Some of the disadvantages of organised group tours are travelling with strangers and having a very limited amount of time at each sightseeing spot. Limited leg room on buses and trains add more unpleasantness. Self-drive holidays on the other hand do not have the above issues and offer you the opportunity to explore off the beaten tracks.
If you think you are ready for this kind of adventure, check out these 10 steps to help you prepare for a self-drive holiday.
1. Do your research
No matter how popular and safe the area of your self-drive adventure is, it is worth doing some research before embarking on your journey. Speed restrictions, traffic rules and road signs vary from one country to another. For your safety, ensure you know about any significant differences in traffic regulations in the country you will be driving in. Check whether your country’s driving licence is acceptable in your holiday country or whether you need an international driving licence to drive in that country.
2. Choose a country that best fit your driving experience
If you drive on the left side of the road, you might want to book a flight to Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, or the United Kingdom. You won’t have to adjust to driving on the different side of the road. These countries generally also have better paved main roads and clearer road signs.
3. Get a travel insurance policy
Regardless of your choice of holiday location this year, you should make sure you are adequately covered for your travel. Talk to your travel insurance service provider and inform them of your travel route in advance so they can inform you of the coverage and services that best suit your needs in case of any troubles on the road.
4. Pack light
Remember to pack light as boot space is limited especially if you have luggage of other passengers. This will also save you energy when loading and unloading.
5. Consider the people you’re travelling with
When planning your route and itinerary, do consider the traveling needs of the children and senior citizens travelling with you. Remember that they may not be able to partake in extreme adventures, strenuous activities or long rides in the car.
6. Ensure that your documents are up-to-date
Make sure your family’s and your visas and passports are up-to-date to avoid unnecessary delays during travel. Check for requirements for multiple entries just in case you need to cross country border lines more than once.
7. Choose the right car rental company
Read online reviews and choose a reputable and reliable company. The cheapest option when renting a vehicle might not always be the best way to go. Check whether the published rental fees include taxes, insurance, 24-hour road assistance and unlimited mileage (or charges for additional mileage). It would also be helpful to choose a service provider which is known for delivering great customer service.
8. Be ready for emergencies
Be sure that you know what to do in case you run into car troubles on the road. At the very least you must know who to call for help. You also want to make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone with you at all time. And it is even better if you have a car charger as well as a fully charged powerbank as well.
9. Stock up on food
Don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water in case you are stranded with no telephone reception, if you have to stay at a camp site or there are no restaurants or cafes nearby.
10. Bring a medicine kit
Regardless of your preferred destination, it is a must to assemble and carry a travel medicine kit. The types of medicine to bring will depend on your family’s needs as well as the type and length of travel. To avoid unnecessary complications at customs checkpoints, check before your trip that such medicines are not illegal, can be carried into the country and do not require any permits.
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