Traveling to a different country is a great way to experience a world you’re unfamiliar with, especially if you plan to get off the beaten path and find your own adventure away from typical tourist stops. However, this often means that you’re taking your transportation from place to place into your own hands, which can be a little stressful if you don’t know your away around the destination or the road systems. So to help you make these travels a little safer, here are three tips for driving safely in a different country.
Using Your Current Driver’s License
Just because you have a driver’s license from your own country doesn’t mean that that will work for you in a different country. The rules for driving and licensure vary from country to country, so make sure you do your homework regarding what you’ll need to legally drive a vehicle in the country or countries you’re traveling to. Rita Anya Nara, a contributor to the Huffington Post, shares that many countries will accept an IDP, or International Driver’s Permit. However, this may not be valid throughout your whole trip or in every area you visit, so plan ahead so you’re legally allowed to be driving any vehicle you rent.
Learn The Rules of the Road
Driving can be a dangerous task, even when you’re doing it in your own country. With other drivers to be aware of, potentials for distracted driving, and inclement weather, you’ve got to be constantly vigilant while you’re on the road. One way to ensure you’re as vigilant as you can be is to make yourself aware of the rules of the road for the place you’re traveling to. Sarah Schlichter, a contributor to Independent Traveler, shares that laws you may be familiar with, like making a right turn on a red light, may not be the same in other countries. This means you might have to fight some of your natural driving tendencies in order to follow the laws of another country. Study up on signs and rules of the road before getting behind the wheel in a foreign land.
Make Sure You’re Properly Insured
Just like the U.S., many other countries require you to have insurance before you operate a vehicle. This includes tourists who plan to be driving as well. The U.S. State Department reminds us that just because you have insurance in America doesn’t necessarily mean that coverage will travel with you. Talk to the local embassy at your destination about what type of insurance to get in order to cover you in the case of a motor vehicle accident.
If you plan to travel out of the country and drive around while you’re there, use the tips mentioned above to ensure you do so safely.