There's no better way to get out there and experience everything the world has to offer than to travel abroad. To get the most bang for your buck, you will want to learn how to drive in each country so as to not waste so much time trying to figure out the sources of public transportation. Unlike the U.S., you can't just head straight to the rental center and pick up a hot ride. You've got to get a permit demonstrating that you understand the country's traffic laws if you want to be out cruising free on your own.
Getting an International Driving Permit
To take the big leap and work your way toward driving free, you must get your International Driving Permit. Just like your home driver's license, an IDP will have a photo plus all of your personal information. An IDP is extra special, however, because it can be translated into 10 different languages and can be used in over 150 countries globally.
This ID is super-convenient but also necessary for renting a car in a foreign country.
Even if you don't plan on driving yourself around on your trip, an IDP is still a valuable thing to have. Authorities across the globe can quickly recognize it as an official form of identification in the travel destination hotspots, whereas your driver's license might need some special translating and extra time to approve.
Learn the Country Traffic Laws
Of course, different countries are going to have different rules when it comes to driving. The metric system will be something you have to get used to and a new set of road signs and maybe even left-lane driving will be presented to you. Your first experience with the traffic laws of a country should not be the first time you get behind the wheel.
Before manning the steering wheel, snatch up a driving manual from the local motor agency and go over some of the traffic laws to make yourself more comfortable on the road. You should also take a look at the consequences associated with each violation since they will surely be different than back home. Take the stress out of your travels by knowing how to manage these situations beforehand.
Driving Tips to Enhance Your Trip
Aside from the vital steps that lead to getting your International Driving Permit and learning the traffic laws of the land you are touring, you should keep the following things in the forefront of your mind:
- You should always carry extra forms of ID such as your driver's license in addition to your IDP.
- Since the legal driving age varies on a country to country basis, be sure you fall into the accepted range.
- Though an IDP is enough in most countries, some will require additional permits to drive, so do some research on your destination before leaving.
- Wear your seatbelt at all times because it's safe and usually required.
- Even though you may have learned the traffic laws before you left, you may encounter a situation where you have forgotten something. Therefore, ask the foreign rental car company for a driving manual to keep in the car.
- You should always make sure you have liability insurance before getting behind the wheel.