Holiday Trip in Europe.

Author: Michiel Van Kets    Category: Travel   Date Added: 2009-01-02

Choosing to take a trip around Europe can appeal to tourists for many different reasons. In Paris they hope for romance, in Rome they are fascinated by its ancient history and in Germany there is the famous Black Forest to explore, and in France the countryside and wine is just too tempting to miss.

Hiring a car to explore Europe is one of the most challenging and exciting ways of getting around. It gives you the opportunity of deciding your own schedule and timetable completely, stop off at a small village for a few days or see the city in a day, you are totally dependent only on yourself.

If you have never driven in Europe before you should really research the countries you are planning on driving through as each country has its own rules and regulations regarding the laws of the road.

Driving anywhere apart from your own country necessitates you having an International driving permit. To get one of these you need to first have a full and current driving license, a provisional license is not valid. Look online or contact your local post office for information on where you can obtain an IDP. This will then permit you to drive in most European countries and only costs a small amount.

If your country of residence is Australia or the UK then driving in Europe will be quite a change as they drive on the opposite side of the road there. It might be worth trying to practice before you arrive as there will be differences to be aware of such as overtaking, turning at junctions and which way to go around the roundabout.

Each country you travel in by car will have different rules than your own so ensure you always check out their road and traffic rules. In some countries flashing your headlights means you are allowing the other driver to go, whereas in others it means ‘watch out I’m coming through’! Sounding your horn and how to pass correctly on the motorways are other differences to be aware of.

It is important to check you are fully insured before taking a car abroad, if there is an accident you don’t want to be liable for the costs as these could be very expensive, ensure you have liability insurance and this will cover any damage to the rental car also. It’s better to be on the safe side after all.

Once you are in Europe everywhere is new and you really need to know where you are going.Although the main motorways will all be sign posted, there will be lots of other situations where you can easily lose your way once you are off the motorway, trying to find your way through countryside roads and in the large city centers as you look for accommodation can be confusing. Invest in a comprehensive and detailed recent map or even a GPS that is programmed for Europe. Wasting time trying to find the correct way and getting lost in the one way system in Rome or finding you have been travelling the wrong way for the past 2 hours is no fun and can be frustrating and waste a lot of time. A good map or GPS can help you to avoid all of this. If you don’t already have a GPS programmed for Europe either have one installed or consider buying one. If you have a good map reader along on the ride with you then this should be adequate.

Driving in any European country has its own laws and regulations but there are some that are the same wherever you drive and are instigated for your safety. Always wear a seatbelt and if you are travelling with children then you either need a child seat or make sure the seat belts are working correctly and there are some fitted in the back seat too. Don’t forget that is it against the law to talk on your mobile while you are driving and take care at all times.

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