Driving in a foreign land can be a scary experience for some, especially if they have not tried driving in a foreign soil before. Getting from one place to another is one of the most important parts of traveling, as it allows you to see the countries hidden beauty. Travelers pick their mode of transportation, whether it be taking a public bus, train, or taxi.
However, some of us may inspire to try another type of transportation, which is common to our home country, a car. Whichever country you decided to explore, there are car rental services available for you to use. Nonetheless, it sill impose certain risks. Other countries have their driving laws, and some cars are drove on the opposite side of the road.
Here are four things you need to know as a traveler when driving in foreign soil.
1. Driving Permit
If you think that having a driver’s license is a free pass to drive anywhere in the world, you are wrong. For you to be able to drive in other countries, you may need to get an IDP or International Driving Permit. An IDP is a type of document that translates your countries license into another language. You must always accompany it with your domestic driver’s license at all times.
Some rentals may look for your IDP when renting a car, and some may not. It is important to note that your eligibility to drive to other countries may also depend on your visa status. Whether you are allowed to drive a car using your license, it is better to check your country’s embassy website for any information that may help you with your trip.
An International Drivers Association-issued IDP can also help ensure your safety in the event of an accident or emergency. It is also helpful if you are stopped by the police, as it can verify your identity and driving status. It is best to get an IDP before your trip, and you can do so by applying online or through the mail.
2. Vehicle Type
It is always important to keep in mind that some countries require driving on the opposite side of the road. Instead of the typical left side being the driver’s side, you may find some countries’ drivers steering wheel at the opposite side of the vehicle. It can be very distracting and disorienting while driving.
Furthermore, many countries around the world still use a manual transmission. Most car rentals offer a stick shift, and if you can find one that is automatic, it can be very expensive.
Understanding the countries driving culture may have an impact on your driving experience on foreign land. In countries where the population is double the size of yours, drivers may be more aggressive and can be less courteous at times. It is because they lived in a place where personal space is limited, and their way of escaping horrible traffic. There are some drivers who suffer from driving anxiety.
As a result, there may be fewer drivers if the city gives attention to this medical issue and impose the use of bikes and other modes of transportation. Drivers in a more materialistic country may be more gentle on the road. These drivers practice safe distance. Making yourself knowledgable of these driving culture can make your road trip more fun and seamless.
4. Traffic Laws
Each country has driving laws that may be similar to yours and are often different in some ways. In some countries, driving without a headlight is considered as an act of disobedience to law. There are some countries where eating and drinking while driving is prohibited and subject to traffic tickets.
For you to have a fun and memorable trip, learn some of the driving laws in the country you plan to explore. It is also a good idea to learn how traffic citation works. If you get a ticket, try to address it as quickly as possible.
If you have prepared yourself and ready to start your memorable driving experience, do not forget to drive safely and follow all the rules as it will save you a lot of time.