Going on a road trip is certainly an experience every single person should have at least once in their lifetime. Understandably, Europe is a truly great place for it. If you already have your mindset on this adventure, it will be of great use to know the following few tips and make your road trip fantastic.
Follow a pre-established route
It is often quite tempting to just set off into the world spontaneously, without so much as planning a single destination or even looking back. Still, working out a specific route would be a far wiser choice, especially if it is your first time (driving) in Europe. Decide ahead which countries you would like to see the most, read more about what is worth visiting there and the most convenient ways to get there. Europe is huge, so getting lost is not an impossible scenario. Moreover, the road-web is not equally elaborate in all countries, so getting some info in advance could spare you headaches and save you a lot of time.
Read about laws and rules
This is a huge reason why you need a pre-established route, as mentioned earlier. Once you decide which states you will visit, research their transport laws and regulations. Being a tourist will not justify your ignorance so it’s better to be well prepared. For example, some countries in Europe, such as Cyprus and England, practice driving on the left side of the road, while many others drive on the right side.
It will be useful to do some research on speed limits in order to avoid fines or even more serious forms of punishment. Also, there are a few things you absolutely should not do, and not just because of the severity of disapproval European countries have toward them, but also because of the damage and harm, they can cause. Do not operate a vehicle if you have been drinking and do not use the phone while driving. Also, keep your seatbelt on at all times for extra safety.
Have a good travel insurance
Most travelers spend a lot of time and effort planning the perfect vacations, but they often overlook the importance of getting good travel insurance. You must know – If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel!
Why is it important to have travel insurance? By taking out travel insurance you are essentially covering yourself against travel risks such as lost or stolen luggage, cancellation cover (should you not be able to travel due to unexpected medical reasons) and most importantly, unexpected medical costs abroad. Having the right level of travel insurance cover is critical when travelling.
Get adjusted to manual cars
If cars in your country are largely inclined to automatic transmission rather than manual, you may end up with an inconvenience on your hands when you grab hold of a steering wheel in Europe. An enormous number of cars on this continent have manual transmission systems, which you ought to take into account before renting a car there. In such cases, it is highly recommended that you take manual driving lessons so that you can become acquainted with and get used to this type of transmission before your road trip begins.
Bear in mind highway passes and tolls
You may not be familiar with the fact that in Europe, drivers are required to pay highway tolls. Moreover, in certain countries, they also encounter something called a highway vignette. If your plans include countries like Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, the Checz Republic, or Slovenia, then you will need a vignette. It is either in the form of a sticker that you place on the windscreen or it is electronic. It is also a type of road charge or a pass, which is sometimes required in addition to the regular highway tolls. The price of vignettes depends on the duration of the period your vehicle will be using a given county’s roads.
Have all the necessary numbers in your phone
Find all the emergency numbers you may need during your trip and have them saved in your phone. Those include the national emergency lines, your travel insurance provider’s number, the closest embassy’s number, the health insurance company’s contact info, as well as your bank’s number in case of finance and budget-related mishaps.
Don’t let the phone juice run out
This rule pretty much applies to every trip, but it doesn’t hurt to say that you need to be able to establish contact with other people at any point. A road trip, though exciting, carries with it a considerable dose of uncertainty, which any responsible traveler needs to be prepared for. Keep your phone charged so you can react swiftly in case of an emergency where you will depend entirely on the help of others.
Keep your camera close
Europe is a swirling mix of mind-blowing landscapes and unique architecture, which is precisely why it attracts so many travelers from all over the globe. There will be plenty of moments that you will wish to have recorded because there is simply so much to see! So, don’t leave your camera at the bottom of your bag, but instead, keep it nearby so you can react quickly before the given attraction disappears somewhere in the distant background.
Pack for various weather conditions
In case your European road trip includes multiple countries and will last for a longer period, it’s good to have clothes with you for any kind of weather. Naturally, this will also greatly depend on the time of year you will be traveling and the chosen states, but nowadays it is safe to say that, not so rarely, weather in Europe can be quite unpredictable too. Simply following weather forecasts will only get you so far, so make sure your clothing items range from woolen sweaters to shorts and T-shirts.
In spite of the multiple charms of spontaneity and marching straight into the unknown, careful planning should be practiced before any road trip. If you set off on your European adventure well prepared, you will have a chance to enjoy the moment without having it diminished by numerous problems and worries.