A road trip is one of the most exciting ways to travel. It’s something that many people dream of doing, but they never actually follow through on plans. However, a road trip across Europe is an exciting, enriching and once in a lifetime experience. You can soak up the culture, venture to the top of the Eiffel Tower, feast on real Spanish tapas and learn about ancient Rome. But before you get ahead of yourselves, you have to purchase a reliable car and forge a plan.
There are a lot of logistics involved with planning a road trip, especially when you’ll be travelling through a continent that encompasses 50 countries. So here are some tips to help ensure you have a successful European road trip.
Research the Rules of the Road
With so many countries, it’s no surprise that just like American states, driving laws differ throughout Europe. To avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of the road, make sure you thoroughly research the road requirements in every country you intend to visit. For example, in some countries you are required to have a first aid kit in your car at all times, while in others, you may have to change your headlamps.
Unfortunately, pleading innocent won’t work with the authorities. So take a little time, prepare and purchase a few necessities.
Prepare Documents and Paperwork
Firstly, to travel abroad, you obviously need to have your passport. Make sure it is in date otherwise you won’t be valid for travel. If you’ll be the one driving, then you’ll also need your driver’s license. For legal purposes, make sure you carry both the card and paper counterpart of your license.
It’s worthwhile to note that a British driving license is valid in most countries in Europe. However, if your license is from outside the EU or if you plan on travelling outside of Europe, you will have to apply for an International Driving Permit or IDP.
Of course, you also need to arrange travel insurance and car insurance. Make sure you take your Certificate of Motor Insurance with you and apply for an international certificate if you intend on travelling a little further afield.
Plan Routes and Itinerary
While a good old fashioned paper map is great, if the person sat in the passenger seat isn’t great at reading maps, then you could be in for a stressful time. It may be worthwhile to invest in a European sat nav to make your trip a little easier. Take some time to draw up an itinerary before you leave. That way you can keep addresses on hand when you’re on the road, which can avoid a multitude of arguments over getting lost.
Although the standard number for emergency services in Europe is 112, it can differ from country to country. Plus, some European countries also have different numbers depending upon the service you require, such as ambulance, police or coastguard. It’s always best to be prepared for the worst, so store emergency numbers and make sure you’re safe, not sorry.