Traveling by train is always an appealing option when you’re in Europe. The countries are incredibly close together. There are castles and rivers and medieval cities and rolling hills and bustling metropolises to explore.
But there has always been something especially unique about traveling foreign roads. Winding through mountains and valleys, small towns and big cities, you capture a feeling you can’t get on a train.
But hitting the open road isn’t as easy as it may sound. Make sure you are thoroughly prepared for your adventure; knowing the rules and utilizing tools can make all the difference.
Renting the Car
Prices are important, but that’s definitely not all you’ll want to look at when renting a car in Europe. Factor in additional fees before you come to a conclusion as you may end up paying much more if you don’t look at all of the extras ahead of time.
It’s typically a good idea to go with a larger company when you’re traveling in a foreign country. The bigger the company, the more pick-up and drop-off locations they will have—which will make it more convenient for you when you’re trying to plan your trip. It’s also nice to go with a larger company so they’re well known and you can trust their business practices. That’s true any time but especially when traveling internationally.
Don’t forget to also check currency conversion rates so you know how much the rental is actually costing you.
Choosing the Route
Where you go is possibly the most important part of planning any road trip. With the smaller sizes of European countries, it’s easy to travel from one to the other. Expand your trip and see a variety of places as you go.
Be sure to use a map to trace the path you’re hoping to take. Tailor it to your interests. If you’re a history buff, seek out cities with museums or small towns situated near stunning castles. If you prefer nature, get out into the mountains, cruise along the winding roads and see the sights.
Learning the Rules
Driving is not the same everywhere you go. Certain rules that you follow in your own country may not be the same as you venture the world. Before you set out, do some research. Try to track down a booklet, either online or via the mail, of the country’s driving laws. Get to know them back and forth before you start out. You don’t want to get a ticket and you want to make sure to keep everyone with you safe.
Prepping Your Car
If you’re not renting a car but taking one of your own, make sure to prep it well before you leave. Depending on your destination and the time of year, you may need to add things like new windshield wipers or tyres. Tirendo can help within many European countries, offering summer, winter or all-season tyres.
You may also want to have a mechanic check the car out. Have them check for things like oil and coolant to ensure a smooth ride free of breakdowns.
Every place is different. While you may be used to ample trunk space back home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find it in Europe. Additionally, if you can’t drive manual transmissions, you’ll end up paying a considerable amount more so do your research ahead of time.
Most of all, have fun and get excited to explore!