Some of the disadvantages of organised group tours are travelling with strangers and having a limited amount of time at each sightseeing spot. Limited leg room on buses and trains can also add to the unpleasantness. Self-drive holidays, on the other hand, take away these challenges and offer you the opportunity to explore off the beaten track. 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.
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 are aware of the differences in traffic regulations in the country you will be driving in. Check whether your holiday country accepts your country’s driving license or requires an international driving license.
Driving in countries that also drive on the right side of the road, like Malaysia does, means you won't have to adjust to driving on a different side of the road. These countries, include Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom, generally also have better paved roads and clearer road signs.
Regardless of your choice of holiday location, you should make sure that you are adequately covered for your travel. Talk to your travel insurance 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. If you don’t have existing travel insurance, we encourage you to get some for your upcoming trip. Here’s why.
Remember to pack light as boot space may be limited, especially if you have luggage of other passengers. This will also save you energy when loading and unloading.
When planning your route and itinerary, do consider the travelling needs of any children and senior citizens travelling with you. Remember that they may not be able to partake in extreme adventures, strenuous activities or long car rides.
Make sure you and your family’s visas and passports are up-to-date to avoid unnecessary delays during travel. Check requirements for multiple entries just in case you need to cross country border(s) more than once.
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 is also beneficial to choose a service provider known for excellent customer service.
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 times, or even better carry a car charger and a fully charged power bank.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water in case you are stranded with no mobile reception, especially if you plan to stay at a campsite or there are no restaurants or cafés nearby.
Regardless of your destination, it is a must to assemble and carry a travel medicine kit, based 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 and that you do not require any permits to bring them into the country.
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