Taking some time off to go for a holiday is thrilling, but nothing beats the allure of a road trip. Hitting the open road with a couple of friends without an idea of what lies ahead is bound to forever be etched in your memory.
A road trip in a foreign country, on a route you’ve never driven before and on a hired car is more adventurous. A foreign road trip requires more planning. You will need to go through the hassle of hiring a car, figuring out a route to follow, and go through some learning to drive abroad.
Here’s how to plan the perfect road trip abroad:
Plan the Perfect Road Trip Abroad
1. Consider the time
While planning for a foreign road trip to a place, you have to consider such factors as travel time, hiring a car and returning it, jet lags, and so on. While it may be tempting to hit it off as soon as you land, it will do you more good to give yourself time to recharge and get familiar with the new time zone.
2. What to Pack
The best way to plan the perfect road trip abroad is to first consider your intended destination. A pair of boots or shoes could come in handy even if you do not plan on using them. While you may be planning to have the time of your lives by enjoying each other’s company, there is bound to be a lull in conversations.
Music is one way of making the hours pass, however, ensure that you choose music that everyone will enjoy. You can also watch movies on a portable DVD player or iPad if the car does not have built-in screens. Pack some colouring books, pencils, scribbling books, and so on for the kids.
3. Check the driving laws of the destination country
Get familiar with the local laws and driving regulations of the country you will be visiting. Fortunately, the internet is a reliable source of such information. Some countries may also require you to obtain an international driving permit before renting a car.
Most countries which were British colonies drive on the left side, for example, Australia. Get familiar with recommended speed limits so as not to end up on the wrong side of the law driving in a foreign country, especially if you are going to be driving yourselves.
4. Deciding who will accompany you for the road trip
Road trips could be stressful, and you need the company of people that can make them entertaining. Each of us has friends or family we love but wouldn’t stand to be with for long hours on the road. If you are embarking on a road trip with other people other than the nuclear family, it is important that you choose someone you can count on to be supportive, helpful, and sensible.
5. Pre-trip planning
Driving around unfamiliar terrains is the essence of taking a foreign road trip, but pre-planned road trips will help you point out your must-visit-places. This is important as it will keep you from getting sidetracked. You can get insights into such places and seasonal attractions from travel guidebooks. Leave room for spontaneous detours but try as much as possible to stick to your schedule.
Knowing where you will get your rented car from also needs prior planning. While getting it from the airport might seem like the easiest option, it is often costly. Renting one from the nearest city and organising for pick up from the airport could be cheaper. Keep your luggage in mind when choosing a vehicle. In a nutshell, pre-planned road trips tend to be more successful and exciting.
6. Download travel apps
While it is ideal to have hard copies of the maps for your destination, travel apps could come in handy. Using maps over GPS could slow you down and limit your enjoyment of the sceneries.
Before setting off, it would be prudent to inform someone of your journey. During the road trip, always ask the locals if you are not sure of something and listen to advise. Above all, take time to soak in the new sceneries.
Note: This post is made possible thanks to Riya S. Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups.