Key Tips for Self Drive Holidays
Instead of looking forward to our trip from the minute we leave home, many of us begin our holidays ready to brave the battle which is the airport. We hold our breath, and try to brave our way through hoards of queues at bag drop off, customs, passport control and duty free, praying the flight isn’t delayed.
For many, the thought of the airport is enough to prompt them to make alternative holiday plans just to avoid the experience. This trend has been backed up by recent research from the AA, which found that over 10% of the travellers they surveyed are planning to take their cars abroad this year.
Being in charge of your own travel plans is almost a weight off your shoulders when planning a trip. Instead of rushing to and around the airport, you can simply hop into the comfort of your own car (with as much luggage as your boot can handle, and all the food and drink you want), and start your journey to your destination or ferry.
When planning a ‘self-drive’ trip, it is still important that you consider a few things before you leave home. These include;
• Gearing up
– every country will have different road and traffic laws, however it would be a good idea to get the following;
– Spare tyre – it may sound obvious, but when your entire trip replies on the car, it’s probably a good idea to check the spare tyre.
– Warning triangles and reflective jackets – just in case something does go wrong and you do break down at the side of the road, you want to ensure you are as visible as possible to other drivers.
– Breathalyser – in France it is a legal requirement that drivers carry a breathalyser kit in their cars at all times. Even if you aren’t travelling through France, these handy little gadgets are inexpensive and could prevent you from accidentally drink driving.
– ID – again it may sound obvious, but make sure you have your driver’s licence, and details of your car, e.g. insurance.
– GB sign – depending on where you are travelling, you may need a black and white GB sticker.
– Some other things to consider are snow chains (if planning a winter trip), and a beam converter kit, if you’re going to be driving on the right.
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• Be prepared – when purchasing currency for your trip, try to get some small notes and coins which you can keep in the car, just in case you come across a toll. (Double check your route doesn’t have any pre-paid tolls too).
• Car insurance – make sure you have international car and breakdown insurance, otherwise your trip could very quickly end in disaster. International insurance will always be a legal requirement when travelling abroad, and breakdown insurance is pretty vital when you’re whole trip depends on the car!
• Travel Insurance – now that the car is protected, make sure you and your car companions are protected against any other holiday disasters, for example cancellation, medical emergencies, and lost or damaged possessions.
For more information, visit our Driving Abroad tips and advice page.