in all you can in your own time and drive yourself.

Resources for Info on International Driving Permits

Be sure to do some proper research on what the requirements are in the country where you’re planning on driving a car. has some good info on this, has more in-depth information you might want to check as well.

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