Many of us choose to rent a car when traveling abroad. Unfortunately, few people stop to learn about their destinations before getting behind the wheel which can cause some serious problems later on. Tradewinds Travel Club would like to spend some time with you getting to know some of the more important aspects to driving abroad on your next vacation.
Below you will find some of the most important topics you should be aware of when choosing to rent a car while traveling abroad.
Know Your Destination
Rules for the road may be very similar when driving in the U.S., but when traveling abroad, the rules may change significantly. As an informed traveler, it is important that you get to know the rules of the road at your destination. Rules such as talking on cell phones, penalties for breaking the rules, what you are required to have and policies concerning alcohol and driving can all be found by checking the destination specific information on travel.state.gov.
Understanding International Driving Permits
Though these are not required for every destination, it is advised that you check into whether it is required for your destination before you leave. An International Driving Permit or IDP can help you be more prepared for travel abroad. Recognized in over 150 countries, and IDP replaces a normal U.S. Drivers License which may not be accepted as a valid form of driver identification overseas.
It is important to note that while it is good to get your IDP before you leave, you should not have it issued more than 6 months ahead of time as it will no longer be valid after that.
The cost is $15.00 and you may apply for your IDP at AAA or the National Auto Club. You must be at least 18, offer two passport size photos and be able to present a valid U.S. license in order to get your IDP.
Other Important Notes On Driving Abroad
• Make sure you carry your IDP at all times
• Follow age restrictions per country regulations
• Always wear your seat belt
• Know which side of the road you will be driving on
• Make sure you carry a map and follow all country specific regulations no matter what they are
Driving abroad does not have to be difficult; it just requires some planning on your part. Tradewinds Travel Club advises you to make sure that you are an informed traveler when traveling abroad. Ignorance to the laws will not always help you escape penalties for breaking the rules, make sure you understand the rules of the road BEFORE you go.
As always, enjoy your next vacation with Tradewinds Travel Club. Be smart, and stay safe on all your vacations. Have a great trip and get to know the world around you with Tradewinds Travel Club as your partner in travel.