[Peek abroad] Top tips for driving in a new country

Following my recent road trip across Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany I feel more confident than ever about driving while on holiday. I have now driven in seven countries and have experienced quite a few types of road condition, from the quiet highways of Canada to the jam-packed commotion of India.

My three top tips for driving in a different country are:

  1. Do your homework
    Before you leave your home country, perhaps to kill some time at the airport, make sure you look up the road signs for the country that you are visiting. While speed limits are straightforward there are going to be signs that bear no resemblance to the ones that you have at home. This goes for speed restrictions and when to use your headlights too.
  2. It’s just like any other car
    Remember that the car you are hiring is just like the car you use at home. It might be a different manufacturer and it might be automatic instead of manual but the basic functions are the same: it needs fuel to run, it has headlights, it has windscreen wipers… If you can drive a car at home you can drive a car abroad!
  3. Take your time
    Whether you are a Spontaneous Sally or a Prepared Pam it’s always a good idea to have a rough idea of where you are headed to that day. Don’t get in the car and rush to your next destination. Have a think about where you are going and whether there are any additional stops you want to make on the way.

These are tips based on my personal experience and you should also consult literature given to you by your hire company. What would your own advice be?

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