Road trips are a better way to travel since they give you more control over the itinerary and the stops you’re going to make. This means you get to experience the country you’re visiting on your own terms and mingle with the locals.
There are also benefits of renting a car when in a foreign country. It allows you to drop the car off at the most convenient location for you, and you don’t worry about maintenance. However, driving on unfamiliar roads is also a big responsibility, and you should take it seriously.
Make Sure You Have GPS
It’s essential that you have GPS while driving on roads you’re not familiar with. In most cases, the GPS on your phone will do just fine as long as you’re close to cities and well-mapped towns. As you move further away from urban settlements, these are no longer enough, and you need to have a separate system for the car.
These can be rented at the same place you’ve rented the vehicle, and they can help you find your way even when you’re deep into the countryside. They usually come with their own insurance policy, however.
Organize Your Documents
There are a few documents you’ll need to bring along if you’re driving abroad as a foreigner. The most important of these are the international driver’s license and a national driving permit, without which you can’t legally drive. You’ll also have to show a photo ID and proof of insurance.
It’s best to organize these documents neatly and to have them at your disposal in case the police stop you. That’s one less thing to worry about since there are fines for those that drive without a proper permit.
An Emergency Roadside Kit
An emergency roadside kit should be prepared and packed for every trip and especially if you’re traveling on a long journey. The kit should have all that it takes to make minor repairs and to alert the traffic that you’re experiencing car trouble.
Many drivers have the kit, but they don’t take proper care of it and aren’t really sure what tools are actually in it and how to use them. It’s best to open the kit up before every trip and restock it if needed.
Bring Come Cash
Cards are a more convenient way of handling transactions, but there’s still some benefit in bringing along some cash as well. There are going to be establishments that won’t accept cards, and it’s much easier to tip if you have some cash at hand. It also helps if you find yourself in an area without POS terminals.
It’s best to exchange currencies as soon as you arrive in a foreign country, if not before. That’s the best way to be sure you’ll get a fair deal and that there won’t be any additional charges. The preferable way is to do it in a bank you have an account in.
Prepare for Harsh Weather
This is often overlooked if you’re traveling during the summer, but the weather can change quite quickly. It sometimes comes as a surprise when you’re driving through a desert and the temperature drops as soon as the sun comes down.
The most important item to bring is a few extra layers of clothes since that’s what will keep you warm. It’s also a good idea to have an umbrella. On the other end of things, you should also prepare for snowfall and especially what it can do to your car. A shovel is, therefore, a must-have in any truck.
Keep Your Devices Charged
Going on a road trip requires you to carry a lot of different devices and especially so if you want to keep the kids entertained during a long drive. This means that charging them becomes somewhat of an issue while you’re on the open road.
It’s best to bring a battery brick or two so that you can charge your devices on the road. These should also have a charger that you can use in your car. That way, you’re covered for at least a few days until you get to an outlet. In most cases, you’ll also need an extra set of adapters.
Making Yourself Comfortable
Driving for a long time can be uncomfortable, even in the best of vehicles. That’s why you should do what you can to improve it. In most cases, it’s easy enough to do with a simple pillow and a few blankets if you plan to sleep in the car.
A few reusable water bottles and a travel mug that will keep your drinks hot or cold when you need them are also of great help. This is especially important if you’re planning to be away from gas stations or stores for an extended period of time.
Don’t Forget Snacks
Snacks are an essential item to pack for any long trip. You can always go with whatever you find at a store, or you can go the extra mile and prepare the snacks at home so that you’re sure they are healthy.
Don’t forget a container for them and a few plastic bags to make sure the vehicle is kept clean and organized even if you eat on the road. This is especially true when you’re renting a car and want to return it as it was issued to you.
Don’t Make Too Many Plans
Ultimately, the most important thing to bring to a road trip is the attitude towards it. The best thing about such trips is that they allow you more freedom than the itineraries set for tourists. Take advantage of that while you’re traveling.
This means you can stop whenever you want and move on whenever you want. In most cases, you can also make the whole trip longer or shorter depending on your preference and interest. Try to use the trip to experience the customs of the locals as much as you can.