Rules of the road – your guide to a safe road trip abroad

If you’re planning on heading off to distant lands any time soon then I can only recommend road-tripping between destinations as much as possible. Not only do you get to take full control of your journey, make as many stops as you like, and take the route that you want, but you also get a closer look at new cultures, get to meet more amazing people, and leave all the stress and worry of connecting flights, schedules and clock watching behind.

Driving in a foreign country can seem a little daunting and it’s easy to imagine the worst happening whilst you’re thousands of miles away from home – however, with a little foresight and simple planning, your incredible road trip abroad should go ahead without a hitch.

Read on for your guide to a safe road trip abroad.

Check your vehicle

You may be hiring a vehicle when you reach your initial destination, or if you’re road-tripping across your home country and taking your own then you need to carry out some essential checks before you hit the road. When hiring a vehicle, obviously ensure that it’s in good condition. Look for signs of wear and tear in the tyres, and ensure that the lights, wipers and brakes work and that there is nothing leaking underneath.

If you notice any bumps or scratches to the vehicle then make a note of them (take photos) and inform the hire company. The last thing you want is to be fined for damage that you didn’t cause. If you’re using your own vehicle then a quick trip to your local car garage will make sure that it’s in top condition for the trip ahead. If you plan on taking a road trip overseas, you can still use your own car by shipping it to the starting point of the road trip.

Check your route and the road conditions

When travelling on foreign roads, you never know what might be thrown at you. Huge potholes, wildlife, adverse weather conditions that can change abruptly, landslides etc. Do a little research about what could lie ahead, and plan your route accordingly. It’s also a good idea to have a secondary route planned, just in case there is a problem on the roads.

Keep calm

Anticipating what you might be up against when driving abroad will help you to stay calm behind the wheel. Something which is vital during rush hour traffic, animal cargo spilling onto the road, heavy marketplace travel, tuk-tuks, buses with passengers clinging to the outside, and general disorder on the roads. Keep calm and be vigilant.

Learn the rules of the road!

It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been driving in your home country. If you head abroad and don’t know which side of the road you should be driving on, then there is a problem! Before you travel, familiarise yourself with common traffic laws, get to know what road signs you might see and of course check what the speed restrictions are. If you’re planning on driving through multiple countries then make sure you do additional research before you cross the border.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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