If you’re planning to travel to a different country, there are likely quite a few things you need to prepare for before you leave on your trip. For anyone planning on renting a car during their travels, one additional thing that you’ll need to figure out and plan for is how you’ll safely and legally drive in a foreign country. Depending on what country you’re used to driving in and what country you’ll be visiting, you might be in for quite a shock when you arrive there. So to help you be as prepared as you possibly can be when you hit the road on your trip, here are three ways to prepare yourself for driving in a different country.
Get The Right Driving Permit
As was mentioned above, you’ll likely have to do a little extra work to ensure that you’re able to legally drive in the country that you’re visiting. According to DMV.org, many countries require foreign drivers to obtain an International Driving Permit, or IDP. In addition to your valid driver’s license for your home country, an IDP will often make it legal for you to drive while you’re traveling around this new nation. Just be sure, however, that you’ve given yourself enough time to get this permit before you plan to arrive on your trip so that you can legally be driving the entire time you’re planning to have your rental car.
Reserve A Car With Automatic Transmission
When getting a car for you to drive when you’re in a different country, Ed Hewitt, a contributor to Smarter Travel, recommends that you try to reserve a vehicle with an automatic transmission. While you’re likely to find that the majority of rental cars available internationally are manual transmission, it’s generally worth paying a little extra for something with automatic transmission, even if you already know how to drive a stick. When you’re trying to figure out where you are and navigate to wherever you’re trying to get to, you don’t want to have to worry about trying to shift gears manually to add to your stress.
Be Aware Of Cultural Differences
As far as the actual time spent on the road when driving in a different country, you might want to do some research about driving customs and how the average person’s attitude toward driving and others on the road is in the country you’ll be visiting. According to Rita Anya Nara, a contributor to the Huffington Post, have different ideas about different genders being behind the wheel, how you interact with animals on the road, and what’s appropriate interaction between other cars and pedestrians. Oftentimes, in countries where the cars are generally older, small car accidents are common and commonly overlooked, so be aware of any cultural difference before you get behind the wheel.
If you plan to visit a foreign country and will be driving yourself around while you’re there, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay safe.